Religious Wisdom: The Role of The Holy Spirit in Islam and Christianity

Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Sometimes writing is hard. Sometimes it’s easy, it depends on different moods, times, and situations to need to write on a specific topic.

Time for another post in my new series, Religious Wisdom where I write about Religious Sacred knowledge between different Religions through wisdom.

Wisdom (‘aql in arabic) is a hidden power of thinking and logic.

It discovers unknown realities from the known ones. Wisdom makes logical rules using plausible reasoning by induction and deduction. Wisdom then reaches useful conclusions and results based on these logical rules.

There are several synonyms used for wisdom in practice including but not limited to reason, intellect, insight, acumen, balance, clear thinking, comprehension, enlightenment, foresight, good judgment, clear judgment, judiciousness, prudence, sagacity, sanity, rationality, savvy, shrewdness and understanding. Most prevalent antonyms of wisdom are ignorance and stupidity.

Allah teaches us so much through wisdom if we every one are willing to watch and listen to see and hear the Wisdom. Allah teaches us a lot about Himself, through wisdom. He teaches us about lots of topics.

Quran has put a great amount of emphasis on applying wisdom in all matters including gaining the knowledge about God, life after death, interpreting history, relationships of various religions, knowing good and evils, justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, nature of this world, moral and immoral and the purpose of this life.

As a result of this importance, the Qur’an acknowledges the “authority” (hajjah) of wisdom.

This is a series of different stories that highlight several approaches to the wisdom concept in the Sacred text sources and the general concept of philosophy science.

The purpose behind this series is to build a sacred conversation between different Believers of different religions and clear many misconceptions and bring peace to society.

I hope you medium readers will enjoy and take this opportunity to learn new things about other religions.

Let's start today's first story of this series where I'll share the importance of religious spirit in two major religions Abrahamic religions Islam and Christianity and its impact on our lives. Both religions have different faiths and beliefs about different things.

According to the Sacred text sources, faith is essential in both Islam and Christianity.

In Christianity, faith is the belief in the one God, and he created the heavens and the earth. This divine Godhead consists of three parts: the father (God himself), the son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.

Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

Faith in Islam is very simple, Believing in the oneness of the Almighty Allah (which is unseen to the naked eye and felt by Heart and Minds only) His angels, His books, His messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in providence both its good and its bad.

Source: Sahih Muslim 8, Grade: Sahih

Faith comes with logical thinking removing all preconceive though and options and open mildness.

Religious Spirit:

The spirit of religion is a shift from joyful obedience to God and a transformed life, to simply doing the right things and abstaining from the wrong ones. The spirit of religion only allows for outward righteousness.

Holy Spirit:

It is the Holy Spirit. It is such a being who perplexed the followers of the Abrahamic religions for there is no consensus over the Holy Spirit’s status:

if he is God or an angel or what?

Each Abrahamic religion has its own conception of this unusual being. It is impossible to reconcile those conceptions given the considerable disparity among them.

Let’s consider the nature of this being in the light of the Qur’an on the one hand and The New Testament of the Bible on the other hand.

The Holy Spirit in Islam:

In Islam, the Holy Spirit is Gabriel, who is an angel of God. He is sometimes mentioned by the name “Gabriel”, whereas he is sometimes referred to as “Holy Spirit”. He is exclusively named “Holy Spirit” to the exclusion of the other angels given his central role in the revelation of the Holy Scriptures and his support of the prophets of God.

The Holy Spirit (Arabic: روح القدس, ruh al-qudus) is mentioned four times in the Quran, where it acts as an agent of divine action or communication.

The Quran refers to rūḥ as Ruh al-qudus (Arabic: روح القدس, “the holy spirit” or “spirit of holiness”) and al-ruh al-amin (“the faithful/trustworthy spirit”). The holy spirit is more commonly known as archangel Gabriel (Arabic: جبريل‎, Jibrīl or جبرائيل‎, Jibrāʾīl) the messenger to all the prophets.

“The majority of scholars said that this refers to Jibril (peace be upon him), and that Allah called him al-Ruh al-Ameen, Ruh al-Qudus, and Jibril who is said to have brought down the Quran in verse 26:193, and identified with Gabriel.”

The evidence for Gabriel being “the Holy Spirit” is the frequent reference to him that it is he who brought down the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad and that it is he who supports him along with the other prophets. Such are some of the qualities of the Holy Spirit as set out in the Quran.

