God of Muslims — God of Jews
Is Allah, the god of Islam, the same as Yahweh, the god of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus? I think not, as you will see in the body of this thesis. I think the man Muhammad made up Allah – similar to the way the Mormons made up their god – then he gave it certain attributes similar to Yahweh and proclaimed “This is the same God.” Let’s examine what happened, and then you decide for yourself if Allah is the same god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of the Christians.
The Jews and Christians claim Yahweh is the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Muslims claim Allah is the God of Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael. Is this the same god with two different names? Is it one deity worshipped by two groups of people? Let’s find out.
The Jewish Tanach, which Christians call the Old Testament, tells the story of Abraham. Yahweh promised Abraham a son. A few years later Abraham, still childless, took matters into his own hands and had a son, Ishmael, by his wife Sarah’s slave girl. Ishamel's mother was an Egyptian slave named Hagar. Yahweh said, “This is not the son I promised you. The son of my promise will be Sarah’s son.” (Genesis 17:18-19) When Ishmael was thirteen years old, Sarah bore a son and they named him Isaac. Soon thereafter, Abraham and Sarah sent away Hagar and Ishmael. Ishmael grew up, married an Egyptian girl, had many children, and produced his own dynasty.
There were many idols in that region, called Canaan, at the time. People worshipped sticks and stones. Abraham worshipped Yahweh and not an idol. There is no reference in the Bible saying whether Ishmael worshipped Yahweh or idols. It does not say Ishmael served Yahweh nor does it say Ishmael served other gods. I cannot claim Ishmael began worshipping the idols of the surrounding nations but neither can you claim he did not. But there is one thing that we can both point to in the Bible, and that is all of Canaan was punished for its godlessness and idolatry.
By “godlessness” I do not mean “without gods,” but “without God,” that is, without Yahweh. Canaan is the name of a geographic area which contained several nations. The Ishmaelites apparently were nomads in that area. This entire area was punished for its godlessness (“without Yahweh”) and idolatry.
When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt into Canaan, the Israelites were the only people who served Yahweh in that region.
That story took place some time around 2000-1400 BC. About 2,000 years later, around AD 600, the Ishmaelites and all the Arabs were still embracing idolatry. Then Muhammad came on the scene. Muhammad claimed to have a revelation delivered by the angel Gabriel. The Muslim holy book, the Quran, is a collection of teachings by Muhammad.
The Quran says Hagar was Abraham’s true wife and that Sarah was the slave girl. In the Bible, Yahweh says, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” In the Quran, Allah is the God of Ibrahim and Ishmael. This story was created 2,000 years after the fact by a supposed revelation from an angel. How did Muhammad learn about Jews and Christians? He was a merchant who did business with Jews and Christians.
In the Quran and Islam, there are certain doctrines that contradict the Bible. These differences are so dramatic that they cannot both be true. If one is true, then the other has got to be fraud. Following are two examples of these differences.
The first difference is, Yahweh established a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but not with Ishmael. The Quran claims Allah is the God worshipped by Ibrahim and Ishmael, and that Ishmael is the legitimate son and spiritual heir of Ibrahim.
In the Bible, Yahweh says to Abram,
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;… I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”
But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee.
...and [Sarah] said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman [Hagar] and her son [Ishmael], for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
That makes Isaac the spiritual heir of Abraham and not Ishmael. It is through Isaac that God will bless the world, and not through Ishmael.
The Quran says:
“Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Thus, the Quran says to fight against those who believe the doctrine of the Bible.
The second difference is that the Bible states Jesus is the son of God but the Quran denies it.
The Bible says,
“Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also”
I John 2:22b-23
The Quran says
“The Messiah 'Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word, ("Be!" - and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Ruh) created by Him; so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not: "Three (trinity)!" Cease! (it is) better for you. For Allah is (the only) One Ilah (God), Glory be Him (Far Exalted is He) above having a son.”
Now it’s time for you to make some decisions.
- Do you think any person with a history of his people spending 2,000 years in idolatry, would still have any tradition of serving one God, the God of Abraham, apart from association with the Bible, Jews and Christians?
- Do you think that Gabriel’s message to Muhammad would be any different from the one Gabriel spoke to Daniel about the coming messiah (Daniel 9) and to Mary about the birth of Jesus (Luke 1)?
- Do you think that Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus would have told Muhammad, that the Ishmaelites where the true spiritual heirs of Abraham and not Isaac?
- Do you think that Yahweh would have denied that Jesus is his Son?
- Do you think Yahweh would have told Muhammad to convert the Jews and Christians away from the Bible and the belief that Jesus is the Son of God?
If you answered “No” to all these questions, then you do not believe that Allah, the god of the Muslims is the same god of the Jews and Christians. Instead, there can be only one reasonable answer. Either Muhammad himself made up the doctrine of Allah, or else – if a spirit (angel) did speak with him – that spirit was not the same angel Gabriel in the Bible.
In either case, it is unreasonable to claim that Allah is the same God as Yahweh, which the Jews and Christians worship.
I understand people try to be magnanimous to others in their religion. Kindness, humility, love and generousity are always appropriate. But the Bible does not teach we should consider idols on a level equal to God. God said, "I am Yahweh. That is my name, and my glory I will not give to another nor my praise to graven images" (Isaiah 42:8). It was for the worship of gods other than Yahweh that the Canaanites were punished (1400 BC) and the Israelites were punished (500 BC).
We do not honor God by pretending the worship of another gods makes that god equal to Yahweh. That is the same as denying God. It is blasphemy. That practice brought on punishment to other people and we are not exempt from God's wrath.
The United States of America was founded by Christians using Christian principles. One of these principles is that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Thus we passed laws allowing each person to worship as he pleases. We do not deny other people freedom of speech. We do not deny them freedom of worship. We do not force them to become Christians. We do allow ourselves and them the right for one to persuade the other to his point of view. The fact that we have these principles is not a declaration that idols and false gods are equal to God. It is an act of humility before God and love of our fellow man.