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Correcting Some Common Christian Misrepresentations of Islam Pt. 1

The Holy Spirit’s Identity According to the Quran

This is my first post exposing some of the errors commonly made by Christians in discussing the Islamic religion.

In the following session on Islam, right around the 53-minute mark, James White claimed that the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel according to the Quran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJncN0FtlgY.

This is simply false since the Quran nowhere identifies the Holy Spirit as Gabriel. White is deriving this from later Islamic theology, not from the sound exegesis of the Quran itself. The fact of the matter is that the Muslim scripture identifies the Holy Spirit, who is also referred to as “the Faithful Spirit”, “the Spirit”, “My/Our Spirit”, i.e. Allah’s Spirit etc., as a divine Person who is basically coequal to Allah in essence and ability.

Here is a helpful summary of what the Quran teaches regarding the Spirit:

  1. The Spirit can appear in human form, as he did to Mary, and can speak and be spoken to (cf. Q. 19:16-21). This shows that he is a divine Person, and not merely Allah’s power or creative force.
  2. The Spirit is Creator and Life-giver since he animated the life of Adam in order to make him a living being, and he is also the one who caused Mary to conceive Jesus Christ while still a virgin. These acts of animating and creating life occurred after Allah breathed the Spirit into both Adam and Mary respectively (cf. Q. 15:28-29; 19:19; 21:91; 66:12). With that said, note what the following Ahmadiyya Muslim scholar and Quran translator says in his exegesis of Q. 15:29,

29a. This shows that man is made complete when the DIVINE SPIRIT is breathed into him. It should be noted that the DIVINE SPIRIT (Ar. ruh) does not mean here the animal soul in man, but the Spirit of Allah, that gives him perfection. (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch015.pdf; Bold and capital emphasis ours)

And 32:9a:

9a. This verse shows that the spirit of God is breathed into every man. This points to a mystical relation between human nature and Divine nature. The word ruh does not here mean the animal soul, because the animal soul is common to man and the animal kingdom. It is something that distinguishes man from the animal world. It is due to THE SPIRIT DIVINE that he rules creation and its due to THE SAME DIVINE SPIRIT in him that he receives a new life after death – a life which he lives in God and with God – the meeting with God or liqa Allah, as it is called in v. 10. (http://www.muslim.org/english-quran/ch032.pdf; Bold and capital emphasis ours)

  1. The fact that the Quran speaks of the Spirit being breathed out by Allah demonstrates that the Spirit is not a creature of Allah, but an essential and intrinsic aspect of Allah’s very own eternal being since he originates from him, not from creation (cf. Q. 15:29; 21:91; 32:9; 66:12).
  2. The Spirit is said to have strengthened Jesus (cf. Q. 2:87, 253; 5:110), and is also responsible for strengthening all true Muslims the world over, no matter how many they happen to be, and no matter where they happen to live (cf. Q. 58:22). This shows that the Spirit is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, and therefore fully and essentially divine, a fact which even the late Muslim translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali admitted in his commentary on Q. 58:22:

“… Cf. ii 87 and 253, where it is said that God strengthened the Prophet Jesus with the holy spirit. Here we learn that all good and righteous men are strengthened by God with the holy spirit. If anything, the phrase used here is stronger, ‘a spirit from Himself’. Whenever any one offers his heart in faith and purity to God, God accepts it, engraves that faith on the seeker’s heart, and further fortifies him with THE DIVINE SPIRIT, WHICH WE CAN NO MORE ADEQUATELY DEFINE IN HUMAN LANGUAGE THAN THE NATURE OF GOD.” (Ali, The Meaning of the Holy Quran, p. 1518, fn. 5365; Bold and capital emphasis ours)

  1. There are passages which speak of the Spirit and the angels working together, thereby distinguishing the Spirit from the angels that accompany him (cf. Q. 16:2; 70:4; 78:38; 97:4). This proves that the Spirit is not an angel, since he is distinct from all angels, and therefore cannot be the angel Gabriel.

This brief overview of what the Quran actually says concerning the Holy Spirit demonstrates that the core foundational document of the Muslim faith does not teach unitarianism. Rather, the Quran confirms that there are at least two divine beings, namely Allah and his eternal Spirit, whom the Islamic scripture describes as Co-Creator and Life-giver that emanates from Allah himself as his very own divine breath, and who is further depicted as a being that is subordinate to the Muslim deity.

