Allah is Not Jehovah

By Sarah R. Enterline

21 reasons why Christianity and Islam are mutually exclusive

When two worldviews are mutually exclusive, it means that they cannot logically co-exist in one’s belief system because they contradict/disagree with the other in too many areas. It violates the Law of Non-Contradiction in that: A cannot be non-A at the same time, in the same place, in the same sense. The latest findings from the Barna Group revealed that “In a mash-up of pluralism and universalism, 59% of [American] adults believe that ‘Christians and Muslims worship the same God even though they have different names and beliefs regarding God.’”[1] A new thrust of Postmodern Christianity that encourages pluralism and universalism has led to various “Common Ground” movements, Chrislam and the Insider Movement among them, where in the name of peace and tolerance, the proponents attempt to show that Islam and Christianity are in fact, harmonious religions.

*Author’s note: As there are currently no pluralistic groups attempting to combine the beliefs of Islam and Judaism, we will strictly focus on Islam and Christianity for the task at hand.

 

ALLAH AND JEHOVAH-GOD ARE NOT THE SAME GOD:

 

  1. Historically

From the beginning of time, the God of the Christian Bible has been a Trinity, or a compound unity. Three persons in one nature, a compound monotheism. Genesis chapter one, verse one says that “In the beginning, GOD created…” The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim which denotes plurality. In Genesis 1:27, it states, “then let US make man in OUR image.” Again, there is plurality. Colossians 1:16 and John 1:3 both name Jesus as the Creator, and Gen. 1:2 and Psalm 33:6 state that the Holy Spirit was also the Creator. This is not the strict monotheism of Islam.  To say that Islam “adopted” the God of Christianity is incorrect. Muhammad took the God of Christianity and stripped Him of His Tri-unity, thereby creating a new deity, and adopted the name “Allah”, (historically, yes, Allah is the Arabic word for God, so the word Allah was not always used in reference to the god of Islam, post-Muhammad however, it almost always is).

 

  1. In the Qur’an

By the time Muhammad came around in the 600’s AD, the doctrine of the Trinity had been an orthodox belief of the church (counting from the official decree at the Council of Nicaea, though it was widely believed and circulated before then by the early church fathers) for about 300 years. This was not some heretical view that Muhammad could write off as the view of a small portion of mistaken believers. And yet, that is exactly what he did. In the Qur’anic accounts of Creation, it is Allah and Allah alone, as an absolute monotheistic deity that is doing the creating. (Surahs 32.4, 10.3, 25.61-62, 55.1-7, 2.29, 59.24, 50.38, 41.9-12), as opposed to the Biblical event of Creation that is accomplished as a Trinity (see #1, above).

 

  1. To Muslims

In Islam, there is one over-arching term that describes Allah and that is tawhid, or absolute and indivisible unity, (Surah 112.1). One way of defining this oneness is ahad, or the denial that Allah has any partners associated with him. In the Qur’an, these partners are defined as the Christian view of the Trinity. (You can find the doctrine of ahad in Surahs 59.22-23, 9.31, 21.22.) If you do assign partners to God, i.e. believe in the Trinity, you are committing the sin of shirk, which in Islam is the one, unforgivable sin (Surahs 5.73, 4.171, 5.116, 4.48, 30.31). Muslims do not think we believe in the same God. In fact, they would be committing the most grievous sin in Islam if they did, because we believe in a compound unity and they believe in an absolute unity. Christians would have to deny Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and Muslims would be signing their lives away to an eternity in hell in order for them to believe that Allah and Jehovah are one and the same. This begs the question of why these “pluralists” are trying to find a happy medium when it is what neither group wants?

 

  1. Paternally

Allah cannot be a Father (Surahs 2.116, 19.35, 6.101), whereas Jehovah is Father God. Some wonder why Muhammad stripped God of His Tri-unity in the 600’s AD (see above), but the answer is very simple. If God is an absolute unity, and He cannot be a Father according to the Qur’an, then there can be no Son of God, hence no Jesus. This is the point where Allah became a brand-new deity: the second Jesus was demoted to a prophet, stripped of His position in the Trinity, and the Holy Spirit was re-personified as the angel Gabriel, taking away His deity as well. Muslims deny the Fatherhood of God because they don’t understand what we mean when we say “Father”.  In Arabic, there are two words for “son”: walad and ibn. Muhammad assumed that when Christians said Jesus was the Son of God, it meant son in the biological sense, which is the Arabic word walad. No orthodox Christian believes that God can have a physical son, for God is spirit, John 4:24. The correct Arabic term for son when referring to Jesus is ibn, or son in a functional or metaphorical sense.[2]

 

  1. In Love

Jehovah-God loves the entire world, while Allah only loves Muslims. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God sent Jesus to die while we were still in our sins. He not only said He loved the whole world, but SHOWED that He loved the world (Jn. 3:16). Allah does not love sinners. Surah 3.31-32 states that Allah does not love those who reject faith (or Islam), and in 3.57 it states that he does not love those who do wrong.

