A Christian friend on my FB list posted this quote:
I have a glove here in my hand. The glove cannot do anything by itself, but when my hand is in it, it can do many things. True, it is not the glove, but my hand in the glove that acts. We are gloves. It is the Holy Spirit in us who is the hand, who does the job. We have to make room for the hand so that every finger is filled. ~Corrie ten Boom
I was immediately struck by the thought that I really don’t like this quote. Now, of course I’m Muslim, so the Holy Spirit as it is taught by Christianity is a foreign concept. Any reference to the “Ruh”, or spirit, is a reference to the angel Jibril, upon whom be peace, and not to some nebulous force that enters us when we decide to become religious.
Okay, here is why I don’t like this concept. The Holy Spirit is something that is not part of us that we take on; it is not part of our DNA or our personality or even the souls that were given to us by Allah. So what this phrase is saying is that you cannot be a good believer just as you were created by Allah; you have to take on something from outside yourself in order to be able to be faithful.
This simply does not make sense to me. Why did God create me lacking this fundamental part of me? Why am I not good enough, smart enough, pure enough, to understand what God wants of me without some sort of outside interference? So, my own innate sense, my soul, is not enough to seek God?
See, Islam has this concept, called fitrah. Being born on the fitrah means that Allah created in us, as part of our inherent makeup, the understanding that there is a God and the desire to seek Him. Our fitrah is to believe in One God; it is our parents or society or other outside influences that misguide us away from our innate understanding of this concept, which is called tauheed in Arabic. We don’t have to be imbued with some outside operator in order to seek God, or to be able to understand Him in the imperfect yet awe-inspiring manner we are allowed.
Now, I know my Christian friends will have all sorts of arguments in favor of the Holy Spirit, but I prefer my outlook. And considering the dearth of proof for concepts such as the deity of Jesus, peace be upon him, and the very existence of a Trinity, of which the Holy Spirit is supposedly a part, I will keep to my understanding of how God created me – as a human being with all the tools necessary to find Him, if I only open my heart. And Allah knows best.