Synonyms of Zakah in the Bible
In the bible, Zakah is mentioned under the meaning of benevolence:
“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.” (Psalms, 41-1)
“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink”.(Proverbs, 25-21).
It is also mentioned under the meaning of “Charity”:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”( Matthew 6/1-3)
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys”. (Luke 12:33).
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do…”.( Matthew 6/1-3)
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.(2 Corinthians 9:7)
In Old-Testament, It is also mentioned as the due tribute :
“36,000 cattle, of which the tribute for the LORD was 72; 30,500 donkeys, of which the tribute for the LORD was 61; 16,000 people, of whom the tribute for the LORD was 32”. (Numbers, 31/38-40).
“From the soldiers who fought in the battle, set apart as tribute for the LORD one out of every five hundred, whether people, cattle, donkeys or sheep”.( Numbers, 31/37).
“Moses gave the tribute to Eleazar the priest as the LORD’s part, as the LORD commanded Moses”. (Numbers, 31:41).
“And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything”(Genesis, 19:14).
“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always. ” (Deuteronomy 14:23).
Modern Christian Stand on Zakah
In the New-Testament the word Zakah is also mentioned under the meanings of benevolence, charity and due tribute is mentioned
As Jesus says,
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”. (Matthew, 5:17), the law of the tribute should proceed:
“The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector”.(18:11)
“But now as for what is inside you–be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you”.(Luke, 11:41)
The Concept of Tenth-Tribute as Understood by the Church
The concept of tenth-tribute has been distorted by the church who maintained the right of having such amount of wealth. When the Church felt embarrassed, it claimed that it is up to individuals to pay the amount they wish.
A Christian thinker says, ” the new Testament did not set a certain amount from one’s income for charity. It rather leaves it to one’s choice according to his/her ability. The Christian Church took the Old Testament’s law of giving 10% of one’s income and applied it as “the least required percentage. But Christians should not always feel compelled to offer their tithes. They should pay according to their ability; the amount may be more or less than tenth. This depends on the ability of the Christian and the needs of the Church. ‘Every Christian should pray and ask for the wisdom of God in the offering of tithes and how much should be given’ (James 5: 1). The Bible says, ‘Every one, as he intends with his heart, without grief or distress, because the giver who is keen with his charity is loved by God.” (Corinthians II 7: 9)”.
A question arises as to the reason the Church imposed such amount to be paid to it, citing texts which are explanatory and not conclusive in this regard, including:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10), while the Old-Testament laws order paying it to ‘the widows and the poor’?:
“When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy, 24:19).
the church exaggerated in collecting such tithes enabling even authorities in Christian countries to get it! The Church insists on receiving such tithes inside the church and insists on its existence side by side with the charity to the needy outside the church?! Thus, it is clear the human intervention in such ritual and the priestly-domination in it!
The Concept of Zakat in Islam
As for Zakat in Islam, it is an educational means for the rehabilitation of the human soul to train it to get accustomed to virtues. Its main objective is to clean the rich’s soul from the dirt of stinginess and the poor’s soul from the feelings of grudge and oppression.
The Qur’an refers to the existence of Zakah in previous-nations’ laws:
“And Allah had already taken a covenant from the Children of Israel, and We delegated from among them twelve leaders. And Allah said, “I am with you. If you establish prayer and give zakah and believe in My messengers and support them and loan Allah a goodly loan, I will surely remove from you your misdeeds and admit you to gardens beneath which rivers flow”.(5/12)
About Prophet Jesus, it says
“And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah (Charity) as long as I remain alive” (19/29)
And about all of the Prophets, it says:
“And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us”.(21/73).
