Islam vs. Christianity

The Creator God of Heaven and Earth is worshiped by Jews, Christians and Muslims.  Allah is the name given to Him by Islam.  The Jews refer to Him as Yaweh, or simply LORD (Adonai).  Andworship_God
Christians believe in One LORD, manifested in three persons – Father, Son and Spirit (the Trinity).

But do the Muslim and Christian descriptions about God differ?  Or is God portrayed the same in the Quran as well as the Bible?  What is the Christian understanding of God as compared to that of the Muslim?  If we examine the evidence in the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), and the Quran - what does the evidence say about how the Christian and the Muslim understand God?  Let’s examine the evidence in three areas3:

  • The nature of the God
  • The identity of Jesus (or Isa, according to the Quran)
  • The nature of Salvation

Note:  Scriptures are from the Open Bible, New King James Edition1, and the Quran Translation2.  See footnotes.

The Nature of God

The Lord of the Christian

Allah of the Muslim

Yaweh, the Lord, is is eternal and changeless

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
James 1:17

Allah Changes

“Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it.  Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?” Surah 2:106

 

The Lord loves all mankind and wishes that all come to repentance and be saved

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten [one and only] Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16

 

Allah changes in affections

And if We had pleased We would certainly have given to ever soul its guidance, but the word (which had gone forth) from Me was just: I will certainly fill hell with the jinn [demons] and men together.”
Surah 32:13

God is one Lord in Three Persons

“Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing.  It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.”
John 8:54

For in Him [Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.
Col 2:9
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:58
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…”
John 1

But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why hath Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… You have not lied to men, but to God.”
Acts 5:3-4

See also about The Trinity

Allah can be but one – the Trinity is blasphemous

“Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.”
Surah 5:73

God is one Lord in three Persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Matthew 28:19

The Christian God is three Gods – the Father, Mother (Mary), and Son (Jesus)

“And when Allah will say: O Isa [Jesus] son of Marium [Mary]! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah, he will say: Glory be to Three, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say)…”
Surah 5:116

Jesus (Yeshua) in the Bible, and Isa (Jesus) in the Quran

Jesus

Isa [Jesus]

Jesus is God, the Second Person of the Trinity, eternal and uncreated

“And He [Jesus] is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
Col 1:17

“..Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:20-21

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
John 8:58

Isa [Jesus] is a created human being

“Surely the likeness of Isa [Jesus] is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.”
Surah 3:59

 

Jesus is Lord – the only way to God

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on, you know Him and have seen Him.”
John 14:6-7

“He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
John 14:9

Isa (Jesus) was only one of Allah’s apostles

“O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa [Jesus] son of Marium [Mary] is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you…”
Surah 4:171

Jesus’ crucifixion was a sacrificial death to pay the penalty for the sin of mankind

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
Romans 5:8-9

Evidence for Jesus’ Death and Resurrection

Jesus only “appeared” to be crucified

“And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa [Jesus] son of Marium [Mary], the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.”
Surah 4:157

The Nature of Salvation

Christianity Islam

Humankind has rebelled against God, fallen into a state of ‘sin’, and this rebellious state has been reflected in creation and passed on to all persons to this day

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Gen 2:17

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned …”
Romans 5:12

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Romans 3:23

Human beings are not born ‘fallen’, but in a ‘pure’ state – and only sin through their own misdeeds. 

“Islam teaches that people are born innocent and remain so until each makes him or herself guilty by a guilty deed.  Islam does not believe in ‘original sin’; and its scripture interprets Adam’s disobedience as his own personal misdeed – a misdeed for which he repented and which God forgave.”4

Jesus is the promised Messiah, the unique Son of God, and the only way to salvation

Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”
2 Cor 5:18-19

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”
Col 2:9-10

Jesus was a worshipper of Allah and a prophet

“He said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live.”
Surah 19:30-31

Salvation is offered to all – but each individual who hears must accept it for themselves

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls upon the name of theLORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:12-13

Who is saved is strictly the decision of Allah

“..whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it, Allah will call you to account according to it; then He will forgive whom He pleases and chastise whom He pleases, and Allah has power over all things.”
Surah 2:284

Salvation is a free gift, based on God’s grace.  Works are a result of one’s faith in action.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 6:23

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Eph 2:8-9

Salvation is based on works

“Surely good deeds take away evil deeds.”
Surah 11:114

One can have confidence that salvation is irrevocable

“And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
John 10:28

 

Salvation is tentative, and Jihad is the only way to have eternal security

“And if you are slain in the way of Allah or your die, certainly forgiveness from Allah and mercy is better than what they amass.”
Surah 3:157

Salvation must be a free choice, and should never be forced

“For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:13

 

Worship to Allah should be compelled by force if necessary

“And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should only be for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.”
Surah 2:193

Conclusion:  You Decide

The evidence speaks for itself, and you must make your own decision.  Both Islam and Christianity agree that there is one God, however Christians believe that the one LORD is a compound unity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (not an absolute unity). And the evidence in both the Old and New end_timesTestaments appears to support the Tri-unity of God.  Christians believe in a triune God because that’s what the Scripture teaches.

While Muslims believe that humans are born sinless, and therefore are in no need of a Savior, Christians claim that all of creation – including mankind – is in a fallen state, and in need of a Savior and redemption.  Numerous passages in the Old Testament, from Genesis to Isaiah, talk about a coming Savior and Redeemer.  The New Testament, and the testimony of the Church, is that Jesus Christ was and is that Redeemer.  That Jesus was really born 2000 years ago, that He really lived, that He really died on the cross, and that He really rose again from the dead is supported by a huge quantity of biblical and extra-biblical evidence (see more about the history of Jesus).  In contrast to ChristianityIslam claims that Jesus (Isa) was a man like any other, and a prophet of Allah.  And that He was not crucified, and only “appeared” as such to His apostles (Surah 4:157).

The message of the Bible is that God loves each and every one of His creations, including you.  If you were the ONLY person alive,He would still have died to to pay the penalty for your sins and bring you back into a relationship with Him (remember the parable of the lost sheep, how that Jesus left the 99 to search and retrieve the one that was lost!).   He dearly wants you to know Him and have eternal life!

Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord who created you, loves you unconditionally, and wants you to walk with Him?  If you do, then you have everything to look forward to – in this life, and in the life to come!  You were made for a purpose, andreceiving the Lord into your heart and walking daily with Him will help you come to realize His purpose in your life and fulfill it. 

If you don’t know the Lord, here is a link to Billy Graham’s web site that can show you how you can accept the Lord into your heart, be born again, and begin a right relationship with Him…

Steps to Peace with God ==> http://www.billygraham.org/SH_StepsToPeace.asp

Sources:

1. The New Open Bible – New King James Version.  Study Edition.  Thomas Nelson, Inc.
2. The Quran – Translation.  Translated by M.H. Shakir.  Published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur’an, Inc.
3. Unveiling Islam - Ergun Mehmet Caner, Emir FethiCaner.  Kregal Publications.  2002
4. Islam, Isma’il R. Al-Faruqi, (Niles, Ill.: Argus Communications, 1984) 9.
5. Answering Islam, Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb. Baker Books, 2003.

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