Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

12/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The upshot is that references in the Qur'an to the "Holy Spirit," "Allah's spirit," "Spirit," or the like are not references to Allah as Allah, but are references either to created entities or Allah's commands.  There is no place in the Qur'an where the "Spirit" is of the same substance as Allah.  In all instances in the Qur'an, the "Spirit" is without question subordinate to Allah.  In the Qur'an, God the Holy Spirit is horribly demoted from God to creature.

Highlights

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/19/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Muhammad, antichrist, false prophet, Andrew M. Greenwell, Holy Spirit, Paraclete, Parakletos


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son.  With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.  He has spoken through the Prophets," the Christian says in the Nicene Creed.

As the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit is God.  The Athanasian Creed states it in unqualified terms: "the Godhead [Divinity] of Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one (una est divinitas)."

The Holy Spirit is central to the life of the Christian.  "If Christ is the Head of the Church," wrote Leo XIII in his encyclical Divinum illud munus, "the Holy Spirit is her soul."  One cannot imagine a Christian life without the Holy Spirit any more than a live human body without soul.  With respect to the Holy Spirit, the Catechism (# 688) says:

"The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit: in the Scriptures he inspired; in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses; in the Church's Magisterium, which he assists; in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us; in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up; in the signs of apostolic and missionary life; in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation."

The divinity of the Holy Spirit is assumed by the Scriptures, and a number of "proof texts" can be cited to that effect, including Matt. 12:31 (one can be guilty of blaspheming God by blaspheming the Holy Spirit), Luke 12:10 (same), John 4:24 (God is Spirit), Acts 5:3-4, 9 (lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God).  Moreover, it is clear that the Apostles equate the Holy Spirit with God interchangeably using the term Holy Spirit with God.  E.g., Rom. 8:11 v. Gal. 1:1 (The "Spirit" raised Jesus from the dead, and "God the Father" raised Jesus from the dead); 1 Cor. 3:16 v. 1 Cor. 6:19 (Christians are the temples of God, and Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit); 1 Peter 1:2 v. 1 Thess. 5:23 (the Spirit sanctifies Christians v. the God of peace sanctifies). 

The Catechism tells us that one of the titles of God the Holy Spirit is "Paraclete."  (See John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; 1 John 2:1)  It is the term used by Jesus when he proclaims and promises the Holy Spirit to his followers.  Paraclete, which in Greek is parakletos, is "he who is called to one's side, advocatus," which means helper or advocate, or even counselor or comforter. (CCC 691)

Where does Muhammad stand regarding the Holy Spirit as revealed doctrine?

Now, there are certain parts of the Qur'an where we encounter a theological muddle.  The Qur'an's teachings regarding the Holy Spirit, Allah's Spirit, and the like is one of those areas.  We need not get into subtleties, however.   The upshot is that references in the Qur'an to the "Holy Spirit" (ar-Ruh al-Quds), or Allah's spirit " (ar-Ruh-ul Lah), or Spirit (ar-Ruh) are not references to Allah as Allah, but are references either to created entities or Allah's commands

There is no place in the Qur'an where the "Spirit" is equated to Allah.  In all instances in the Qur'an, the Spirit is without question subordinate to Allah.  In the Qur'an, God the Holy Spirit is horribly demoted from God to creature.

The term "Holy Spirit" (ar-Ruh al-Quds) in the Qur'an, the term most like our term for Holy Spirit,  is generally held to refer to the Archangel Gabriel (known as Jibril in Arabic).  It was the angel Gabriel whom Muhammad alleged gave him his revelations, and the identity of Gabriel with the "Holy Spirit" is confirmed in Qur'an 16:102:  "Say, the Holy Spirit (Ruh- ul-Qudus) has brought the Revelation [The Qur'an] from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe, and as a Guide and Glad Tidings to Muslims." 

The ahadith (early reports of Muhammad by his followers) clarify that Muhammad claimed to have received his messages from Gabriel.  As a consequence, Muslims scholars equate the two.  As Ibn Kathir succinctly puts it in the Tafsir relating to this verse, "Ruh-ul-Qudus (the "Holy Spirit") here means Jibril (Gabriel)."

The term "Allah's spirit" (Ruh-ul-Lah) or its equivalent is something different from the Qur'anic Holy Spirit (ar-Ruh al-Quds).  The term is generally held to refer to a created entity, not unlike "Allah's messenger," (Ras-ul-Lah) or "Allah's house" (Bait ul-Lah).  Oftentimes it is used to refer to the created soul, as, for example, in Qur'an 32:9 "But He fashioned him [man] in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His Spirit.  And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!"  (see also Qur'an 15:29, 21:91, 38:72, 66:12).

