The Comforter – The Holy Spirit or Muhammad?

The Comforter – The Holy Spirit or Muhammad?

The Great Controversy

According to the Qur’an, Jesus said,

Sura 61:6 “O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of an Apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.”

Ahmad is essentially the same name as Muhammad and both names mean “The Praised One.” However, there is no record in the Bible of such a saying by Jesus nor is the name Ahmad mentioned anywhere. This is disturbing for Muslims since they accept that the Gospel contains the sayings and actions of Jesus.

However, in the Gospel of John, when Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure he did speak about a “Comforter” who was to come after him (John 14:16, 26; 15:26 and 16:7). This word “Comforter” in the English of the King James Version of the Bible is used to translate the Greek word Parakl?tos. It can also be translated as “Advocate” or “Counsellor” (New International Version).

The Muslim Doctors contend that Parakl?tos is a corruption of another Greek word – Periklytos, which they argue means “Praised One” and would be the translation of “Ahmad” in the Greek. They therefore insist that Periklytos was the original word occurring in the Greek manuscript of John’s Gospel and that Christians altered this word to conceal the evidence for the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.

Those who contend that there has been a falsification of the name, do not however, have any problem with the nature and functions of the Comforter as given by Jesus in the Gospels.

They maintain that in every way Muhammad fulfilled these functions and may therefore be identified as the one described as “Comforter” in the Bible.

On the other hand, Christians have understood clearly from Jesus’ words and the context that the Comforter is the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Godhead.

For the sake of our investigation into the real identity of the “Comforter,” therefore, it becomes imperative that we study every truth about the Comforter as based on the descriptive roles given by Jesus, rather than focusing on the name itself.

We will use the Qur’an and the Bible as the only authoritative and reliable sources of reference, for information about Muhammad and the Comforter. From these we will determine whether the nature and works of the Comforter befits Muhammad.

Another Comforter

We now begin a systematic search through the Qur’an and the Bible for absolute truths about the Comforter which Jesus spoke of in the Bible. Let us pray against any spiritual blindness in the name of God.

Dear Reader, join me and turn your Bible to the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John and read the sixteenth verse John 14:16

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Comforter to be with you forever”.

The above statement of Jesus presupposes that there has been an earlier Comforter, that is the First Advocate. The First Advocate was Christ Jesus, according to the First Book of John, chapter 2 verse 1. This same Jesus was the Word of God (Qur’an 3:45, John 1:1), who became flesh (John 1:14) and dwelt among us to comfort us. Having established the identity of the first Comforter, we shall continue our search for the second Advocate who is described as “Another Comforter.”

The Eternal Nature

The Muslim doctors contend that since the Comforter is referred to with the pronoun “He,” he must be a human being.

However, note how Jesus ended his statement about the Comforter by declaring to us that, “He will abide with you forever.”

Now, without the slightest doubt, Muhammad could not abide with us forever, having died in AD 632, and his tomb can be reliably located at Medina near Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In answer to this, the Muslim scholars have argued that it is the words of Muhammad that still abide with us as contained in the Qur’an. However it must be clearly noted that, Jesus did not say the words of the Comforter would abide with us forever, but that the Comforter himself would abide with us forever.

Furthermore, the words of the Qur’an are not Muhammad’s words but those of Allah. Muhammad’s words would rather be found in the Hadith (the sayings of Muhammad).

May God grant us Patience and Show us the Straight Path. Amen!

The Spiritual Nature

Jesus throws more light on the nature of the said Comforter by identifying him as the Spirit (Ruh). In John 14 :16-17 and John 15: 26, Jesus called the Comforter the “Spirit of Truth” (Ruh-ul-Haqq) and in John 14:26 the “Holy Spirit” (Ruh-ul-Quddus).

The Muslim Scholars however, still maintain that Jesus was speaking about a human being and that since the word pneuma, “spirit,” in Greek is neuter, Jesus would have used the pronoun “it” if he was referring to a spirit.

