How does Islam differ from Christianity?

Greetings our dear Reader,

I trust you are well.

We thought you might like to know a bit more about Islam.

After all, we read and hear a lot about them in the news media.  Whether Boko Haram in Africa, or Isis and others, they create havoc.  Often we hear that some of these ‘soldiers of Allah’ shout ‘allahu akbar!’ (god is great!) when they commit their atrocities.  Yet some people still regard the God of the Bible and Allah as the same monotheistic deity.  That is not true.  They are diametrically opposed in character, teaching and in their religious books for their followers.

The real issue of Islam has to do with the history of Isaac and Ishmael.

We read it in Genesis 16; 17:9-25; 21:8-21.  God promised Abraham a son, but he was married to a barren woman.  Sarai, Abraham’s wife, convinced him to ‘help God fulfill His promise’ and have a son by her Egyptian slave woman.  In those times it was customary that the father would then adopt the son of the servant woman as his own.  So Abraham accepted Ishmael as his son and also circumcised him as God commanded in Genesis 17:9-26.

Abraham’s promised son will come through Sarah.

Twelve years after the Ishmael episode, God reminded Abraham that the son He promised would come through his barren wife, Sarai.  God changed her name to Sarah and declared that she will be the mother of nations.  Kings of peoples will come from her, Genesis 17:15-18  Despite Sarah’s laughter at this ridiculous promise from God, she had her son, Isaac, within the next year.  When they had a feast day to celebrate the weaning of Isaac, Sarah saw Ishmael mocking her little boy.  She was livid.  One can imagine that Ishmael was jealous, since it was obvious that Isaac was the one promised and sent by God.  She told Abraham to get rid of Ishmael, because he would not inherit with her own son.

The Arab-Jew conflict

  • Abraham was distressed when Sarah ordered him to get rid of Hagar and Ishmael, but God told him to do as Sarah requested.  It was through Isaac that God’s promised Messiah would eventually be born.
  • God never rejected Ishmael, but promised to make him a great nation.  He was also the offspring of Abraham.  Hagar later got a wife for him from Egypt, spurning any young woman who had anything to do with Abraham.
  • Hagar was probably livid because of the treatment she got from Sarah.  One can imagine how she fostered the spirit of hatred in Ishmael.  The Arab (Ismael) – Jew (Isaac) conflict is what we still see today.  It does not matter what the Jews do, most  Arabs hate them and want them annihilated.

The conflict over the country Israel

There is another reason why the Arabs want to destroy the Jews completely.  God promised the country Israel to the descendants of Abraham, eternally (Genesis 17:8).  The Jews are the rightful descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  The followers of Allah (Ismael) think if they can destroy the Jews, it will prove that the Koran is the true version of God’s words and that Allah is the true ‘God.’

God’s promise to Abraham’s descendants is remarkable.

In 70 AD the Romans under Titus completely destroyed Jerusalem, killed thousands of Jews and sold the rest as slaves.  Nineteen hundred years later, in 1948, on May 14, the country promised to Abraham around 2,000 BC, was once more declared the independent State of Israel.  America very quickly recognized the Jewish State in Palestine.  Russia followed suit three days later.

  • Yet one day after independence, on May 15, five nations invaded Israel: Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.  What did the Jews do to incur this?  Nothing!  Regardless, the enemies of Israel lost the war.
  • The Sinai war was fought in 1956.  The enemies lost.
  • Then the Six Day War in 1967.  The enemies lost.
  • The Yom Kippur War was fought in 1973.  Again, the enemies lost.

We write to you about Islam because it explains the following:

  • Islam’s hatred against Israel has never abated.  It stands as a powerful evidence that the Biblical history of Abraham’s two sons is true.  However, this conflict of the Arabs against the Jews has an interesting result in the Western World.
  • As you probably know there is a war against the Bible, God and the Church in the Western world.  People like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and many, many atheist organizations attempt to ‘evict’ God from society with the law.  That leaves a spiritual gap or vacuum and guess who is ready to fill it?  Islam of course.
  • We see this process very well in Europe.  Many countries allow unlimited numbers of Muslims to immigrate.  The Muslims have an ulterior motive, namely to eventually dominate the countries and declare Shariah law.  The peaceful message of the Bible is stopped, and is automatically replaced by a violent one, one that will force people to accept Allah: convert or die.  No free will.
  • The Arab nations (that are mostly Islamic) are immensely rich and they can financially support the efforts of Muslims in the various countries.  England has quite an interesting growth in the number of mosques in the last years.

Conclusion

However, as we see from history, God’s promises always come true.  As His promise to Abraham became true, so will His promise in Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; Revelation 21:1 come true.  There will be an eternal new heaven and earth where God will live in love and harmony with all the people who made peace with Him through His Son, Jesus.  That is the Gospel in the Bible, the Word of God.  It is not from the Koran.

Debating the Bible and the Koran

Have you seen, heard or been part of a debate between a Christian Bible:Koranand a Muslim? Such debates are usually about the deity of Jesus Christ or the superiority of the Koran. What is amazing is the Muslim’s ability to quote Bible verses. It is because they are taught how to memorise from an early age (their greatest accomplishment is to memorise the Koran).

