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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:

Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible:

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…

Was Jesus’ death a pointless sacrifice?

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,

Other than the Trinity, the concept of salvation is integral to the Christian faith. Christians believe that Jesus had to die for eternal redemption. Jesus allegedly sacrificed himself and died on the cross to absolve the sins of the people and allow them to reconcile with God. This article focuses on refuting this notion through the following points:

  1. Jesus wasn’t the perfect sacrificial lamb nor did he want to die for peoples’ sins.
  2. Jesus doesn’t have the power to forgive all sins.
  3. Blood doesn’t have to be shed for salvation; there are other ways for repentance.
  4. Each is to die for his own sins.

We will also shed light upon the true concept of salvation and repentance as presented to us in Islam.

Part 1: Salvation in Christianity:
1. Jesus wasn’t the perfect sacrificial lamb nor did he want to die for the people’s sins (**):

According to Christians, Jesus is the perfect sacrificial lamb because he was sinless and pure, but is he?

Baptism is for the repentance of sin:

Luke 3: 3– Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

Jesus was baptized:

Luke 3:21– Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened.

So, why would Jesus be baptized if he was sinless when we know that the purpose of baptism is for repentance and forgiveness?

Jesus wasn’t even pure in the biblical sense:

Job 25:4– How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure?

Jesus was a man born of a woman:

Galatians 4:4– But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law.

Furthermore, the Bible teaches us not to put our trust in man for he does not provide us with salvation:

Psalms 108:12– Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man!

According to Gill’s Exposition of the entire Bible:

“…it is a vain thing to expect help and salvation from men, for indeed there is none in them; only in the Lord God is the salvation of his people, both temporal and spiritual.”

Acts 2:22 tells us that Jesus was a man:

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God…”

However, in accordance to Psalms 108:12, by being a man Jesus is not qualified as a savior let alone as the ultimate savior for all of humanity! For those who try to resolve this by saying that Jesus was not just any man, he was a “God-man” (fully man and fully God at the same time), we say:

If you want to say that Jesus was fully man fully God, it means that he still has a human nature. A human nature that was just as ordinary as anyone else’s; it got tempted (Mt.4:1-10), it grew in knowledge (Luke 2:52), it got circumcised (Luke 2:21)… With that being said, the human/man part of God was impure and incompetent to be a savior in light of Job 25:4 and Psalms 108:12 .  So, can Jesus be capable and not capable of  saving at the same time?!

So far, we’ve seen how Jesus was not the perfect sacrifice nor did he have the criteria to be. Moreover, Jesus did not want to die for peoples’ sins:

Mark 14:36 – “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

To clarify the ingredients of the cup of suffering are: “the present season and time of distress, and horror; all his (Jesus’) future sufferings and death, which were at hand; together with the bearing the sins of his people, the enduring the curse of the law, and the wrath of God…” (Gill’s Exposition of the entire bible).

Thus, Jesus (God) did not want to die for his people . Ironically, Jesus had a different will than God’s. Notice how supposedly the same person has two different wills… One God with two different wills?

2 – Jesus does not have the power to forgive all sins:

 There is one sin that Jesus’ presumed sacrifice cannot forgive; it is the sin against the Holy Spirit:

Luke 12:10– “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that blasphemes against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.”

Mark 3:29– “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

These verses show us two things:

a- The blood of Jesus cannot forgive all sins:

Gill’s Exposition of the entire bible explains Mark 3:39 as: “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, Against his person, and the works performed by him, by ascribing them to diabolical power and influence, as the Scribes did, hath never forgiveness: there is no pardon provided in the covenant of grace, nor obtained by the blood of Christ for such persons, or ever applied to them by the Spirit; but is in danger of eternal damnation” So, the “ultimate sacrifice” is not that ultimate and is weak against a sin against the Holy Ghost.

b- The three components of the trinity are not equal in status: A sin against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven but a sin against Jesus can? The Holy Spirit has a greater position than another part of the God head? So, the Holy Spirit is greater than Jesus and the Father is greater than Jesus (John 14:28)! It seems like a challenge to the trinity emerges.

