Successions are of many kinds like the birth right of the “first-born” as in Jewish law. Or the ascending of the eldest son or daughter to the kingly throne. Or by election, to select a candidate by the vote of the majority. Or Theologically, an appointment by Divine Decree of God’s chosen Messengers. Like the call of Abraham, Moses, Jesus or Muhammad who were appointed or “annointed” (“Annointed:” or appointed; Hebrew word “Messiah.”) in consecration to their office.
Muhammad’s succession to Jesus Christ is multi-faceted
- Chronologically, in history as a sequence of event in time.
- By being Chosen (“Chosen:” in Arabic it means Mustafa. A title of the Prophet of Islam.) by God.
- In the fulfilment of the prophecies of his predecessors, and last but not least…
- By bringing the Guidance of God to perfection – “For he will guide you into all Truth.” (said, Jesus Christ)
The Holy Prophet Moses preceded Jesus Christ by some 1300 years and Muhammad succeeded to that high office vacated by Jesus some six centuries later.
It was the 12th of Rabi I., in the year of the Elephant, or the 29th of August 570 of the Christian Era that Muhammad the Praiseworthy, on whom all praise is due, was born in the sacred city of Mecca in pagan Arabia. His people the Quraish remembered the year of his birth as the “Era of the Elephant”, because just two months before the birth of the child Abraha al-Ashram, the Abyssinian viceroy of Yemen had attacked the sacred sanctuary at Mecca at the head of his troops, riding a huge African elephant. A terrifying sight never to be erased from their memory and a still more shocking end to the invasion – the miraculous destruction of Abraha and his army as recorded in the Quran:
- Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant?
- Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray?
- And He sent against them flights of Birds,
- Striking them with stones of baked clay.
- Then did He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw, (of which the corn) has been eaten up.
God’s own standards
God Almighty chooses His Own Messengers. He uses His Own Standards although we may not always understand the wisdom of it. Paul cries the anomaly – “For the Jews require a sign (miracles to convince) and the Greeks seek after wisdom:”
But worldly wise as Paul was, he found that his wisdom was “a sturnbling-block” to the Jews and “foolishness” to the Greeks.
God chose Moses a man who was a fugitive from justice and a stutterer. The Holy Bible calls him a man with “uncircumcised lips.”.
Despite his difficulties when commissioned to confront Pharaoh, the greatest tyrant of the age, Moses cries out to the God of Mercy –
“Moses said: O my Lord! expand me my breast; ease my task for me; and remove the impediment from my speech, so they may understand what I say: And give me a Minister from my family, Aaron, my brother; add to my strength through him and make him share my task: That we may celebrate Thy praise without stint, and remember Thee without stint. For Thou art He that (ever) regardeth us. Allah said: “Granted is thy prayer, O Moses!”
Then comes Jesus who was chosen by God. According to Christian teachings, he was a carpenter and the son of a carpenter, with a dubious genealogy as recorded in the Gospels “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was Supposed) (The words you see here in brackets are the exact replica from the King James and the Roman Catholic Versions of the phrase “(as was Supposed)” brackets and all.) the son of Joseph”
Acknowledged today by a thousand million Muslims that Jesus Christ was born miraculously without any male intervention; the followers of Christ created two separate genealogies for a man who had no genealogy. Between the Gospels of Matthew and Luke they give this mighty Messenger of God sixty-six fathers and grandfathers. And of these two separate lists only one name is common to these two lists and that is of Joseph the Carpenter, who does not fit in anywhere because, as Luke records above, he was only the “Supposed” father of Jesus. (read, “Is the Bible God’s Word?”)
Even bishops doubt
In a “Shock Survey of Anglican Bishops” in June 1984 it was revealed that 31 of their 39 Bishops thought that “Christ’s miracles, the virgin birth and the resurrection might not have happened exactly as described in the Bible.”
In deference to the Bishops of the Church of England (the “Anglicans”) the Church of Scotland most respectfully omitted any reference to the “Virgin Birth” from its most recent publication “A statement of faith.” The topic of the miraculous conception of Jesus is getting increasingly hotter for Western Christianity to handle.
Jesus Christ though spiritually rich in wisdom, light and truth; philosophised light-heartedly about the beggars of the world, when he said “There came unto him (Jesus) a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head”
“But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, to what purpose is this waste?”
