Do Christians And Muslims Worship The Same God?

You decide, do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

In answering this question the resources are the Qur’an (Koran), and the Hadith from a Sunni Islam perspective. The Qur’an is considered by Muslims to be the sacred writing given Muhammad. The Hadith is a compilation of sayings by Muhammad compiled by his loyalists in the eighth century A.D. From a Christian perspective the Holy Bible is the source of insight.

With reference to Jews and Christians Muhammad wrote in the Qur’an: “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which has come down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow.”

Among Arabs the name “Allah” stemmed from use of it before the birth of Muhammad in reference to the only true God.

The name “Allah” was introduced to Islam by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians living in the Arab Peninsula as referring to the one and only true God.

Allah is viewed as the Almighty, the eternal Creator, who is omniscient and omnipotent.
Though Muslims and Christians use many of the same terms to refer to God they have widely divergent understandings of His nature and character. Each claims to have the true concept.

Muhammad was highly offended by the rejection of much of his writings by Jews and Christians. When he move from Mecca to Medina his writings regarding them changed radically. At this time he also changed the direction in which his followers were to pray from Jerusalem to Mecca. He also published his account of Abraham and his son Ishmael building the Ka’bah in Mecca (Surah 2:125-27). Islam later replaced the biblical account of Solomon building his temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem with the story of Abraham along with his son Ishmael building the Ka’bah.

Muhammad began with the concept of only one true God, Allah. He initially attributed to Him many of the attributes he learned from Christians and Jews. He gravitated to a non-biblical view of God’s nature. This impacted all of Islamic doctrine.

Muhammad’s move from Mecca to Medina coincided with many changes. His writing of the Qur’an up until this time was basically poetic and philosophical. It changed to being more political and militant. This is a primary reason for current confusion over whether Islam is a peaceful religion. It depends on which part of the Qur’an you read. It was at Medina he began to elevate the Arab people in prominence and himself as their leader.

In fairness it must be noted when Muslims refer to Allah and Christians refer to God they are referring to the same being. The word for God among Arab Christians is Allah. As “Dieu” is the French word for God so “Allah” is the Arabic word for God.

However, the Qur’an concept of the nature of God and the Christian perspective are diametrically opposed. The same God could not have authored the Qur’an and the Holy Bible in that they have contradictory perspectives of the nature of God as well as conflicting historical accounts. It is at the point of the nature of God the two faiths differ.

To say Allah is the God of the Bible and then attribute to Him unbiblical characteristics is worse than saying the two are different entities.

The nature of God among Muslims is He is monotheistic, one God. It is the concept of the Trinity they reject.

Christians also believe in One God but as a tri-unity. They are three persons that cannot be condensed into one with one will that cannot be divided into three. As St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate there is one clover with three petals. So with H2O. As a solid it is ice, as a gas it is fog, as a liquid it is water, yet in each form it is one, H2O.

Muslims conceive of Allah as a unit and Christians conceive of God as a union, three-in-one.

The concept of God as one entity poses a question unanswered in the Muslim faith. The Holy Bible says “God is love.” Conceding He is eternal and existed before the dawning of creation consider that. For there to be love there must be one loving and the object loved. Before creation there was nothing and no one to love. Without an object there is no love. Without an object to love there could be no love. Love being the very nature of God there had to be an object to love before creation.

Before the dawning of creation the preexistent Trinity existed and did so in love. Their loving nature made them in all things one.

To profess monadic monotheism as advocated in Islam is to deny the incarnation of Jesus Christ and all things associated.

In Surah 5:118 Jesus is said to have told God He is free to punish or to forgive His followers who said that He, Jesus, claimed deity. The Qur’an does not ascribe deity to Jesus Christ.

In the following Holy Bible passages deity is attributed to Jesus Christ: Colossians 2:9, Romans 9:5, Titus 2:13, I Timothy 3:16, Acts 20:28.

It is also said He is able to destroy Jesus, His mother, and every living creature (5:17). Jews and Christians are categorized as worshipers of evil for rejecting Islam and are considered only next to those who have incurred the curse and wrath of God, those whom He transformed into apes and swine (60).

In Islam there is no need for a savior for Allah forgives whom He pleases and condemns whom He pleases. “He forgives whom He pleaseth, and punishes whom He pleaseth.” (Surah 2:284)

“Whom Allah willeth, He leaveth to wander; whom He willeth, He placeth on the way that is straight.” (Surah 74:31)

One of the last Surah of the Qur’an presents the strongest attack on the nature and character of the God of the Bible. Among Muslims it is believed Allah’s will is not based on His nature but His fiat, that is, what He says not who He is. By his fiat it is determined what is defiled and what is not (5:1-6), severe punishment for disobedience (2,4,5b,87,95), in affirming no one escapes (7,8), and conditional rewards (9-1).

These truths place Islam and Christianity opposite each other in revealing that to Christians it is God’s nature that provides His love and in Islam it is His fiat and has nothing to do with His nature.

The Asharites, who represent orthodox Islam, say no trait or characteristic attributed to man can be applied to Allah as meaning the same thing for that would make Him like man. Though He is called “Most Merciful” does not mean He has the quality of mercy ascribed to a human being. Terms applied to Allah in the Qur’an do not mean the same they do when applied to a human being. That makes it very difficult to understand the nature of Allah because the same term can be interpreted to mean different things by different interpreters.

Each Surah begins with, “In the Name of God the merciful and compassionate.” This is not intended to describe what God is, but rather what He can do, if He wants to, but He can also be the opposite. God’s moral character is subject to His will under this understanding. For the Christian God is in His very nature merciful and compassionate. His actions are based on this. All discussions concerning the nature of God are considered blasphemy.

The Holy Bible reveals the very nature of God and it is very different from that of the Qur’an. The God of the Qur’an contradicts Himself depending on His will not His nature. This results in capricious actions at times. The true God of the Holy Bible is the God of truth whose nature is eternal faithfulness and reliability. His actions are consistent because they are in keeping with His nature. His actions and provisions are never contrary to His character. God loves not because He can, but because it is His nature. God is love.

Reflecting back to the concept of Monadic Monotheism it leaves one with an understanding of a God who in His essence is alone. Before and apart from creation Allah is depicted as existing in total solitude, alone. Such a God who existed in total nothingness and darkness is not one who was eternally loving. There was nobody and nothing to love. The tri-unity of the Christian Godhead reveals that in eternity God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed before creation in a loving relationship so intimate they are one. They indeed constitute a monotheistic God, three in one. Their love prompted creation. Thus, human beings were created by love and for love.

They are three in one as three matches placed together and struck comprise one fire. Their nature is the same from eternity and never changes. Thus, they can be known in a loving relationship.

[This article is based on material found in “Bibliotheca Sacra,” Volume 161, Numbers 641 & 642.]