Lord willing, I will be posting some more errors from Christian apologists such as James White, which need to be addressed lest Christians mistakenly assume that these misrepresentations accurately present what the primary sources of Islam actually teach on these matters. This will hopefully insure that believers, who are listening and reading what these apologists are teaching in respect to Islam, will avoid spreading such misinformation to others.

With that said please proceed to the second section of this specific part of the series https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/correcting-some-common-christian-misrepresentations-of-islam-pt-1b/.

answeringislamblog

January 23, 2017

Satan more powerful than Muhammad’s god?

The Quran says that Satan can only harm those who are deviators, those who are not on the right path. As for those who are servants of Allah, Satan will have no power over them:

And certainly We created you, then We fashioned you, then We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam. So they did obeisance except Iblis; he was not of those who did obeisance. He said: What hindered you so that you did not make obeisance when I commanded you? He said: I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust. He said: Then get forth from this (state), for it does not befit you to behave proudly therein. Go forth, therefore, surely you are of the abject ones. He said: Respite me until the day when they are raised up. He said: Surely you are of the respited ones. He said: As Thou hast caused me to remain disappointed I will certainly lie in wait for them in Thy straight path. Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from their right-hand side and from their left-hand side; and Thou shalt not find most of them thankful. He said: Get out of this (state), despised, driven away; whoever of them will follow you, I will certainly fill hell with you all. S. 7:11-18 Shakir

Here is another version of this alleged heavenly discussion between Allah and his alter ego:

He said: O Iblis! what excuse have you that you are not with those who make obeisance? He said: I am not such that I should make obeisance to a mortal whom Thou hast created of the essence of black mud fashioned in shape. He said: Then get out of it, for surely you are driven away: And surely on you is curse until the day of judgment. He said: My Lord! then respite me till the time when they are raised. He said: So surely you are of the respited ones Till the period of the time made known. He said: My Lord! because Thou hast made life evil to me, I will certainly make (evil) fair-seeming to them on earth, and I will certainly cause them all to deviate Except Thy servants from among them, the devoted ones. He said: This is a right way with Me: Surely, as regards My servants, you have no authority over them except those who follow you of the deviators. And surely Hell is the promised place of them all: It has seven gates; for every gate there shall be a separate party of them. S. 15:32-44 Shakir

How interesting. Allah not only listens to the suggestion of Satan but also follows his plan! Satan asks Allah for respite with the intention of plunging man into destruction, and Allah grants him his request! Either Allah knew Satan’s intention and therefore wanted him to cause men to stray, or Allah didn’t know it and is therefore ignorant.

(Also note the glaring contradictions between these two reports. It seems that the author of the Quran couldn’t recall the exact words Allah and Iblis used in their alleged conversation.)

But this is all beside the point, since the main issue is that Allah says that all the believers are protected, which would especially include his prophets. This promise of protection is repeated several times in the Quran:

O you who believe! take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you WHEN YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT WAY; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did. S. 5:105 Shakir

And when thou recitest the Qur’an, seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast. Lo! he hath no power over those who believe and put trust in their Lord. His power is ONLY over those who make a friend of him, and those who ascribe partners unto Him (Allah). S. 16:98-100 Pickthall

Save unto every messenger whom He hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him That He may know that they have indeed conveyed the messages of their Lord. He surroundeth all their doings, and He keepeth count of all things. S. 72:27-28 Pickthall

In addition to the protection of believers against Satan, Muhammad is personally promised that he would be protected from the people:

O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people. S. 5:67 Shakir

The implications of the above citations should be obvious to the reader. Muhammad, if he was pleasing to Allah and under his protection, could not come under Satan’s control and could not be harmed by Satan’s devises. Furthermore, neither a Jew, nor a Christian, nor a pagan etc., would be able to affect Muhammad due to this protection.