“For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.”
“he (Jesus) said unto them … For ye have the poor always with you, but (poor) me ye have not always.”
But when destitution stared him in the face. When poverty, penury and need touched his own dear self; he cried pathetically:
“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man (referring to himself) hath not where to lay his head.”
And yet God chose him (Jesus): “Unique and inscrutable are Thy ways O Lord!”
Mustafa ‘the chosen one’
“It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, – although they had been, before, in manifest error;”.
Amazing as it may seem, I am not amazed anymore! For this is His way – He chooses an Ummi (Ummi: “Unlettered.” “One other circumstance we must not forget: that he had no school- learning; of the thing we call school-learning; none at all.” Thomas Carlyle) non-literate Prophet for an Ummi illiterate nation:
“A poor shepherd people, roaming unnoticed in its deserts since the creation of the World: A hero Prophet was sent down to them with a word they could believe: See, the unnoticed becomes world notable, the small has grown world-great; within one century afterwards, Arabia is at Grenada (Spain) on this hand, at Delhi (India) on that; – glancing in valour and splendor and the light of genius, Arabia shines through long ages over a great section of the World. Belief is great, life-giving. The history of a nation becomes fruitful, soul elevating, great, so soon as it believes. These Arabs, the man Mahomet, and that one century, – is it not as if a spark had fallen, one spark, on a world of what seemed black unnoticeable sand; but lo, the sand proves explosive powder, blazes heaven high from Delhi to Grenada! I said, the great man was always as lightning out of heaven; the rest of men waited for him like fuel and then they too would flame.”
Thus concluded the speech of Thomas Carlyle, one of the greatest thinkers of the past century. It was Friday, the 8th of May 1840. His theme – “The Hero as Prophet.” His audience: were Anglicans – English Christians.
The chosen people
God chooses His Messengers and God chooses His People. In the realm of the Spirit no nation was as favoured as the Jews and yet Moses is made to bewail against his own people – “Ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day I knew you.”
In this last will and testament of Moses the Israelites frustrate their “meek and gentle” Messenger who is forced to rail against their continual stubborn resistance and arrogant attitudes to God’s guidance “For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the lord; and how much more after my death?”
Alas how true! I am not going to philosophise on God’s choice. But in the very next chapter the fire of God’s anger is kindled to a blaze and He decries the Jews – “They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they (the Jews) have provoked me to anger with their vanities: “And I will move them to jealousy with those which are Not A People; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish Nation.”
Anyone with a modicum of Scriptural knowledge will be able to guess who in the eyes of these arrogant, racist Jews is “not-a-people” – a non-entity and “a foolish nation” if not their Ishmaelite cousins – the Arabs who in the words of Thomas Carlyle have been “roaming unnoticed in its deserts since the creation of the world.”!?
Alexander the Great passed them by; the Persians passed them by; the Egyptians passed them by; and the Romans passed them by. It would have been an absolute liability for any nation to conquer and subdue them. But the Creator did not pass them by. He picked them up from the depths of darkness and transformed them into torch-bearers of light and learning to the world. “I will move them (the Jews) to jealousy.” (If the Romans or the Greeks had displaced the Jews as the “Chosen of God” then the envy would not have been as acute or as intolerable to the Jews.) This jealousy is a cultivated sickness. Remember, Sarah and Hagar the two wives of Abraham, the Friend of God? The jealousy of Sarah was bequeathed to her children and on to nations and tribes yet unborn.
Not so long ago I read a book on the discovery of medicine written by a Jewish medical man. I can unfortunately not remember the name of the author and failed to retrace the book. However, the wordings of the tribute paid by this Jewish author to his Semitic (Arab) cousins have made an indelible impression on my mind. And I quote from memory: “goatherds and camel drivers sitting on the throne of the Caesars.”
Full of spite, venom and sarcasm, but how true! This is what God did and always does. He honours whom He wills. This is what He does to show His Mighty Hand (Power)!
“If ye turn back (from the Path), He will substitute in your stead another people; then they would not be like you!”
“It is surely one of the greatest miracles of history that from the backwater of Arabia there should have exploded a group of men, companions of a prophet, who within the space of a few brief decades were able to create a magnificent civilisation extending from the pyrenees to the gates of China.”