Finally, the term "spirit" (ar-Ruh) is used within the context of command.  For example, in Qur'an 40:15: "Raised high above ranks (or degrees).  (He is) the Lord of the Throne (of Authority): by His Command does He send the Spirit of His command (ar-ruha min amrihi) to any of his servants he pleases, to warn (men) of the Day of the Meeting."  Indeed, this is the definition clearly given in Qur'an 17:85 ("They ask thee concerning the Spirit (ar-ruhi) (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command (ar-ruhu min amri) of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)."

In short, the "Spirit" is never equated with Allah or God in Islam.  We can therefore conclude that Muhammad, in his supposed revelations, rejected any notion of the divine personhood of the Holy Spirit.

While Muhammad rejected the divine personality of the Holy Spirit, his followers have not scrupled to attribute to Muhammad one of the titles of the Holy Spirit: the Paraclete.

The efforts of his followers stem from the problems arising out of Muhammad's  declaration (in Qur'an 7:157) that the Gospels supposedly prophesied of the coming of an illiterate prophet:  "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),--in the law and the Gospel;--for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil . . . ."

In Qur'an 61:6, it is supposedly Jesus who promises such a thing: "And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: 'O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad [a variant of the name Muhammad, meaning "praiseworthy one"] . . . .'"

The problem for Muslim scholars is that the Gospel nowhere predicts the coming of a prophet whose name means "praiseworthy one," much less an illiterate prophet with that name.  The absence of such a prophecy in the Gospels (which is quite damaging to the authenticity of the Qur'an and its claim regarding Muhammad) has led to a desperate dual strategy on the part of Muslim apologists. 

First, Muslim apologists implausibly suggest that Muhammad was the promised "Paraclete" of the Gospel of John.  (See John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; 1 John 2:1)  Second, because the word "paraclete" (in Greek, parakletos) does not mean "praiseworthy one," but counselor or advocate, they argue that the Greek term parakletos was corrupted by the Christians, and that the original word was periklytos, supposedly a Greek word that means "praiseworthy one."

The argument is, in a word, nonsense.  Not only does it fly in the face of the unchanging Tradition of the Church which understood the "Paraclete" to refer to the Holy Spirit, it is unsupportable contextually, historically, and textually.

First, the context expressly ties in the "Paraclete" to the Holy Spirit, and not a prophet.  "But the Paraclete, 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."  (John 14:26)  Contextually, the claim is hogwash.

This sense that the Holy Spirit--the Paraclete--was the soul of the Church and not any prophet to come is found beautifully expressed by St. Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement (paraklesis), who encourages (parakaleo) us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage (parakaleo) those who are in any affliction with the encouragement (paraklesis) with which we ourselves are encouraged (parakaleo) by God."  (2 Cor. 1:3-4). 

These verses from St. Paul's epistle literally drip with the notion of the Holy Spirit as the Paraclete, the Helper, the Encourager, the Comforter, the Advocate.  This is how the Church understood it from the beginning.  It is disingenuous in the extreme to construe Christ's promise of the Paraclete as referring to a prophet coming hundreds of years hence.

Second, there is no historical evidence that the word  parakletos was ever anything but parakletos.  The earliest extant manuscripts of the Gospel of John show "parakletos."  There is no variant of any surviving manuscript of John's Gospel that uses the term "periklytos."  There is no Apostolic or Church Father that ever read "periklytos" instead of "parakletos" or that understood this reference in John's Gospel to refer to an illiterate prophet.  Rather, monolithically and unanimously, the promised Paraclete is always regarded as a reference to the gift of the Holy Spirit enjoyed by the Church and her members, and which was received by the Apostles after Christ's Ascension on the Jewish feast of Pentecost.

Third, the word periklytos (which is used nowhere in the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint, but is used in classical Greek) does not mean "praiseworthy one," but rather it means famous or renowned.  The word for praised one in Greek is epainos, not periklytos.

One cannot help but wonder whether Muhammad's denial of the divinity of the Holy Spirit and the arrogation of the Holy Spirit's office as Paraclete--this "speaking against the Holy Spirit"--is not that "fearful thing written in the Gospel," in the words of St. Cyril of Jerusalem in his Catechetical Lectures, known as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  (Matt. 12:30-32; Mark 3:29; Luke 12:8-10)

"But if any one should deny the dignity, majesty, and eternal power of the Holy Spirit," says St. Ambrose in his treatise on the Holy Spirit (I.3.54) (which is exactly what Muhammad does in his supposed revelations), "there is fullness of sacrilege," ubi sacrilegi plenitudo est. 

