If you take a moment to assess the average arguments for the prophethood of Muhammad, you will almost certainly find arguments for "Muhammad in the Bible". One of the favorites is Deuteronomy 18:18. It is often alleged, as in this example, that "if this verse does not apply to the Prophet Muhammad, the prophecy in this verse will be unfulfilled."
The purpose of this blog post is not to respond to this argument. That has been done quite adequately in multiple places. Rather, I wish to briefly address what we can really find out from Deuteronomy 18 about the Prophethood of Muhammad.
In verse 20, God identifies who ought to be considered a false prophet:
1: "the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak,"
2: "or (he) who speaks in the name of other gods"
Muhammad did both of these things. When proclaiming to the Muslims and the Meccans that they could turn to the goddesses Lat, Uzza, and Manat for intercession, he essentially spoke in their name (reason #2 to consider someone a false prophet). When he initially proclaimed this, he did so in the name of Allah, since he announced it as part of the Qur'an. Later he recanted, saying it was Satan who placed these verses in his mouth. Thus, he admitted to speaking a word in God's name that God did not command him to speak (reason #1 to consider him a false prophet).
Now one may argue, as many of my Muslim friends do, that the episode of the Satanic Verses is fictitious. Unfortunately, the weight of the historical evidence is against that position; over 30 references to the Satanic Verses incident can be found in early Islamic sources, and it is unlikely that Muslims fabricated this event. This is why some Muslim scholars who have focused on this issue as their field of expertise (such as Dr. Shahab Ahmad from Harvard) agree that the event actually occurred.
The are three main reasons that one might conclude against the authenticity of the Satanic Verses, and none of these hold water.
1: The first is that Islam is a thoroughly monotheistic religion, and therefore Muhammad would never have preached intercession at the hands of Meccan goddesses. The fairly obvious problem with this view is that it is circular; it presupposes that Muhammad never contradicted monotheism in order to conclude that Muhammad preached contradicted monotheism. In reality, there is no reason to preclude some ambivalence on Muhammad's part in the early years of Islam. Truly, that is what the records indicate.
2: The second reason is that the incident is not found in the Sahih collections of hadith. The problem here, however, is that it assumes Imam Bukhari or Imam Muslim would not be biased against the account. I heartily believe that they would be. Which leads me to #3.
3: The third reason a person might conclude against the authenticity of the Satanic Verses is because he already believes Muhammad is a prophet of God, and that Muhammad would therefore never succumb to Satanic deceit. Aside from being a non sequitur position, such a person has arrived at a conclusion on the prophethood of Muhammad even before looking at the evidence; their a priori presuppositions invalidate their conclusions. Certainly, importing this presupposition while assessing Deuteronomy 18:20 would lead to an inadequate conclusion.
In short, if we actually take Biblical injunctions seriously, and we take the historical Muhammad seriously, we are forced to come to the conclusion that Muhammad meets both criteria for a false prophet as enumerated in Deuteronomy 18:20.
To learn more about the Satanic verses, visit these links:
1 - A comprehensive article by Silas on Answering Islam
2 - A short article by Dr. Ernest Hahn
3 - A debate between Adnan Rashid and David Wood on the authenticity of the Satanic Verses