Muslims believe that the coming of Muhammad was foretold in the Bible. For centuries, Muslims have tried to find predictions of the coming of Muhammad in the Bible. This expectation of theirs stems from the following two verses in the Qur’an:
Surah 7:157: Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel which are with them. He will enjoin on them that which is right and forbid them that which is wrong. (Pickthall)
Surah 61:6: 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.” But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, “This is evident sorcery!” (Yusuf Ali)
The name “Muhammad” appears four times in the entire Qur’an. (Surah 3:144, Surah 33:40, Surah 47:2 and Surah 48:29) However, in Surah 61:6 we find Jesus speaking of a Messenger who is to come after him by the name “Ahmad.” Muslim theologians have understood this to be a reference to Muhammad. If “Muhammad” was truly the one whom Jesus was referring to in Surah 61:6, why does not the Qur’an use his actual name in that verse? There is no valid reason not to use the name “Muhammad” since that is the only name by which the Prophet of Islam is identified in the entire Qur’an. Thus, Muslims must ask themselves why is it that in the entire Qur’an, not once is the Prophet of Islam addressed as “Ahmad.” Instead he is only identified by his proper name, “Muhammad.”
It is also important to understand that the word “Ahmad” and the name “Muhammad” do not precisely mean the same thing. The name “Muhammad” is a proper noun while “Ahmad” as expressed in the original Arabic is an adjective. In Arabic, “Ahmad” simply means “to possess a praiseworthy quality” or “a quality for which one is praised.” The Qur’an identifies Jesus as the one narrating the prophecy in Surah 61:6. As such, the name uttered by Jesus in his own vernacular language would not have been the Arabic “Ahmad.” Substantiating this fact, some well recognized translations of the Qur’an completely omit the name “Ahmad” in Surah 61:6:
“And when Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O children of Israel, I am God’s messenger to you, authenticating what is present with me of the Torah and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name will be acclaimed.” But when he showed them the clear proofs, they said: “This is clearly magic.” (Modern Literal Translation)
“And when Jesus son of Mary said: O Children of Israel! Lo! I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was revealed before me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who cometh after me, whose name is the Praised One. Yet when he hath come unto them with clear proofs, they say: This is mere magic.” (Pickthall)
Moreover, if the word “Ahmad” truly represents a proper name of another prophet to come after Jesus, we would undoubtedly witness an abundance of recorded documents testifying to this fact. It is also very likely that many followers of Jesus would have named their sons as such–hoping that their child would turn out to be God’s foretold messenger. Many others would also adopt the name “Ahmad” claiming to fulfill this prophecy. There is not a hint that anything of this sort ever occurred in the entire history of Christianity. In fact the name “Ahmad” is alien to the early Christians.
Among the authorities on the Qur’an, one of the most well known was Ubai ibn Ka’b. He was a close companion of Muhammad and served as a personal scribe for him. He was known for his excellent recitation of the Qur’an and was given the title, “Master Reciter.” Muhammad personally qualified only four persons by name with the knowledge to teach the recitation of the Qur’an. And Ubai ibn Ka’b was one of them. Muhammad specifically directed the early Muslims to learn the recitation of the Qur’an from any one of these four.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 57, Hadith Number 103:
Narrated By Masruq: ‘Abdullah (bin Mas’ud) was mentioned before ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr. The latter said, “That is a man I continue to love because I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘Learn the recitation of the Qur’an from any of these four persons: ‘Abdullah bin Masud, Salim the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, Ubai bin Ka’b, and Muadh bin Jabal.’”
It is important for Muslims to note that the codices of the Qur’an by Ubai ibn Ka’b recite the text in Surah 61:6 quite differently. Ubai ibn Ka’b completely omits the conclusion which states “his name will be Ahmad” (ismuhu ahmad) and in its place records Jesus as announcing a prophet who would bear the seal of Allah from among his prophets and messengers (khatumullaahu bihil-anbiyaa’ wal-rusuli). Why would this erudite and entrusted scribe of Muhammad completely omit the name “Ahmad” if there is no valid reason for him to do so?
Believing strongly in the infallibility of Surah 7:157 and Surah 61:6, Muslims have searched with determination for evidences to prove that prophecies about Muhammad can indeed be found in the Bible. In fact, Surah 7:157 seems to suggest that prophecies regarding Muhammad can be found easily in the “Torah and the Gospel.” However, when Muslims began searching for these prophecies in the Bible, they came away disappointed. They discovered that it was Jesus and not Muhammad who is the center of many of the prophecies in the Bible. And disappointment led to desperation. To overcome this dilemma, Muslims began attacking the authenticity of the Bible. They blasphemously accuse the Bible of becoming corrupted at the hands of the Jews and the Christians. They had to but propagate this lie in order to justify their failure to find any reference of Muhammad in the Bible.
Ironically, by hurling accusations against the Bible, they have turned against Allah. Why do we say that? It is because of two very important facts that are taught in the Qur’an. Firstly, the Qur’an itself testifies that the Torah and the Gospel are the Words of Allah:
Surah 5:44: “Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light.” (Pickthall)
Surah 5:46: “And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).” (Pickthall)
Surah 3:3-4: “He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind.” (Yusuf Ali)
And secondly, the Qur’an teaches in no uncertain terms that “none can change the Words of Allah.”
