بسم الله الرحمـن الرحيم
والصلاة والسلام على من لا نبي بعده
The advent of the last and final Messenger of God, the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ has been promised throughout the former Scriptures, such as the Torah revealed to Moses, the Psalms of David, the Gospel of Jesus, and other divinely-revealed Texts. The final book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Scripture) is the Book of Malachi. The Jewish Rabbis believe that Malachi, along with Haggai and Zechariah, were the last Prophets. They are included in the list of Twelve Minor Prophets: 1. Hosea 2. Joel 3. Amos 4. Obadiah 5. Jonah 6. Micah 7. Nahum 8. Habakkuk 9. Zephaniah 10. Haggai 11. Zechariah 12. Malachi. The Book of Malachi contains a major prophecy regarding the advent of the ‘Messenger of the Covenant’:
הִנְנִ֤י שֹׁלֵחַ֙ מַלְאָכִ֔י וּפִנָּה־דֶ֖רֶךְ לְפָנָ֑י וּפִתְאֹם֩ יָבֹ֨וא אֶל־הֵיכָלֹ֜ו הָאָדֹ֣ון ׀ אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּ֣ם מְבַקְשִׁ֗ים וּמַלְאַ֨ךְ הַבְּרִ֜ית אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּ֤ם חֲפֵצִים֙ הִנֵּה־בָ֔א אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֹֽות
וּמִ֤י מְכַלְכֵּל֙ אֶת־יֹ֣ום בֹּואֹ֔ו וּמִ֥י הָעֹמֵ֖ד בְּהֵרָֽאֹותֹ֑ו כִּֽי־הוּא֙ כְּאֵ֣שׁ מְצָרֵ֔ף וּכְבֹרִ֖ית מְכַבְּסִֽים
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. (Malachi 3: 1-2, KJV)
This grand prophecy describes the function of the Messenger of the Covenant as similar to that of a refiner, who purifies metal with fire, and that of a fuller, who purifies a garment with soap. In other words, this Messenger of the Covenant’s advent will be difficult for the evil and corrupt, because through his advent, the pure will be separated from the filth, and judgment is enacted upon the latter who reject him.
But it is very critical to understand that this Messenger is called ‘Messenger of the Covenant’. The Holy Qur’an declares this Covenant to be the Covenant taken from the previous prophets to believe and support this Messenger when he appears:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّـهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُم مِّنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
And when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], "Whatever I give you of the Scripture and wisdom and then there comes to you a messenger confirming what is with you, you [must] believe in him and support him." [Allah] said, "Have you acknowledged and taken upon that My commitment?" They said, "We have acknowledged it." He said, "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses."
(Sura 3: 81)
Hence, the only Messenger of the Covenant who fulfils the prophecy in Malachi chapter 3 is the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Jewish rabbis confess that Malachi was their last prophet, and hence the ‘Messenger of the Covenant’ whom they are expecting cannot be anyone of their other prophets. The Christians claim that the ‘Messenger of the Covenant’ was John the Baptist. However, John the Baptist himself never claimed to be the one who brought a new covenant, or the fulfilment of any other covenant. The use of the word ‘covenant’ is therefore highly significant in identifying this promised Messenger with the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. On his behalf, his revelation, the Holy Qur’an, declares him the رسول الميثاق (Messenger of the Covenant), whereas neither John the Baptist nor Jesus of Nazareth are ever described as ‘Messenger of the Covenant’ in the New Testament of the Christians.