In Islam, the one receiving Zakah (charity) should be deserving it. Therefore, the Qur’an defines only eight types of people who deserve Zakah:
“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise”(9/60)
The Islamic concept of zakah is characterized by being clear, disciplined and dynamic. It is different from the Christian one which is sometimes indefinite. Priests expanded in the types of tithes and the seizure of the money of the common people in the name of religion and charity. The Islamic concept of zakah is comprehensive, practical which tackles all the affairs of society and achieves true social solidarity. There are many kinds of zakah in Islam which are only to be paid by those having a certain amount of wealth. There is zakah on wealth (Money, gold and silver), zakah on the land, zakah on trade, and zakah on cattle.
As regards to its collection, Islam enjoins the imam (i.e. leader) of the Muslims, not the clergy, to collect them and pay them to those who are entitled to them because zakah is the right of the poor and the needy. Worker collecting it may be given from zakah in compensation to his effort only in collecting it.
Islam confirmed some of the teachings of the Bible regarding zakah and added more invaluable concepts. Just as Jesus instructed his followers not to show off in charity (Matthew 6: 2-4), Islam orders sincerity while giving charity and forbids to show-off while paying it:
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah – those are the multipliers”.(30/39)
Islam also agrees with the Bible (Romans,12:8) in giving charity with benevolence and generosity:
“The example of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is like a seed [of grain] which grows seven spikes; in each spike is a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies [His reward] for whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.”(2/261)
The Mention of Mary in both the Bible and the Qur’an
The Qur’an does not mention that Mary delivered a baby other than Jesus in her life.
The Bible does not give much importance to Mary in comparison to the Holy Qur’an which views Mary as a”Sign” from Allah: “
And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign and sheltered them within a high ground having level [areas] and flowing water”. (23:50).
It, moreover, shows Allah’s favor to her and her son (Jesus) with blessings. There is a Surah (chapter) in the Qur’an which bears the name of Mary.
Allah, furthermore, tells that Mary lead a virtuous life,
“So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance and caused her to grow in a good manner and put her in the care of Zechariah. Every time Zechariah entered upon her in the prayer chamber, he found with her provision. He said, “O Mary, from where is this [coming] to you?” She said, “It is from Allah. Indeed, Allah provides for whom He wills without account.” (3:37)
“And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds”. (3:42)
On the other hand, there is few mention of Mary in the Bible except in gospels and in one incident in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts, 1:14).
Mary is mostly mentioned in the gospels in the contexts of giving birth to Jesus :
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke, 1:38). (Also see Acts 1:14).
A full account of the story is as follows:
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged in marriage to a man named Joseph, who was of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”… Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. So the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.… Behold, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.… He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David,… and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!”… “How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”… Look, even Elizabeth your relative has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called barren is in her sixth month.… For nothing will be impossible with God.”…(Luke, 1: 26-37).
The account of the incident is also mentioned in Matthew as follows:
“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.” (Matthew, 1:25)
The bible mentions that Mary was engaged to Jesus Joseph the Carpenter. It, moreover, claims that Jesus was his son:
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew, 13:55).
Such verses goes against facts and the miraculous nature of the virgin birth of Jesus and her chastity. The Qur’an, on the contrary, the Qur’an tells a virtuous biography of Mary and her righteous upbringing:
“But when she delivered her, she said,”My Lord, I have delivered a female.” And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, “And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah].” (3:36).
It does not refer that Mary was engaged or married to anyone. The miraculous birth is mentioned as follows in the Qur’an:
“[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah].” (3:45)
“And mention, [O Muhammad], in the Book [the story of] Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place toward the east. And she took, in seclusion from them, a screen. Then We sent to her Our Angel, 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.” She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed.’ “So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.” But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates”.(19:16-25)
The Qur’an condemns the Jews for their accusing of Mary of committing adultery:
“And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander,”(4:156). The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers”. (4:171).
“And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient”.(66:12)
But the Qur’an does not mention that Mary delivered a baby other than Jesus in her life. According to the Bible (Matthew, 1:18,), Mary delivered her baby when the Holy Spirit came to her “(Luke, 1:35) and, however, delivered babies other than Jesus later (Matthew 12:46, Mark 6:3, Luke, 2:7, John 7:5). It gives contradicting narrations as regards to Jesus and whether he was the son of Joseph the carpenter and had brothers other than Jesus or not.
