In Sura 61, The Column (Al-Suff / الـصـف ), we see how Jesus subtly prophesies the coming of Muhammad in his comment about the messenger to come after him by embedding the root of Muhammad’s name into this statement.
[61:6] Recall that Jesus, son of Mary, said, “O Children of Israel, I am GOD’s messenger to you, confirming the Torah and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name will be even more praised (Ahmad).” Then, when he showed them the clear proofs, they said, “This is profound magic.”
وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَابَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَٰذَا سِحْرٌ مُبِينٌ
The root of the word Ahmad ( أَحْمَدُ ), which means “more praised” comes from the root ح م د, which is the same root of the name مُحَمَّد which means “one who praises.”
We see a similar phenomenon in the Hadith when the prophet was asked about who was to come after him. In the Hadith compiled by Sahih Al-Bukhari 3455, the prophet gives this supposed prophecy of who is to come after him.
What is interesting about the comment above is that Muhammad supposedly said that after him will come Caliphs ( khulafau / خُلَفَاءُ ), which comes from the root خ ل ف. This prophecy seems to perfectly align with the declared messengership of Rashad Khalifa ( رشاد خليفة ) where the root utilized for the name Khalifa ( خ ل ف ) is from the same root as the word khulafa ( خُلَفَاءُ ) used in the supposed statement made by Muhammad. But some may claim that this is only a last name and not necessarily indicative of it prophesying Rashad Khalifa as the next messenger to come after Muhammad.
Except, in another series of Hadith, we see an even more descriptive reference, this time using the term Al-Khulafai l-rashdiin ( الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِين ), which uses the roots for both names Rashad ( ر ش د ) and Khalifa ( خ ل ف ).
What is also interesting about the above Hadith is that it warns that the people will see “many Khalifas” ( فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ يَرَى اخْتِلاَفًا كَثِيرًا ) which is translated as “much difference.” After that, it also warns of “newly invented” matters and uses the term “hadith” when it states ( وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الأُمُورِ ). This seems to be a quite coincidental Hadith prophesizing that the people will see a lot of disputes among the believers regarding the Hadith and that after Muhammad, we should follow Al-Khulafai l-rashdiin ( الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِين ), which uses both the roots for Rashad Khalifa, God’s Messenger of The Covenant.
In addition to this, we also find the root of Rashad ( ر ش د ) occurs 19 times in the Quran, which corresponds to the Quran’s mathematical miracle that was revealed to Rashad Khalifa.
Another interesting facet of this Hadith is that after it uses the term al-khulafai l-rashdiin ( الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِين ) it uses the term لْمَهْدِيِّينَ / al-mahdiina, or the plural form for the word Mahdi. Mahdī, which means the guided one, in Islamic eschatology, is a messianic deliverer who will fill earth with justice and equity, restore true religion, and usher in a short golden age before the end of the world.
الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيِّينَا
Additionally, the Hadith very clearly states that Muhammad was the last prophet (nabi), and this is confirmed in the Quran, but does not say the final messenger (rasool).
[33:40] Muhammad was not the father of any man among you. He was a messenger of GOD and the final prophet. GOD is fully aware of all things.
(٤٠) مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
Nowhere in the Quran does it claim that Muhammad was the final messenger. Such an understanding actually contradicts the verses and lessons in the Quran. For instance, if Muhammad was the final messenger, why would God inform us about “messengers” (plural) to come.
[7:35] O children of Adam, when messengers come to you from among you, and recite My revelations to you, those who take heed and lead a righteous life, will have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.
(٣٥) يَابَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي فَمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأَصْلَحَ فَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Additionally, God warns us of people who falsely claimed that Joseph was the final messenger and that God was not going to send anymore.
[40:34] Joseph had come to you before that with clear revelations, but you continued to doubt his message. Then, when he died you said, “GOD will not send any other messenger after him. (He was the last messenger)!“** GOD thus sends astray those who are transgressors, doubtful.
وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ يُوسُفُ مِنْ قَبْلُ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَمَا زِلْتُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا جَاءَكُمْ بِهِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا هَلَكَ قُلْتُمْ لَنْ يَبْعَثَ اللَّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ رَسُولًا كَذَٰلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ مُرْتَابٌ
Interestingly, four verses ahead in verse 38 (19×2), we see the occurrence of the word “Rashad” coming from a person identified as a believing Egyptian. It is worth noting that Rashad Khalifa was Egyptian.
[40:38] The one who believed said, “O my people, follow me, and I will guide you in the right way ( الرَّشَادِ ).
[40:39] “O my people, this first life is a temporary illusion, while the Hereafter is the eternal abode.”
[40:40] Whoever commits a sin is requited for just that, and whoever works righteousness—male or female—while believing, these will enter Paradise wherein they receive provisions without any limits.
[40:41] “O my people, while I invite you to be saved, you invite me to the hellfire.
[40:42] “You invite me to be unappreciative of GOD, and to set up beside Him idols that I do not recognize. I am inviting you to the Almighty, the Forgiver.
[40:43] “There is no doubt that what you invite me to do has no basis in this world, nor in the Hereafter, that our ultimate return is to GOD, and that the transgressors have incurred the hellfire.
[40:44] “Some day you will remember what I am telling you now. I leave the judgment of this matter to GOD; GOD is the Seer of all the people.”
وَقَالَ الَّذِي آمَنَ يَاقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُونِ أَهْدِكُمْ سَبِيلَ الرَّشَادِ
يَاقَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ
مَنْ عَمِلَ سَيِّئَةً فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَمَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِنْ ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنْثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ يُرْزَقُونَ
فِيهَا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
وَيَاقَوْمِ مَا لِي أَدْعُوكُمْ إِلَى النَّجَاةِ وَتَدْعُونَنِي إِلَى النَّارِ
تَدْعُونَنِي لِأَكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَأُشْرِكَ بِهِ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَأَنَا أَدْعُوكُمْ إِلَى الْعَزِيزِ الْغَفَّارِ
لَا جَرَمَ أَنَّمَا تَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ لَيْسَ لَهُ دَعْوَةٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَأَنَّ مَرَدَّنَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَنَّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ هُمْ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ
فَسَتَذْكُرُونَ مَا أَقُولُ لَكُمْ وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