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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Holy Spirit in Quran

The Holy Spirit is in the Quran, often the Arabic word for Ruh is used, some times mistranslated angel Gabriel. This word is close to the Hebrew, Ruach ha-kodesh. We must remember vowels like Hebrew would not put in the original Quran so the Arabic/Aramaic may borrow from the Hebrew. There was also a Jewish community in the area where the Prophet Muhammed journeyed so he may have come across a mixture of languages.

The Hebrew word Shekhinah can also be found in the Quran. It is the Arabic word As-Sakinah. Notice how similar these words are, both meaning "spirit". The Quran does not give the word justice translating it "peace or tranquillity" but should be rendered "Holy Spirit" or the "Shekhinah".

From Wikipedia:

Karen Armstrong notes: "The sakinah it will also be recalled, seems to be related to the Hebrew Shekhinah, the term for God’s presence in the world." ... Sufi writings, in expounding the inner peace of Sufi contemplation, which dwells in a sanctuary or in the heart, confirm the association with both Sakinah and the Shekhinah. Sufi reference to sa-ka-na as meaning both stillness and habitation adds to the identity with Shekhinah's indwelling nature.
Surah 48:26, "... then God sent down His Sakinah (heb Shekhinah) upon His Messenger and upon the believers and made them stick to the word of piety; and they were well entitled to it and worthy of it".

Surah 48:18, "... He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah (heb Shekhinah) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory".

God sends the Shekhinah to the Prophet Muhammed and the believers. We have a similar story in the New Testament on the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4, "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord[a] in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

We have the God of Israel in the Heavens sending down His Holy Spirit to Prophet Muhammed saying that they are entitled to it. This makes the prophecy of Muhammed a continuation of the "congregation of Israel". Jews and Christians who contend the Quran is not an inspired book have difficult questions to answer. We can haggle over translations and misinterpretations but it's overall message is the same as Christianity and Judaism: The resurrection of the dead, The Great White Judgement, Reward and Punishment, Seven Heavens, Hell and Heaven, Gardens of Paradise and the Shekhinah. These concepts can be found in all three religions.

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