Allah and the God of the Bible

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Islam claims that Allah is the same God who was revealed in the Bible. This logically implies in the positive sense that the concept of God set forth in the Koran will correspond in all points to the concept of God found in the Bible. This also implies in the negative sense that if the Bible and the Koran have differing views of God, then Islam’s claim is false. This issue can only be decided by a comparison of the two documents in question. It should not be decided on the basis of religious bias on any side, but by a fair reading of the texts in both books.

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD

Most people simply assume that the God of the Bible and the God in the Koran are one and the same God, just under different names. But when we compare the attributes of God as found in the Bible with the attributes of Allah found in the Koran, it is rather obvious that these two are not the same God. As a matter of historical record, Christian and Muslim schol­ars have been arguing over who has the true view of God ever since Islam arose as a religion. The history of the origin and meaning of the Arabian “Allah” reveals that Allah cannot be the God of the biblical patriarchs, the Jews, or Christians. Allah is merely a revamped and magnified Arabian pagan moon deity.

Let’s look at some of the historic differences that have been pointed out time and time again between the God of the Bible and the Allah of the Koran. These points of conflict have been noted in scholarly works for over a thousand years, and they are recognized by all standard works on the subject. Therefore we will give only a brief survey of the issues involved.

Knowable vs. Unknowable— The Bible teaches that God is knowable. Jesus Christ came into this world that we might know God: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God” (John 17:3). But in Islam, Allah is unknowable. He is so transcendent, so exalted, that no man can ever personally know Allah. While the Bible says that man can come into a personal relationship with God, the Allah of the Koran is so distant, so far off, so abstract, that no one can know him.

Personal vs. Non-personal— The Bible says that God is a personal being with intellect, emotion and will.

This is in contrast to the Allah of the Koran, who is not to be understood as a person. This would lower him to the level of man.

Spiritual vs. Nonspiritual— To the Muslim, the idea that Allah is a person or a spirit is blasphemous, for this would demean the exalted One. But the concept that “God is a spirit” (John 4:24) is one of the cornerstones of the biblical nature of God as taught by Jesus Christ.

Trinitarian vs. Unitarian— The God of the Bible is one God in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This Trinity is not three gods but one God. When we turn to the Koran, we find that it explicitly denies the Trinity. The Koran states that God is not a Father and Jesus is not the Son of God, nor is the Holy Spirit God.

Limited vs. Unlimited— The Biblical God is lim­ited by his own immutable and unalterable nature. Thus God cannot do anything and everything—”God cannot lie” (Titus 1:2; see Heb 6:18). God can never act in a way that would contradict his divine nature—”He cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13). But when you turn to the Koran, you discover that Allah is not limited by anything—not even his own nature. Allah can do anything, anywhere, anytime, anyplace with no limitations.

Trustworthy vs. Capricious— Because the God of the Bible is limited by his own righteous nature and there are certain things he cannot do, he is completely consistent and trustworthy. But the actions of Allah in the Koran show him to be totally capricious and un­trustworthy. He is not bound by his nature or his word.

Love of God vs. No Love of God— The love of God is the chief attribute of the biblical God—”God is love” (1 John 4:8). “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16).

God has deep feelings for his creatures, especially man. But in the Koran, we do not find love presented as the chief attribute. Neither does Allah “have feelings” to­ward man. That concept is foreign to Islamic under­standing. Such a teaching would reduce Allah to being a mere man—which again is blasphemous to a Muslim.

Active in History vs. Passive— Allah does not personally enter into human history and act as a his­torical agent. He always deals with the world through his word, prophets, and angels. He does not personally come down to deal with man. How different is the biblical idea of the incarnation, in which God himself enters history and acts to bring about man’s salvation: “God was manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim 3:16). Then again, “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8).

Attributes vs. No Attributes— The Koran never tells us in a positive sense what God is like in terms of his nature or essence. The so-called 99 attributes of Allah are all negative in form, signifying what Allah is not, but never telling us what he is. The Bible gives us both positive and negative attributes of God.

Grace vs. Works— Lastly, the Bible speaks much of the grace of God in providing a free salvation for man through a Saviour, who is also an intercessor: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet in the Koran there is no concept of the grace of Allah. There is no saviour or intercessor according to the Koran. When you examine the attributes of God who has revealed himself in the Bible to the Allah who is described in the Koran, they are not one and the same God.

