Islam vs. Christianity
Quick Overview of the similarities and differences between Islam & Christianity
Islam and Christianity are very similar. Both believe that:
- There is only one God. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
- God sent prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob (later called "Israel"), Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, Mohammad, etc, (peace be upon all of them).
- People should follow the holy scriptures of God and teachings of the prophets.
- The Torah (Old Testament of the Bible) and the Gospel (New Testament of the Bible) are holy scriptures.
- Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin; therefore Jesus was born miraculously.
- Jesus Christ is a Messiah and he performed miracles.
- Satan is evil; therefore, people should not follow Satan.
- An Anti-Christ will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment.
- Jesus Christ will return to the Earth by descending from Heaven and will kill the Anti-Christ.
- The Day of Judgment will occur and people will be judged.
- There is hell and paradise.
There are 3 main differences between Islam & Christianity:
1. Today, most Christians believe in the Trinity, meaning that God has 3 forms (Father, Son, Holy Ghost/ Spirit). The concept of trinity was not adopted by Christianity until the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Some of the early Christians were Unitarians. Even today, there are Christian Unitarian churches that do not accept the Trinity. Notable Rationalist Unitarians include thinkers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson (American), scientists such as Isaac Newton (British), as well as famous figures such as Florence Nightingale (British) in nursing and humanitarianism, Charles Dickens (British) in literature, and Frank Lloyd Wright (American) in architecture.
While in Islam,
(a) Trinity is totally rejected. Jesus is neither God, nor Son of God (in the literal sense). Jesus was a human prophet and not divine.
(b) Muslims worship only God, the one and only the creator and sustainer of the universe.
(c) This God (the Quran refers to as Allah) is the God and creator of Jesus and is the same God that Jesus in the current Bible refers to as Father and to whom Jesus used to pray.
(d) Muslims consider Mohammad, Moses, and Jesus as prophets and messengers sent by God. These prophets were human beings, not divine, and should not be worshipped directly or indirectly.
(e) If son/daughter of God means a person created by God, then all humans are children of God. So there is nothing special or divine about Jesus being called son of God and therefore Jesus should not be worshipped. If son/daughter of God means a pious, religious person who follows the commands of God, Jesus was indeed pious and religious. However, it is unacceptable to believe that God is the biological father of Jesus meaning that God had sex with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
(f) Finally, angels (such as Gabriel) are servants/agents of God. Angels are created by God; therefore, they are not divine and should not be worshipped.
2. The Quran says Jesus did not die on the cross, but God made it appear that way to people. Furthermore, the Quran also says that Jesus was ascended to Heaven by God. Most Christians today insist Jesus was crucified and died on the cross, but two days later was resurrected.
3. Christians believe in the concept of "Original Sin" which means that human beings are born as sinners , bearing the burden of the "Original Sin" of Adam and Eve. Muslims do not believe in the " Original Sin" for 2 main reasons:
(a) In the Quran, God forgave Adam for what he has done, and
(b) According to the Quran, no one should be made to bear the burden of someone else's sin or mistake because it is unfair.
Muslims' View of Christianity
1. The true teachings of Jesus (pbuh) are fully compatible with Islam. Muslims are the true followers of the teachings of Jesus, Moses, and Mohammad (peace be upon them).
2. Muslims regard the "real" Bible (that reflects God's actual message and the real teachings of Jesus and the prophets before him) as a holy scripture. We believe that the Bible has been corrupted due to many factors and reasons. The current Bible is corrupted, but not completely false. So, we can still find today in the Bible some traces of the truth, such as verses that contradict with the Trinity. That is why Muslims are willing to accept the "current" Bible only to the extent that it does not contradict with the Quran.
3. Modern Christianity was not founded by Jesus, but rather by Paul and the Romans in the Council of Nicea in 325 AD (meaning about 325 years after Jesus), inspired by Satan. In this Council of Nicea, Church leaders from around the world debated and finally decided on what should and what should not be included in the Bible. There were different views expressed in the Council; however, the views of the those who were most powerful won. As a result, lots of Gospels were thrown away. For Christianity to be adopted by the Roman Empire as its official religion, it had to succumb to the desires of the Romans who wanted to incorporate their own pagan religious beliefs and myths into Christianity. The integrity of the message brought by Jesus from God was compromised to appease the Roman Empire. Christianity has evolved into a cult that has deviated significantly from the true teachings of Jesus by: (a) adding new doctrines not preached by Jesus, (b) deleting or modifying some of the teachings of Jesus, and (c) creating an "unholy", man-made scripture. A holy scripture must be in the form and content intended, inspired, or revealed by God, not created by human beings.
4. Many Christians insist that Muslims do not worship the same God of Christianity. We say that Islam requires Muslims to worship only God (the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad), the creator of the universe. Many Christians mistakenly believe that without Trinity, there is no Christianity. We say to them: if Trinity is so important why didn't Jesus speak about it clearly. In many verses in Bible, Jesus' sayings seem to contradict the Trinity. We, as Muslims, say to such Christians, obviously, we do not worship the same "triune" God that you do. The Quran instructs us to worship only the creator of the universe and not worship any human being. Muslims today are the true followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as the teachings of Prophet Mohammad and the other prophets before them (peace be upon all of these prophets). Muslims worship the God of Jesus, the God who created Jesus and whom Jesus himself worshipped. Who is more worthy of worship: God or Jesus ?
