FAQ'S ABOUT RELIGION

AREN’T GOD AND ALLAH THE SAME?

Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar (meaning Allah is greater or greatest), a phrase that Muslim Jihadists (religious warriors) scream out as they wear explosive vests intent on killing themselves and many Infidels (non-Muslims) or drive explosive laden cars and trucks into crowds of innocent people or crash airplanes into buildings or start wars of conquest. So, what or who is Allah? This very word has caused confusion on the part of Christians and Muslims alike. Allah is the word that the Prophet Mohammed selected as the name for his newly formed monotheistic (one god) religion, which was picked from one of 360 pagan idols placed in a small cubic building called the Kaaba, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Caravans of various Arabic tribes would place pagan idols there, from time to time, when traveling through. Allah was a pagan moon god that Mohammed’s tribe, the Quraish, had worshipped for a long time previously and thus the name would naturally appeal to them. The sign of the Moon god was the crescent moon and the Muslims use that sign on their flags presently. Once Mohammed chose Allah, he smashed the remaining 359 idols except for the sacred black stone that all Muslims kiss when visiting the Kaaba. Now, why the confusion? Some Christians seem to believe that the word Allah describes the Creator God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the selected god of Islam! Those who claim Christianity and so believe are misinformed, misled or greatly confused, as we shall see.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? To begin, the word Allah is NEVER mentioned in the Christian Holy Bible that contains the Old and New Testaments. God is referred to by many names in the Bible, names that describe His character and likely depended on who the writer was for that particular book (66 books make up the Bible). Some of these names are El (power), El Oah (mighty), El Ohim (strong creator), El Shaddai (God almighty), Adonai (Lord), Jehovah (Lord, I am that I am), YHWH (unpronounceable, sometimes expressed as Yahweh). But, the name God called Himself when Moses asked Him what to say when the Israelites would ask him who sent him to free them from slavery was “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). God is very jealous of His name, such that one of the Ten Commandments warns us not to use His name in vain. The Quran (or Koran, the sacred writings of Islam) and Hadith (writings about Mohammed and his life) say there are 99 names for Allah and there is some speculation that the number may be larger. A comparison of the three Abrahamic religions should reveal more differences.

COMPARISON: An abbreviated table from this web site…www.christianityinview.com/xncomparison

            TOPIC                                            Christianity                                Islam                                 Judaism

     Name Origin                                    Christ, the Anointed                       Submission                     Hebrew word Judah

     Founder/Date/Number                     Jesus/30 AD/2.2 Bill.                    Mohammed/                          Abraham/

                                                                                                              632 AD/1.5 Bill                     1800BC/14 Mill.

     Nature of God                                  1-God in 3 persons                      1-god, no son                            1-God

                                                                 (The Trinity)                         (No Trinity)                          (No Trinity)

     Divisions                                        Orthodox, Protestant,                   Sunni, Shia, Sufi               Hasidic, Conservative

                                                      Roman Catholic, Reformed

     Holy Books                                            Holy Bible                              Quran (Koran)              Tanakh (Torah + writings)

     Jesus Christ                                          God the Son                         Prophet, not divine          Neither Messiah nor divine

     Jesus’ Death                               For our sins-resurrected                       Not crucified                 For his claim to divinity

     Holy Spirit                                      God the Holy Spirit                        Same as Gabriel             Power given to Prophets

     Salvation                                        By grace thru faith                         Good works via                 Good works via Law

                                                                  In Jesus                                    Sharia Law                           of Moses

PILLARS OF FAITH: These are hard principles on which each Faith is based and which followers of each should be willing to support and defend. They reveal basic absolutes that each Faith will find virtually impossible to reconcile with the others. For Christianity, there are four pillars, as put forth by Pastor Bill Foote in his study of 1Peter 3:8-12, Grace Springs Bible Church, Portola Springs Irvine, CA., (with author’s enhancement), as follows:

  1. Truths about God—One God in three persons, God the Father Creator, God the Son Redeemer and God the Holy Spirit Counselor (The Trinity i.e., One in Three and Three in One.)

