prior to moses’ (pbuh) death, he gave the children of israel blessed news, mentioned in the book of deuteronomy: “this is the blessing with which moses the man of god blessed the people of israel before his death. he said, “the lord came from sinai and dawned from se'ir upon us; he shone forth from mount paran, he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, with flaming fire at his right hand. yes, he loved his people; all his holy ones were in his hand; so they followed in your steps, receiving direction from you.” (deuteronomy: 33/1-3).
the prophet habakkuk confirmed this prophecy, when he mentioned the news that made him afraid, because it indicated the transfer of the prophethood away from his people the children of israel. he says, “god came from teman, and the holy one from mount paran. his splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. saleh. his brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand, and there he veiled his power. before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. he stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low; his were the everlasting ways.” (habakkuk: 3/3-6).
before analyzing this passage, let us look at the major differences in its translations.
in the seventieth translation: “and he was informed from the mountain of faran (paran), and on his right there was thousands of the purified angels, so he gave to them and he loved them, and he was merciful to its people, and he blessed them and blessed raising him, when they realized your footsteps, and accept your words. moses submitted similar to it to us, and gave them an inheritance to jacob's people”
in the jesuit priests’ translation: “god will come from the south, and the holy one from mount pharan: his glory covered the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise.”
in the basic english translation (1965): “shining out from mount paran, coming from meribath kadesh: from his right hand went flames of fire”. the meaning of meribath kadesh is ‘thousands of saints’, as what came in the douay-rheims bible 1899 " he hath appeared from mount pharan, and with him thousands of saints, in his right hand, a fiery law.
this passage talks about the three places that the blessing will come, the first: sinai mountain, where moses (pbuh) spoke to god. the second: sair, a mountain in the land of judas, (see joshua: 15/10), and the third: paran mountain.
the holy bible’s passages in which "paran" (faran) is mentioned tell us that it is located in the southern part of the palestinian desert. however, the torah also mentions that ishmael grew up in the wilderness of paran. (see genesis: 21/21), and historically agreed that he grew up in makkah in hijaz.
muslims believe that this passage is a prophecy about the appearance of jesus (pbuh) in sair in palestine, then muhammad (pbuh) on the paran mountain, where he comes with thousands of the purified people supported by the statute from god almighty.
this has been established with muhammad (pbuh) because of the following:
1) paran mountain is the mountain of makkah, where ishmael resided. the torah said about ishmael: "and god was with the boy; and he grew up. he lived in the wilderness, and became an expert with the bow. he lived in the wilderness of paran: and his mother took a wife for him from the land of egypt." (genesis: 21/20-21).
his children were scattered in this area, as the torah says, "these are the sons of ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes. these are the years of the life of ishmael: 137 years. he breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. they settled from havilah to shur, which is opposite egypt in the direction of assyria. he settled over against all his kinsmen. (genesis: 25/16-18) and avila, as in the holy bible’s dictionary, is an area in the north of yemen, while shur is in the south of palestine.
it is known that ishmael and his children resided in this land north and south of hijaz, including the land of paran in which ishmael resided.
the historical evidence indicates that paran is hijaz, where ishmael and his father build the ka’aba, and where the well of zamzam sprang under his feet. this was professed by a number of historians as the indian historian moulana abdul haq fedyatee mentioned in his book "muhammad in the religious international scriptures".
the historian jerome and the theologian eusebius were among those historians that said that paran is makkah. furthermore, what came in strong's hebrew bible dictionary is that paran is in the arab desert, saying, "paran, a desert of arabia".
2) the existence of an area named paran located in the south of sinai does not mean that there is no other paran where ishmael resided. it is common to use the name sair to name the area in the land of edom which is now located in jordan. this is repeated in many places in the book, and in spite of the many times it is used, it did not prevent the name being used to name a mountain in the middle of palestine west of jerusalem in the land of the judas tribe. (see joshua: 15/10).
we have the right to ask those who insist that paran is in sinai: who is the holy one that glittered from that mountain which is not related in any way to any important human events. who was he?
3) to say the passage talks about an issue in the past is not acceptable, because it is common in the holy bibles' language to talk about future events using the past tense. espinosa said, “the oldest writers used the future tense to indicate the present and the past, with no differentiation, as they used the past to indicate the future, and as a result of that there was a lot of confusion.”
4) why the mountain of paran was particularly mentioned? if it was just an indication to the spreading of the glory of god as claimed by some of the jewish writers, the glory of god did not stop at the border of paran or sair.
5) some translations mention "the cleansed among angels" meaning the cleansed among the followers, that is what confirms that the issue is related to the prophecy, talking about the thousands of saints, as this expression is used and it means: the followers, as in what came in the book of revelation that
"now war arose in heaven, michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. and the dragon and his angels fought back," (revelation: 12/7). when did paran witness such thousands of the cleansed except when muhammad (pbuh) and his companions appeared?
6) what came in the book of habakkuk supports the muslims claim when it said, “god came from teman, and the holy one from mount paran. his splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. saleh. his brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand, and there he veiled his power. before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. he stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. his were the everlasting ways.” (habakkuk: 3/3-6). this passage is a witness that, there is a victorious prophet-hood will shine like a light, and the call to the prayer will fill the universe with the praise of god.
the word “timan”, as mentioned by the holy bible’s editors, is a hebrew word that means "the south". in the catholic torah: "god comes from the south, and the holy comes from the mountain of paran", as the addressed were in palestine, the revelation in the prophecies comes from the south meaning from the arabian peninsula, which means that the holy one will be sent from paran mountain.
therefore, and based on all that, the glittering holy one from paran mountains is the prophet of islam, muhammad (pbuh), for all the characteristics mentioned about the prophet of paran, are validated in him, and not in any of the other honored prophets.