A Simple Comparison of the Islamic God vs the Christian God
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
We are used to a certain concept of God. We tend to think of this supreme power as having wisdom and greatness. We think of this flawless deity that resembles us in no way. We think that this concept of God is supported by the scriptures or is it? Well, not all scriptures represent such a concept. It is shocking to find out how the biblical God is depicted. On the contrary, the Qur’an presents a totally opposite notion. This article is going to examine how the bible describes God and compare this description with that in the Qur’an.
God in the bible is one who falls asleep:
Psalms 78:65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine.
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep – literally, as one sleeping; that is, as one who is asleep suddenly arouses himself. The Lord seemed to have slept, or to have been inattentive to what was occurring. Suddenly he aroused himself to inflict vengeance on the enemies of his people
This verse shows God suddenly realized what was going on and was shaken by it. We ask is this an appropriate analogy befitting of God’s majesty? If God is all knowing, how come he was inattentive and suddenly decided to avenge his people?
In the Qur’an, Allah is the all knower, is always aware, and is control of everything:
The Noble Qur’an 2: 255 Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).
ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡحَىُّ ٱلۡقَيُّومُۚ لَا تَأۡخُذُهُ ۥ سِنَةٌ۬ وَلَا نَوۡمٌ۬ۚ لَّهُ ۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۗ مَن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يَشۡفَعُ عِندَهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦۚ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِيهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡۖ وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهِۦۤ إِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَۚ وَسِعَ كُرۡسِيُّهُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَۖ وَلَا يَـُٔودُهُ ۥ حِفۡظُهُمَاۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِىُّ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ
The Noble Qur’an 19:64 “…And your Lord is not forgetful.”
وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمۡرِ رَبِّكَۖ لَهُ ۥ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِينَا وَمَا خَلۡفَنَا وَمَا بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَۚ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّ۬ا
Once we can find a verse showing how God “awoke”, we can easily find another showing how God rested after creation:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Genesis 2:2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.
According to Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible:
On the Seventh day God ended, etc. – It is the general voice of Scripture that God finished the whole of the creation in six days, and rested the seventh! Giving us an example that we might labor six days, and rest the seventh from all manual exercises.
Usually, humans are the ones that get weary after working. They are the ones that need to “rest” after labor. So, whoever’s giving them the example to rest should be tired as well. In that case it was God. We ask, why did the biblical God have to rest after he was finished with his work? Was the creation of this world too much?! If the idea to be conveyed was that God finished his work and stopped after it, the verse would have said so. Instead, the word “rest” was used. How can someone grasp the idea that God Almighty took a break?
The Qur’an strips such characteristics of weariness away from Allah (swt).
The Noble Qur’an 50:38 And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in six days and nothing of fatigue touched Us.
وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ۬ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ۬
This verse is simple and clear. It had no linguistic problems or confusions. It eloquently expresses the grandeur of Allah and his power.
A Biblical God that has to rest or Allah, the mighty?
Surprisingly, this is not the only instant in the Bible where God is not all powerful. Apparently, he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots!?
Judges 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron.
Let’s shed some light through a commentary of that verse:
Strange! were the iron chariots too strong for Omnipotence? The whole of this verse is improperly rendered. The first clause, The Lord was with Judah should terminate the 18th verse, and this gives the reason for the success of this tribe:The Lord was with Judah, and therefore he slew the Canaanites that inhabitedZephath, part of the verse either refers to a different time, or to the rebellion of Judah against the Lord, which caused him to withdraw his support. Therefore the Lord was with Judah, and these were the effects of his protection; but afterwards, when the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, God was no longer with them, and their enemies were left to be pricks in their eyes, and thorns in their side, as God himself had said.
Adam Clarke was surprised by how demeaning this verse made God look; so he desperately tried to find a solution to his conundrum. What he came up with is a suggestion to how this verse should have been written. A minor adjustment would not harm anyone… after all it’s not uncommon to find scribes editing the bible. Is this true scripture? Or the hands of man trying to cover up a fault of the Christian God?