Surah 6:115: Perfect are the words of thy Lord in truthfulness and justice; no man can change His words; He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing. (Arberry)
Surah 10:64: “None can change the Words of Allah. This is indeed the Supreme Triumph.” (Pickthall)
Surah 18:27: “And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord; none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him.” (Yusuf Ali)
Thus, the accusation by Muslims that the Bible was altered to remove Muhammad’s name is not only baseless but it also violates the teachings of Allah in the Qur’an. Nonetheless, Muslims contend that even though one may not find Muhammad’s name in the Bible today, there are enough evidences in the Torah and the Gospel to substantiate the legitimacy of Muhammad’s prophethood to all mankind, including Christians. Is this claim by Muslims true?
“PARAKLETOS” OR “PERIKLUTOS”
The Greek term “Parakletos” which appears in the Gospel of John is translated as “Helper,” “Comforter,” and “Counselor” in the English translations of the Bible. And the Bible itself identifies the “Helper” as the “Holy Spirit” or the “Spirit of Truth.” Christians clearly understand that “Parakletos” refers to the Holy Spirit.
In total disagreement with this firmly established position of the New Testament Scriptures, some Muslims argue that the correct word should be “Periklutos” instead of “Parakletos.” The reason for this hypothetical claim by Muslims is because the term “Periklutos” which means the “Praised One” can be conveniently translated as Ahmad in Arabic. However, this claim by Muslims is untenable for many reasons. One reason is the fact that we have in existence complete New Testament manuscripts which predate the Qur’an by centuries which do not support such an assumption.
We have in our possession today more than 24,000 ancient manuscripts of portions of the New Testament Scriptures. Included among these ancient manuscripts are numerous copies of the Gospel of John. And every single manuscript of the Gospel of John uses the term “Parakletos” in their text. Not one of these manuscripts contains the word “Periklutos.” Well, how do Muslims know it is “Periklutos” and not “Parakletos”? Can they provide a single manuscript evidence to substantiate their claim? Without providing a single shred of evidence, Muslims assume that it should be “Periklutos.” By denying thousands of authentic manuscript evidences, Muslims hope to somehow find support for the veracity of Muhammad in the Bible.
In spite of the absence of any real evidence to support their claim, Muslims still maintain that the verses which speak about the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of John are actually prophecies about Muhammad. In particular, they refer to John 14:16 where the term “Parakletos” appears in the original Greek. Without any evidence to substantiate their claim, Muslims allege that the Greek word “Parakletos” is a textual corruption. As stated above, there is not a single shred of evidence in favor of this unfounded speculation that the original Greek word was “Periklutos.” All ancient manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures that we have with us today only uses the term “Parakletos” and not “Periklutos” as Muslims claim. And we have thousands of these manuscripts pre-dating Islam. Thus, the charge of textual corruption is without historical or textual support. Jesus clearly did not use the word “Periklutos” but “Parakletos.” This is proven by the following verses of the Gospel of John with the original Greek terminology in parenthesis:
John 14:15-18: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper (allon parakleton) to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:25-26: These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Helper (de parakletos), 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.
John 15:26-27: But when the Helper (ho parakletos) comes, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceeded from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
John 16:7: Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth, it is for your benefit I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Helper (ho parakletos) will by no means come to you; but if I do go my way, I will send him to you.
Whenever Muslims are unable to defend their position, they typically hurl false accusations. One very common allegation is that the Christians have corrupted the Bible. Think! What reasons would Christians have to corrupt the original word centuries before the arrival of Muhammad or Islam? How would they have known that someone would come some 600 years later and claim that he is “Ahmad” (Periklutos)? And supposedly for this reason, they maliciously changed “Periklutos” to “Parakletos.” How ridiculous can Muslims become? And since our present Bible is identical to the ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of John which predates Islam, it proves that no changes were made to the Bible as Muslims falsely claim. Furthermore, how are Muslims going to reconcile their baseless accusation of corruption with Allah’s declaration in the Qur’an that “None can change the Words of Allah” (Surah 10:64)?
The statement of Allah in Surah 10:64 will only make sense if the Torah and the Gospel remain unchanged for all eternity. Should these Scriptures undergo any changes during any period of time in the history of mankind, then Allah becomes a liar and the Qur’an becomes false. Muslims now have to decide between calling Allah a liar and accepting the Bible as the authentic unchanged Word of God. They have to now choose between “Parakletos” and “Periklutos.”
THE NATURE AND FUNCTIONS OF THE PARAKLETOS REVEAL ITS IDENTITY
Muslims claim that it is “Periklutos” and not “Parakletos” that was used originally in the Bible. In order to expose this absurd allegation, it is important to focus on the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos.” Only then we can determine whether “Parakletos” is the correct word or “Periklutos” as Muslims claim. Therefore, to know the true identity, it is essential to study the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” as recorded in the Holy Bible. Why? This is because the Muslim argument is centered on the supposed falsification of the term “Parakletos” and not the nature or the functions of the “Parakletos” as described in the Bible. It is important to note that the Muslim argument in favor of Muhammad is very much reliant on the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” as described in the Gospel of John. Take away the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” and Muslims are left with nothing to prove that it is Muhammad who is prophesied in the Gospel of John. Thus, a critical analysis of the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” will prove whether Muhammad was really the one whom Jesus spoke about.