 

  1. In Personhood

The Qur’an only reveals Allah’s will, not his personhood. It says nothing about Allah, except Allahu-Akbar, meaning he is greater than all. There are no attributes that tell us anything about his qualities. In the Bible, Jehovah-God is constantly being described. Romans 11:33 tells us He is rich, wise, and knowledgeable; He is self-existent (Ex. 3:14); He is self-sufficient (John 5:26); eternal (Psalm 102:7,12, 90: 1-2; Is. 40:28, 41:4, 57:15; Gen. 21:33); faithful (Ps. 36:5, 89:1, 105:8; 1 Cor. 1:9, 1 Thess. 5:24, Deut. 7:9, 1 Peter 4:19); etc… [3]

 

JESUS

 

  1. Deity: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

In Surah 5.17, the Qur’an states that it is blasphemy to attribute deity to Jesus, (also see Surah 5.75 and 9.30-31); Yet, Jesus is considered equal with the Father-God in numerous verses in the NT, most explicitly in the following verses: John 1:1-18, John 8:58, Matt. 1:23, and Phil. 2:6.

 

  1. Claims: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

Muslims apologists state that Jesus never claimed deity for Himself. Ajijola says, “Jesus claimed only to be a prophet or a messenger of God. The Gospels also accord Jesus a status not a shade higher than that of Prophet and Messenger,” and Mufassir states, “the biblical expression ‘Son of God’ cannot be said to have ever come, authentically, from the lips of Jesus himself.”[4] Did Jesus claim to be God? Yes, He did. In John 10:30, a first person plural is used – Greek esmen– the verse literally reads from the Greek – “I and the Father we are one.” The Greek word for one (hen) refers not to personal unity but to a unity of essence or nature. Here Jesus claimed that He and the Father were one and the same in the nature of deity. Jesus also affirmed that He is the Son of God: Matthew 26:63-64, John 10:36.

 

  1. Death/Crucifixion: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

The Qur’an states that Jesus never died on the cross, but that he ascended to be with the Father and never died, (Surah 4.157-158). In Islam, prophets must be victorious so it is unfit for a prophet like Jesus to die a humiliating death on a cross. The account of Jesus’ crucifixion can be found in all four gospels (Matthew 27:27-56, Mark 15:21-38, Luke 23:26-49, and John 19:16-37). In Islam there are many theories about what the disciples saw: that it was Judas on the cross, or Joseph of Arimathia, or that Jesus simply swooned on the cross and was revived in the tomb. In response: One, if it was Judas or Joseph on the cross, they would have been screaming that they had the wrong guy and to take him down. Two, they would not tell John to take care of Mary, referring to her as their mother.  Third, Romans were professional executioners. They knew how to kill people, and they pierced Jesus’ side with a spear to be sure He was dead. Fourth, who moved the stone? If Jesus was simply a man who swooned on the cross, he surely would not have been strong enough to roll the stone away on his own.  Lastly, there is a ton of historical writings outside of the Bible to prove Jesus was crucified: Josephus, Tacitus, Lucian of Samsota, Thallus/Julius Africanus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Phiegon, and Mara Bar-Serapion. To deny His crucifixion is to ignore the historical evidence of one of the best documented events in the ancient world.

 

  1. The Resurrection: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

With no crucifixion, there cannot be a resurrection. However, in Christianity, the crucifixion and resurrection mean EVERYTHING! Without the crucifixion we would still be dead in our sins, and without the resurrection we would not know if the atonement took, (1 Corinthians 15:14-17, Romans 4:25). We know the resurrection happened because of these four truths: the tomb was empty, he appeared to over 500 witnesses in His post-resurrected state, the church exploded in growth due to the fervency of the apostles after experiencing the risen Christ, and they all were willing to die as martyrs for their faith. No one dies for something they know to be a lie.