5. The Quran says clearly that Islam is the religion of "Fitra" (meaning "the inborn nature of everything created by God"). This means that Islam is the innate/inborn religion. All Babies are born Muslims. This makes a lot of sense because it is natural for a human being to worship his/her creator who has also created and sustains the whole universe because no one knows more about human beings' nature and needs than their creator and no one can sustain the balance and life in the universe better than God. Furthermore, it is natural to believe that there is one God because if there were more than one God, the universe would have been chaotic. Therefore, it is natural for human beings to want to establish a good relationship with the one and only God. God has sent prophets such Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad, exactly to tell human beings that in order to maintain a good relationship with God, they should follow God's religion, meaning the set of beliefs and practices that: (a) is good for them personally for their life on Earth and in the hereafter, and (b) that creates peace and harmony among people as well as between people and the rest of the universe. God offered one religion preached by all of God's prophets and this religion was finally given the name Islam.
Just imagine yourself trying to explain the Trinity of Christianity to someone. The first thing this person is likely to accept is that he should worship God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, of course as long as this person is not an atheist. If you are dealing with an atheist, then first you have to prove to this person that there is God. Then, you can simply say that since now you believe in the existence of God, God expects you to worship him. Now, your final task, that is to make him believe in the Trinity, is certainly going to be much harder than convincing him of the need to worship God. Trinity is not a "natural" concept. It is a hypothesis (theory) that is more difficult to accept. You have to convince him that 3 is equal to 1. Trinity defies the laws of mathematics and the laws of nature.
The purpose or rationale for the Trinity was to say that Jesus died for the sins of human beings and merely by believing in the Trinity and worshiping Jesus, people will be saved and they will go to paradise.
There are at least 6 problems with the Trinity and the "Original Sin" doctrines:
(a) These doctrines merely form a man-made hypothesis that defies the natural/inborn tendencies of people to worship only their creator as we have explained above.
(b) They were adopted in the Council of Nicea in 325 AD in which there were views that differ sharply from today's Christianity and many gospels were discarded.
(c) Trinity is a concept that was copied from a popular pagan religion of the Romans, called Mithraism.
(d) There are as verses in the Bible that contradict with the doctrine of Trinity.
(e) The Original Sin concept encourages people to sin as much as they want and not to do any good deeds. After all, regardless of their sins, Christianity teaches that Christians will be forgiven, saved and go to heaven as long as they believe in Jesus, as explained above.
(f) The Original Sin concept is not fair, as we have explained earlier, because no one should be made to bear the burden of someone else's sin or mistake.
6. Today's Christianity is a product of man-made corruptions, motivated by personal and political reasons, and inspired by Satan. The primary objective of Satan is to entice people to disobey God and stray away from his religion. Satan knows that most people will not agree to worship him (Satan). So, Satan is satisfied by just making people follow him indirectly. By inspiring people to corrupt the Bible and create today's Christianity, Satan believes that he won one battle against God, but even Satan knows that he cannot win a war against God. Satan utilizes several methods to achieve his objectives such as: (a) Satan entices people to do evil things by camouflaging the bad aspects and creating an attractive illusion about the benefits one will get for doing these evil things, (b) Satan attempts to stop people from doing the good things that God has commanded, (c) Satan does his best to strengthen the sense of vanity, selfishness, over-confidence, and invincibility in individuals to the extent that Satan makes them feel they do not need God and consequently either reject the existence of God or at least choose to disobey him (this is exemplified by people who "act like God").
7. Satan acted like a deceitful businessman. He noticed a unique opportunity and he wanted to take advantage of it. The opportunity was the advent of a Jesus, a prophet with a genuine message from God that was originally intended to correct the beliefs the Jews who strayed away from God's religion. Satan did what some deceitful sellers of vegetables and fruits do today. He inspired Paul and the Romans to create Christianity in such a way that they sell Christianity as a package that includes bad apples inside the package, but with some good apples (Jesus' teachings and message) displayed in the upper viewable portion of the package to deceive people into buying the package. The package is wrapped in attractive way and the buyer has to buy it as a whole package. As a businessman, Satan wanted his evil product to be bought and used by the largest number of people and that is why he chose to inspire the Roman Emperor to adopt Satan's product, giving it a brand name, Christianity, and making it the official religion of the Roman Empire. This is how Christianity was created and promoted.
8. It is also worth mentioning that the Old Testament (Jewish Torah) was also corrupted by likely by Jewish Rabbis and priests to fit their own preferences.
9. Finally, we should also point out the important role of scribes and translators in corrupting the Old & New Testaments. Some of the corruptions by theses scribes & translators were possibly done intentionally, while others may have occurred unintentionally.
Muslim-Christian Views of One Another - By Abdal Hakim Murad
Scriptural Links: Judaism, Christianity and Islam- By Abdal Hakim Murad
To lean more about the Role of the Scribes in distorting the Bible, please watch Dr. Bart Erhman's lecture at Stanford University (he is a World-renowned Bible Scholar)
To better understand, the false doctrines of Christianity, please visit: Erroneous Doctrines of Christianity
Also, visit Pagan Origins of Christianity
For more detailed information about the differences and similarities between Islam and Christianity, we encourage you to visit:
(a) Visit on our site, What did Jesus really say? which is in our opinion one of the best books that has been written on this topic.
(b) Visit on our site: Jesus in Islam
To learn about the prophecies about prophet Mohammad in the Bible and Islamic doctrines incorporated in the Bible:
(a) Visit on our site: Mohammad (prophecies about Mohammad in the Bible and other holy scriptures)
(b) Visit on our site: Islam in the Bible