The last warning
The foregoing is the exact fulfilment of Jesus Christ’s, (the last of the great Jewish prophets) own prediction of the displacement of the Jewish race in the spiritual guidance of man. In the words of the Master himself “Therefore say I unto you (Jews), The kingdom of God (“Kingdom of God:” The honour, the privilege of being God’s chosen people to guide mankind – “Ye (Jews) shall be unto me (God) a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.”
This grand commission ended with Jesus “shall be taken from you (Jews), and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”
In the words of the master. Just one full prophecy – This article only expounds a single prophecy from the New Testament. Read: “What the Bible says about Muhammad” for prophecies from the Old Testament-.
A common trait
Just a cursory glance, a rapid reading, a hurried look at the previous verse will satisfy the Muslim that Jesus Christ did indeed prophesy the advent of Muhammad, the Messenger of God. The Muslim is puzzled at the stubbornness, vanity and tunnel vision of the Christian which prevents him from seeing his own inner light and listening to his conscience so as not to recognise the obvious.
The Christian in turn is puzzled at the hard-hearted obstinacy of the Jews, a nation endowed with such creative genius, which, despite a thousand and one prophecies in their own Bible (the Old Testament) regarding the coming of the “Messiah,” are totally incapable of recognising their lord and “saviour.” Are they both somewhat blind?
No! Neither the Jews nor the Christians are necessarily impervious to truth. The trouble is that we all pick up our prejudices from childhood. The Americans call it being “programmed.”
Produce your proof!
Perhaps this is not the first time you are reading or might have heard about the prophecies in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures regarding the advent of the last and final Messenger of God – Muhammad the Mercy unto all mankind. And perhaps you have at times made some half-hearted and skimpy efforts at suggesting that Muhammad was prophecised in the Holy Bible. But when proof was demanded, you simply not able to, because you had not done any home work.
‘Al-moouzzi’ the comforter
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
We are told in the Quran that Jesus Christ had told his disciples “and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.”
Remember, that in the sixth century of the Christian Era, when Muhammad was chanting God’s words which was systematically “put into his mouth,” the Arabic Bible had not yet been translated. He could never have known that he was fulfilling and confirming the utterances of his predecessor (Jesus) to the letter.
Only for the Israelites
Jesus for Jews only. “And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you,”
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, (non-Jews) and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to The Lost Sheep Of The House of Israel.”
“And behold a woman of Canaan (Mark 7:26 says that the woman was a Greek.) came … and cried unto him saying, Have mercy on me … my daughter is seriously possessed with a devil.
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, Send her away: for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But she came and knelt before him, saying, Lord, help me.
But he answered and said, it is not fair to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs (Meaning non-Jews.)”.
It goes to the credit of this Jewish prophet, that he practised what he preached. In his lifetime he never converted a single Gentile (non-Jew). And of his hand-picked elect (his twelve disciples), he made sure that they belonged to his tribe so that his other prophecy might find fulfilment: “when the son of man (Jesus referring to himself) shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye (the disciples) also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel”
No new religion
“confirming the Law (in Heb. Torah), (which came) before me”
The Messiah was no mealy-mouthed Messenger among the Jews. Like his predecessors Amos and Ezekiel or Isaiah and Jeremiah, he was trenchant in his condemnation of Jewish formalism and hypocrisies. His novel approach and militant preaching had created certain misgivings amongst the religious hierarchy. The Scribes and the Pharisees came to him again and again to test him as to his bona fides.
To allay their suspicions that he had brought no new fangled religion, and that his was the confirmation of all the teachings that had gone before him. He says “Think not that I am come to destroy the law (Hebrew – Torah), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law (Torah), till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Compare this phrase “confirming the Law (which came) before me, with the three verses of Matthew above, and you will not fail to note that there is no wordiness in the Quranic diction. It conveys God’s Message concisely, with clarity and precision.
“The Father of truth chooses His own prophets, and he speaks to them in a voice stronger than the voice of thunder.”
The use of the word “Father” in relation to God was cut out from Islam owing to the perversion of the idea among the Christians.
The Quran had come to Confirm, Correct and Complete Divine Revelation, or whatever was left of it in unworthy hands: “This Quran is not such as can be produced by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book – wherein there is no doubt – from the Lord of the worlds.”
The good news
“and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.”
