Understanding Islam – Part 4 (Allah v. God)


Are all gods the same?  Clearly the answer is no, as many may worship cars, or money, or themselves, the sun, the moon, or other objects as if they were a personal god.  As to the supernatural there is the ‘NoGod” contingent, then there is Allah, the Jewish God, and the Triune God.  Focusing on the last three, but primarily Allah, and attempting an understanding of Islam the question then becomes –  is Allah and God the same?  

The idea of the Triune nature of the God of the Christians is problematic for Muslims.  By their own proclamations from the Qur’an (Sura 23:91) it is said, “Never did Allah take to Himself a son, and never was there with him any other god – in that case would each god have certainly taken away what he created, and some of them would certainly have overpowered others; glory be to Allah above what they describe.”  This being the case, the concept of sonship alone, the Muslims differentiate Allah from the Christian God, thus they are admitting they are not the same.  The Trinty described in Islam, erroneously, are God, Jesus and Mary.  Christians then are seen as polytheists, believing in not one, but 3 gods.  Muslims do not understand the nature of One, embodied in the persons, history and purpose of the 3, God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.  George W. Braswell Jr., What You Need to Know About Islam & Muslims, notes, “Christianity believes there is a plurality of persons or relationships in the unity of the nature of God.”[1] (pg. 125)  The truth of all of this is revealed in the Bible; even the Qur’an affirms that the Bible cannot be corrupted – discussion follows. 

In the book, Unveiling Islam[2], by Ergun and Emil Caner, they state, “Muhammad’s entire religion is based on the rejection of the Christian concept of God.”  A difference lies to in the terms Grace and Mercy.  We will use the word God, capitalized, for the Trinity and Allah for Allah.  God gives grace to all, even the unclean and the infirmed.  Allah only offers mercy, a mechanism of withholding punishment which is totally in Allah’s control.  God’s Grace was liberation for mankind from sin – and for Jews and Muslims accepting Christ liberation from ‘works’ and the fear of being measured by accumulating good works and contrasting the number to bad works – 51% good being an objective.  Christians, believers in the Risen Lord, need do nothing to receive Grace; even if undeserving.  They do not need to clean-up before prayer, or clean anew if they happen to ‘pass gas’ to then pray (relates to Prayer in the Five Pillars of Islam).  Erun and Emir Caner note: “grace is not the same as mercy.  Mercy is when God chooses not to punish me.” (pg. 242)    From Ephesian 2:8-9, NIV Bible), “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. ”

The Muslim’s claim man corrupted the Bible and the Quran set the record straight.  This idea creates its own problems, however.  But, the Qur’an states that the Bible is the Word of God – sura 2:75) – “Can you (O you men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you? – seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and preserved it knowingly after they understood it.”  This is a direct reference to the Bible.  It continues – sura 15:9 – “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).” (The sura quotes are from Caner’s book).  So if Allah sent the Message – the Bible – it cannot be corrupted.  This may be all too logical.  Quoting from Unveiling Islam, “The Bible, if the Word of God, cannot have been changed.  If it were changed, then it was never the Word of God, something that is anathema in Islamic doctrine.  How can the Word of God be corrupted by man?  Is man greater than his Creator? Did the Creator allow the corruption for some mystical reason? (pg. 232) The Qur’an, admittedly, goes on to contradict itself.  

The Bible, attested too by the Qur’an as the truth (see next para. sura 10:94), states clearly, “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6) and “Every word of God is flawless.” (Proverbs 30:5), each phrase referencing Scripture (the Bible).  Through Muhammad have we now experienced a change in the words, disobeying God, to create a new Book, changes to make his life and that of his followers, especially male followers, more in conformance with their own doctrines, desires, and the living standards of their time (580-630 CE). 

Here is a most interesting passage from the Qur’an, sura 10:94, “If you were to doubt as to what We have revealed unto you, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before you: the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord: so be it no wise of those who doubt.”  The “Book” is the Bible.  Muhammad, with input from the angel Gabriel, is by this verse authenticating the Bible.  How then can the Book have been corrupted by man?   Does this not then suggest the Bible be accepted by Muslims, from the mouth of Muhammad himself.   

