Q / A
44. Understanding Allah, Jesus and the holy Spirit
I am a Roman Catholic. We
believe in Jesus, Mary, and other saints. We give more importance to
Mary. I met
one Palestinian student in my chat. I asked him about Mary, Jesus, and God. He
said Mary has a blessing from God. Jesus is not the son of God. Jesus is a
prophet. But he told me that Allah is God. What is the difference between Allah,
God, and Jesus?
Truth is always plain and simple, while falseness is inevitably complex and confusing. All Prophets of God preached the same simple truth of the One Sovereign God.
1. Who is Allah? 2. Who is God? Allah is God. The name Allah is the Arabic word for God; more precisely: the One Eternal Creator, Lord of the whole universe. It is the same Arabic name for God (الله), used by the Arabic Bible. It is pronounced almost the same in other Semitic languages: "Eloha" in Hebrew, and "Allaha" in Aramaic. According to Jesus, God is One, not a part of trinity, with no partner whatsoever:
*Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and him only. (Matthew 4:10)
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone”. (Luke 18:19)
*“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.” (Mark 12:32)
*”The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Mark 12:29)
3. Who is Jesus then? Jesus is one of the long string of Prophets of Allah sent to all nations along history, starting from Adam who received the first guidance from Allah (God), to their last one, Prophet Muhammad. Jesus was sent particularly to the Israelites, to set them back on the proper track of Moses, as in his own words in the Bible:
*"I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)
*"Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you: 'Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."' (Matthew 5:17-18):
He was a full human Prophet of God, as he emphatically declared:
*As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. (John 8:40)
*“What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. (Luke 24:19)
*By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear. (John 5:30)
*"I do nothing of myself" (John 8:28)
In all aspects, the Gospels portray him like that, i.e. a human who: was born, circumcised, and grown up (Luke 2:5-7, 21, 40, 52, 11:27), who suffered hunger and thirst (Matthew 4:2, 11:19, 21:18), who got tired and slept like any human being (Matthew 8:20, 24-25, Luke 8:23, Mark 4:38, John 4:6), he was subject to human feelings of fear, astonishment and sadness (Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:33-34, John 11:33, 35, 38), who prayed to his Creator like any human believer willingly does (Mark 1:35, 14: 35, Luke 5:16, 6:12 ).
Having no father does not mean he was son of God. Adam had neither father nor mother; yet both of them are bondsmen of Allah created by His Will and Power, by His Word "Be"; Adam from earthly dust, and Jesus in the womb of Virgin Mary. This is precisely and unequivocally defined in the Qur'an (English meaning) as follows:
- Surely the likeness of `Isa (Jesus) in the Providence of Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He Allah) created him of dust, thereafter He said to him, “Be!” so he is (i.e., he was). (English meaning of Qur'an, 3:59)
So, neither Jesus nor Adam are sons of God. References to Jesus in the Bible as son of God should not be taken in the literal sense, rather in the metaphoric sense of affection and nearness to God. Jesus himself affirms that we are all sons of God in this sense:
are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
*But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. (Matthew 6:6)
Similar references to human beings as "sons of God" are used in the Old Testament:
*When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men...-And also afterward -when the sons of God went to the daughters of men. (Genesis 6:1-4)
*Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son’. (Exodus 4:22)
*You are the children of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 14:1)
Finally, in his own words, Jesus declared himself as the "son of man":
*Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Matthew 8: 20)
*Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up. (John 3:14)
4. Can one see all of them? Of course not. Our human capabilities are limited by the nature of our senses: vision in a certain wavelength range (4 to 7 X10-7 meters), hearing in a certain frequency range (2500 to 4000 per second). Even the power of our instruments – however advanced - are limited:
- in scale: by the huge universal dimensions in light years,
- and in nature: to our detectable electromagnetic wave systems. So we cannot see or detect anything different from or beyond (in nature, time or space) these systems; neither the angels nor any non-earthly being, not to say: God the Creator and Dominator of all His creation. This is affirmed both in the Qur'an and in the Bible:
- Beholdings (i.e., eyesights) cannot perceive Him, and He perceives beholdings and He is The Ever-Kind, The Ever-Cognizant. (English meaning of Qur'an 6:103)
*"Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his
shape." How can you see a spirit then? What they saw was Jesus, not God." (John
5. Are they all (God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit) the same? First: who is the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost? A careful reading of the Gospels clarifies that the Holy Spirit is himself the Angel Gabriel. Compare the two narrations of Matthew and Luke:
*"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 1:18).
*"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary." (Luke 1:26-27).
This accords with the Qur'an:
- We sent to her (Mary) Our Ruh (angel Gabriel), and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects…(The angel) said, “I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son (English meaning of Qur'an 19: 17,19).
So, each of: God the Lord, Jesus the human prophet, and the Holy Spirit Gabriel is separate. The doctrine of Trinity is totally baseless. It was never preached by Jesus, nor by his followers for three centuries. The word "trinity" is nowhere in the Bible. The whole concept was derived from the words of John, not of Jesus, who (John) never met Jesus:
*"And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement." (I John 5:7-8)
But the expression was later corrected, and the first expression was removed in the revised translations of the Bible, to read only:
*"For there are three witness bearers: the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement."
The myth of trinity had gradually crept into Christianity, influenced by Pagan beliefs and Greek mythology, to be adopted by the Nicea Council in 325 CE.
6. "Suppose I want to pray?" This could not be an assumptive question! If you fully accept Islam, i.e. belief in the One (not trinitarian) God, and the message revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the miraculous word of God, i.e. Qur'an, this would be your first honorable step to the truth of Islam. The following steps are straight forward, and can be taken without any intermediary or clergy. It is something between you and your Creator, yet in the way he ordained. You can find the necessary details either in the link "Your Way to Islam" and other Islamic sources; and you could better still refer to a trustworthy Islamic Center for guidance and support. Best wishes for you in this most blessed trip to the pure Divine Truth.