I will not apologise, nor am I called upon to apologise for reproducing here verbatim (a word for word) commentary on the word “Ahmed,” from Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English translation. But before I do that permit me to pay a fitting tribute to the King Fahd Quran Printing Complex in Al-Madina city which is turning out millions of Qurans in many different languages. Their reason for using Yusuf Ali as a base for their reproduction is summed up in these words:
“A number of individuals have in the past ventured to translate the Quran, but their works have generally been private attempts, greatly influenced by their own prejudices. in order to produce a reliable translation free from personal bias, a royal decree (No. 19888, dated 16/8/1400 AH) was issued by the custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Fahd ibn Abdul Aziz, at that time the deputy prime minister … the translation of the late Abdullah Yusuf Ali was consequently chosen for its distinguishing characteristics, such as a highly elegant style, a choice of words close to the meaning of the original text, accompanied by scholarly notes and commentaries.”
Out of over six thousand profound explanatory notes in Yusuf Ali’s translation, the following is just one of three explaining the prophecy in the words of Jesus regarding the advent of Muhammad the Messenger of God:
Note No: 5438:
“Ahmed”, or “Muhummed”, the Praised One, is almost a translation of the Greek word Periclytos. In the present Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7, the word “Comforter” in the English version for the Greek word “Paracletos”, which means “Advocate”, “one called to the help of another, a kind friend”, rather than “Comforter”. Our doctors contend that Paracletos is a corrupt reading for Periclytos, and that in the original saying of Jesus there was a prophecy of our holy Prophet Ahmed by name. Even if we read Paraclete, it would imply to the Holy Prophet, who is “a Mercy for all creatures” (Quran 21:107) and “most kind and merciful to the Believers”
”But when he came to them with clear signs, they said: this is evident sorcery!”
Thus concludes verse 6 of chapter 61 under discussion. “The Prophet of Islam was foretold in many ways; and when he came he showed forth many Clear Signs, for his whole life from beginning to end was one vast miracle. He fought and won against odds. Without learning from men he taught the highest wisdom. He melted hearts that were hard, and he strengthened hearts that were tender and required support. In all his sayings and doings men of discernment could see the working of God’s hand;” yet the sceptics called it sorcery – jugglery – magic!
“Forger and juggler! no, no! this great fiery heart, seething, simmering like a great furnace of thoughts, was not a juggler’s.”
And they called his miraculous fulfilment of prophecy magic, jugglery, enchantment – that which became the most solid fact of human history – Islam!
Muhummed is the ‘Paraclete’
To the sincere seekers of truth it is obvious that Muhammad is the promised Paraclete or Comforter, alternatively called Helper, Advocate, Counsellor, etc of the prophecies of Jesus in the Gospel of St. John. There are millions of Christians – men and women who are hungry for this simple straightforward Message. But alas, we can only weep with Jesus for our utter ineptitude “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the workers are few.”
Language of Jesus In the Holy Quran God Almighty puts the name “Ahmed” which is another name for Muhummed in the mouth of Jesus. The Christian controversialist, Bible-thumper, Hot-Gospeller flippantly scoffs at the suggestion. The Christian missionary does not deny that Jesus did make a prophecy about someone coming after him. But “Ahmed” to him seems too far fectched.
The most commonly accepted name by Christendom is “Comforter.” It does not really matter. Comforter or any other equivalent term will do. We will settle for Comforter as used in the most popular Bible Translation the “King James Version”.
Ask your adversary, your disputant whether Jesus spoke the English language? ‘Most definitely not!’ any Christian will say. If you are sharing this with an Arab Christian then you can ask him whether his ‘lord’ used the word ‘Moouzzi’? (John 16:7 in Arabic) Surely not, because Arabic was not his language. Did Jesus prophesy ‘uMthokozisi’? (Comforter in Zulu) or ‘Trooster’ from the Afrikaans Bible? The answer again is a definite NO!
The Christians are rightfully boasting that they now have translated the complete Bible into hundreds of different languages, and the New Testament (in which this prophecy abounds) into more than two thousand different languages and dialects. So the Christian genius has invented more than 2000 different names in 2000 different languages for this one candidate – Comforter!
Pneuma: Ghost or spirit?