More problems and questions arise about Muhammad’s intent in establishing his Islamic religion.  Was it more for personal reasons?  Is it logic, such as this, or the avoidance of such logic,  that engenders Muslim nations to deny the freedom of their people, especially the freedom to worship as they wish?  Are they fearful the real truth will be heard, they may discover they are free to believe as they choose (voluntarily) and their militant religions will be questioned by the people under their thumbs?  There is no freedom of religion in Muslim countries when non-Muslims cannot openly worship or discuss their personal beliefs, build, even rebuild churches, and certainly not when there is open oppression of unbelievers, (kafirs, infidels), and governments support such actions.  Missionaries are not desired in Muslim countries, yet Muslims are determined to spread Islam worldwide. “This too is jihad.”[3] Free countries allow their activities.

Muslims look at the non-Muslim peoples, including the secular societies – regarded as pagan, all as infidels.  They must be brought under the umbrella, the authority and the governance described in the Qur’an, via jihad, thus cleansing the world and making the world-culture the Islamic world culture.  It will not be a free society, as the societies under current Muslim rule do not appear to be free.  The recent vote in Iran for Presidency is an example.  How many have already died as a result of questioning the outcome of that election?   

Back to comparing God and Allah.  As to Salvation God makes it possible to those who believe, knowing Christ lived a perfect life, took on the burden of the sins of all mankind, took the punishment they deserved, suffered greatly and died on the cross, but only to rise again, overcoming death, spiritually alive and divine, and then to ascend into heaven, the spirit of Christ, divine, as God, to then dwell in the hearts of man, as a reminder of their freedom and guarantee of salvation.  The Trinity is One God, a loving God, exemplified in history in the Old Testament and the New, who gave man the complete picture of his commandments, his commission, his wrath, his redemption, his grace, his love, and his mercy.   

In comparison Allah is also One, not a loving Allah, a judge, viewing the actions of mankind for the purposes of bringing everyone under the banner of Allah, a dictator and less than benevolent judge, as even those that far exceed the measure of good over evil are not assured Salvation unless Allah decides.  Follower’s chances for Salvation can be enhanced by killing a kafir (infidel). Some view Allah as demonic and the actions of Muslims as being party to an army of the devil.  Only the devil would be so demanding, controlling, offer such pleasures for men, and demand any criticism be stifled.  Allah does command followers of the Qur’an and the prophet Muhammad to take to heart the Ten Commandments, charity, care for the sick and elderly, love of Allah and neighbor.  But is it love and charity and so forth given because one loves Allah and desires to do these things, the good works, or is it a requirement with severe punishment to follow if the standards are not met? Muhammad is a man and he alone recited Allah’s “suras”, received while in a dream state (consider your ability to remember your dreams) to be memorized and repeated by others, and at times altered, it appears, to meet the needs or programs espoused by Muhammad.  Those who further  ‘recited’ what they heard from Muhammad eventually had the words written down and a ‘canon’, the Qur’an, was decided upon as the final expression of Allah.   

Muslims speak of unity – all followers of one Qur’an, not subject to interpretation (but difficult in the original Arabic dialect used for most Muslims to understand), and believe in only Allah and the prophet Muhammad.  There are denominations, but fewer than for Christians.  

Christians are united.  They are often criticized for the over 1,000 denominations that exist, viewed as being of multiple minds, but the consensus remains a focus on the Trinity, God,  the basic beliefs, the deity of Christ, the bodily resurrection, the Risen Lord, the Spirit of the Lord dwelling in man, and being free and non-militant, all of which is “nonnegotiable”, according to the Caners (pg. 207).  

My conclusion thus far is that Allah is not the God of the Bible.  They are not the same.  There can only be, however, one true God.     


   

[1] What You Need to Know About Islam & Muslims, by George W. Braswell Jr., 2000, Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN. (pg. 125)   

[2] Unveiling Islam, An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs, by Ergun Mehmet Caner and Emir Fethi Caner, 2009 (second edition), Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. pg. 241)   

[3] Ibid.(Caner)  pg. 207

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