An authentic prophet would not be guilty of sacrilege, much less the fullness of sacrilege, though one moved by the spirit of antichrist would.  Muhammad's teachings which impugn the divinity of the Holy Spirit, and his assumption of the Holy Spirit's title and office, is just another brick in the wall of evidence that supports the thesis of this series of articles that the spirit of antichrist is in Muhammad.

In our next article, we will address the Qur'anic rejection of the Blessed Trinity.  We will then turn from God to God's interaction with humanity, specifically addressing issues relating to the Christian doctrine of salvation--the heart of the Good News of Jesus Christ--sadly rejected by Muhammad along with the God as revealed in Jesus and the New Testament.

-----

Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas.  He is married with three children.  He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum.  You can contact Andrew at agreenwell@harris-greenwell.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Middle East

Five people killed right after 72-hour truce declared in Gaza Watch

Image of The shelling occurred amid growing White House irritation with the scope of civilian casualties resulting from Israel's ground and air war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five people were killed a few short hours later a 72-hour ceasefire was declared in Gaza. Both United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had previously announced that an unconditional humanitarian truce in Gaza would ... continue reading


Report: Forty Five Christian Churches and Institutions Destroyed Since ISIS Established Caliphate Watch

Image of Some reports indicate that ISIS now has roving patrols in the city of Raqqa, including women draped in head to floor burqas, who are ordered to ensure strict compliance with their version of Islamic Dress codes.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

ISIS Jihadist thugs have taken an axe to the tomb of Jonah, destroying it with a kind of gleeful and mad abandon. They ripped down the Cross from St. Ephrem's Cathedral and replaced it with their dreaded black flag.They are massacring people, severing heads, and ... continue reading


'I will not let another Holocaust happen!' Sign the petition in support of Iraqi Christians forced to flee from persecution Watch

Image of Christians in Mosul embrace one another as they are forced to leave absolutely everything behind at gunpoint.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The plight of Iraq's Christians has now lasted longer than a decade, and recent militant uprisings in Mosul threaten to expunge the neighboring Chaldean-Assyrian-Syriac villages. Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul in droves, but some remain behind, awaiting their ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - Islamic Caliphate celebrates Eid with VIDEO OF MASS CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE Watch

Image of This video capture shows the moment an ISIS terrorist finishes the last man our of what appears to be hundreds systematically killed near Tikrit. Christians are next and may already be included in this number.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic Caliphate terrorists continue to produce and disseminate videos of their brutal executions. In their most recent release, they celebrate the arrival of Eid, the end of Ramadan, by rounding up and executing hundreds of young men, setting the macabre events ... continue reading


WARNING GRAPHIC, RAW PHOTOS -- ISIS on Christians: 'There is nothing to give them but the sword' Watch

Image of Soldier's heads were hoisted on poles as they were killed in Syria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State has warned Christians, possibly for the last time, saying "there is nothing to give them but the sword." Across Northern Iraq, Christians are huddled in refugee camps, trapped in the desert, or trapped in their homes, waiting for death. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Drought now hammering war-torn Syria Watch

Image of The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures has affected agriculture and food production across the nation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On top of all the trials and tribulations facing war-torn Syria, a worsening drought there now has "dire humanitarian consequences for millions." The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement warns that limited winter rain and high summer temperatures ... continue reading


'LEAVE US ALONE!' top Israeli official says to Obama Watch

Image of Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States and Israel remain the staunchest of allies, top Israeli official, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. "Leave us ... continue reading


Holy month of Ramadan ends with Eid Mubarak 2014 Watch

Image of Ramadan is an annual celebration held during the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar, starting after the sighting of the new moon.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The holy month of Ramadan ended this year as Muslims worldwide celebrated with prayer and food during the Eid al-Fitr festival this past Monday. The end of Ramadan 2014, the Islamic holy month of fasting, lasted for three days. The event marked the anniversary ... continue reading


Christians flee as Islamic ISIS gets ready for a 'Christian Holocaust' Watch

Image of Christians are fleeing for their lives in parts of northern Iraq where Islamic militants issued an ultimatum to convert or be killed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Iraq will soon be a Christian free nation, the only vicar of the only Anglican church in that country warns. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Canon Andrew White, also known as 'the bishop of Baghdad' gave this warning after the deadline set by Islamic militants to ... continue reading


Massive underground bunkers empower Hamas in Israeli conflict Watch

Image of Other than giving Hamas tax revenue and weapons, the tunnels supply in-demand civilian goods like food and medicine, as well as infrastructure materials including concrete and fuel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cut off from the rest of the world with three sides enforced by Israel and Egypt, coupled with shelling maintained by sea and in the air above its coastal strip, Gazans have found a way around their confinement by tunneling underground. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter