UI – Part 310 – Prophets and Swords (2)
This follows last week’s blog – The Sword of Muhammad – the introduction to this series.
Muhammad the Only Sword Carrying Prophet
If you Google ‘Prophets and Swords’, the only name that comes up, repeatedly, is Muhammad. Biblical prophets are highly regarded as forecasters of the future as God informed them. However they were never warriors or bearers of swords. There was never a scabbard at their side.
An actual sword of Muhammad is on display at the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. Called the Qal’i. Inscribed on the blade, “This is the noble sword of the house of Muhammad the prophet, the apostle of God.”
Prophets were men of God inspired by God and used by God to prophesy. They informed their people of what God expected of them. The most common thread among the Biblical Prophets is the forecasting of the coming of Jesus Christ. Islam respects and embraces the Biblical prophets, even suggesting they are Muslims, but at same time their Scripture (the Quran) denies the divinity of Christ.
Upset with how people, chosen or otherwise, disrespected God, prophets, as Isaiah and Jeremiah, told of God’s wrath and the coming of a savior. They spoke of the outcome for those that avoided God or denied God by favoring themselves, their own wants and desires, to include prurient wants, after their death. With Israel and Judah as the home of the holy places the prophets made other’s aware of conquests by the Assyrians and Babylonians. The autocratic vanquishers included, Tiglath-Pileser III (reign – 745-727), Shalmaneser V (reign – 727-722), Sargon II (reign – 721-705), Sennacherib (reign – 705-681), and Nebuchadnezzar II[i] (634-562). None were men of God. However, such conquests were enabled by God as the chosen people continued to disobey and deny God. Death was expected to be a natural physical death, not death by the sword of the prophet or the prophet acting in God’s stead. Being killed by an invader, a pagan or godless general, happened. Punishment may be at the hands of third parties, but not by representatives of God of the faithful, but as conquerors, conquerors for their own kingdoms.
The Biblical Prophets encouraged all to believe in God. They allowed themselves to be used by God to achieve a peaceful end by peaceful means, not by use of a weapon. They did not kill to make their point. They did not kill to grow an army or a following. They did not kill to enforce loyalty. They did not kill to instill the fear of retribution should God be disobeyed. They did not kill if their commands were not honored. They did not carry out justice, vengeance towards the disrespectful, using violence. However, Muhammad did all these things.
Grace and Peace
Note – Part 3 of this series – Prophets and Swords – next week.
[i] Defeated Assyrians (his father – Nabopolassar – 658-605) in 616-615.