3- Blood doesn’t have to be shed for salvation; there are other ways for repentance:

Not only is Jesus’ sacrifice not ultimate, it is not required. There are other methods for redemption that require no blood to be shed or no sacrifice at all. In fact, all that is needed is repentance and asking God for forgiveness.These verses will further elucidate our point:

Matthew 4:17– From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”

2 Chronicles 7:14-“ if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Isaiah 30:15– “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

Psalms 50:13-14 – “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?  Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High”

Psalms 40:6– “You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand–you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.”

Matthew 9:13– Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’

If a sacrifice has to be made, blood does not have to be shed, a food offering will suffice:

Leviticus 5:12– “And he shall bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take a handful of it as its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, on the LORD’s food offerings; it is a sin offering”

We would also like to ask the following: What happened to the people who lived before Jesus’ sacrifice? What did they do for repentance? Obviously, there was a system in place that required no blood (This is apparent in the verses provided from the Old Testament).

4- Each is to die for his own sins:

From a logical perspective, where is the justice in an innocent man having to die for other peoples’ sins? Will you accept Mother Theresa dying for Adolf Hitler?! How can you accept  Jesus dying for the murderers, rapists, thieves, pedophiles…?! Justice would be when everyone is held responsible for his or her actions. This means that each is to “die” or be punished for the sins they committed. Surprisingly, this ideology does exist in the bible:

Deuteronomy 24:16– “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers. Each one shall be put to death for his own sin.”

Jeremiah 31:30– “But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.”

Ezekiel 18:20– “The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.”

Conclusion of Part 1:

To end this initial part of the article, we must conclude that the whole idea of Jesus having to die for our sins and atonement is not only illogical and unjust but is also challenged by the Bible itself. I’d like to finish up with these verses:

Proverbs 16:6– “Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil.”

Isaiah 43:25– “I? yes, I alone? will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”

(Gill’s Exposition of the Bible: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; That is humbled under a sense of sin; has true repentance for it; grieving for sin as committed against a God of love; broken and melted down under a sense of it, in a view of pardoning grace; and mourning for it, while beholding a pierced and wounded Savior: the sacrifices of such a broken heart and contrite spirit are the sacrifices God desires, approves, accepts of, and delights in;”)

(**) This part does not reflect what Muslims think of Jesus (pbuh). This is based on a biblical interpretation.

Part 2: A Brief Overview of Salvation and atonement in Islam:

Muslims do not believe in the original sin or that anyone can die to abolish the sins of another. Each person bears the consequence of his own actions.

“Who receiveth guidance, receiveth it for his own benefit: who goeth astray doth so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another…” (Surah Al-Isra’, verse 15)

“And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden, and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted even though he be near of kin.” (Surah Fatir, verse 18)

“Whosoever does righteous good deed it is for (the benefit of) his ownself, and whosoever does evil, it is against his ownself, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.” (Surah Fussilat, verse 46)

No sacrifices are to be made to seek God’s forgiveness and get closer to Him:

“It is not their meat nor blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him.”(Surah Al-Hajj, verse 37)

“Say: “O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped” (Surah Al-Zumar, verse 53)

“Verily! Allah Accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards, to them Allah will turn in Mercy, for Allah is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them and he says “now have I repented indeed”, nor of those who die rejecting faith: for them have we prepared a chastisement most grievous.” (Surah Al-Nisa’, verse 17)

Not only is forgiveness granted in repentance but a reward as well:

“Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Al Furqân, verse 70)

We conclude with this Hadith which shows us the love Allah has for his servants:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: I live in the thought of My servant and I am with him as he remembers Me. (The Holy Prophet) further said: By Allah, Allah is more pleased wth the repentance of His servant than what one of you would do on finding the lost camel in the waterless desert. When he draws near Me by the span of his hand. I draw near him by the length of a cubit and when he draws near Me by the length of a cubit. I draw near him by the length of a fathom and when he draws near Me walking I draw close to him hurriedly. (Sahih Muslim, Book 037, Number 6610)

And Allah knows best…