The Church fathers had developed a sickness by translating names of people, for which they had no right to do. For example like Esau to Jesus, Messiah to Christ, Cephas to Peter and so on. The closest one can ever get to the original utterance of Jesus in the Christian Scriptures is the Greek word “Paracletos,” which also has to be rejected because the Master did not speak Greek! But let’s not be difficult for the purpose of this discussion and accept the Greek word Paracletos and its English equivalent Comforter.
Ask any learned Christian man as to who the Comforter is? You will unmistakenly hear – “The Comforter is the Holy Ghost!” from John 14:26. This sentence is only part of verse twenty six. We will deal with the verse fully in due course. But first we must educate the Christian mind with regards to this misnomer – “Holy Ghost.” “Pneuma,” is the Greek root word for Spirit. There is no separate word for Ghost in the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, and the Christians now boast 24,000 different manuscripts in their possession of which no two are identical!
The editors of the KJV (The King James Version) alternatively called AV (The Authorised Version) and the Douay (The Roman Catholic Version) of the Bibles gave preference to the word “Ghost” instead of the word Spirit when translating “pneuma.” The revisers of the RSV (Revised Standard Version), the most up-to-date version of the Bible, are going back, as claimed, to the Most Ancient manuscripts. These revisers, described as “thirty-two scholars of the highest eminence, backed by fifty co-operating denominations,” who courageously replaced the shady word “Ghost” with the word “Spirit.” Hence from now on you will read in all modern translations – “The Comforter which is the Holy Spirit”! However, the Christian crusaders and the televangelists stubbornly cling to the spooky (“Ghost”-ly) past. They will not opt for the Newer Versions. It’s better fishing with the old bait – the KJV and the RCV (Roman Catholic Version).
With the new change in Spirit, the verse under scrutiny will read: “But the Comforter, Which Is The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
You do not have to be a Bible scholar of any calibre to sense that the expression “which is the Holy Spirit” is actually an interpolation. It ought to be in parenthesis, in brackets, like my words which have been interpolated in the quotation. Although the editors of the RSV have expunged dozens of interpolations from their boasted Revised Standard Version, they have retained this jarring phrase which contradicts other explicit predictions of Jesus on the subject of the Comforter itself.
‘Holy spirit’ is holy prophet
It may be noted that no Biblical scholar of any standing has ever equated the “paracletos” of John in the original Greek with the Holy Ghost. Now we can say with one breath that if the Comforter is the “Holy Spirit” then that Holy Spirit is the Holy Prophet!
As Muslims we acknowledge that every prophet of God is Holy and without sin. But whenever the expression “The Holy Prophet” is used among Muslims it is universally accepted as referring to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. So even if we accept the above incongruous saying – “the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit,” as Gospel truth, even then this prophecy will fit Muhammad like a glove, without any stretching of its meaning. The same John, who is supposed to have authored the Gospel bearing his name, also penned three more Epistles which are also part of the Christian Bible. Amazingly he has used the same terminology of “Holy Spirit” for “Holy Prophet.”
“Beloved, believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they are of God; because many false Prophets are gone out into the world.”
You can observe that the word Spirit is used here synonymously with a prophet. A true Spirit is a true prophet, and a false Spirit is a false prophet. But for the so-called “born-again” Christians who see only with eyes of emotion, I recommend that they lay their hands on C.I. Scofield’s Authorized King James Version of the Bible who with an Editorial Committee of 9 D.D.’s adding their notes and comments. When they come to the first word “Spirit” in the above verse they should give a notation to compare it with Matthew 7: 15 which confirms that false prophets are false Spirits. So according to St. John the Holy Spirit is the Holy Prophet, and the Holy Prophet is Muhummed the Messenger of God.
A valid test
But St. John does not leave us in the air, guessing the true from the false. He gives us an acid test for recognising the true Prophet. He says – “Hereby know ye the Spirit (for Spirit, read prophet.) of God: Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.”
According to John’s own interpretation in verse one above the word “Spirit” is synonymous with the word prophet. So verse two “Spirit of God” would mean Prophet of God and “Every Spirit” would stand for every Prophet. You have a right to know as to what the Holy Prophet Muhummed says about “Jesus Christ.”
Jesus Christ is spoken by name no less than 25 times in the Holy Quran. He is honoured as:
- Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary)
- Annabi (The Prophet)
- Assaaliheen (The Righteous)
- Kalimatullah (Word of God)
- Ruhullah (Spirit of God)
- Masihullah (Christ of God)
“Behold the angels said: “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and The Hereafter and of (the Company of) those nearest to God.”
