The Truth About Islam

What is Islam? Do Christians worship the same God as Muslims?

My objective in this article is to explain the difference between Islam and Christianity. May the Lord open our eyes to see the truth and receive the truth.

Islam was founded in the early seventh century by Muhammed. Islam began about 610 A.D. in what is known as modern Saudi Arabia. Muhammad, the "prophet" of Islam, supposedly received revelations from God. These revelations were put together in a book known as the Qur'an (the holy book of Islam). From its very beginning, Islam has been a growing religion with approximately a billion adherents worldwide. Islam has had a great deal of influence over the people of the Middle East, Africa, and even southern Europe.

Although Muslims draw their inspiration from Muhammed and the Koran, there are many identifiable groups and movements within Islam.

Let's look at some of the basic beliefs of Islam:

1. Muslims believe in Allah as their God.

Quote from the Koran:
" Say: He is Allah. the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (Surah 1121-4)

Muslims believe that God is One, Almighty, All-powerful, beyond comparison. The Bible also confirms this truth (Deuteronomy 6:4), "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!"

2. Muslims believe in angels and jinn.

Jinn are spirit beings capable of both good and evil actions and of possessing human beings. Above the jinn in rank are the angels of God. Two of them are believed to accompany every Muslim, one on the right to record his good deeds, and one on the left to record his evil deeds.

3. Muslims believe in Books of Allah

Muslims and Christians believe that God revealed His will to mankind by sending prophets and messengers with revelations. Muslims believe that they are found in the Tawrat (Torah) of Moses, the Zabur (Psalms) of David, the Injil (Gospel) of Jesus and the Quran of Muhammad. According to them, all books, except the Quran had been corrupted and changed wherever they disagree with it. Christians believe that there are some major problems with this Islamic view.

4. Muslims believe in Prophets of Allah

Both Muslims and Christians believe that prophets are sent by God to His people because they are weak and need His guidance. In opposite to Christians, Muslims are told that these prophets did not commit any (big) sins. However, even the Quran says that, Adam disobeyed God knowingly (Surah 20:119), Moses killed an Egyptian (Surah 28:16), Muhammad, Noah and Jonah asked for forgiveness of their sins (Surah 47:19, 48:1-2, 11:47, 21:87, 71:29) However, Jesus is called sinless, even in the Quran (19:19)! Why?

5. Muslims believe in the Day of Judgement

Both Christianity and Islam alike teach that there will be a day of judgement. Muslims believe that most of them and all of the non Muslims will be sent to Hell. Whereas the latter will be there forever, the former will be punished for their evil deeds (Surah 23:103) but eventually they will be able to go to heaven. The more good deeds one does, the less time one has to spend in hell. However, nobody knows ultimately what Allah looks at as being a good deed.

The Bible does not teach salvation by works but by grace through faith:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life." (Titus 3:5)

Islam teaches that sin is regarded only as a mistake, a moral weakness. The Bible teaches that sin is rebellion against God. Sin cannot be paid for by good deeds alone. Because of our sinfulness, only God himself can satisfy the demands of His absolute justice and holiness. These attributes of His character ask for the punishment of sin. On the other hand, God's love demands forgiveness for the sinner. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the punishment for our sins on our behalf. God accepts all those who believe in Jesus in this way by looking at them as being hidden in Christ whose sacrifice he has accepted.

The driving motivation in Islam is the fear of Allah's judgement and the obedience of his laws. The driving motivation in Christianity is the love of God and the keeping of the two greatest commandments, "To love God and to love others".

6. Muslims believe in the absolute predestinating will of Allah.

The Koran seems to support the idea that all things (both good and evil) are the direct result of God's will. Those who conclude that Islam is a fatalistic religion have good reason for doing so.

"Allah forgives whom he pleases and punishes whom he pleases." (Surah 5:20)

What does the Bible say?

"For those whom He foreknew He also predestined..." (Romans 8:29)

7. Muslims believe in the resurrection and final judgment.

At the end of history, God will judge the works of all men. Those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds will enter into paradise. The rest will be consigned to hell. Islam is a religion of human works. One's position with regard to Allah is determined by his success in keeping His laws.

Both Muslims and Christians believe in eternal heaven and hell. However, contrary to the Bible the Quran only reveals Allah's will and very little about his character. He is therefore not interested in a personal relationship and is basically absent from the Quranic heaven in which there are only sensual delights to be found. The meaning of life in Islam is to obey God (Surah 51:56) not to know Him.

Some of the basic duties of Muslims are:

1. The creed ('I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah')

2. Prayer - (Five set times a day in Arabic)

3. Almsgiving (1/40 of income)

4. Ramadan (Fasting for 30 days from sunrise to sunset)

5. Pilgrimage (To Mekka once in a lifetime if one can afford it)

There are some real differences between Christianity and Islam that we need to know:

First, the Muslim perception of God is by no means the same as that revealed in the Bible. Islam portrays God as unknowable. In the Koran, Allah reveals His will, but He never reveals Himself. Allah is never portrayed as a God of love, nor as a Father to His people.

Second, though Jesus is presented as a miracle working prophet and messiah, and even without sin, Islam denies that He is the Son of God or Savior of the world. In fact, it is denied that Jesus ever died at all, especially for the sins of the world.

Third, even though mankind is depicted as weak and prone to error, Islam denies that man is a sinner by nature and in need of a Savior. According to Islam, man's spiritual need is not for a savior but for guidance.

What does God offer men in Christianity?

"And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3)

My prayer is that we would reach out to the Muslims and explain to them the way of salvation. We must not be critical of them or harsh with them. They need to know and understand the love of God. They need to understand that Jesus Christ is a God of relationship. He desires relationship with them. They need to know that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They need to know that God did everything necessary to reconcile men to Himself. Jesus Christ bore our sin, died on the Cross of Calvary by shedding His Blood as a complete sacrifice for sin. He then rose again bodily from the dead. If we believe this testimony and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, we will be saved. (1 Cor. 15:1-41, Rom. 5: 1, 6-9; Col. 1:12-22; 2 Cor. 5:18-21).

Lord God, I thank you that you will enable us to minister effectively to the Muslims. Grant us wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Your word so that we will be able to lead them to You, lead them to salvation. Please take the veil away that has been placed their by the evil one. Open their eyes to the truth. May they accept You as Lord and Savior of their lives. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Muslim friend, the one true living God loves you and desires to reveal Himself to you. Will you accept Him today?