26. Are all prophets holy?

In Acts 13 verses 6 it is recorded: ‘Afterward they travelled from town to town across the entire island until they finally reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus’. What made him a false prophet? He was practicing sorcery. That is forbidden by the Torah in Deuteronomy 18.

In the book of Revelation chapter 2 verse 20 the Holy Spirit spoke to the Apostle John about the Church at Thyatira: ‘I have a complaint against you. You are permitting that woman – that Jezebel that calls herself a prophet – to lead my people astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols.’ This person was obviously a false prophet because of the fruit of her ministry.

The concept of holy in Islâm is defined by the terms halal and haram. If something is holy it is halal and it is acceptable to God. If it is unclean then it is haram or forbidden. King David the author of most of the Psalms, recognised as a holy book of Islâm, was a murderer and an adulterer. Islâm recognises him as a prophet. King David wrote the famous Psalm about his repentance after his wicked acts of murder and adultery. Psalm 51 verses 5-11: ‘For I was born a sinner – yes from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify my sins, and I will be clean: wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Oh give back my joy again: you have broken me – now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence and don’t take your Holy spirit from me.’

Most of the prophets in the Bible committed sin at some time in their life. Most of these prophets are recognised by Islâm as prophets too. It is puzzling that many Muslims hold the belief that all the prophets are holy and sinless. Muhammed sinned and the evidence of this is in Surah al-Fath 48 ayah 2. Speaking directly to Muhammed about his recent victory in battle the Angel says: ‘We have given you a signal victory so that Allâh may forgive you your past and future sins, and perfect His goodness towards you.’