Yet the problem with the above assertions is that Muhammad did speak what came to be known as the “Satanic Verses.” According to Muslim sources, Satan inspired Muhammad to recite verses which were not from Allah praising the three goddesses or daughters of Allah. For documentation regarding this incident, please consult the following articles:

The Satanic Verses http://answeringislam.net/Hahn/satanicverses.htm

Muhammad and the Satanic Verses http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Saifullah/sverses.htm

Satan’s Interjection and Its Implications http://answeringislam.net/Gilchrist/Vol1/3c.html

Response to “Those High Flying Claims” http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Saifullah/sverses_eh.htm

Muhammad and the Daughters of Allah: A Summation of the Evidence for the Satanic Verses http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/satanic_verses.htm

In order to comfort Muhammad for his reciting verses from Satan, and to vindicate him in regard to this damaging incident, the Qur’an states:

Never did We send a Messenger or a Prophet before you, but; when he did recite the revelation or narrated or spoke, Shaitan (Satan) threw (some falsehood) in it. But Allah abolishes that which Shaitan (Satan) throws in. Then Allah establishes His Revelations. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise: S. 22:52 Al-Hilali & Khan

This passage is a clear acknowledgement that Satan DID interfere with Muhammad’s message — and allegedly also with the messages of earlier prophets — in clear contradiction to the above cited passages. The claim that Allah abolishes those false revelations later on does nothing to resolve this contradiction.

Moreover, the hadiths say that Muhammad had come under the affects of magic, which according to the Quran happens to be a handiwork of the satans:

Narrated Aisha: Once the Prophet was bewitched so that he began to imagine that he had done a thing which in fact he had not done. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 400 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=53&translator=1&start=0&number=400)

Narrated Aisha: Magic was worked on Allah’s Apostle so that he used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives while he actually had not (Sufyan said: THAT IS THE HARDEST KIND OF MAGIC AS IT HAS SUCH AN EFFECT). Then one day he said, “O ‘Aisha do you know that Allah has instructed me concerning the matter I asked Him about? Two men came to me and one of them sat near my head and the other sat near my feet. The one near my head asked the other, ‘What is wrong with this man?’ The latter replied he is under the effect of magic. The first one asked, ‘Who has worked magic on him?’ The other replied, ‘Labid bin Al-A’sam, a man from Bani Zuraiq who was an ally of the Jews and was a hypocrite.’ The first one asked, ‘What material did he use?’ The other replied, ‘A comb and the hair stuck to it.’ The first one asked, ‘Where (is that)?’ The other replied, ‘In a skin of pollen of a male date palm tree kept under a stone in the well of Dharwan.’” So the Prophet went to that well and took out those things and said, “That was the well which was shown to me (in a dream). Its water looked like the infusion of Henna leaves and its date-palm trees looked like the heads of devils.” The Prophet added, “Then that thing was taken out.” I said (to the Prophet) “Why do you not treat yourself with Nashra?” He said, “Allah has cured me; I dislike to let evil spread among my people.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 660 http://searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=71&translator=1&start=0&number=660)

And:

And follow that which the devils falsely related against the kingdom of Solomon. Solomon disbelieved not; but the devils disbelieved, TEACHING MANKIND MAGIC and that which was revealed to the two angels in Babel, Harut and Marut. Nor did they (the two angels) teach it to anyone till they had said: We are only a temptation, therefore disbelieve not (in the guidance of Allah). And from these two (angles) people learn that by which they cause division between man and wife; but they injure thereby no-one save by Allah’s leave. And they learn that which harmeth them and profiteth them not. And surely they do know that he who trafficketh therein will have no (happy) portion in the Hereafter; and surely evil is the price for which they sell their souls, if they but knew. S. 2:102 Pickthall

How humiliating! Satan’s possession and control of Muhammad was so powerful that he made his prophet think he was having sex with all eleven of his wives when in reality he never even touched them! The Muslims must ask themselves, what in the world was their prophet actually doing during all those times when he thought he was sleeping with his wives, especially his child bride Aisha? Was he somehow pleasuring himself during those episodes, which made him think he was actually having sex?

For more details on the issue of Muhammad’s bewitchment, see these articles:

Johnny Bravo and Demon Possession: Examining A Muslim’s Defense of Muhammad’s Bewitchment Part 1 http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Menj/bewitched1.htm, Part 2 http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Menj/bewitchment.htm

The foregoing leaves us with one of two conclusions:

Either Muhammad was a deviator and not pleasing to Allah, allowing for Satan to control and inspire him.

Or Allah failed to protect Muhammad as he said he would, thereby proving that Allah cannot be trusted and/or doesn’t have the ability to do what he says, which makes Satan greater and more powerful than the Muslim god.

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