Muslim leaders tell us that Jesus’ description of the coming Spirit/Comforter in John 14-16 is a description of Muhammad and not the Biblical Holy Spirit, and therefore Jesus predicted the coming of Muhammad in John 14-16. As a result Christians and Muslims may think that this is the only possible Islamic interpretation of John 14-16, however this is not the case, there is a better Islamic interpretation of John 14-16.
The Qur’an speaks about Muhammad but it also speaks about the Spirit of God and the Qur’an’s description of the Spirit is far more similar to John 14-16 than Muhammad is. The following table is a simple comparison between the Spirit/Comforter in John 14-16, the Spirit in the Qur’an, and Muhammad.
|The Description of the Comforter in John 14-16||The Description of the Spirit of God in the Qur’an||The Description of Muhammad in the Qur’an|
|He is called the Holy Spirit: John 14:26.||He is called the Holy Spirit: Qur’an 2:87, 2:253, 5:110, 16:102.||No|
|He is the Spirit of Truth: John 14:17, 16:13.||He is the Spirit of Truth: Qur’an 16:102, 26:193.||No|
|He brings revelation from God to the apostles: John 16:13.||He brings revelation from God to the apostles: Qur’an 16:102, 26:193, 97:4.||No|
|He can be in you: John 14:17.||He can be in you: Qur’an 15:29, 58:22.||No|
|He opens people’s hearts to God: John 16:8-11.||He opens people’s hearts to God: Qur’an 58:22.||No|
|He is sent by God and Jesus, John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7.||He is sent by God and Jesus: Qur’an 16:102, 15:29, 5:110.||No|
The Qur’an’s description of God’s Spirit is very close to that found in John 14-16, however, Muhammad is not close at all. This means there is stronger evidence from the Qur’an that John 14-16 is about the Holy Spirit rather than Muhammad. To say that Muhammad is the fulfilment of John 14-16 is a weak Qur’anic argument. The much stronger Qur’anic argument is to say that John 14-16 is fulfilled by the Holy Spirit.
The Qur’an never quotes any part of John 14-16 and claims that it is refers to Muhammad. This means that Muslims are not compelled to say that John 14-16 is about Muhammad. It is a perfectly legitimate Qur’anic argument to say that John 14-16 is referring to the Holy Spirit, in fact it is a stronger Qur’anic argument to do so.
When Muslims say to Christians that John 14-16 is about Muhammad the Christian can answer that this is not the only Islamic option for how to understand this scripture; Islam has at least two options. Then, the Christian can ask the Muslim why they believe the weaker Islamic argument, that it refers to Muhammad, over the stronger Islamic argument, that it refers to the Holy Spirit, when there is no necessity for them to do so? According to the Qur’an John 14-16 is about the Holy Spirit.