We will now analyze both the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” to determine if Muhammad fits the description. We will do this by examining the nature and the functions of the “Parakletos” as presented by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John. Since Muslims quote from the Gospel of John to validate Muhammad’s prophethood, they must stay with the Gospel of John if they are sincere in their claim. We will now provide Seven Reasons why Islam is absolutely wrong about the identity of the “Parakletos.”
THE NATURE OF THE PARAKLETOS AND ITS PURPOSE
A careful reading of all the texts where the word “Parakletos” appears shows that it is the only term that correctly suits the intended purpose of this word in the Holy Bible. While some Muslims admit that “Parakletos” is the correct word, they still claim that Muhammad was the “Helper” whom Jesus was referring to in John 14:26. Let us briefly examine some of the texts that refer to “Parakletos.” We will carry out this evaluation in a truly exegetical manner in order to establish conclusively whether Muhammad is indeed the “Helper” whose coming Jesus foretold:
John 14:26: But the Helper, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name.
John 14:16-17: And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth.
John 15:26: But when the Helper comes, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth.
It is quite evident from the above cited verses that the terms Helper, Holy Spirit, and Spirit of Truth are one and the same. It is also evident that Jesus is speaking of the same Spirit in each instance. The one obvious fact that emerges in all these verses is that the “Helper” is a Spirit. The fact that Jesus speaks of the Spirit in the masculine gender in no way suggests that the “Helper” must be a human as some Muslims try to imply. It must be remembered that the word “Helper” is a translation of “Parakletos” which is a masculine noun in Greek. Since Jesus personified the Holy Spirit when speaking of its function as “Helper,” the apostle John correctly used the masculine personal pronoun when speaking of the Holy Spirit as the “Helper.”
As we can see Jesus described the “Parakletos” as the “Spirit of Truth” (Ruh-ul-Haqq) and the “Holy Spirit” (Ruh-ul-Quddus). Ruh means Spirit in Arabic. It is certainly impossible to identify Muhammad as a Spirit. Nowhere in the Qur’an is Muhammad referred to or described as a Spirit (Ruh) by Allah. And Muhammad himself admits in the Qur’an that he is nothing more than a mere human:
Surah 17:93: Say, “I proclaim the Purity of my Lord. I am nothing but human, a messenger.” (M. T. Usmani)
Clearly, Muhammad cannot be the “Parakletos” that Jesus promised. When we take into consideration all the Biblical verses that reveal the “Parakletos,” we find numerous reasons why the “Helper” simply cannot be Muhammad. Consider now the following additional evidences. When Jesus spoke to his Disciples, he clarified that the “Helper” would come to them during their life time. In fact, Jesus told them not to depart from Jerusalem:
Acts 1:4-5: “And while he was meeting with them he gave them the orders: “Do not withdraw from Jerusalem, but keep waiting for what the Father has promised, about which you heard from me; John, indeed, baptized with water, but you will be baptized in Holy Spirit not many days after this.”
In obedience, the Disciples waited in Jerusalem. Just ten days later, they received the promised Holy Spirit. The presence of the “Helper” was manifested when all those who waited were “filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Holy Spirit was certainly not sent to the Meccans, Medinans or the Arabians. If the promised “Helper” is actually referring to Muhammad, then the Disciples would have to wait in Jerusalem for some 600 years. And can the Disciples be “filled” with Muhammad? Now, read for yourself the account of what happened to the Disciples in Jerusalem:
Acts 2:1-4: “Now while the day of the festival of Pentecost was in progress they were all together at the same place, and suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon each one of them, and they all became filled with Holy Spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the Spirit was granting them to make utterance.”
This event occurred in the year 33 C.E. Up to this point in time, none of the Christian Greek Scriptures had been written. And just as Jesus promised, the “Helper” was now available to ensure that all the divine truths that had to be recorded in the Christian Greek Scriptures would be accurate and trustworthy. Since Jesus was no longer physically with his followers, the “Helper” assisted them to call to mind all the things that Jesus had said and taught while he was with them. In fact, Jesus clearly foretold this particular function of the “Parakletos” in John 14:26:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.
Furthermore, Jesus also foretold that the Holy Spirit would empower his Disciples to preach the Gospel to the most distant parts of the earth:
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.
The fact that Christianity spread to the four corners of the earth proves the truthfulness of the words of Jesus regarding the function of the Holy Spirit. Based upon what Jesus explicitly taught in the Bible, the “Helper” cannot be Muhammad. Moreover, Islam erroneously identifies the Holy Spirit as the angel Gabriel. This further disproves Muhammad as the promised “Parakletos.”
From the above Biblical verses, it is evident that the “Helper” is the Holy Spirit. There is no ambiguity about this. Jesus himself plainly identified the “Parakletos” as God’s Holy Spirit. Thus, it is obvious that the “Parakletos” which is the powerful active force of God is not a human being as suggested by Muslims. Muslims have a habit of using verses that only fit their agenda while ignoring other verses, even when the very next verse in the text proves the absurdity of their position. Sometimes even within a verse, the select what they need and reject the rest. This is utter dishonesty.
As mentioned above, Jesus commanded his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem. He told them to wait there for the fulfillment of the promise. (Acts 1:4-5) From this account we can see that Jesus clearly identified the exact place where the promised “Helper” would initially become operative. Jesus specifically pointed to Jerusalem and not to Mecca. Are Muslim scholars now going to say that Christians also changed “Mecca” to “Jerusalem” in the Holy Bible?
