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Islamic Contradictions with the Bible

John 8:56,58

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

In the realm of religious discourse, Christianity and Islam share a complex and intertwined history. Both faiths trace their roots to the Abrahamic tradition, and they share similarities in their foundational stories, moral teachings, and theological beliefs. However, despite these commonalities, there are fundamental differences between the two religions in interpreting the Holy Bible.


God's Nature

One of the most fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam lies in their respective conceptions of God's nature. The Old Testament presents a monotheistic vision of God, who is both transcendent and immanent, personal, and relational. He actively engages with humanity, forming covenants, and revealing His will through the prophets.

The New Testament reveals the Old Testament was a foreshadowing of things to come: God becoming flesh and the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and these three are one in the fullness of Jesus Christ. Now He dwells among us and in us as we are born again by His grace.

In contrast, Islam's conception of God, or Allah, is more abstract and distant. While both faiths posit a monotheistic deity, the God of Islam is primarily defined by His oneness (tawhid) and His transcendence, which outright denies the Son of God.

The Islamic understanding of God's nature is heavily influenced by the doctrine of tanzih, which asserts that Allah is separate from His creation and cannot be compared to anything within it. This concept contradicts the biblical God, whom actively engages His creation and forms personal relationships with His people.


The Role of Prophets

Another significant point of divergence between Islam and the Old Testament concerns the role and status of prophets. In the Old Testament, prophets are individuals chosen by God to communicate His message to the people. They are not divine beings themselves, but they serve as intermediaries between God and humanity. The prophetic role is marked by a unique relationship with God, wherein the prophet receives divine revelations and communicates them to the people.

In Islamic tradition, however, the role of the prophet found itself expanded and elevated beyond anything the Bible ever taught. Prophets in Islam, known as nabi or rasul, are infallible and sinless, possessing a special status above ordinary human being. Islam teaches that there have been 124,000 prophets sent to humanity throughout history, with the Prophet Muhammad being the final and most important of these messengers. This belief contradicts the Old Testament's presentation of a few prophets, who were never previously considered infallible or sinless.

Islam's reinterpretation of biblical figures such as Abraham, Moses, and Jesus as Islamic prophets further complicate the relationship between the two faiths. While Christians view Jesus as the divine Son of God and the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecies, Islam regards Jesus as merely a human prophet who preached the message of monotheism. This fundamental disagreement over Jesus underscores the discord between Islam and the Old Testament.


The Person of Jesus Christ

Another critical point of divergence between Christianity and Islam is their respective views on the person of Jesus Christ. The New Testament presents Jesus as the divine Son of God, the Word made flesh (John 1:14), who was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25), performed miracles (John 20:30-31), and was crucified, buried, and resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

Islam regards Jesus as a prophet and a servant of Allah, but not as the divine Son of God. The Qur'an states, "The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him" (Qur'an 4:171). Islam denies the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, asserting he was neither killed nor crucified, but that Allah raised him to Himself (Qur'an 4:157-158). This denial of Jesus' divinity and atoning work on the cross contradicts the New Testament's portrayal of Jesus as the Son of God & Saviour of humanity.


The Path to Salvation

The concept of salvation in Islam diverges significantly from the Old Testament's teachings. The Old Testament introduces God's redemptive plan for humanity, centred on the covenant established with the nation of Israel. This covenant, which requires adherence to God's laws & commandments, is how the people of Israel are to achieve salvation and maintain their relationship with God.

The New Testament teaches that the Old Testament law was intended to bring about the knowledge of sin and the need for salvation, which is a gift of God's grace, received through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus himself declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). This exclusivity of Jesus as the only means of salvation is a central tenet of the Christian faith.


1 John 2:23

Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father: he that acknowledges the Son also has the Father.


In contrast, Islam teaches that salvation is attained through submission to Allah and adherence to the Five Pillars of Islam: the declaration of faith, prayer, almsgiving, fasting during Ramadan, and pilgrimage to Mecca (Qur'an 3:200). Good deeds and obedience to Allah's commandments are essential for a Muslim's hope of eternal life in paradise (Qur'an 7:8-9). This works-based approach to salvation opposes the New Testament's emphasis on grace and faith in Jesus Christ.


War and Peace

In the New Testament, the teachings on peace are predominantly centred around the figure of Jesus Christ, who is often referred to as the "Prince of Peace." The Sermon on the Mount, particularly the Beatitudes, encapsulates the essence of these teachings. Jesus advocates for a life of humility, mercy, and peacemaking, stating, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9). Furthermore, Jesus encourages his followers to love their enemies and turn the other cheek when confronted with violence (Matthew 5:38-48). These teachings emphasise the importance of forgiveness, compassion, and non-violent resistance in the pursuit of peace.

On the other hand, the Quran addresses the issue of war in a more complex manner. While it is true that several verses in the Quran discuss the necessity of warfare under certain circumstances, it is important to note that these verses are often contextualised within specific historical events and conflicts. For instance, the concept of "jihad," often misinterpreted as "holy war," primarily refers to the struggle against one's own inner vices and spiritual shortcomings. However, it can also encompass the struggle against external threats and oppression. In this regard, the Quran permits warfare in self-defence and as a means of protecting religious freedom: "Permission [to fight] is given to those who are fought against because they have been wronged, and God is indeed able to give them victory" (Quran 22:39).


While Christianity and Islam share some common beliefs and values as monotheistic religions within the Abrahamic tradition, there are also significant variations between the two faiths, particularly in relation to God, the person of Jesus Christ, the path to salvation, and warfare. These differences have profound implications for the way adherents of each religion understand their relationship with God, the meaning of human existence, and the ultimate destiny of humanity.


Heavenly Father, we come before You today with humble hearts, full of love and compassion for our Muslim friends. As Your children, we understand You created each one of us in Your image, and You desire for all people to come to know You and experience Your love and salvation. We pray, Lord, that You would open the hearts of our Muslim friends to receive the truth of Your Word and the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

We acknowledge, Father, that there are many barriers and misconceptions that may prevent our Muslim friends from embracing the Christian faith. We ask that You would remove these barriers, and give them a spirit of understanding and wisdom as they seek the truth. Help us, as Christians, to be sensitive to their needs and to engage them in meaningful conversations about faith. May we reflect Your love and grace, and may our lives reflect the transformative power of the Gospel.

We pray for those who may struggle with doubts and fears, particularly those who face persecution or rejection from their families and communities, for considering the Christian faith. Lord, we ask that You would surround them with Your presence and provide them with the courage and strength to persevere in their search for truth. May they find comfort & assurance knowing that You are a loving & merciful God, who desires nothing more than to bring them into Your family.

Father, we also pray for the leaders within the Muslim community that You would soften their hearts and open their eyes to the truth of Your Word. We ask that You would raise up men and women of faith who can effectively share the Gospel with their fellow Muslims, and that You would equip them with the resources and support to carry out this important work.

Finally, Lord, we pray that Your Holy Spirit would move powerfully among the Muslim community, drawing people to Jesus and transforming lives for Your glory. We know nothing is impossible for You, and we trust You are at work even now, breaking down barriers and bringing people from all nations, tribes, and tongues into Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.