SIN

 

  1. Original Sin: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

There is no original sin in Islam. Adam’s sin was a mistake that was forgiven and did not get passed down to subsequent generations. We know this because in Surah 2.38-39, Adam was given guidance and prophethood which is the proof that he was forgiven. The sin of Adam and Eve was not transferred to mankind. Allah forgave them and it had no more effect on them. Also, the Qur’an states that all people are born true Muslims – innocent, pure, and free. Every person has fitra – God given nature, (Surah 30.30-31). It is family and societal influences that persuade you to “forget” your true Muslim nature. It follows then, if there is no original sin, there is no need for a sacrifice (Jesus’ crucifixion) or atonement. Muslims do not believe they are sinners. In Surah 4.31, it states that God will take care of the small mistakes, as long as you are aware of the most heinous ones. If Muslims do not commit murder or adultery, they believe they will be fine. The Bible, however, teaches that the sin from Adam was inherited by all men, (Romans 5:12, 7:15-25) and that it is only through Christ that we can be saved, (1 Corinthians 5:22).

 

  1. Jehovah-God grieves at sin, Allah does not.

In the Muslim view, there is no room for Allah to experience emotions. Allah sent prophets to people groups that are being led astray, if they reject the prophet, Allah destroys the people in retribution. In the Christian view, God grieves and gets angry at sin, (Gen. 6:5-7). This is not because God is weak but because God is love. In Islam our sin, rebelliousness, in no way affects Allah. In the Biblical picture, our sin affects God. God is not indifferent to human sin, brokenness and rebellion. He became a man and died on the cross so that we would not be lost in our sin. Jehovah-God reached down to man, whereas in Islam, it is all about man attempting to please Allah by obeying His will.

 

SALVATION

 

  1. Christianity = man’s choice, Islam = Allah’s choice.

In Christianity, salvation is a choice made by man. When Jesus died on the cross, He provided the gift of salvation for any and all who will CHOOSE it. He will not force you to become a God-loving robot if you do not want to. However, in Islam, you have no guarantee that just because you choose to be a Muslim, Allah will forgive you and grant you salvation. Also, even if you have worked for your salvation, you still have no guarantee that you have ever done enough to get in, as only Allah knows. *Note – this is not a Calvinism/Arminianism debate. I am a chosen-but-free type of girl and believe that God desires ALL to come to repentance, but in the end, it is man who decides whether or not to accept that  free gift of eternal life.

 

  1. Islam = works, Christianity = grace.

In Islam, a confession of faith does not grant you salvation. By reciting the shahada, it is only a sign of the remembrance that you are a true Muslim. It does not assure you justification in the eyes of Allah. Only works and deeds will get justification. In Surah 23.102-103, it states that a scale will be used to weigh your good deeds against your bad. Those who have more good deeds go to heaven, those who have more bad, go to hell. However, you will never know whether or not you have done enough. In Islam, the path of works includes iman (faith in God, Angels, Holy Books, Prophets, Day of Judgment, and sometimes Predestination), and amal (actions including Confession, Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, and Pilgrimage), (Surah 5.10). This is In contrast to Christianity, which states that salvation is by grace alone, (Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 3:25-28, John 6:47, 3:16).

 

  1. Assurance of salvation: Islam = no, Christianity = yes.

The only way of guaranteeing your salvation as a Muslim is if you fight by Jihad, and get martyred, (Surah 3.195). There is no assurance outside of that, and there is barely assurance in that since by the time you can verify it, it is too late! The Bible states that no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand, and that belief in Jesus Christ guarantees that we will be granted eternal life, (John 10:28, 5:24, 6:47; 1 Peter 1:3-5). In Islam there is no change when one converts, but it Christianity, there is regeneration, sanctification, and adoption into God’s family.

 

WOMEN

 

  1. Discipline of Wives: Islam = yes, Bible = no.

The Qur’an gives men permission to beat their wives if they simply fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, until they return to obedience, (Surah 4.34, 30.20). This is in direct contradiction to what the Bible says:  “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them,” (Colossians 3:19). They are also to love their wives as they love themselves, (Ephesians 5:25-33).

 

  1. Polygamy: Islam = yes, Bible = no.

In Islam, Men can have up to four wives, and an unlimited number of slave girls as concubines or sexual partners (Surah 4.24-25). Muhammad himself had 11 wives and two concubines between 620-629 AD, and maybe even as high as 15 at once.[5] This was deemed “okay” by Allah in Surah 33.50. In the Bible, polygamy is a no-no! In places where polygamy is mentioned, it is historical narrative, which means it’s descriptive, not prescriptive, (Genesis 1:27, 2:24). The Bible clearly teaches that God’s model for marriage is one man, and one woman, (Malachi 2:15, Titus 1:6; 1 Timothy 3:2,12; Ephesians 5:31-33; Matthew 19:5; Luke 16:18).

