Do We All Believe in the Same God?

A reflection on what Allah say in the Koran about Jews and Christians.

bible_quranA commonly heard claim is that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in “the same God.” These are comforting words and of great assistance to those wishing to engage in interfaith dialogues and tri-faith ventures. But is this true? To answer that question, let’s look at what is said and taught about Jews and Christians by Allah, the god of Islam, and Muhammad, Allah’s prophet. We’ll start with the Koran.

The Koran

Muslims believe the Koran is the infallible, timeless and perfect word of Allah. So what does Allah say in the Koran about Jews and Christians?

To set the stage, Allah states that the only religion acceptable to him is Islam (e.g., 3:19 and 3:85). And Allah states that Islam is to be made superior over all other religions, even if the non-Muslims don’t like it (e.g., 9:33, 48:28, and 61:9).

Allah states that he is angry with the Jews, and the Christians are misguided in their beliefs (1:7). In fact, Allah curses the Jews and Christians (9:30). He states that the Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures who “will abide in the fire of Hell” (98:6), while Muslims are the best of creatures (3:110 and 98:7). He forbids Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians (5:51). Instead, Allah commands Muslims to fight the Jews and Christians until those Jews and Christians pay the jizyah (protection tax), with willing submission and feeling themselves subdued (9:29).

Allah specifically states that the Jews are among the worst enemies of Islam (5:82).

Allah states that Christianity is a false religion. Allah says that Jesus was not crucified, but it only appeared so (4:157-158). Allah states that he took Jesus bodily into paradise and made one of Jesus’ disciples look like Jesus; it was that disciple who was crucified. So Muslims who know their religion look at a crucifix or a painting of the Crucifixion and see an imposter hanging on the cross. And of course, if there was no Crucifixion, there was no Resurrection. So Islam teaches that Christianity is based on a fraud.

Allah also states that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God commit the one unforgiveable sin in Islam, Shirk (e.g., 4:48 and 4:116). In fact, Allah curses Christians specifically for this belief (9:30) and says that those who so believe will go to Hell (e.g., 3:151 and 5:72-73).

Muhammad

Islam teaches that Muhammad spoke for Allah (4:80), and Allah commands Muslims to obey Muhammad (59:7). And Muhammad is considered the timeless standard by which Muslims should conduct themselves (33:21). So what did Muhammad have to say?

He said Jews and Christians are worth only half as much as a Muslim,[1]and he gave the following advice about what to do when meeting Jews and Christians:

Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.[2]

Muhammad said that the Jews were grave robbers,[3] and he said,

The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.[4]

Muhammad said that on the Day of Resurrection, mountains of sins would be removed from the backs of Muslims and put onto the Jews and Christians.[5] Muhammad even said that Jews and Christians would take the place of Muslims in Hell.[6]

And on his death bed Muhammad said:

I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.[7]

These are timeless commands and statements from Allah and Muhammad, and Muslims are not allowed to disagree with them (33:36).

So if Allah is God and the Koran consists of statements and commands from Allah, if Muhammad spoke for Allah, and if Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in that same God, then Jews and Christians believe in and worship a God who hates and curses them, orders Muslims to fight them, and condemns them to Hell simply because they are not Muslims.

Either we are talking about a pagan god of multiple, compartmentalized personalities, or the claim that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in the same God is theological nonsense.

Notes:

[1] Muhammad bin Yazeed ibn Majah Al-Qazwini, Sunan Ibn Majah, trans. Nasiruddin al-Khattab, Vol. 3 (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2007), No. 2644, p. 521.

[2] Abu'l Hussain 'Asakir-ud-Din Muslim bin Hajjaj al-Qushayri al-Naisaburi, Sahih Muslim, trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqi, Vol. 6 (New Delhi: Adam Publishers and Distributors, 2008), No. 2167, p. 439.

[3] Muhammad bin Ismail bin Al-Mughirah Al-Bukhari, Sahih Al-Bukhari, trans. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Vol. 4 (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 1997), Book 60, No. 3452, p. 413.

[4] Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 56, No. 2926, p. 113.

[5] 110 Ahadith Qudsi: Sayings of the Prophet Having Allahs Statements, 3rd ed., trans. Syed Masood-ul-Hasan (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Darussalam, 2006), No. 8, titled Superiority of the believers in the Oneness of Allah and the punishment of Jews and Christians, pp. 19-20.

[6] Sahih Muslim, Vol. 8, No. 2767R1, p. 269.

[7] Sahih Muslim, Vol. 5, No. 1767, p. 189.

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