JOHN 14:16: “HE WILL GIVE YOU ANOTHER HELPER”
John 14:16: And I will ask the Father and he will give you another helper to be with you forever.
If the Muslims allegation that the original word was “Periklutos” and that the Christians have changed it to “Parakletos” is true, then John 14:16 would read: “He will give you another Ahmad.” Who then was the first Ahmad? Even Jesus is never called the “Periklutos” in the Bible. This word does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Since Jesus was never given that title, it would be utterly senseless for him to say:
“The Father will give you another ‘Periklutos’ (Ahmad).”
The more Muslims try to prove their point, the more absurd their position becomes. In contrast to the absurdity of the Muslim position, a comparative study of John 14:16 with 1 John 2:1 and John 16:12-13 clearly proves that the term “Parakletos” is the only word that correctly describes the function of the “Parakletos.” The Bible states in 1 John 2:1 that Christians have a “Helper” with the Father who is none other than Jesus Christ:
1 John 2:1: My little children, I am writing you these things that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a Helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one.
Now compare the above verse with the words of Jesus in the following verses:
John 16:12-13: “I have many things yet to say to you, but you are not able to bear them at present. But, when the Spirit of Truth arrives, he will guide you into all the truth.”
In other words, Jesus is saying to his Disciples:
“I have been your Helper and I have many things to tell you but you are not able to bear them at present. Don’t worry, I have asked the Father to send you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth to guide you into all the truth.”
See how the word “Parakletos” fits so perfectly within the framework of the teachings of Jesus. Let’s recap. The Greek word “Parakletos” means “Helper.” Jesus is our “Helper” with the Father. So Jesus Christ is our “Parakletos.” And he promised to give his Disciples “another Helper” when he is away from them. Thus, it is logical for Jesus to promise “another Parakletos” since he himself is described as the “Parakletos” of his followers. It is completely illogical to suggest that he would speak of “another Periklutos (praised one)” when the word was never used to describe him in the first place.
Thus, the context itself dictates that the only appropriate term that can rightly be used here is “Parakletos” (Helper) and not “Periklutos” (praised one). Just as Jesus Christ was our “Helper,” the Father promised to give us another “Helper” when Jesus is no longer with us. The Muslim “Periklutos” is not only out of place contextually but it is also devoid of any rationality. The “Helper” cannot be anything other than the Holy Spirit. Ironically, Muslim scholars are proud to identify Muhammad as the “Helper” while denying that Jesus used this term in the first place. The suggestions of these Muslim scholars expose their ignorance of the Greek language, their poorness of thought, and their deliberate deception. A study of the Qur’an itself reveals that Muhammad simply cannot be the Holy Spirit.
JOHN 14:16: “TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER”
Whenever Muslims quote John 14:16, they will only refer to the first part of the verse:
“And I will request the Father and he will give you another Helper…
But they will deceptively leave out the part that follows immediately:
…to be with you forever.”
Muslims know that quoting the second part of John 14:16 will result in theological difficulties for them. Thus, Muslims rely on deception to validate their claim. In other words, Muslims try to smuggle Muhammad into the Bible. When Muhammad came he did not stay forever with anyone, let alone with the Disciples of Jesus. In the Qur’an Muhammad is commanded to openly confess that he is only a “mortal” just like any one of us:
Surah 18:110: Say (O Prophet): “I am but a mortal man like all of you.” (Asad)
Muhammad’s prophetic career lasted about 23 years and he died in 632 C.E. He lived on this earth for 63 years–not forever. His tomb is in Medina. According to the theology of Islam, Muhammad will be resurrected on the “Day of Resurrection” which occurs at the time of the end. Does Muhammad fit the description of the “Helper” in John 14:16? Hardly! As we can see Muhammad cannot be the “Helper.”
On the other hand, Jesus said that the “Parakletos” would remain with his faithful disciples forever. Thus, the Holy Spirit would reside with true Christians forever. In other words, it will be with each successive generation of faithful Christians. And as stated earlier, the Disciples of Jesus did receive the promised “Parakletos.” At Pentecost 33 C.E., the apostle Peter testified to the out-pouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon the Disciples of Jesus Christ:
Acts 2:32-33: “This Jesus whom God resurrected, of which fact we are all witnesses. Therefore because he was exalted to the right hand of God and received the promised Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this which you see and hear.
The word “Parakletos” clearly means the Holy Spirit and it actually makes sense every time it is understood accurately. It is really incredible that Muslims go through a Book they believe have been corrupted and search for Muhammad somewhere in it to verify his prophethood.
JOHN 14:17: “IT REMAINS WITH YOU AND IS IN YOU.”
John 14:17: “The Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither beholds it nor knows it. You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.”