Muhammad is the ‘other’
The Comforter in John 14:26 can never be the “Holy Ghost” because Jesus had already explained “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you Another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.”
The emphasis here is on the word “ANOTHER,” a different one, an additional one, but of the same kind, yet distinctly different from the first. Who is then the first Comforter? The Christian world is unanimous that in this case the speaker himself – Jesus Christ is the first Comforter; then the other, the one to follow must be of like nature, subject to the same conditions of hunger, thirst, fatigue, sorrow and death. But this promised Comforter was to “abide with you for ever!” No one lives for ever. Jesus was mortal so must the coming Comforter also be mortal. No son of man can ever be immortal! “Every soul shall have a taste of death.”
Alive in their teachings
The soul does not really die, but when it separates from the body at the time of the death of the body, the soul will get a taste of death. But our Comforter was to “ABIDE,” continue, endure for ever. All Comforters abide with us for ever. Moses is here with us today in his teachings. Jesus is here with us today in his teachings and Muhummed also is here with us in his teachings today. (May the peace and blessings of God be upon them all). This is not my novel idea trying to justify the preposterous. I say this with conviction and on the authority of Jesus Christ himself.
In Luke, chapter sixteen, Jesus tells us the story of the “Rich Man, Poor Man.” At death both find themselves at opposite ends – one in Heaven and the other in Hell. The rich man (Dives) simmering in Hell cries to Father Abraham to send the beggar (Lazarus) to slake his thirst. But when every plea fails, he, as a last favour, requests that Father Abraham send the beggar back to earth to warn his living brothers against their impending doom if they heeded not the warnings of God.
But Abraham said, “If they (those still alive on earth) won’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even though someone rises from the dead.” (to warn them) Jesus uttered the above parable centuries after the demise of the prophets of Israel like Jeremiah, Hosea, Zechariah, etc and over thirteen hundred years after Moses. The Pharisees at the time of Jesus and we today can still listen to “Moses and the prophets,” for they are still alive, and with us here today in their teachings.
‘You’ of the time
If it is said that the Comforter was promised to the immediate disciples of Jesus and not to a people six hundred years later “and he (God) shall give You another Comforter, that he may abide with You for ever.”
Surprisingly, the Christian sees no difficulty in justifying the fulfilment of prophecies “since the world began,”and after over a millennium when Peter in his second sermon to the Jews, reminds them “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord Your God raise up unto You of Your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto You.”
All these “YE, YOU and YOURS” are from the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 18 (This prophecy also refers to the Holy Prophet. When Moses addressed his people and not the Jews at the time of Peter, thirteen hundred years later. The Gospel writers have put the same compromising words in the mouth of their Master which are begging for fulfilment for two thousand years. I think just one example will suffice “But when they persecute You in this city, flee Ye into another: for verily (most assuredly) I (Jesus) say unto You, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man (Jesus) be come.”
These early followers of the Messiah, forever ran, forlornly fleeing persecution. They ran from one city to another in Israel, scanning every dark cloud for the descent of Jesus in his second coming. The missionaries see no anomaly in their millennium of unfulfilled prophecies. God Almighty did not keep them waiting for even a quarter of the time for the advent of the “paracletos,” – the Comforter or Ahmed which is another name for the Praised One. Let them show gratitude to God by accepting this Last and Final Messenger of God – Muhummed!
Advent of comforter conditional
The Comforter is definitely not the “Holy Ghost” because the coming of the Comforter was conditional whereas that of the Holy Ghost was not as we observe in the prophecy – “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go: for If I go Not Away, The Comforter Will Not Come unto you; but if depart, I will send him unto you.”
“If I don’t go he won’t come, but if I go, I will send him.” There are numerous instances in the Holy Bible about the coming and going of the Holy Ghost, before the birth and departure of the Messiah. Do yourself a favour, please verify these references in your Bible.
B.C. Before Christ’s birth
1. “and he (John the Baptist) shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”
2. “and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”
3. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost.”
A.C. After Christ’s birth
4. “and the Holy Ghost was upon him (Simeon)”
5. “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him (Jesus).”