Does the Bible contradicts Mary’s Virgin Birth?
The Bible, claims that Jesus was the Carpenter’s son son:
“Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?” (Matthew, 13:55).
Refuting such contradiction, Christians badly construed the meanings of such text as follows to mean:
- The father of those brothers is Joseph the fiance of Mary
- They are the sons of Mary or the sons of her daughters.
- That they are brothers of Jesus whom Mary gave birth.
- That one of them claimed that Mary was his mother and Joseph was his father
- That Mary had children before she gave birth to Jesus or after.
- Or that those mentioned were born or died before the death of Jesus.
As to the texts which mention brothers to Jesus, they are as follows:
Explainers to these texts claimed that the word “Brothers” does not necessarily mean brotherhood in lineage in Jewish culture and that the Aramaic and Hebrew languages support this. However, the text denotes otherwise in which the phrase “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” is intended to identify Jesus.
There should not be doubt that Islam is the religion of moderation, tolerance and peace. History witnessed the tolerance of Muslim leaders with the people of lands where war was broken with them and the Muslims.
This is further supported by the fact that many people of conquered countries by Muslims, after testifying to the tolerance of the Islamic message, converted to Islam freely and became supporters of the cause of Islam. There are lands, especially in Asia, which were opened by Muslims without bloodshed, for the citizens of those countries were influenced by the truthfulness and kind dealing of Muslim merchants.
“Is it right to pay the tax to Caesar or not?” …..Jesus replied, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”(Matthew 22: 16-22)
Under the light of the clash of civilizations, we encounters voices unjustly condemning the Islamic stand as regards to Jizya (i.e. An amount of money taken from non-believers) to distort the image of Islam and diminish its value. The enemies to Islam, claimed that Islam imposed such tribute on the people of the book to burden them and persecute them.
To clear out such misconception one, should have a proper understanding of the concept of Jizya in Islam not in the context of the black history of the Roman persecution of Jews and Christians when they were forced to pay tributes, taxes or tithes.
Jizya was not an Islamic innovation. Islam is not among the religions, which imposed taxes on the heads of nations defeated in wars unjustly and without restrictions, Dr. Al-Saqqar says,
“The New Testament conveys the prevalence of such practice, ‘After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes–from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.’ (Matthew 17: 24-27).
The Bible also tells that the prophets took the tribute (Jizya) as Joshua practice with the Canaanites: ‘…But the Canaanites dwelt among the Ephraimites on this day, and served under tribute.'(Joshua 16: 10).
According to Jesus, Christians should not break the laws of Judaism, ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.’ (Matthew 5: 17). According to the Bible, moreover, Christ orders his followers to pay the tribute to the Romans, and he hastened to pay it, They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for the tax.” They brought him a denarius. and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.” (Matthew 22: 16-22) (see Matthew 11/19). The New Testament considers the tribute to the sultans as s legitimate right, and even makes it a religious duty!, ‘Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.'(Romans 13: 1-7).”
The Roman civilization, praised by Europe, set the worst example for the concept of tribute (Jizya) when they mixed it with unfair taxes on the weak people.
Historians reported that the Roman empire had many financial important resources such as customs, mines, taxes and fields for planting wheat and pastures. They were hired from the companies represented in tithes-collectors who were supported by the government to collect them. They were noblemen who, unjustly and increasingly practiced the levy of taxes in the name of the government. They confiscated the properties of debtors and even sold them as slaves “(A. Al-Kurdi, Khutat (plans) of Al-Sham, Kurd Ali c 5 p. 47).
In its view of this concept, Islam does not leave mankind depend on human heinous practices emanating from misguided passions, but it tackles it in accordance with the rules of mercy, benevolence while preserving the sovereignty of the State of Islam and imposing its prestige.
