WVW: Song of Solomon 5:16: Is Muhammad in the Bible?
Recently I was looking through the many messages in my inbox and came across one where a person was asking for help. Help for what, you might ask? Well, a Muslim had sent this person a message saying that Muhammad is mentioned in the Song of Solomon, so they were wanting to know how to respond. Yes, you read that correctly. According to this Muslim (and many others, including Muslim apologist Zakir Naik), Muhammad, the founder of Islam, can be found in Song of Solomon 5:16. So the obvious question to ask is this: is it true?
“His mouth is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.” (Song of Solomon 5:16 ESV)
What’s the Context?
The Song of Solomon is a poetic book believed to be written by King Solomon. The book is about the intense love a man and his wife have for each other. Back and forth the husband and wife adore each other, showering each other with compliments. It’s a book that expresses romantic love between a young man and his bride. It uses intimate language that shows the beauty of the marriage relationship.
So Where’s Muhammad?
When you read Song of Solomon 5:16 you will probably have no idea how someone could say Muhammad is found in there. There’s nothing in this verse or anywhere else in this chapter or book that would make us think Muhammad is in there. If you reject the notion that Muhammad can be found in the Song of Solomon, you’d be justified. That’s because those who say Muhammad is referenced have to do some crazy eisigesis and some wild linguistic jiujitsu. The gist of the argument goes like this: the Hebrew word for “desirable” is “mahamaddim”, and that word sounds like the Arabic name of “Muhammad”. So, according to some Muslims, this verse is talking about Muhammad. There are numerous problems with this reasoning, so let’s take a quick look at three of them:
First, this interpretation is completely out of line with the context of the passage. This verse is talking about a woman admiring her husband. In Song of Solomon 5:10-16 the women is describing her husband's body. Why would she suddenly speak of another man in verse 16 while she is enamoring and desiring her husband? To suddenly stick Muhammad in the mix is completely ridiculous and really weird.
Second, this is an extremely silly phonetic game. Just because a word in Hebrew sounds similar to a word in a completely different language (in this case, Arabic) doesn't mean they mean the same thing. If we are consistent with this reasoning then we must also conclude that Allah is a mouse, because the Hebrew word for mouse sounds like "akbar," and “akbar” is the last part of the Arabic phrase "Allahu Akbar." So according of this logic, when a Muslim says "Allahu Akbar” they aren't just saying "God is greatest” but they are also saying "Allah is a mouse." So if this claim is taken seriously and applied consistently, it would show that the God of Islam is a rodent.
Third, the claim that Song of Solomon 5:16 is referring to Muhammad runs into another roadblock because in Song of Solomon 5:1 the husband of the lover says "I came to my garden, my sister, my bride, I gathered my myrrh with my spice, I ate my honeycomb with my honey, I drank my wine with my milk. Eat, friends, drink, and be drunk with love!" (ESV) The problem here is that drinking wine is forbidden in Islam because Muhammad said that wine is of Satan (Surah 5:90). So the idea that Muhammad consumed wine when he said it's of the devil doesn’t make sense.
There are some other problems with the claim that show it’s impossible for this to be talking about Muhammad, but I can’t cover them all here. But as you can hopefully see, this verse is 100% not talking about Muhammad. Anyone who claims otherwise is spreading nonsense.
What Does the Song of Solomon Mean for Us Today?
Now how does the Song of Solomon relate to us today? Well, not only does it show us the special love a married couple has for each other, but it shows us something more. The book foreshadows the greatest relationship of all. Jesus refers to Himself as “the bridegroom” (Luke 5:34). So if Jesus is the bridegroom, who is his bride? We are! The church is the bride of Christ (Revelation 21). How great it is to be so loved by God that He looks at us as His lovely bride! Islam doesn’t teach that we are the God’s bride, but in the beautiful truth found in Christianity we see who God intends for us to be. The greatest choice you can ever make is to repent and believe in Jesus. To know God and to experience His love is the greatest relationship there is.
Dingers, this WVW was written by Joel Ivy a friend that loves Muslims enough to tell them the truth and loves truth enough to tell it to Muslims. He runs a fantastic, informative website www.WhowasMuhammad.org and you can find more of his posts @whowasmuhammad on Instagram. Stay tuned, he is going to give us some more Bible verses misused by Muslims in the coming weeks!!!!!!