In contrast Christians argue that “He” indicates a personal being but not necessarily a human being. After all, when we speak of God we also use the pronoun “He” and yet the Bible tells us that “God is Spirit.” He is a distinct person but not a human being.

Let us compare another verse concerning the Spirit: John 16:13-14

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will only speak what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

Jesus clearly identifies the Comforter who is coming as the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Truth. Thus, whoever is the Comforter is also the Spirit. In contrast, nowhere in the Qur’an does Allah address or identify Muhammad as Spirit (Ruh), nor did Muhammad ever refer to himself as such. According to Qur’an 17:93 Muhammad calls himself “A man sent as a Messenger” (Basharan Rasulan), not a Spirit.

Qur’an 17:93 Say: “Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man an apostle?”

Allah commanded Muhammad to declare his identity openly and clearly:

Qur’an 18:110 Say: “I am but a man like yourselves ...”

We conclude that Jesus clearly revealed that the Comforter was the Holy Spirit and not a human being and therefore he could not be Muhammad.

May God grant us patience and show us the Straight Way. Amen!

The Divine Teacher

Going back to the Gospel of John, chapter fourteen, let us see what else Jesus said about the Comforter: John 14:26

“But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

From this, we can safely say that, the Comforter is one who has knowledge of all things.

However, in contrast, as we read through the Qur’an, we come across verses that reveal the fact that Muhammad’s knowledge was limited.

Qur’an 17:85 They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration).

Say: “The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)”

In the above verse, Muhammad was questioned about the Spirit and clearly, he did not know the answer and therefore had to consult Allah for a reply. However, Allah told him to say that concerning the Spirit only a little knowledge is given to mankind. Muhammad could not answer because like the rest of mankind he had limited knowledge on the issue.

On another occasion, it is recorded in the Qur’an that Allah advised Muhammad to consult those “who have been reading the Book.” Throughout the Qur’an “the Book” is used to speak of the earlier Scriptures (contained in the Bible) that were revealed to and read by the Jews and Christians.

Qur’an 10:94 If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee.

In effect, Allah is advising Muhammad to ask the Jews and the Christians for anything he has doubts about, because they have read the Book and can teach him.

It seems surprising at this point that, if Muhammad is the Comforter, his knowledge is so limited that he has to be taught rather than being the teacher of all things revealed in John’s Gospel.

On yet another occasion, some of the Arabs came to Muhammad to inquire from him about their fate in the hereafter.

At that time, most of the Arabs believed in the existence of Hell and Heaven and hence the concern of this group. To the utter dismay of his inquirers, Allah commanded Muhammad to say:

Qur’an 46:9 “I am no new messenger, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you”.

Muhammad had to admit his ignorance on the matter and the fact that he did not even know his own fate in the hereafter.

Again, is this not very strange, if Muhammad is the Comforter, when the Comforter is supposed to show us things to come and also to guide us into all truth?

John 16:13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.

According to the clear teaching of Jesus, the Comforter is all-knowing and has knowledge of both the present and the future. In stark contrast, Muhammad could not declare the truths about the hereafter. He kept his inquirers in suspense and in doubt as far as their fate in the hereafter was concerned.

They wanted words of assurance from Muhammad but he was unable to give them any.

The Glory Of Jesus

Talking about the Comforter, who is also described as the “Spirit of Truth,” Jesus again said something that is of great interest. Jesus declared:

John 16:14 “He will bring glory to me.”

This reminds us of an occasion when the Apostle Peter declared the glory of Jesus Christ. On that occasion, Peter’s declaration came in response to a significant question which Jesus put to his apostles. Let us read:

Matthew 16:13-17 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven…”

For his declaration that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Peter received the blessing of Jesus. Peter’s declaration sums up the whole truth concerning the identity of Jesus and it is only His Father in heaven who can reveal that truth to whoever wants to know.

In the same manner, John the Apostle also confirmed this truth:

John 20:30-31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name.”

When we come to the Qur’an however, Muhammad vehemently objects to Jesus being called the “Son of God.” According to the message that he received, a curse will come upon whoever says that Jesus is the Son of God.