In such a debate, it is important to remember that you cannot compare the Bible and the Koran. They are completely different in the following ways:

  1. How they were written. 
  • The Bible was written over a period of about 1,500 years (1,400 BC to before 100 AD, from Genesis to Revelation) by 40 different writers (inspired by the Holy Spirit). It consists of 66 separate booklets.
  • The Koran was verbally revealed to Mohammed1 by Allah, through the angel Gabriel (not the Gabriel of the Bible2) over a period of 22 years.  After Mohammed’s death his verbal communications were compiled and written down.

2. Genealogies

  • The Bible is filled with genealogies of people.3 Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 give the genealogy of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham.
  • The Koran does not mention Mohammed’s genealogy, although we know he must have been a descendant of Ishmael, the son of  Abraham by Hagar. 4  Mohammed’s genealogy should be easy to demonstrate.

3. History

  • The Bible covers thousands of years of history. For example, God proves in the Old Testament that He is in control of history. God doesn’t just talk, He acts. Jesus’ personal history is recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The historical background includes the Herod’s,5 the Pharisees and Sadducees,6 et cetera.
  • The Koran has some history, but it comes mainly from the Bible (which preceded it).  There is not much original history.If the Koran is superior to the Bible, it should abound in historical details, especially proving how powerful Allah acts in history.

4. Geography 

  • Most of the events in the Bible take place in and around Israel. So the Bible abounds in details, towns, times and people.
  • This is largely missing from the Koran.

Why is the difference between the two books important? Muslims in general don’t accept that Jesus is the Son of God who came as a human and died on the cross. That is fine.  Anybody is entitled to believe what he or she wants about the Bible and its doctrines.  However, one cannot attack Biblical themes with arguments from the Koran, because the two books differ completely.

A Muslim who wants to argue from the Koran, first has to prove that the Koran is historically a superior book to the Bible. That has never been done. When a Christian and a Muslim debates, remember that their books differ completely.

References

  1. 609-632 AD
  2. Daniel 8:16; 9:21
  3. Ruth 4:18-22; Ezra 7:1-5
  4. Genesis 16
  5. Matthew 2:3;  Acts 12:1; Acts 25:13-22
  6. Matthew 16:1
  7. J Gillchrist, The Qur’an, The Scripture of Islam, Life Challenge Africa, 1995,

God, Allah, Isis and Boko Haram

The world at large is very hostile to the word ‘religion.’ After all, is it not the source of trouble in Bible Koran differencemany countries at present? ISIS and Boko Haram decapitate people, abduct and rape girls, and kill people without mercy. At present, especially Isis (Islamic State), is a real threat.

In popular literature, it is mostly ‘religion’ that is at fault. The word includes all types of religious faiths, like Christianity, Islam, etc. Yet if we look closely at what is happening in the world, it is mostly adherents to Islam that use suicide bombers to kill civilians, and commit other atrocities. If Christianity is so dangerous (according to atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, etc), why is their barbarity so conspicuously absent in the news?

Isis and other Muslim groups are doing what Allah commanded them to do, ‘…I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite you above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. This because they contended agains God [Allah] and his messenger [Mohammed]: if any contend agains God and his messenger, God is strict in punishment.’’ 1

Muslims are told to fight, ‘O believers, fight the unbelievers near you, and let them find you harsh, and know that God stands with the pious.’ 2    NB!  The God of the Bible (with His Son, Jesus) is not the same as the ‘God’ of Islam, Allah, who has no son.

More people than we can count quote the Old Testament and say that the God of the Bible is such a Tyrant. Look what He did (and they support it by very childlike exegesis). Yet the question is, where are the belligerent Christians who kill people left, right and centre? You don’t find them, because Jesus said, “‘Put your sword back in its place, …for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?'”  3

God, the Creator and Owner of the universe, doesn’t need His followers to infiltrate and conquer the world. The Holy Spirit is the ‘secret agent’ that efficiently convinces people of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgement. 4  God does not need to be upset if people insult Him, because nobody can depose Him. He is patient and wants everybody to come to repentance.5

What is the moral of the story?

Anybody who writes about the dangers of ‘religion’ and does not distinguish between, for instance Christianity and Islam, obviously doesn’t know the subject. He does not realise that there is a vast difference between the Bible and the Koran.

The Bible cannot be equated with religion. It is about reality. It is about God who is busy gathering citizens for His new, eternal heavens and earth. The citizens will love and obey their perfect leader (God), as part of His big family (the recipe for a successful Kingdom).

We as believers in Jesus should never be ashamed of our Gospel. It is true, powerful and wonderful good news that changes people’s lives.

References

  1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, English Translation of the Holy Qur’an, Islamic Propagation Centre International, 2008, Surah 8:12-13
  2. The Qur’an, Tarif Khalidi, Penguin Books, 2009, Surah 9:123
  3. Matthew 26:52-53
  4. John 16:8-11
  5. 2 Peter 3:9
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