From the above quotations, before and after the birth of Jesus, one cannot help admiring St. Luke who appears to be a specialist on the Holy Ghost. We may well ask the Christians, after the descent of the “dove”, with whose help did Jesus perform his many miracles if not with the help of the Holy Ghost? Let the Master himself tell us. When accused by his own people, the Jews, that he was working in league with Beelzebub (the chief of the devils) to work his miracles, Jesus rhetorically questions them, “How can Satan cast out Satan?” The Jews imputed that this Spirit of holiness – the Spirit of God – which was helping him, was devilish. This was treason of the highest order. So he gives them a dire warning:
“but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, it shall never be forgiven” to be a specialist on the Holy Ghost. We may well ask the Christians, after the descent of the “dove”, with whose help did Jesus perform his many miracles if not with the help of the Holy Ghost? Let the Master himself tell us. When accused by his own people, the Jews, that he was working in league with Beelzebub (the chief of the devils) to work his miracles, Jesus rhetorically questions them, “How can Satan cast out Satan?” The Jews imputed that this Spirit of holiness – the Spirit of God – which was helping him, was devilish. This was treason of the highest order. So he gives them a dire warning:
“but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, it shall never be forgiven”
This “Holy Ghost” is none other than what Matthew himself has described in three verses before quoting the Master “But if I (Jesus) cast out devils by the Spirit Of God, then the kingdom of God is come upon you.”
Compare the same statement by another Gospel writer. Give a second glance at the two verses, and you cannot help concluding that they are almost identical. Why? The answer is in “Is the Bible God’s Word?”
But if I (Jesus) by the Finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”
You do not have to be a Bible scholar to understand that the expressions
(a) “Finger of God”
(b) “Spirit of God” and
(c) “Holy Ghost” are all synonymous phrases. So the Holy Ghost was helping Jesus in his ministry.
The Holy Ghost was also helping his disciples on their missions of preaching and healing. If there is still any doubt in your minds about the workings of the Holy Ghost, then please read:
Empty promise ”as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you (the disciples of Jesus), and when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive Ye The Holy Ghost.”
This was surely no empty promise. The disciples must have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. So if the “Holy Ghost” was with (1) John the Baptist, (2) Elizabeth, (3) Zacharias, (4) Simeon, (5) Jesus and (6) the Disciples of Jesus; then all this makes nonsense of the saying that “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” Therefore the Comforter is not the Holy Ghost!
The verse under discussion is John 16:7. I remember the thrill and joy I got out of it when quoting it in Arabic to the Coptic Christian lady in the land of the Pharaohs. The pleasure is immense when expounding Biblical verses in the standard native language of a country or locality. I have done it in a dozen different vernaculars. Won’t you master the above verse in a language or two of your choice for the good of Islam?
Afrikaans a unique language
Of all the languages in which I have mastered the verse in question, I have derived the greatest excitement and benefit from Afrikaans. It is a language of the ruling race in South Africa. It is the youngest of the world’s languages. The language is unique. In fact every language is unique. But Afrikaans is in a class of its own. It also happens to be the mother tongue of half the Muslim population of South Africa who were brought here as prisoners of war and enslaved by the Christians; that is simply by force of circumstances. For their immediate benefit and for your information I reproduce the verse here:
“Maar ek se julle die waarheid: dit is vir julle voordelig dat ek weggaan; want as ek Nie weggaan Nie, sal die Trooster (Trooster, now changed to ‘Voorspraak!’) Nie na julle kom Nie; maar as ek weggaan, sal ek hom na julle stuur.”
Believe it or not! It is the genius of this language that it uses four negatives NIE, NIE, NIE, NIE, to prove a positive! The departure of Jesus is an absolute imperative for the coming of the “Trooster,” the Comforter, to come! This verse in this language has opened many doors for me, other than religious, and it locks the door against the idea of the “Comforter which is the Holy Ghost”
Disciples not fit
We now come to the four most comprehensive and decisive verses in John, chapter sixteen to solve the enigma of the Successor to Christ. For Jesus did truly say: “I have yet Many Things to say unto you, but Ye Cannot Bear Them Now.”
We will later tie up the phrase “many things” from the above verse with “guide you into all truth” from the verse that follows, when discussing it. For now, let us discuss the phrase – “ye cannot bear them now”. The truth of this statement “ye cannot bear them now” is repeated monotonously throughout the pages of the New Testament:
- “And he (Jesus) saith unto them (the disciples), Why are ye fearful, O Ye Of Little Faith?”