  2. Truths about Jesus—He is God-His incarnation (becoming human)-His death (for our salvation)-His resurrection (return to life)-His second coming (future rule of the earth).

  3. Truths about Mankind—Born guilty and depraved before God in need of a Savior.

  4. Truths about Salvation: By grace alone thru faith alone in Christ alone apart from good works.

These truths are underpinned by Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:27 “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. “

For Islam, there are five pillars (www.islam-guide.com/ch3), as follows:

  1. The testimony of faith (Shahada): is saying with conviction “There is no true god (deity) but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God.” An emphasis is made that Allah has neither partner nor son, therefore a Monad (one singular entity).

  2. Prayer: Muslims perform five prayers a day as a direct link to Allah without any intermediaries.

  3. Giving Zakat (support of the needy): All things belong to Allah but held by Muslims in trust. Involves a specified percentage on certain properties to certain classes of needy people.

  4. Fasting the Month of Ramadan: All Muslims fast from dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations as a method of spiritual self-purification.

  5. The Pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah: An obligation for at least once in a lifetime for those physically and financially able to do so.

For Judaism, there are thirteen pillars based on Rabbi Maimonides compilation, slightly abbreviated with each one beginning with “Belief in…” 1. Existence of the perfect Creator of all. 2. God’s absolute unity. 3. God’s non-corporeality. 4. God’s eternity. 5. Imperative to worship God exclusively. 6. That God communicates through prophecy. 7. The primacy of the prophecy of Moses. 8. The divine origin of the Torah (first 5 books of Old Testament). 9. Immutability of the Torah. 10. God’s omniscience and providence. 11. Divine reward and retribution. 12. The arrival of the Messiah (in future). 13. The resurrection of the dead. (www.chabad.org/13principles).

IS ISLAM PEACEFUL? Muslim Apologists (supporters and defenders) would tell us that Islam is a “peaceful” religion. Even some non-Muslims believe that just the so-called “Radical-Jihadists” carry out terrorist attacks, including “Nine-Eleven.” Thus, they would have us believe the perpetrators are somehow not representative of most Muslims. In fact, these unprovoked attacks have occurred for centuries. In early America, Muslim Barbary Pirates frequently attacked our trade and naval ships. The Library of Congress contains hand written reports by Thomas Jefferson regarding a meeting in 1786 that he and John Adams held with the Ambassador to Great Britain from Tripoli to inquire why and by what right was his nation taking these actions. Jefferson reported that Ambassador, Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja answered that Islam…“was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

CONCLUSION: The Creator God of Christianity is a loving and relational God, we know, because of the Trinity and the Agape (unconditional) love each person of the three has for one another and for us, God’s children. Whereas Dr. Nabeel Qurishi M.D. author of “No God But One: Allah or Jesus,” Zondervan, 2016, a former Muslim says…”It is not for man to know him (Allah) intimately…as there are no names that indicate Allah desires intimacy with man…Ultimately, when we understand the Trinity…it has far-reaching implications for how we ought to live and how we see the world, and it makes the Christian God categorically different from the Muslim god.” The Rev. Franklin Graham (Billy’s son) says in a quote from “Decision” magazine…“Islam is a false religion and that it is impossible for a false religion to be a true religion of peace.” (www.cnsnews.com/pront/69735). The Muslim argument is…”If you believe that Jesus is the begotten (procreated or generated) son of God, then you do not believe in the one true God (Quran, Sura 112 “Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, Nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” The Christian argument as expounded by Trevin Wax (The Gospel Coalition) is “GOD IS JESUS. When you see Jesus, you are seeing God, not just because Jesus is God, but also because God is Jesus. Jesus is the One who shows us who God is and what God is like.” The evidence is thus quite clear and Christians must conclude that God and Allah are NOT the same. Suggested readings are “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” by Qurishi and “Islam: Muhammad and His Religion,” edited by Arthur Jeffrey Bobbs-Merril Company, Inc., 1958

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