Comparing Islam with Christianity

Not only is Islam the largest religion in the world, it encompasses so much more than just religious precepts. Therefore its guiding literature includes much more than the Koran. Islamic literature includes a complete set of guidelines for civil governance as well. These guidelines are termed the Hadis, or Hadith. In the present context we’ll limit our comparison to the Islamic religious creed which is divided into six articles, or Kalimas. These six articles are described and defined in the Koran. We will examine the highlights of these articles and outline the Islamic interpretation and then compare what the Bible states relative to these same articles.

However, even before we begin the comparison it should be remembered that Islam was founded in the 7th century AD. The Koran was, therefore, compiled subsequent to that time period. Islam and the Koran began with the basic tenants of Christianity and Judaism as recorded in the Bible. These tenants were then changed and/or added to by Mohammed to conform to his vision for a “new and improved” religion. While the Koran was compiled over a 23 year period of Mohammed’s life, the Bible by contrast was compiled over many centuries and was completed by the end of the 1st century AD. The Bible contains several succinct statements relative to its authenticity and finality.

“…You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it…”
Deuteronomy 4:2

“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:32

“Every word of God is pure…Do not add to His words…”
Proverbs 30:5-6

For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…
Revelation 22:18-19

The first religious article, or Kalima, in the Koran is the belief in God. Islam portrays their god, Allah, as a singular god that has no offspring. Consider the following passages from the Koran:

“In blasphemy indeed are those that say that God is Christ the son of Mary.”
Surah 5:17

“They said, ‘The Most Gracious has begotten a son’! You have uttered a gross blasphemy. The heavens are about to shatter, the earth is about to tear asunder, and the mountains are about to crumble. Because they claim that the Most Gracious has begotten a son. It is not befitting the Most Gracious that He should beget a son.” Surah 19:88-92

“The Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth…they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the truth!” Surah 9:30

The above passages from the Koran adamantly deny the plurality of the Godhead and specifically the deity of Christ.

For the Christian, however, the plurality of the Godhead is one of their foundational doctrines and is proclaimed in numerous biblical passages beginning in the first chapter of Genesis.

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over…all the earth…” Genesis 1:26

The Hebrew word for God in this passage is Elohim which is a plural noun which is then followed by several plural pronouns, i.e. Us and Our.

There are numerous passages in the New Testament also that attest to the plurality of the Godhead. Consider I John 4:13-14.

By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

The deity of Christ, denied in the Koran, is clearly presented in the New Testament as well. Consider John 1:1 and 1:14.

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, and we behold His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…

In the New Testament we refer to the Greek language for understanding. The Greek base for “Word” is logos which is defined as a thought or concept and the expression or utterance of that thought. That thought or concept in this passage is Christ who is not only the begotten of the Father but is in fact the visible expression of the Father.

Thus it can be seen that the very first article of Islam’s religious creed differs drastically with the Biblical account of the doctrine of God. While the Koran denies the plurality of the Godhead and the deity of Christ, Christianity and the Bible are built on these basic precepts.

A person’s choice of religion should be a free and personal decision. Any person with an open mind can examine the literature and history surrounding a religion and make their own rational choice. Under no conditions should any religion be “forced” on an individual.

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