In John 1:19-21 when the Jewish leaders asked John the Baptist who he was, they asked him a very distinct prophetic figures.
- First they questioned him as to whether or not he was the anticipated “Messiah”
- Next they asked if he was the prophet Elijah
- Finally, they asked him if he is “THAT Prophet?”
Here we should note that the Jews awaited the Messiah who was to come, prophet Elijah, who would precede the Messiah, and THAT Prophet which was to come as the greatest of the prophets.
There is no doubt that prophet John the Baptist (Q 3:45) was the prophet Elijah as prophesied in Malachi 3:23 , Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
The reason John said, I am not Elijah, while Jesus said, “He is Elijah” (Mt 11:14) is because he is the spirit and power of Elijah” (Lk 1:17), meaning he was not Elijah in person, but in spirit and power.
Now of course, we know that the “Messiah” is prophet Jesus, the question remains who is then THAT Prophet whom John the Baptist mentioned to the jews that he is not worthy to even unlace his shoes?
Interestingly when we read the holy Qur’an, there are only three instances where God Himself tell us the name of distinct prophetic figures in specific grammatical construct the complex idhafah اضافة ie third person masculine singular possessive pronoun ( اسم مرفوع والهاء ضمير متصل في محل جر ) in exactly the same order as in Jh 1:19-21
- Whose name will be the Messiah Jesus, Us’muhu l-Masihu ‘Eesaa اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى (Q 3:45)
- Whose name will be John, Us’muhu Yahya اسْمُهُ يَحْيَىٰ (Q 19:7)
- Whose name will be Ahmad, Us’muhu Ahmad اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ (Q 61:6)
So God Almighty Himself has told us that who “THAT Prophet” is who is mentioned in the Gospel of John, he is Ahmad, (which is another form of “Muhammad“) the last messenger of God, who would perfect the divine teaching both in theory and in practice.