Qur’an 9:30 “The Jews call ‘Uzair a Son of God, and the Christians call Christ the Son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (In this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say: God’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth!”

With these words, Muhammad has completely denied the glory of Jesus and the declaration of his Sonship which brings blessing not a curse. Again we must ask, how can the one who is supposed to glorify Jesus, deny his glory as the Son of God?

May God grant us patience and show us the Straight Path. Amen!

The Source Of His Message

John chapter 16 verse 14 further reveals another glaring truth concerning the Comforter. Jesus said “…He shall receive of mine and shall show it unto you.”

The Comforter should receive his message from Jesus, and therefore his message should not contradict the message of Jesus Christ in any way.

Did Muhammad receive his message from Jesus? Surely, if it had been from Jesus, Muhammad would not have needed to ask his followers to pray to Allah for them to be shown the straight path that leads to Heaven.

Qur’an 1:6 “Show us the straight way.”

For Jesus did not forget to disclose to the whole world that he is the way to the Father in Heaven.

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Each of the Gospels gives a detailed account of the crucifixion of Jesus and this was confirmed by Peter, Paul and all the other apostles who preached Jesus crucified.

Acts 2:22-24 (NIV) “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him...”

From where then did Muhammad receive the following message which denies the crucifixion of Jesus?

Qur’an 4:157 That they said (boast) “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of Allah;” –but they killed him not nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no certain knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.

Let us remember that it was Jesus himself who predicted his own death on the cross and his subsequent resurrection even before the incident happened:

John 3:14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

John 12:32-33 “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

If Muhammad is the Comforter and the Comforter receives his message from Jesus, why should Jesus turn round nearly 600 years later and tell Muhammad that he was not killed nor crucified. This is unbelievable!

May God grant us patience and show us the Straight Way to heaven. Amen!

Place And Period Of Fulfilment

Dear Reader, let us now look at the command which Jesus gave to his disciples immediately before he departed from them:

Acts 1:4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”

The gift they were to receive was the Holy Spirit whom Jesus named the Comforter. In this command, Jesus points out the exact place where the promise of the coming of the Comforter was to be fulfilled. Jesus, without mincing words, pointed to Jerusalem. It was not Mecca, which was the place where Muhammad was born and where he first proclaimed his prophethood. Can Jerusalem be mistaken for Mecca?

Moreover, on the same occasion Jesus said that the coming of the Comforter would occur in a matter of a few days:

Acts 1:5 “For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.”

In fact, the coming of the Holy Spirit took place ten days later during the Jewish festival that occurred on the Day of Pentecost.

It will interest you to know that on that appointed day, even Arabs were among the crowd who witnessed and saw the mighty deeds of the Comforter.

Acts 2:11 “Both Jews and converts to Judaism; Cretans and Arabs - we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

On the other hand, Muhammad was not born until AD 570 and furthermore he did not proclaim his prophethood until AD 610, another 40 years later. That was nearly 600 years after Jesus made his promise and long after all the disciples that Jesus gave the promise to had died and left this world. The fact is that if Muhammad had met the Arabs who were present on that appointed Day of Pentecost, no doubt they would have set the record straight for him.

Power to Believers

A further work of the Comforter, whom Jesus called the Holy Spirit, is to give the followers of Jesus power to testify about him.

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Indeed, the character of the Apostle Peter before the coming of the Comforter was quite different to that after the coming of the Comforter. When a servant girl questioned Peter immediately after the arrest of Jesus, Peter was so fearful that he swore and denied his Lord. On the other hand, when the promise of the Comforter was fulfilled, Peter was not afraid to stand up in the presence of the Jewish rulers and to speak out with boldness:

Acts 4:8-11 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.”

For Peter had by then received the Spirit of boldness and not a spirit that caused him to fear:

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship (adoption). And by him we cry “Abba, Father.”

