There are many who would have us to believe that Islam is merely another way to serve God. They would assert that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God worshiped in both Christianity and Islam. While such statements may be appealing to some for their ring of ecumenism and tone of reconciling peace, such statements are logical impossibilities because the teaching of Christianity and Islam (both on God and otherwise) contradict one another.
The logical law of non-contradiction simply states, “A thing cannot at the same time both be and not be of a specified kind” (Merriam-Webster). In the same way that a triangle cannot be a circle, Christianity cannot be Islam, Yahweh cannot be Allah, and the Bible cannot be the Qur’an. Christianity cannot be true if Islam is, and vice versa. Islam is not merely a religion that believes in the same God as Christianity without accepting Jesus as the Messiah. Islam is the circle to Christianity’s triangle—the religions are logically incompatible and contradictory by nature. With this in mind, we will now examine the great gulf fixed between the two.
Yahweh or Allah?
According to the Bible, God (Yahweh) is one (Dt. 6:4), yet the Godhead is comprised of three distinct personalities—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are explicitly called deity or share exclusive attributes of deity, and God refers to Himself using plural pronouns (cf. Gen. 1:26; Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:1, 14; 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Heb. 9:14). This Biblical doctrine is often referred to as “the Trinity” (for more see Butt, Kyle). While God’s nature in the Bible is triune, such is blasphemy in Islam (Martin 444).
To worship Jesus as God would be a grave sin according to the Qur’an (cf. Surah 4:116). Also, the God of Christianity is clearly identified as a Spirit (Jn. 4:24), while the Qur’an claims that deity has no likeness (Surah 42:11), is transcendent, and is completely unknowable apart from revelation, being neither physical nor spiritual (Martin 444).
Likewise, the Qur’an teaches of a God who has the power to abrogate his will. Abrogation is a legal term defined as the “destruction or annulling of a former law by an act of legislative power, by constitutional authority, or by usage” (Black’s Law Dictionary). This attribute of Allah is seen in several places in the Qur’an (Surah 2:106; 13:39; 16:101). An implication is that in Quranic teaching, God can change his mind and go back on his word. It should seem odd that an omniscient being would change his will, and replace part of his word with a different command/instruction.
The Islamic doctrine of abrogation comes with a host of theological headaches, which will not be discussed in detail in this article. Such theological quandaries would include the possibility for divinely inspired contradictions, a lack of sufficient foreknowledge for a deity, and a lack of absolutism with any morals or ethics conceived by Islam. Ultimately, “the God of Islam either is not all-knowing, or is a liar” (Martin 446).
A God who can abrogate his will is completely unknown to the Bible. The God of Christian Scripture does not change (Mal. 3:6), His words are eternal (Isa. 40:8; Mt. 24:35), and He cannot deny Himself or lie (Num. 23:19; 2 Tim. 2:13; Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18). The God of the Bible cannot be the God of the Qur’an—their natures contradict. A triangle will be a circle before Yahweh will be Allah.
Jesus or Muhammad?
Jesus and Muhammad contradict each other in several ways. From doctrine to demeanor, the two are irreconcilable. A choice must be made. Will we follow the lowly Messiah from Bethlehem or the warrior-prophet from Mecca? The Qur’an is clear, the doctrine of Muhammad is that Jesus is not divine, and to claim so is to be against God. Indeed, the Qur’an adamantly denies Jesus’ divinity. Surah 3:62 of Islam’s holy book claims that the “true narrative” of Jesus is that none other than Allah can be worshipped and that Allah has no son.
Likewise, Hell is prepared as an “entertainment” for those who believe that Jesus is God (Surah 18:102). In Surah 5:75, the Qur’an boldly claims that Jesus was “no more than a Messenger” of Allah, and an Ayat (proof) of such is that Jesus ate food while on earth (so, therefore, he cannot be divine). Further, those who claim that Jesus is divine are “deluded away (from the truth).”
Conversely, the doctrine of Jesus is unapologetically bold and simple: “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn. 8:58; cf. Ex. 3:14). Jesus is—the Mighty God (Isa. 9:6), the eternal Logos (Jn. 1:1-3), the reigning Son of Man (Dan. 7:13-14; Mk. 14:61-62), the Son of God (Jn. 3:16-18), the Messiah (Jn. 4:25-26), the everlasting King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16), the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of all. To deny this fact is to deny life: “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24).
The fact of Jesus’ deity has been confirmed by signs, miracles, and wonders. Proof of Jesus’ deity culminates in the fact that He has been raised from the dead (1 Cor. 15:19-20). Somewhere, in the sands of Arabia, Muhammad’s body rests decayed. Will you serve him, or the risen Savior seated at the right hand of God (Rom. 8:34)? The choice is yours.