Jesus clearly identified the “Parakletos” as the “Spirit of Truth.” The “Spirit of Truth” or “Helper” cannot be seen by the world because it neither sees it nor knows it. And Jesus spoke to his Disciples in the present tense saying: “You know it, because it remains with you and is in you.” Yes! The Disciples were already familiar with the Holy Spirit. They had already witnessed the powerful works Jesus performed through the operation of the Holy Spirit when he was with them. And they themselves performed miraculous works by means of the operation of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew10:5-8) Therefore, not only were they acquainted with the Holy Spirit but they also experienced a measure of the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is why Jesus could say to his Disciples “it remains with you and is in you.” However, what Jesus promised to his Disciples in John 14:16 is the fuller gift of the Holy Spirit. They had yet to receive the anointing with Holy Spirit that Jesus spoke of in John 7:39:
However, he said this concerning the spirit, which those who put faith in him were about to receive; for as yet there was no spirit, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Once they were anointed with the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised in John 14:16, they received the gift of the heavenly calling and the adoption as spirit-begotten sons of God. They could now also understand more fully the meaning of the many things that Christ spoke to them:
Romans 8:14-17: For all who are led by God’s spirit are indeed God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery causing fear again, but you received a spirit of adoption as sons, by which spirit we cry out: “Abba, Father!” The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. If, then, we are children, we are also heirs—heirs indeed of God, but joint heirs with Christ—provided we suffer together so that we may also be glorified together.
The “Spirit of Truth” is said to be “in” the Disciples. The Greek word used here for “in” is “en” which means “right inside.” So Jesus was saying to his Disciples that the “Parakletos” was already “right inside” them. This is a death-blow to the Muslim claim that Muhammad is the promised “Parakletos” for two very important reasons. One, Muhammad did not live during the time of the Disciples of Jesus. Two, at no time was Muhammad “in” the Disciples of Jesus or “in” anyone else for that matter. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit filled the Disciples of Jesus at Pentecost and has remained “in” every succeeding generations of faithful Christians ever since. Therefore, we can clearly understand that Jesus could not have promised to send another human messenger but the Holy Spirit who was to come and dwell “in” his faithful Disciples. This vital role of the “Parakletos” as the indwelling Holy Spirit is also confirmed by a number of verses in the Holy Bible:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: What! Do you not know that the body of you people is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? Also, you do not belong to yourselves, for you were bought with a price. By all means, glorify God in the body of you people.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8: For God called us, not with allowance for uncleanness, but in connection with sanctification. So, then, the man that shows disregard is disregarding, not man, but God, who puts his Holy Spirit in you.
Ephesians 1:13: But you also hoped in him after you heard the word of truth, the good news about your salvation. By means of him also, after you believed, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
This shows that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a spiritual reality–not a physical one. This can never be said of Muhammad. A human messenger cannot come and dwell “in” any one of us. And certainly not forever! The Qur’an falsely claims that Jesus will send “Ahmad”–the founder of Islam–to his Disciples. On no account could Ahmad or Muhammad dwell within each Disciple of Jesus. And that is exactly what the Gospel of John describes the Holy Spirit will do. Muhammad, a physical being, evidently could not dwell inside of anyone, let alone the Disciples of Jesus. Also, we know that Muhammad died and is no longer in this world, so how is it possible for him to abide with us or in us forever? So it is very obvious that the promised “Parakletos” is not a mortal human being but the everlasting Holy Spirit of God. Only the Holy Spirit can be “in” all the faithful Christians at the same time. This certainly cannot be true of Muhammad.
Once again the inconsistent methodology used by Muslims becomes apparent. Where they believe the Gospel of John can be used to support the Qur’an, it is automatically viewed as authentic, and where it does not, it is immediately viewed as corrupted. In short, we can see that Muslims have no real concern for an honest understanding or application of the Biblical verses. The verses are arbitrarily and selectively used by Muslims to suit the Qur’an. And even then, Muslims have failed to prove that Muhammad is the promised “Parakletos.”
JOHN 14:26: “WILL TEACH YOU ALL THINGS”
John 14:26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.
The “Parakletos” originates from the Father who is the Grand Instructor of “all things.” (Isaiah 30:20) As such, the “Helper” from the Father is able to teach the Disciples of Jesus “all things” that are necessary for their salvation. With the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon the Disciples in 33 C.E., the promised “Parakletos” became operational. The Bible records how new doctrines were revealed or clarified to the Christian congregation through the operation of the Holy Spirit. These new doctrines were diligently recorded down in what is now known as the Christian Greek Scriptures.
2 Peter 1:21: “For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by Holy Spirit.”
Since what was written in the Bible is inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, it became a complete guidance for “all things” that a Christian needs to know to attain his or her salvation.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
However, when we read through the Qur’an we come across numerous verses which reveal the extent of Muhammad’s ignorance regarding fundamental spiritual truths of God. Consider now the following example:
Surah 17:85: They ask you (O Muhammad), about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind has not been given of knowledge except a little.” (Sahih International)
It is obvious that Muhammad had very little knowledge about the “soul.” Otherwise, he would not have evaded the questions of the inquirers. Understanding the concept of “soul” is a must to comprehend many of the basic truths regarding our salvation. Additionally, Allah even told Muhammad that if he has any doubts as to what Allah have revealed to him, then he should ask those who have been reading the Torah and the Gospel:
Surah 10:94: “And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture that was before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers.” (Pickthall)
Allah is commanding Muhammad to ask ordinary Jews and Christians for clarification if he has any doubts. Why? This is because the Bible is the authentic Word of God. If Muhammad is the promised “Helper” as Muslims believe, does it not surprise you to learn that this “Helper” who is supposed to “teach you all things,” has to be, instead, taught by ordinary Jews and Christians? The fact is that the true “Helper” has indeed equipped even ordinary Christians with sufficient knowledge to educate Muhammad. In another development, some Arabs wanted to know about the hereafter. They came to Muhammad and inquired as to what will happen in the hereafter. To the utter disappointment of his inquirers, Allah commanded Muhammad to confess the following:
Surah 46:9: “Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you.” (Shakir)
This pseudo “Helper” was unable to help his inquirers. They wanted words of assurance from Muhammad regarding the hereafter but he was unable to comfort them. Muhammad could not enlighten them about the truths of the hereafter because he simply does not know. How is it possible when he does not even know about the prospect of his own life in the hereafter? Imagine, the “Helper” who is supposed to guide Muslims into all truths is uncertain of his own future. While Muhammad was unaware of what the future holds, the true “Helper” which was sent to the Disciples of Jesus not only guided them “in all the truth” but it also revealed to them of things “yet to come.”