First of all, Islam defines the kinds of people from whom the Jizya should be taken. Jizya is a general provision with exceptions. It is a means to the imposition of the sovereignty of the State of Islam and is resorted to only after the introduction of Islam to people of defeated lands.
When there was a difference upon the approach by Muslim leaders opening the land of Smarqand where the people was not given the choices of reconciliation with conditions or fighting, the people of Smarqand complained to Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz who ordered that a Muslim judge should consider the complaint. The judge ruled that:
First, the exile of Muslims from Smarqand. Second: Compensating the people of Samarqand in exchange for the damage caused to them by the entry of Muslims to their lands.
Third: Invitation of the people of Smarqand to Islam, and if they did not accept Islam they would be given the choice of either reconciliation or fighting. However, the people of Smarqand waived their complaint after touching the tolerance and good spirit of Islam”. (A. I. Al-Mat’ani, The tolerance of Islam in the call to Allah and human relations as approach and biography, , Wahba Library, p. 158.
Dr. Al-Saqqar says,
“Allah has commanded Muslims to take the Jizya from those only able to fight, as stated in the Qur’anic aya: ‘Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizya willingly while they are humbled..’ (9:29). Al-Qurtubi stated that there is a consensus among Muslim scholars that Jizya should only be taken from those only able to fight, including free adult men, not women, offspring, slaves and mad people or very old people. The amount of money taken was very few that many people could pay it. It did not exceed one dinar per year at the era of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and four dinars at the time of the Ummayad Caliphate (state) per year. Caliph Omar sent to leaders ordering them not to impose Jizya on women, children and that only those male adults should pay it)”.
Once the leader of Egypt advised Caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz not to exempt those who convert to Islam from paying the Jizya, but the devout Caliph refused, saying: “Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a caller (to Islam), and did not send him as a tax-collector!”.
Islam warns against injustice to Mu’ahadin (those given a pledge of peace and protection by the Islamic State), Dr. Al Saqqar says:
“Allah, in his scripture, and the Prophet, command benevolence to the people of Jizya. Islamic Sharia prohibits doing injustice to them and also mal-treatment to them. The Qur’an urged dealing kindly with peaceful Jews and Christians (Ahlul Kitab): Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes -from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. “(60:8-9)
The word kindness is a translation to the Arabic word “Al–Bir” which denotes the highest degree of benevolence and good treatment.
Such bir is required even when dealing with parents and considered as an indication of good morals as stated by the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Safwan reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “Beware, if anyone wrongs a Mu’ahad (one given a pledge of peace), or diminishes his right, or forces him to work beyond his capacity, or takes from him anything without his consent, I shall plead for him (Mu’ahad) on the Day of Judgment. And said: “Whoever killed a Mu’ahad (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by Muslims), shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling) (i.e. s/he would not be admitted to Paradise at first).
Al-Saqqar, Jizya in Islam.
A. Al-Kurdi, Khutat (plans) of Al-Sham, Kurd Ali.
Christian Concept of the Holy Spirit
For centuries, Christianity had an exaggerated look at the noble position of the Holy Spirit, angel Gabriel (May Allah’s Peace be upon him). We, even, see many Christians who do not know who was the Holy Spirit!
The names of the Holy Spirit abound in the Bible. Its attributes, even, shared some of the divine attributes of God! In his book (The Holy Spirit and our relationship with It), Dr. Sameh Morris, a priest, claims that the Holy Spirit is:
- A hypostasis which is equal to the Father and the Son because Jesus said,
“Go and make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew, 19:28).
Christians infer that the phrase “in the name” refers to a trinity (three in one).They moreover support such claim by what Paul mentioned in 2Corinthians (14:13),
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all”.
They claimed that the association of the name of the Holy Spirit with God in one context means being equal to Him!
- A creator! And Creates! They cite the words of Job:
“The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33:4).
- And Psalms(104:30):
“When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground”.
- A One who gives Life. Christians support such a heinous doctrine by Paul’s words:
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you..” (Romans 8: 11).
And the words of Christ to Nicodemus:
“Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 6:3).