THE SAME GOD?

Some believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same God because both worship “only one God.” But these fail to understand that monotheism (the belief that there is only one God) in and of itself does not tell us anything about the identity of the one God who is to be worshipped. In other words, it is not enough to say there is only one God, if you have the wrong God! Someone could say that Ra, Isis, or Osiris is the one true God, but this does not mean that Christian and Egyp­tian deities are one and the same. Ancients could have taught that Baal or Molech was the one true God. Or again, the Greeks could have argued that Zeus or Jupi­ter was the one true God. But merely arguing that there is one God does not automatically mean that the one God that you worship is the right one.

In this case, the God of the Bible has revealed him­self in such a way that his nature and his names cannot be confused with the nature and names of surrounding pagan deities. The cult of the moon god which wor­shipped Allah was transformed by Muhammad into a monotheistic faith. Because Muhammad started with a pagan god, it comes as no surprise that he ended up with a pagan god.

IS ALLAH IN THE BIBLE?

In conversation with an ambassador from a Muslim country, I pointed out that the name Allah came from an Arabic word that had to do with the worship of the moon god in preIslamic Arabia. As such, it could not be found in the Hebrew Old Testament or in the Greek New Testament. The ambassador used two arguments as he tried to prove that the Bible did speak of Allah.

First, he claimed that the name Allah was found in the biblical word “allelujah.” The “alle ” in the first partof the word was actually “Allah” according to him! I pointed out to him that the Hebrew word allelujah is not a compound Hebrew word. That is, it is not made up of two words. It is one single Hebrew word which means “praise to Yahweh.” Also, the name of God is in the last part of the word, Jah, which has reference to Yahweh or Jehovah. The name Allah simply cannot be found in that word.

He then proceeded to tell me that when Jesus cried, “Eli, Eli” on the cross, he was actually saying “Allah, Allah.” But this is not true either. The Greek New Testament at this point gives us the Aramaic, not the Arabic, translation of a portion of Psalm 22:1. Jesus was saying, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Neh 27:46). It is a far cry to go from “Eli, Eli” all the way to “Allah, Allah.” It simply cannot be done.

WRONG TIME PERIOD

As a matter of historical record, it was impossible for the authors of the Bible to speak of Allah as God. Why? Up until the 7th century when Muhammad made Allah into the “only” God, Allah was the name of a pagan deity! Since the Bible was completed long before Muhammad was ever born, how could it speak of a post-Muhammad Allah? In reality the name Allah never came across the lips of the authors of Scripture. Up until the time of Muhammad, Allah was simply one pagan god among many; his name was a particular name for the moon god as worshipped in Arabia. The Bible authors would never have confused Allah with Yahweh any more than they would have confused Baal with Yahweh.

THE ARABIC BIBLE

During a radio talk show in Irvine, California, an Arab caller responded to these observations by asking, “But doesn’t the Arabic Bible use the name ‘Allah’ for God? Thus ‘Allah’ is a biblical name for God.” The answer depends on the time period. Was the Bible translated into Arabic in Muhammad’s day? No! The first Arabic translation of the Bible did not appear until around the 9th century.

By the 9th century, Islam was the dominant political force in Arab lands and the men who translated the Bible into Arabic faced a difficult political situation. If they did not use “Allah” as the name of God, they might suffer at the hands of fanatical Muslims who, as part of their religion, believed that the Allah of the Koran was the God of the Bible. Since “Allah” was by this time the common name for “God” because of the dominance of Islam, translators bowed to the political and religious pressures and put “Allah” into the Arabic Bible.

Since the Arabic translation of the Bible came 900 years after the Bible was completed, it cannot have any bearing on whether “Allah” was originally a name for God in the Bible. In the end, the rather obvious fact is that a 9th-century Arabic translation of the Bible cannot be used to establish the argument that the biblical authors who wrote many centuries earlier in Hebrew and Greek used the Arabic word “Allah” for God. Credulity has its limit!