John 16:13: “And he will declare to you of the things coming.”
With the aid of God’s Holy Spirit, the Disciples foretold future events with remarkable precision:
Acts 11:28: One of them named Agabus rose and prophesied through the Spirit that a severe famine would affect the entire inhabited earth; which, for that matter, did take place in the time while Claudius was emperor.
This prophecy was fulfilled during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 C.E.). The Jewish historian Josephus referred to this “great famine” in his renowned historical works. – Jewish Antiquities, XX, 51 (ii, 5); XX, 101 (v, 2).
JOHN 14:26: “WILL BRING BACK TO YOUR MINDS”
Another vital function of the “Parakletos” is to bring back to the minds of the followers of Jesus Christ all the things that he had taught them:
John 14:26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name, that one will teach you all things and bring back to your minds all the things I told you.
Muhammad completely failed in this vital function of the “Parakletos” to bring back to the minds of the followers of Jesus all the things that he had taught them. In fact, Muhammad contradicted many of the basic teachings of Jesus Christ. Though there are many such contradictory teachings that Muhammad taught, we will consider just one example to prove our point. Compare the following teachings of Jesus with the teachings of Muhammad. Jesus taught:
Matthew 5:44: “However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.”
Matthew 26:52: Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.
And Muhammad taught:
Surah 9:29: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Yusuf Ali)
Surah 9:123: “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” (Shakir)
Tabari VIII:38: “The Messenger of Allah commanded that all of the Jewish men and boys who had reached puberty should be beheaded.”
As we can see, Muhammad taught and sanctioned the very sins that were contrary to the divine teachings of Jesus Christ. Not only did Jesus teach his Disciples to refrain from practicing such acts of violence as Muhammad did but he also cautioned them against even manifesting such a destructive spirit. Can it then be said that Muhammad was sent to call to mind the teachings of Jesus to his Disciples? Now we will consider another vital reason why Muhammad cannot be the promised “Parakletos.”
JOHN 15:26: “FROM THE FATHER”
The Gospel of John states explicitly that the Father is the originator of the “Parakletos.” Let us look at some verses to prove this point:
John 15:26: “When the Helper arrives that I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the Father, that one will bear witness about me.”
John 14:16: “I will request the Father and he will give you another Helper.”
John 14:26: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, which the Father will send in my name.”
There is no doubt who is the originator of the “Parakletos.” However, the Qur’an teaches that the Allah who sent Muhammad is not the Father of anyone. The following Qur’anic verses completely deny the possibility for humans to attain a loving relationship with God as their heavenly Father:
Surah 5:18: And the Jews and the Christians say: We are the sons of Allah and His beloved ones. Say: Why does He then chastise you for your faults? Nay, you are mortals from among those whom He has created. (Shakir)
Surah 9:30: And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (Pickthall)
Surah 10:68: They say: Allah hath taken (unto Him) a son – Glorified be He! He hath no needs! His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. Ye have no warrant for this. Tell ye concerning Allah that which ye know not? (Pickthall)
Surah 17:111: And say: Praise be to Allah, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence. And magnify Him with all magnificence. (Pickthall)
The above verses of the Qur’an clearly show that Allah is not the Father of Jesus. Neither is he the Father of the Jews or the Christians. Therefore, it is evident that the Father who promised to send the “Parakletos” through Jesus Christ cannot be the Allah of the Qur’an who sent Muhammad. Hence, the “Helper” that Jesus promised from the Father cannot be Muhammad.
Thus, if Muslims assert that Muhammad is the one whom Jesus promised, then they have to also accept that Muhammad came from the Father. However, if Muslims were to accept that Muhammad came from the Father, then they have to deny the teachings of the Qur’an. As usual, the claims of the Qur’an entrap Muslims and place them in a dilemma. The Holy Bible is consistent and clear on this matter:
Moses addressed God as his Father:
Deuteronomy 32:6: Is it to Jehovah that you keep doing this way, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father who has produced you, He who made you and proceeded to give you stability?
Israel addressed God as their Father:
Isaiah 63:16: For you are our Father; although Abraham himself may not have known us and Israel himself may not recognize us, you, O Jehovah, are our Father. Our Repurchaser of long ago is your name.
Christians address God as their Father:
Matthew 6:9-10: “‘Our Father in the heavens let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day; and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
And Jesus addressed God as his Father:
John 17:11: “Also, I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am coming to you. Holy Father, watch over them on account of your own name which you have given me, in order that they may be one just as we are.