In contrast we read the following concerning Muhammad in the Qur’an:

Sura 33:37 ...But thou didst hide in thy heart that which Allah was about to make manifest: Thou didst fear the people... This verse reveals the condition of Muhammad surrounding the divorce proceedings between Zaid (Muhammad’s adopted son) and his wife Zainab. Allah gave a message to Muhammad to disclose, namely that Allah had given Zainab to Muhammad to marry, but because Muhammad feared the people, he failed to disclose what Allah wanted him to bring to light. Yet fear has no place in the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter.

As we allow the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) to fill us with Power, we shall be seen to be bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and selfcontrol.

This fruit will be seen in our lives towards our fellow human beings.

The promise is exclusive. It is only those who believe in Jesus who can receive Power from the Comforter. No wonder the Qur’an declares:

Sura 61:14 ...But we gave power to those who believed (in Jesus)...

Every believer and true follower of Christ Jesus is to be identified by this power and the fruits already mentioned. Therefore Allah has no alternative but to raise those who follow Jesus superior to those who disbelieve in him until the Day of Resurrection.

Qur’an 3:55 ...I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith, to the Day of Resurrection.

Christians are those who follow Christ, whom the Qur’an calls superior, for they have got power and have also been endowed with mercy and compassion in their hearts.

Qur’an 57:27 We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy.

Why do you think Allah has raised those who follow Jesus so high like this as well as giving them power, mercy and compassion?

It is because Christians believe and follow Jesus, and, above all, have received the Comforter into their lives. That is what makes all the difference!

The Bare Truth

We have so far been talking about the Comforter, and we thank God, Jesus identifies him as the Holy Spirit. Have we any clear grounds for saying that Muhammad is the Comforter?

A study of the Hadith (The sayings of Muhammad), does not reveal that Muhammad ever claimed to be the Holy Spirit.

Furthermore, the Qur’an records that Jesus was strengthened with the Holy Spirit.

Qur’an 2:253 …We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit…

This statement from the Qur’an dispels every doubt about the Holy Spirit. He certainly cannot be Muhammad because Muhammad was not born and did not begin his ministry until nearly 600 years after the time when Jesus was being strengthened by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is none other than the Spirit of God and it is He who Jesus identifies as the Comforter.

From the truths listed above, one can immediately see that the Comforter as promised by Jesus, cannot in any way refer to a human being.

Here are the true facts about the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

He has been at work since the beginning of creation Genesis 1:2 … and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

The Holy Spirit came upon people of God in the Old Testament and left them when sin came into their lives. David prayed “Lord do not take your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11).

Later in the Old Testament, the prophet Joel prophesied that God would pour out His Spirit on all people in the latter days (Joel 2:28). Jesus reinforced this prophecy by saying that, after His resurrection the Holy Spirit would come into the world in a new way and indwell believers until eternity. He would fillmen completely with the Power of God. This prophecy was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost:

Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them”.

Explaining the experience on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said that the outpouring of the Spirit in this way was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel (Acts 2:14-21).

Dear Reader, the Comforter whom Jesus spoke of in the Gospel and who he clearly identified as the Holy Spirit, descended on the apostles in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, nearly six hundred years before Muhammad proclaimed his prophet-hood.

Paul upon his conversion into Christianity was also filled with the Holy Spirit, (Acts 9:17). During his missionary journey to Ephesus, he met some disciples and asked them; “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit:” Consequently, Paul placed his hands upon them and the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts 19:7).

Dear One, the Holy Spirit can come upon you today if only you will believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

At this time, if you want to give your life to Jesus and then receive the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, then join me in this prayer.

My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I thank you for speaking to me through Your Word. I have lived all my past years without you, and have now realised that I am nothing without you. I thank you for your unconditional love for me a sinner, for you shed your blood and died on the Cross on my behalf. Forgive all my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I sincerely invite you into my life to be my Lord and Master.

I also thank You that You have spoken through Your Word, and have revealed unto me all the truth that I need about the Comforter, whom You sent into the world to abide with us forever.

I now affirm that the Comforter whom Jesus spoke about in the Gospels, refers to none other but the Holy Spirit. I therefore pray and beseech you to fill me with the Holy Spirit in the Name of Jesus, so that I can live for you in Your Power.

Thank you for this wonderful gift in the mighty Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.