- “And (Jesus) said unto him (Peter) O Thou Of Little Faith”
- “he (Jesus) said unto them (the disciples), O Ye Of Little faith, why reason among yourselves”
- “And he (Jesus) said unto them (his disciples), Where Is Your Faith?”
We must bear in mind that this is not the indictment of Jesus on the indecisiveness of the Jews, but on his very own elect. He stoops down to the level of little children to make things plain to his disciples but he is compelled to burst out in frustration – “And Jesus said, Are Ye Even Yet Without Understanding?
And when he was provoked to breaking point, he rails against his chosen ones “O Faithless And Perverse Generation, how long shall I be with you, how long shall I bear with you?”
Own family thought him mad
If Jesus would have been a Japanese instead of a Jew, he would happily have committed that honourable “harakiri” (suicide). Sadly, he was the most unfortunate of God’s Messengers. His family disbelieved him For neither did his (Jesus’) brethren believe in him. In fact they went to the extent of wanting to apprehend him, believing that he was mad.
“And when his relatives heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him (Jesus); for they said, he is beside himself.”
Who were these friends and relatives of Jesus which had concern for his sanity? Let Rev. J.R. Dummelow, M.A. in his One Volume Bible Commentary tell us. On page 726 he says – “from V.31” (just 10 verses following the above quotation) “They appear to have been his mother and brethren… his family said ‘he is beside himself,’” (meaning that he is not right in his head); “the scribes said, ‘he is possessed by the devil himself.’ it is not, however, implied at all that his family was in sympathy with the scribes” (the learned men of the Jews), “their apprehension being simply that his mind was unsettled, and that he needed to be put under restraint.”
Jesus – rejected by his nation
That was the verdict of the close relations of Jesus. What then was the response of his own nation, the Jews, after all his beautiful preaching and mighty miracle workings? His disciple puts it very mildly “He came unto his own (the Jews) and his own received him (Jesus) not.”
Actually “his own” mocked him, scorned him and vehemently rejected him. To the extent of making an attempt to crucify him. Despite two thousand years of Christian persecutions and pogroms, and now their overweening love and infatuation for them, so as to salve their own conscience, the Jews as a people and as a whole can never accept Jesus as their Saviour, their Deliverer, their God, simply because of their one sound judgement – “That no Jew can ever accept another Jew as a God!”
It is only in Islam that the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims can find accommodation – all believing in Jesus Christ for what he really was – one of the mightiest Messengers of God; and not as God or His son!
Disciples deserted him
What was the response of the chosen twelve; of his own “mother and bretheren!” (Mark 3:34), as he called them? I will allow Professor Momerie to describe it in his own inimitable words “His immediate disciples were always misunderstanding him and his work: wanting him to call down fire from heaven; wanting him to declare himself king of the Jews; wanting to sit on his right hand and on his left hand in his kingdom; wanting him to show them the father, to make god visible to their bodily eyes; wanting him to do, and wanting to do themselves, anything and everything that was incompatible with his great plan. this was how they treated him until the end. (and) when that came, they all forsook him, and fled.”
It was most unfortunate that Jesus Christ had no real choice in selecting his disciples. They let him down as no other group of devotees had ever let down their prophet before. It was no fault of the Master. He bewailed his plight: “The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh (clay) is weak”.
Truly, this is not the clay out of which a new Adam could be made. He passes on that responsibility to his Successor, whom he calls here – “The Spirit of Truth,” ie the Prophet of Truth, the Prophet of Righteousness!
‘Spirit’ and ‘prophet’ synonymous
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth”
It has already been established that, Biblically, the word “Spirit” is used synonymously for “Prophet,” by the same author in 1 John 4:1.
Hence the “Spirit of Truth” would be the Prophet of Truth. A prophet in whom Truth is personified. He had walked through life so honourably and industriously that he had won for himself even from his pagan fellow countrymen the noble designation of The Truthful One, The Honest, The Upright and The Trustworthy; the Man of Faith who always kept his word. His life, his personality, his teachings are the veritable proof of Muhammad being the embodiment of Truth (al-Amin) – the Spirit of Truth!