In contrast, centuries later Muhammad comes along and denies God is a Father to anyone. According to the Qur’an it is blasphemous to consider God as a Father:
Surah 10:68: They say, ‘God has children!’ May He be exalted! He is the Self-Sufficient One; everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. You have no authority to say this. How dare you say things about God without any knowledge? (Abdel Haleem)
Thus, the Allah who sent Muhammad as a messenger to the Muslims cannot be the Father who sent Jesus:
John 20:21: Jesus, therefore, said to them again: “May you have peace. Just as the Father has sent me forth, I also am sending you.
The Gospel of John clearly teaches that it is the Father who is the originator of the “Helper.” (John 14:16-17; John 15:26-27) As such, Muhammad does not qualify to be the promised “Helper” because he denies the Father. How can someone who denies the very source of the “Helper” be the “Helper”? According to the 99 names of Allah, not one of them is called Father. It is illogical for Muslims to argue that Muhammad is the “Helper” whom the Father has promised to send when Islam denies the Father. Given these facts, Muslims who say that Muhammad is the “Helper” should reexamine their position.
THE ABSURDITY OF THE MUSLIM CLAIM
Is it not ironical that Muslims have to rely on the Gospel of John to authenticate the prophethood of Muhammad when this same Gospel also teaches that Jesus is the Son of God (John 20:31), that Jesus was put to death (John 19:17), was buried (John 19:38-42), and was resurrected (John 2:22)? All these events are in direct conflict with the teachings of the Qur’an. Furthermore, in the very chapters to which Muslims appeal for their predictions about Muhammad, we find Jesus proclaiming that he is the only way to God. (John 14:6) It makes us wonder why Muslims appeal to a Gospel that is so diametrically opposed to Islam. And it also makes us wonder why Muslims refuse to accept the rest of the Gospel of John as the Word of God? Why do they accept some parts and reject the rest? Do they not know that by doing so they are subverting the very teachings of Allah in the Qur’an?
Surah 2:85: “Then is it only a part of the Book that you believe in, and do you reject the rest? But what is the reward for those among you who behave like this but disgrace in this life? – And on the Day of Judgment they shall be consigned to the most grievous penalty. For Allah is not unmindful of what you do.” (Yusuf Ali)
If Muslims submit to the above teachings of the Qur’an and accept the complete Bible as the Word of God, then they have to reject the Qur’an since it contradicts the Bible. However, if they reject the above teachings of the Qur’an and boldly deny parts of the Bible, then they are no longer Muslims. This is the dilemma for the Muslims. And Muslim scholars know this. Muslims lose if they do and Muslims lose if they don’t. Muslims must consider if they want to rest their salvation in a religion as blasphemous as this.
A VITAL TRUTH FOR SINCERE MUSLIMS TO CONSIDER
Before we conclude this article we want Muslims to consider one very important Surah in the Qur’an that is significantly linked to our discussion. Read the following Surah carefully:
Surah 32:23: “We did indeed give the Book to Moses, so do not be in doubt of its reaching you, and We made it a guide to the Children of Israel.” (Bilal Muhammad)
“We did indeed aforetime give the Book to Moses: Be not then in doubt of its reaching you: And we made it a guide to the Children of Israel.” (Yusuf Ali)
When Allah told Muhammad, “Be not then in doubt of its reaching you,” it is obvious that Allah was speaking of the uncorrupted, authentic copy of the Book of Torah that he gave to Moses. It will certainly be absurd for Allah to say above words if the Book of Moses were to reach Muhammad with changes or alterations in it. If it is possible for uncorrupted copies of the Torah that were written centuries before the Gospel to be available to Muhammad, then we can be confident that authentic copies of the Gospel must also be available to him. The Qur’an itself proves consistently that preserved copies of both the Torah and the Gospel were available during the time of Muhammad. The following Surahs in the Qur’an substantiate this fact:
Surah 5:46-47: We caused Jesus, son of Mary to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling what had been revealed before him in the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, which contained guidance and light, fulfilling what was revealed before it in the Torah: a guide and an admonition to the God-fearing. Therefore, let those who follow the Gospel judge according to what God has revealed in it. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are rebellious. (W. Khan)
Surah 5:66: And if they had followed the teachings of the Torah and the Gospel, and what has been sent down to them by their Lord, they would surely have enjoyed blessings from the heavens above and the earth below their feet. (Ahmed Ali)
Surah 5:68: Say: “O followers of the Bible! You have no valid ground for your beliefs – unless you truly observe the Torah and the Gospel, and all that has been bestowed from on high upon you by your Sustainer!” (Asad)
How would it be possible for Allah to command the Jews and Christians of Muhammad’s day to “observe the Torah and the Gospel” if these Scriptures had already become corrupted by then? Surah 5 is also known as Surah Al-Maidah. And Surah Al-Maidah was revealed during the period spanning the last five years of Muhammad’s life. Muhammad’s prophetic career lasted twenty-three years and this Surah was revealed piecemeal from the eighteenth to the twenty-third year. The third verse of this Surah was revealed during his last pilgrimage or as Muslims call it, “the Farewell Pilgrimage,” which he performed shortly before his death. Thus, even at this late stage of the Qur’an’s revelation, the Bible remained untouched by corruption.
