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Identifying the Holy Spirit

Identifying the Holy Spirit

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Published by M.Usman Shahid
What follows is more or less a Muslim presentation regarding the identity of the Holy Spirit deduced from a range of Scriptural literature consisting of both Judaeo-Christian and Islamic sources. Though Muslims over-time have been quite unanimous with regards to his identity, Christians have and to this day debate the true identity, personality, and function of the Holy Spirit. Hence, our observation - as we hope - will incite Christian audience including the Muslim.
What follows is more or less a Muslim presentation regarding the identity of the Holy Spirit deduced from a range of Scriptural literature consisting of both Judaeo-Christian and Islamic sources. Though Muslims over-time have been quite unanimous with regards to his identity, Christians have and to this day debate the true identity, personality, and function of the Holy Spirit. Hence, our observation - as we hope - will incite Christian audience including the Muslim.

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Published by: M.Usman Shahid on Nov 25, 2012
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IDENTIFYINGIDENTIFYINGIDENTIFYINGIDENTIFYINGTHE HOLY SPIRITTHE HOLY SPIRITTHE HOLY SPIRITTHE HOLY SPIRIT
 What follows is more or less a Muslim presentation regarding theidentity of the Holy Spirit (Heb. Roakh ha-Kodesh) deduced from arange of Scriptural literature consisting of both Judaeo-Christian andIslamic sources. Though Muslims over-time have been quite unani-mous with regards to his identity, Christians have and to this day debate the true identity, personality, and function of the Holy Spirit.Hence, our observation - as we hope - will incite Christian audienceincluding the Muslim. We also like to state at the outset that ourobservation is entirely educational and may not be considered thefinal say with regards to the topic at hand. We comfortably andconfidently approve our work, at the same time, are open tocorrection in any possible error in interpretation and expect similarsentiments of our respected readers.INTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTIONINTRODUCTION At first we did not give the issue proper worth up until havingrecently re-read the Pentateuch (Torah) whence the idea and will totackle the subject sprout to front. What is quite apparent even after asuperficial observation of the Hebrew Bible is the reality that theabstracted appellation ‘Spirit of God’ represents the personal and
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active ambassador of God throughout known religious history, andin particular the Israelite prophetic era. The Spirit has been God’s way of self-expression, personification of His wisdom, embodimentof command, power, judgment, and God’s primary source entrustedto bring divine guidance (revelation) to chosen prophets andanointed emissaries. When the person of the Holy Spirit descends onhuman messengers, for example, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Jesus, Muhammad, etc, (peace be upon them [p]), the event signifiesa prototype of the End-times: God coming in His glorious presenceto establish judgment and pass verdict on men just as He shall docome the Final Hour
[Quran 4:165]
. Thus, Exodus 33:14 reads: “My “My “My “My presencepresencepresencepresence ( ((the Spiritthe Spiritthe Spiritthe Spirit) ) ) ) shall go with youshall go with youshall go with youshall go with you,,,, and I will give you restand I will give you restand I will give you restand I will give you rest((ShechinahShechinahShechinahShechinah). ). ). ).”Before we proceed, it is crucial to note that the word ‘spirit’ in itself designates name nor entity, rather, the term more commonly relatesa metaphoric representation of an abstract object known as ‘soul’(Heb. naphash)
[Job 7:11, Isaiah 26:9]
. The word basically is a connotationcarrying a wide range of meanings related to human essence orpneuma of life (roakh)
[See: John 6:63, Genesis 2:7, Job 33:4, Isaiah 42:5, Ezekiel 37:5, Quran15:29]
, like heart, faith, and cognizance
[Deuteronomy 2:30, Job 15:12-13, 32:8, 2Esdras5:22, 16:61-62, Psalm 51:10, Quran 32:9, 58:22]
. The word denotes God’s word orrevelation spurring and re-vitalizing the dead of heart
[Quran 2:179, 17:82-88,42:52, Isaiah 59:21, 1Chronicles 15:1]
, also, divine messenger or ambassador i.e.an angel (Heb. malak) authorized to convey that message of life ontohumans
[2Samuel 23:1-2, Judges 2, Quran 22:75]
and chosen mortal messenger(s) whereby life granting guidance be promulgated
[Deuteronomy 18:18-19, John 6:
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63, Quran 8:24, 26:191-195]
. It also denotes righteousness as opposed to evil
[Numbers 14:24, Job 27:3-4, 33, Quran 66:12]
, and in fact, all noble men and women(saints) may allegorically be termed ‘spirits’ serving tools to cleanseand cure human hearts
[Joel 2:28-29]
. Thus, ‘spirit’ should be seen asanalogical description of the attribute of what-ever relates life.Moreover, the term ‘Holy Sprit’ as used in Scripture should beconsidered and read an attributive quality as long as it in contextdoes not imply individuality, but when it does ascribe personality and uses the term as appellation, then it speaks specifically of thatentity who after God is the highest source of guidance (nobility, life,spirit) to man. So inasmuch as if it be merely an appellation, then thequestion arises, with whom exactly does the
title
‘Holy Spirit’ identify  with?THE HOLY SPIRIT IN ISLAMTHE HOLY SPIRIT IN ISLAMTHE HOLY SPIRIT IN ISLAMTHE HOLY SPIRIT IN ISLAMTo present first the Muslim case, we cite two intimations (ayaat) fromthe Quran which breviate nicely the Islamic perspective. The Quranreads: HeHeHeHe ((GodGodGodGod) ) ) ) sends the angels with revelation by His order tosends the angels with revelation by His order tosends the angels with revelation by His order tosends the angels with revelation by His order to whoever of His servants He pleases whoever of His servants He pleases whoever of His servants He pleases whoever of His servants He pleases,,,, commandingcommandingcommandingcommanding:::: “warn mankind“warn mankind“warn mankind“warn mankindthat there is no deity save Methat there is no deity save Methat there is no deity save Methat there is no deity save Me,,,, so be wary of Me”so be wary of Me”so be wary of Me”so be wary of Me”,,,, ............ Tell themTell themTell themTell them,,,, “the“the“the“theHoly Spirit has brought itHoly Spirit has brought itHoly Spirit has brought itHoly Spirit has brought it ( ((revelationrevelationrevelationrevelation) ) ) ) down as truth from yourdown as truth from yourdown as truth from yourdown as truth from yourLordLordLordLord,,,, so that He may strengthen those who believeso that He may strengthen those who believeso that He may strengthen those who believeso that He may strengthen those who believe,,,, and also asand also asand also asand also asguidance and as good tidings for those who submitguidance and as good tidings for those who submitguidance and as good tidings for those who submitguidance and as good tidings for those who submit ( ((their will totheir will totheir will totheir will toGodGodGodGod) )) )”” (Quran 16:2,102. cf. 2:97). In Muslim angelology, the supremeagency through whom God expresses Himself and communicatesguidance with emissaries and prophets is a tremendously powerful
[81:20]
and sanctified
[27:8]
messenger (malak) named Gabriel
[Quran 2:97,
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