- sanctifies life (1 Corinthians 6: 11).
- Everywhere! (Psalm 139: 7-10).
- Knows everything! (1 Corinthians 9: 9-11).
- Makes Miracles! (Psalm 72:18).
Islamic Concept of the Holy Spirit
Such exaggerated view of the Holy Spirit, Gabriel peace be upon him, is different from the moderate Islamic view of It. In Islam, Gabriel is only an angel who was sent by God Almighty Allah to inspire Prophets with revelation and support them. He should not be elevated to any divine position or rank where he be a partner to Almighty Allah.
Gabriel, being a spirit by name, does not mean that such a characteristic is specific to him, for all other creatures are spirits of God in the meaning that they all are created by him Almighty.
God specializes Gabriel with such name “spirit” to elevate his rank among creations and show his honor and virtue, and distinguish him from other spirits. It should not be understood that Gabriel is a spirit of God in the meaning that he is a part of Him or partner to Him.
In Islam, Gabriel is called “Ruh Al-Qudus” (i.e. Purified Spirit) and Al-Ruh Al-Amin (i.e. Truthful and Honest Spirit). He is not “holy” as Christians claim.
The reason that Gabriel was called “Ruh (spirit), as al-Jayyani, puts it, “Because souls are revived by him as the bodies are given life by spirit”.
Al-Razi, claims that he was called so because he was made of a spirit. Others said that he was called so because he brought the religion with which souls revive and live. Others claimed that he was only created as a soul without body.
He was called “Al-Amin” because he was very honest in delivering revelation to prophets and powerful in the execution of the commands of God.
In the Qur’an Gabriel is given many names and attributes which do not deem him as god or elevate him to divine positions that which he does not deserve. He was described as the “One So Powerful and One of sound Shape” (53:6).
Gabriel is the best of angels who so honest and powerful in delivering revelation to Prophets without shortcoming. He was also described as
“A noble messenger [Who is] possessed of power in the accompany of the Owner of the Throne (God, Allah), Secure [in position], Obeyed there [in the heavens] and Trustworthy”.(81:21/Also see 81:24)
Allah tells about his mission as a messenger delivering revelation to Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him),
“And indeed, the Qur’an is the revelation of the Lord of the worlds. The Trustworthy Spirit has brought it down”(26:194)
He called “trustworthy” because he was of good manners and was the best of angels and being entrusted with revelation to prophets and others
He was so strong that he turned down the city of the People of Lot who denied the message of Prophet Lot. He is near to God seizing a highly position among other angels
Once the Prophet saw Gabriel as having six-hundred wings. In his journey to Jerusalem, while accompanied by Gabriel, the Prophet said that “Gabriel made a great hole in a great stone and grasped the great animal Al-Buraq (which carried them up to the sky) with only one finger!
In Islam, Gabriel is called “Ruh Al-Qudus” (i.e. Purified Spirit) because he was created from purity or he was perfect in purity.
He was, moreover, called “spirit” because body cannot live without spirit for he carried the revelation which was the spirit for all people.
One may perceive the Christian confusion as regards to the concept of creation. The hands of the “Holy Spirit” does not create; it should not exceed the mere direct execution of God’s command of creation. The Creator is only Allah Almighty who says,
“Had there been within the heavens and earth gods besides Allah, they both would have been ruined. So exalted is Allah, Lord of the Throne, above what they describe.” (21:22)
It has been said that such “ruin” in creation may lead to a conflict and contradiction where two gods have two conflicting commands of either giving life or not.
Allah addressed Jesus to remind him of the blessings he conferred upon him saying,
“O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, “This is not but obvious magic.” (5: 110).
The repetition of the phrase “with My permission” alludes to the fact that Allah is the only creator and Jesus did not create and his acts were mere execution of Allah’s commands.
Ibn Uthaymeen, Sharh Thalathat Al-Usul.
Ibn Hajar, Fatah al-Bari.
Sameh Morris, Holy Spirit And Our Relationship to It