What can we learn from the above Qur’anic verses? They prove that authentic copies of the Bible existed at the time of Muhammad. Not only the Torah and the Gospel were in the possession of the Jews and the Christians but as the following Qur’anic verses show, they were also available to the Muslims. But more importantly, Allah even commands the Muslims to believe in them:
Surah 2:136: “Say (O Muslims): ‘We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinctions between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Pickthall)
Surah 4:136: Believers, hold on to your faith in God and His Messenger, as well as the Book that He has gradually sent down to His Messenger, as well as the Book that He sent down before. He who denies God, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day has gone far astray. (Safi Kaskas)
All the above Qur’anic verses point to one very important fact. If the claim that Jesus specifically foretold the coming of a messenger named Ahmad is actually true, then an examination of the Gospel at the time of Muhammad could easily verify the existence of this specific prophecy of Muhammad in the Bible.
When Surah 61:6 was revealed, Muhammad could have easily obtained the Gospel and identify the relevant passages that prophesied about him. And he could have easily enumerated the relevant passages of the Bible as evidence for all future generations. The specific chapters and verses of the Bible where these astounding prophecies are revealed would surely be recorded in the annals of the early Islamic sources. Such remarkable evidences as these would be recorded without fail in the Hadiths, Sira and Tafsirs of the great Muslim scholars.
Muhammad could have also shared such important evidences with the early Muslim followers. There would be numerous eye witnesses’ accounts of early Muslims who were privileged to see with their own eyes the prophecies about their Prophet in the previous Scriptures of God. The names of these eye-witnesses would also be recorded in the Hadiths, Sira and Tafsirs. If not all, at least the names of Muhammad’s closest and most important Companions such as the first two Caliphs of Islam–Caliph Abu Bakr and Caliph Omar. But nothing of this sort happened. There is no evidence in the Hadiths, Sira and Tafsirs to show that Muhammad did any of the things mentioned above. Not a single testimony validating Surah 61:6 by any of the contemporaries of Muhammad can be found in the early sources of Islam.
Moreover, since Surah 61:6 is supposed to be a direct quotation from Jesus, Muhammad could have easily located the specific chapter and verse where Jesus said those words in the Bible. If this simple exercise was carried out, Muslims would have been spared the effort of trying to figure out where in the world the prophecy of Muhammad is recorded in the Bible. This simple exercise was never carried out because there was nothing in the Bible that remotely supported the claim made in this Qur’anic verse. Muhammad avoided giving any specific details because he knew that his claims would not stand up to scrutiny. Such important testimonies would not be overlooked if they were true. The problem with Surah 61:6 is that Jesus never made this prediction.
Now, let us compare Muhammad’s false claim that he was prophesied in the earlier Scriptures with the true claim of Jesus. Jesus not only pointed out the exact verses in the Old Testament that prophesied about him but he also publicly showed these verses to his listeners:
Luke 4:16-21: And he came to Nazareth, where he had been reared; and, according to his custom on the Sabbath day, he entered into the synagogue, and he stood up to read. So the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed him, and he opened the scroll and found the place where it was written: “Jehovah’s spirit is upon me, because he anointed me to declare good news to the poor, he sent me forth to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind, to send the crushed ones away with a release, to preach Jehovah’s acceptable year.” With that he rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were intently fixed upon him. Then he started to say to them: “Today this Scripture that you just heard is fulfilled.”
Jesus specifically quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2. And the Qur’an admits that Jesus fulfilled these prophecies that were recorded about him in the Scroll of Isaiah:
Surah 3:49: As a messenger to the Children of Israel: “I come to you with a Sign from your Lord… I restore vision to the blind, heal the leprous, and I revive the dead by God’s leave. I can tell you what you eat, and what you store in your homes. This should be a proof for you, if you are believers.” (Khalifa)
In addition, the Qur’an also records Jesus as saying:
Surah 3:50: “I have come to you, to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was before forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God, and obey me.” (Yusuf Ali)
There are more than enough evidences to proof that Jesus never prophesied about the coming of a prophet (a mortal man) after him. Even so, the evidences provided here are not exhaustive as there are still many more facts to prove why Muhammad cannot be the promised “Parakletos.” We encourage Muslims to read John Chapters 14-16 in their entirety to have a clear understanding of the “Parakletos.” The nature and the functions of the “Helper” as described in the Gospel of John clearly demonstrate that Muhammad simply cannot be the promised “Parakletos.” In conclusion, we will look at one important function of the “Parakletos” and compare it with Muhammad:
John 16:13: However, when the Spirit of the Truth arrives, he will guide you into all the truth.
One very important function of the “Parakletos” is to “guide” the followers of Jesus “into all the truth.” Now compare the above stated purpose of the “Parakletos” with the confession of the “Periklutos” (Ahmed) in Surah 72:21. Muslims who believe that Muhammad is the promised Prophet whose coming is prophesied in the Bible should seriously consider the confession made by him in the following Qur’anic verse. Your salvation depends very much on how you respond to this confession of Muhammad. Muhammad the “Periklutos” confessed:
Surah 72:21: “It is not in my power to cause you harm or bring you good by guiding you to the Straight Path.” (Ali Unal)
While the “Parakletos” provided guidance to the followers of Jesus, the “Periklutos” admits that he cannot guide anyone. By his very own confession, Muhammad admitted that he cannot guide Muslims to the “Straight Path” of salvation. Will it be sensible for Muslims to place their eternal salvation in this man? It will be wise for Muslims to leave Muhammad and accept the invitation of Jesus Christ:
Mark 10:21: “Come be my follower.”
And Jesus gives us a compelling reason to accept his invitation. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 14:6