 

  1. Women as a pollution to prayer: Islam = yes, Bible = no.

In Surah 5.6, the Qur’an states that women are pollution to a man’s prayers. In contrast, the Bible states, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered,” (1 Peter 3:7 ). Here the Bible is stating that in order to not hinder your prayers, you must honor women, which is the extreme opposite of thinking they are pollution. God wants men to be chivalrous, not chauvinist.

 

  1. Women as Eyewitnesses: Islam = no, Bible = yes.

In Surah 2.282, it states that you need two women to equal the eyewitness of one man. Basically, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s. Bukhari gave this account in the Hadith: “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind,’ (Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 48, Number 826). In the Bible, all four gospel writers indicate that Mary Magdalene was present at the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:10; John 20:1). Why is this important? A woman can be an eyewitness! The gospel writers tell us that Jesus commanded her to go tell His male disciples what she knew, (Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28:5-10). John 20 says: “Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’–and that he had said these things to her.” While there may have been other women there, the fact that Jesus appeared first to a woman, and then sent HER to inform His disciples what had happened, spoke volumes about Jesus’ view of women.

 

HOLY BOOKS

 

  1. The Biblical Scriptures are corrupted: Islam = yes, Christianity = no.

In Surahs 2.75, 5.13-14, and 5.41, the Qur’an claims that the Jews and Christians corrupted the Biblical Scriptures, thereby making them untrustworthy for Muslims. There is only one problem with this line of reasoning. It is illogical and refuted by archaeological evidence. First it is illogical because in other Qur’anic instances (Surahs 3.84 and 5.69), the Torah and the Gospels are considered trustworthy. In these passages, Muhammad praises the Scriptures as God’s Word. Also, in other passages (Surahs 10.64, 6.34, 35.43) it states that no one can change the Word of God. A simple logical syllogism can be deduced from the above information:

P1: The Qur’an states that the Torat and the Ingil are God’s Word (Surah 3.84, 5.69).

P2: The Qur’an states that no one can change the Word of God (Surah 10.64, 6.34, 35.43).

Therefore, no one can change the Torat and the Ingil (they are not corrupted).

 

Second, thanks to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the writings of the early church fathers (from which we can reconstruct the entire New Testament except for 11 verses), and the various codices around the world (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus), we have manuscripts that pre-date Muhammad with the “supposed” changes in them and none without them. Why would Muhammad have praised the Gospels and Torah as God’s Word (Surah 3.84) if they were corrupted before he even came along? For the charge of tahrif to be valid, all of the Jews and Christians would have had to get together and change every manuscript, every writing from the early church fathers, and burn all of the rest, which we know from history did not happen and is quite absurd. There are over 24,000 Biblical manuscripts that give the Scriptures a quality of trustworthiness as the Word of God.

 

  1. The Qur’an is word of God: Islam=yes, Christianity = no.

In Islam, the Qur’an is the absolute word of Allah.  Jay Smith, an apologist to Muslims, states, “According to Muslim tradition, these ‘revelations’ were sent down (Surah 17.85), to the lowest of the seven heavens at the time of the month of Ramadan, during the night of power or destiny (lailat al Qadr in Arabic). From there it was revealed to Muhammad in installments by the ‘angel Gabriel’ (Surah 25.32). Consequently, every letter and every word is free of human influence, which gives the Qur’an an aura of authority, even holiness, and must be revered as such.” The idea that the Qur’an is the Word of God is based on a logical fallacy called “Circular Reasoning”. Basically, it goes like this: How do you know the Qur’an is the Word of God? Muhammad says so. How do you know Muhammad is a prophet? The Qur’an says so. Muhammad gave zero proof of his prophethood; therefore we cannot take anything he says to be the Word of God. Also, since the revelations in the Qur’an were given to Muhammad alone (and not 40 different authors, over 1500 years, that all concur with one another), there is no way to prove that he was telling the truth about his encounters with Gabriel, or if it was even the real Gabriel that appeared. The Qur’an cannot be trusted or verified.

*The information about the Qur’an comes from a general consensus of Muslim scholars regarding Islamic theology (ex. Yusuf Ali, Bukhari). I have read the Qur’an and large portions of the Hadiths, and have verified the references. The implications, and what it means when compared to Christianity, is my work and the work of many other Christian apologists. The point of this blog is not to disprove Islam, but that it and Christianity simply cannot peacefully co-exist in one’s belief system.

 

[1] https://www.barna.com/research/what-americans-believe-about-universalism-and-pluralism/

[2] http://www.answering-islam.org/Hahn/son.html

[3] http://www.answering-islam.org/God/index.html

[4] Geisler, Answering Islam, ch. 11.

[5] Geisler and Saleeb, p. 176 and Unveiling Islam, p. 56

 

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