About bringing the Qur’an down by Gabriel, we read in the Quran:

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel should know that he revealed this ˹Quran˺ to your heart by Allah’s Will, confirming what came before it — a guide and good news for the believers.” ( Quran Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 97)

About his support of Prophet Muhammad, we also read:

˹It will be better˺ if you ˹wives˺ both turn to Allah in repentance, for your hearts have certainly faltered. But if you ˹continue to˺ collaborate against him, then ˹know that˺ Allah Himself is his Guardian. And Gabriel, the righteous believers, and the angels are ˹all˺ his supporters as well.( Quran At-Tahrim 66: Verse 4)

About bringing the Quran down by the Holy Spirit, we read in the Qur’an:

Say, “The holy spirit1 has brought it down from your Lord with the truth to reassure the believers, and as a guide and good news for those who submit ˹to Allah˺.” ( Quran An-Nahl 16: Verse 102)

About his support of prophets and messengers, we also read:

Allah said :

And ˹on Judgment Day˺ Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour upon you and your mother: how I supported you with the holy spirit1 so you spoke to people in ˹your˺ infancy and adulthood. How I taught you writing, wisdom, the Torah, and the Gospel. How you moulded a bird from clay — by My Will — and breathed into it and it became a ˹real˺ bird — by My Will. How you healed the blind and the lepers — by My Will. How you brought the dead to life — by My Will. How I prevented the Children of Israel from harming you when you came to them with clear proofs and the disbelievers among them said, “This is nothing but pure magic.” [ Quran al-Maidah 5: Verse110]

Allah supported the Messiah (peace be upon him) with Ruh al-Qudus as He mentions in this ayah. In al-Baqarah Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

Indeed, We gave Moses the Book and sent after him successive messengers. And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the holy spirit (Gabriel) .1 Why is it that every time a messenger comes to you ˹Israelites˺ with something you do not like, you become arrogant, rejecting some and killing others? [ Quran al-Baqarah 2: Verse 87]

About the Holy Spirit giving life from and with the permission of God, the Qur’an tells us that he played a role in Lady Mary’s pregnancy with Jesus. In the Qur’an, we read:

And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Spirit, and he represented himself to her as a well-proportioned man. She said, “Indeed, I seek refuge in the Most Merciful from you, [so leave me], if you should be fearing of Allah.” He said, “I am only the messenger of your Lord to give you [news of] a pure boy. ( Quran Maryam 19: Verses 17–19)

About the Holy Spirit being salvation for all creation in terms of judgment, we also read:

Say, [O Muhammad], “The Holy Spirit has brought it down from your Lord in truth to make firm those who believe and as guidance and good tidings to the Muslims. ( Quran An-Nahl 16: Verse 102)

The Holy Spirit in Christianity:

In Christianity, the Holy Spirit is the third of three persons constituting God. Along with the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit is God. There are different sects or schools of thought in Christianity that have different faiths and beliefs on different things.

According to Orthodoxy, he proceeded from the Father only. According to Catholicism and Protestantism, he proceeded from both the Father and the Son altogether.

In this video, he explored the original meaning of the biblical concept of “spirit” and what it means that God’s Spirit is personally present in all of creation.

Let’s have a look at the Holy Spirit’s nature According to the New Testament of the Bible

Holy Spirit is indeed a divine person because He possesses a mind, emotions, and a will. The Holy Spirit thinks and knows (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26–27). He makes decisions according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:7–11). The Holy Spirit is God, the Third Person of the Trinity. As God, the Holy Spirit can truly function as the Comforter and Counselor that Jesus promised He would be (John 14:16, 26, 15:26)

Final Thoughts:

There are three of the world’s major monotheist tradition religions Islam, Christianity, and Judaism were all born in the Middle East and are all inextricably linked to one another. Most importantly Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are called the Abrahamic religions because of their origins.

For the last few centuries, there has often been conflict between the Abrahamic religions. As a result, many people think that they are very different, but there is actually a rich cultural interchange them where there are many who shared similar common beliefs, morals, principles, and injunctions for their behavior and conduct between them but their religious main ideologies and core faiths are basically different them.

Thus we find a difference between Christianity and Islam with regard to the nature and role of the Holy Spirit.

Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person in the Trinity, while Muslims believe him as the most honorable angel responsible to bring down the divine message to the prophets of Allah.

One of the most important religiously obligatory demands today is a proper understanding of the universal Abrahamic religion and its purification from the influences that have covered this divine religion through the centuries. This is because this universal religion of God, which was preached by our forefather, the Prophet Abraham (PBUH), is the same religion that has united all of us Ahl al-Kitab through general and common principles.

These common principles, which form our general beliefs, are Unity, Prophecy, Resurrection, Divine Duties, Human Rights, and Ethics.

These beliefs are the savior of humankind from fatal nihilism, which has closed the doors of hope for people to enter the felicitous life and a better future that is the most genuine wish of humankind.

The need to properly understand the universal divine religion is not imposed on us only by the developments of our present time. Rather, this need is stressed in the divine books which invite all of us Ahl al-Kitab to enjoy a common felicitous material and spiritual life. If Ahl al-Kitab had paid the necessary attention to these texts, there would have been no Crusades or other such wars in the name of religion.

In the end, Resources and references that can introduce the Abrahamic religion to us are among the most important subjects that this conference should seek to examine. These resources and references are Holy sacred books in which Ahl al-Kitab ( Quran in Islam) believe and to which they refer for their beliefs, duties, and ethics. and also Pure essence and wisdom, free from pollution and error.

The Holy Qur’an says:

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “O People of the Book! Let us come to common terms: that we will worship none but Allah, associate none with Him, nor take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we have submitted ˹to Allah alone˺.” ( Quran Surah Al Imran 3: verse 64)

This unity is the goal of Ahl al-Kitab. The universal Abrahamic religion, as the Quran suggests in the following words, harkens to the need for building precisely this unity:

Then We revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], to follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allāh. ( Quran Surah An-Nahl 16: verse 123)

The unity of the goals of all the prophets of Allah (PBUH) and the need for following all the prophets are mentioned in Qur’an as follows:

The Messenger ˹firmly˺ believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. They ˹all˺ believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His messengers. ˹They proclaim,˺ “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and obey. ˹We seek˺ Your forgiveness, our Lord! And to You ˹alone˺ is the final return.” ( Quran Surah Al-Baqarah 2: verse 285)

The unity of meaning and goals of the divine books is also mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

Indeed, We revealed the Torah, containing guidance and light, by which the prophets, who submitted themselves to Allah, made judgments for Jews. So too did the rabbis and scholars judge according to Allah’s Book, with which they were entrusted and of which they were made keepers. So do not fear the people; fear Me! Nor trade my revelations for a fleeting gain. And those who do not judge by what Allah has revealed are ˹truly˺ the disbelievers. ( Quran Surah Al-Ma’idah 5: verse 44)

Today, we testify that we are at the beginning of the process through which Almighty God can help us all in the quest to arrive at religious unity by moving in this direction. We should not fear the problems that might arise on the way, because we are duty-bound to tread this path to felicitous life. For this purpose, we need to properly reflect on and interpret the holy books in order to comprehend the universal Abrahamic religion, relying on God alone for this purpose.

And Allah knows best.

References:

1- The Qur’an

2- The Bible

3- islamweb.net

4- islamqa.info

5- Quran.com

6- Some Islamic Sacred Textual sources

7- Britannica and some other websites and books

learnreligions.com

I hope you believe and grasp how faith impacts your life. Prayer, reciting Sacred text according to your religion like Quran in Islam about spiritual growth and will help you walk out your faith day by day.

It turns out that regular participation in faith-based activities is good for the body and mind, too.

May Allah bless you all

Finally, I pray to Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.

And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless you with happiness, success, guidance, health, and knowledge. May Almighty Allah give us the strength to follow the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and make us part of the group who is among the most righteous! Ameen.

Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!

Always start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah (SWT) and also, I ask Allah (SWT) to make my work dedicated only to him and forgiveness from Allah (SWT), if I have got anything wrong. It is He who is the Hearing, the knowing.

I will be calmer, I will spread love as long as I can, I will live a spiritual life, I will do what I please no matter what and I will prove my theories.

Yeah, don’t forget to follow me for more amazing content. Happy Reading!!!

If you enjoyed reading, learned anything interesting, or know anyone who should read this, please feel free to recommend or write a response. I’m always excited to hear from others and learn.

You can read my most popular medium stories here.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store