Due to the events of September 11, much attention has been focused on the Muslim religion. Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world, and for the past several years it has been making tremendous inroads in American society. Islam was founded by a man named Mohammed in the year 622. Islam claims that all the prophets mentioned in the Bible are true prophets of God, but Mohammed claimed to be the greatest of all God’s prophets. As Christians, it is important to, “prove all things, and hold fast what is good (1 Thess 5:21).” Let us then ask the question, “Why not be a Muslim?”
The Qur’an denies the Divine nature of Jesus — The Bible teaches that Jesus is God’s Son (cf. John 1:1-14). In contrast, the Qur’an (the Islamic holy book) teaches that Jesus was an inspired prophet, but He was not God. Note the following quote from the Qur’an: “The Messiah the son of Mary is only a prophet; prophets before him have passed away (Sura 5:79).” This statement, if true, makes Jesus a liar for He Himself said, “I and My Father are one (John 10:30).” If Jesus was truly an inspired prophet of God, as the Qur’an teaches, how could He have made such a blasphemous claim? To the Muslim mind, Jesus is merely an inspired man just like Ezekiel, Amos, and Jeremiah. Mohammed, of course, is regarded as the last and greatest of the prophets of God. If Islamic teaching is correct, Jesus sinned, and the Bible is inaccurate (1 Peter 2:21-23).
Islam provides no atoning sacrifice for sin — The Qur’an says that all the prophets of God were inspired: “Verily, we have inspired thee as we inspired Noah and the prophets after him, and as we inspired… and Jesus (Sura 4:162).” The Biblical prophets, however, prophesied about and emphasized Jesus’ sacrifice for sin (Isaiah 53, Mark 10:45). By reducing Jesus to the rank of Old Testament prophet, Islam also denies the power of His sacrifice for us (Phil 3:10)! Fact is, the Bible clearly teaches that all men need the sacrifice of Christ to make salvation possible (John 3:16). Islam seeks to give sinful men a direct access to God, and yet the Bible teaches that God can have nothing to do with sin (Isaiah 59:1-2; Hab 1:13). Any religion that ignores or denies the necessity of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for the sin of mankind (John 1:29) greatly distorts what God said through all prophets in the Bible.
Islam teaches submission to an unreliable god — This may surprise some, but Muslims worship a very different god (Allah) than do Christians. Certainly, the claim is made that Islam is based on inspiration from the same God we read about in the Bible, but Allah is very different in character and nature than is our God. Allah is seen as all-powerful, and the Muslim mind understands this to mean that there is nothing Allah cannot do — he can even condemn the righteous! The Bible teaches that our God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), He cannot forget His promises (2 Tim 2:13), and He cannot look favorably upon sin (Hab 1:13). Islam teaches that Allah can do all these things and more, if he so chooses. An educated Muslim scholar once wrote, “Though I have been faithful to Him, I fear that at the end of life, Allah will choose to condemn me anyway.” The hope that Christians have in Christ is based upon the witness and oath of God Himself (Hebrews 6:17-20). If God could change His mind concerning His promises, how utterly hopeless we would be!
The Qur’an teaches that “Holy War” is acceptable to God — Consider the following quote from the Qur’an: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you… slay them wherever you catch them… Such is the reward of those who suppress faith… Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression (Sura 2:190-193).” In other words, those who teach that the Islamic system is not of God are viewed as opponents worthy of persecution. The perceived enemy of Islam does not necessarily have to be “armed” to be considered dangerous, and to incur their bitterness. The Qur’an also says, “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by God and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth [Islam], (even if they are people of the Book [Jews or Christians], until they pay the Jizya [a tax for those who do not accept Islam] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued (Sura 9:29).” Thus, Muslims believe it is their duty to fight against and subject non-Muslims to persecution in the cause of Allah. While some Muslims may deny this, they cannot be faithful to Mohammed without eventually acknowledging the above statements (among many others) from the Qur’an. In contrast, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews (John 18:36).” Nowhere does the Bible teach that it is permissible to persecute and kill the enemies of Christianity! Rather, the Bible teaches that vengeance on the ungodly belongs to God alone (cf. Romans 12:17-21). Christians are to repay evil with good and strive to live peaceably with all men. The Bible demonstrates quite a contrast from the warlike teachings of the Qur’an!
The Qur’an adds to the Gospel of Christ — Beginning in about 610 and continuing for several years, Mohammed claimed to receive a series of Divine revelations from the angel Gabriel. These revelations were later compiled to form the Qur’an, the Islamic holy book. We have already seen that the Qur’an contradicts many of the teachings of the Bible, but what is to be said of Mohammed’s claim? What if Gabriel really did appear to him? The Bible gives the answer in Galatians 1:8: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” Thus, the Bible plainly teaches that not even the angel Gabriel has the right to change the message of Christ.
The purpose of this article has been to provide Christians with some insight and understanding of the Islamic religion. We have attempted to compare the claims of the Qur’an with the claims of the Bible, and in so doing have shown that men must, of necessity, choose one or the other. Every man now living can be confident that if he is honest and sincere, it is possible to know the truth (John 8:32). Let’s make sure that we are both honest and sincere in seeking God’s will, and let’s be sure we are doing our best to, “speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15)!” — John Baker