The ‘Parakletos’ of John 14:16
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18) These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:25-26) But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. (John 15:26-27)
This passage predicts the coming of the Holy Spirit, who descended on Jesus’ followers shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The Holy Spirit is God’s empowering & convicting presence in the daily lives of believers. Oddly enough, some people see these passages as predictions of the coming of Muhammad (pbuh). According to evangelists like Zakir Naik, the “Counselor” foretold here is Muhammad. Can this be true? Let us analyze together how this text describes this ‘counselor’ to see whom they can fit:
Another Counsellor – The Greek word here is paraklēto (παράκλητον) which can be translated as, ‘counsellor’, ‘comforter’, ‘helper’ or ‘advocate’. Among those who claim this is fulfilled in Muhammad, some claim that Muhammad was the “comforter.” Others make the more wild claim that the original word here was p e r i kl u tos, which means ‘one worthy of praise,’ the Arabic of which could be rendered ‘Ahmad’ (a name Muhammad adopted). Among the thousands of Greek manuscripts which predate Muhammad, not one contains this spelling. Furthermore, this would render the verse, “..he will give you another (ἄλλος) Ahmad to be with you forever. ” Another Ahmad? Who was the first Ahmad? By contrast, ‘another counsellor’ is a good description of how the Holy Spirit guides and convicts believers since Jesus’ ascension. Forever – It would be hard to interpret Muhammad as being with the disciples forever, though this certainly fits the Holy Spirit’s role. A Spirit of Truth – Once again, it would be hard to render Muhammad as a ‘Spirit,’ while the Holy Spirit is by definition a Spirit. Unseen by the world —Muhammad was quite visible, but the Holy Spirit is certainly invisible, which is why the world does not accept it. Unaccepted by the world, known to the disciples – Jesus’ twelve disciples never saw Muhammad, but in just a few weeks after Jesus’ prediction they dramatically received the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 and witnessed by thousands of people. Dwell with you and be in you —by no stretch of the imagination could Muhammad be considered to dwell within each believer, which is exactly the Injīl’s teaching on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit —Some have tried to say that Muhammad was the “Holy Spirit”, but this would contradict the teachings of the Qur’ān & Islam. It has been suggested that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit, but no-one says that Muhammad is the Holy Spirit. Sent by Jesus —It is hard to describe Muhammad as sent by Jesus, but this fits exactly what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit. Those who insist on reading Muhammad into these verses protest that the Holy Spirit could not fit this prophesy, because:
Let the reader decide for himself!
The “Prophet Like Moses” (Torah, Deuteronomy 18) The “Illiterate Prophet” (Isaiah 29:11-13) The “Muhammad” (Song of Songs 5:16) The Comparatively Clear Prophecies of the Messiah Have the Prophecies of Muhammad Been Removed?