Do you think the Qur’an would depict God in that disturbing way? Of course not.
The Noble Qur’an 59:23 Allah is He, than Whom there is no other god;- the Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection), the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety, the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the Supreme: Glory to Allah. (High is He) above the partners they attribute to Him.
هُوَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡمَلِكُ ٱلۡقُدُّوسُ ٱلسَّلَـٰمُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُ ٱلۡمُهَيۡمِنُ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡجَبَّارُ ٱلۡمُتَڪَبِّرُۚ سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ عَمَّا يُشۡرِڪُونَ
The Biblical God changes his mind. Not only that, He grieves over what he has done.
1 Samuel 15:35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Exodus 32:14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people.
Genesis 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
Changing mind and regretting are definitely human attributes. Who would imagine these being associated with God? In addition, these traits again portray that the Biblical God is not all- knowing, or else he would have predicted that man would have sinned …
Below are other verses that express the opposite notion:
The Noble Qur’an 41:47 Unto Him is referred (all) knowledge of the Hour. And no fruits burst forth from their sheaths, and no female carrieth or bringeth forth but with His knowledge. And on the day when He calleth unto them: Where are now My partners? they will say: We confess unto Thee, not one of us is a witness (for them)
إِلَيۡهِ يُرَدُّ عِلۡمُ ٱلسَّاعَةِۚ وَمَا تَخۡرُجُ مِن ثَمَرَٲتٍ۬ مِّنۡ أَكۡمَامِهَا وَمَا تَحۡمِلُ مِنۡ أُنثَىٰ وَلَا تَضَعُ إِلَّا بِعِلۡمِهِۦۚ وَيَوۡمَ يُنَادِيہِمۡ أَيۡنَ شُرَڪَآءِى قَالُوٓاْ ءَاذَنَّـٰكَ مَا مِنَّا مِن شَہِيدٍ۬
The Noble Qur’an 3:5 From Allah, verily nothing is hidden on earth or in the heavens.
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَخۡفَىٰ عَلَيۡهِ شَىۡءٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ
Moreover, the biblical verses above portray God as unwise (regrets and changes his mind); however the Qur’an clearly shows how wise God is:
The Noble Qur’an 67:14 Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtile, the Aware.
أَلَا يَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ
The Noble Qur’an 3:6 He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the All-Mighty, the All-wise.
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُصَوِّرُڪُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ كَيۡفَ يَشَآءُۚ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
According to the doctrine of the trinity, Jesus is also God. Surprisingly, the representation of Jesus is not befitting if we were to assume that he was God. The view of God the Father and the son are demeaning and make us wonder what kind of God Christians worship. If Jesus was God, what kind of God does the Bible make him look like?
A God that grows in knowledge:
Luke 2:52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
A God that was mocked and spat on:
Matthew 27:30-31 – “And then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.”
A God that was tempted by the devil:
Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
A God that was made lower than angels:
Hebrews 2:9 – What we do see is Jesus, who was given a position “a little lower than the angels”;
A God that was strengthened by angels:
Luke 22:43 – An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
A God that was circumcised:
Luke 2:21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived
On the other hand, the Qur’an presents a pristine image of Allah (swt). Simply, none resembles Allah:
The Noble Qur’an 42:11 “ There is nothing whatever similar unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things).”
لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ…
As a conclusion, we have seen how the bible and the Qur’an portray God. The bible presents a God that is inadequate. The Qur’an shows us how Allah (swt) is truly worthy of worship. Finally we ask, how can Christians accept to believe in such a portrayal of God? Doesn’t that make them ask the question how can the Bible be God’s word if it depicts God the way it does.
The Noble Qur’an 37:180 Glorified be thy Lord, the Lord of Majesty, from that which they attribute (unto Him)
سُبۡحَـٰنَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ ٱلۡعِزَّةِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
It is worthy of noting, that a contradicting verse can be found to almost every verse I quoted from the Bible. So, Christians should either accept that their Bible is self contradictory or accept that the Biblical God is weak and inadequate…