PAGAN ORIGINS

Islam’s origins have been traced back by scholars to the ancient fertility religion of the worship of the moon god which was always the dominate religion of Arabia. The moon god was worshipped by praying toward Mecca several times a day, making an annual pilgrim­age to the Kaaba which was a temple of the moon god, running around the Kaaba seven times, caressing an idol of a black stone set in the wall of the Kaaba, running between two hills, making animal sacrifices, gathering on Fridays for prayers, giving alms to the poor, etc. These were pagan rites practiced by the Arabs long before Muhammad was born.

What religion today practices the pagan rites of the moon god? Islam! This explains why the crescent moon is the symbol of Islam. It is placed on top of mosques and minarets and displayed on hats, flags, rugs, amu­lets and even jewelry. Every time you see the Muslim symbol of a crescent moon, you are seeing the ancient symbol of the moon god.

Does the average Muslim know that he is worship­ping a moon god? No. Does he know why the crescent moon symbol sits on top of his mosque? No. Is he shocked and perhaps angered at these facts of history? Yes. Yet mere denial or angry threats cannot refute the fact that Islam is nothing more than a modern version of the ancient religion of the moon god Allah? The average Muslim has been kept in the dark by the Mul­lahs and Imams who would lose their power if the truth ever got out.

Many Westerners assume that Allah is simply an­other name for God. This is due to their ignorance of the vast differences between the Allah of the Koran and the God of the Bible, and also due to the propaganda of Muslim evangelists who use the idea that Allah is just another name for God as an opportunity to convert Westerners to Islam.

HOW THE KORAN CAME TO BE

Modern scholars using sound principles of literary analysis have determined that the Koran did not come from Muhammad. He did not recite it and actually never saw a copy of it. It was not put together in its present written form until nearly 150 years after Mu­hammad’s death.

This has come as quite a shock to Muslims. Accord­ing to the legends, myths, and stories found in the Hadith, the Koran was written in heaven by Allah on a large stone tablet. The angel Gabriel brought it down and Muhammad recited it verbally but did not write any of it down. It was Muhammad’s companions who wrote down what he recited. After his death, it was gathered together and compiled by the Calif Uthman.

The insurmountable problem that Muslims face is that they do not have any documentary evidence from the 7th and 8th century to back up any of their claims. For example, if Uthman compiled the Koran as the Hadith claims (Bukhari 1:63; 1V:709; V1:507,510), where is the manuscript evidence for this? Why have no Korans survived from that period? Why do we have to wait over 100 years before we find even a scrap of the Koran?

The Muslims are also guilty of circular reasoning when they document the Koran by the Hadith, and then document the Hadith by the Koran! But there is no documentary evidence to back up the Hadith or the Koran! They are both fraudulent as to authorship and dates. Some Muslims have claimed that 7th century copies of the original Koran have been found in muse­ums at Topkapi, Turkey and Tashkent, Russia. But when they were examined by manuscript scholars, they turned out to be 9th or 10th century manuscripts.

The Koran was invented in order to give spiritual unity to the vast empire created by Arab conquests. By borrowing liberally from the legends, myths and relig­ious traditions of pagans, Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Persians, they created one religion to rule over all its citizens. Thus the Koran was the product of multiple authors from different times and places. These authors contributed stories and legends from their own cultural and religious background. The sources of these stories have been well documented by many scholars.

The burden of proof is now clearly on the Muslims. They must supply scholars with the documentary evi­dence to support their theories on the origins of the Koran and the Hadith. Until they do so, we cannot believe in the inspiration of either one.

How different is the situation with the New Testa­ment. The manuscript evidence for it begins twenty years after the death of Christ. There are literally thou­sands of Greek, Latin, Syriac and Coptic texts which document the reliability of the New Testament.

The same holds true for the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. We have more than enough literary docu­mentation for the life of Jesus from first century Jewish, pagan, and Christian manuscripts. This is in sharp contrast to the life of Muhammad. We find no refer­ences to him as a prophet until 150 years after his death. No one has ever found even the smallest fragment of the Koran from the 7th century. Thus, much of what is said about the life of Muhammad must now be dis­missed as fiction.

The truth will triumph in the end. The Koran and the Hadith were political tools used to subjugate non- Arab cultures by forcing them to accept a religion which elevated Arabian language, political laws, moral standards, dress codes, penal punishment and other cultural elements to the status of divine law. This is why to become a Muslim you must take an Arab name, dress like an Arab, speak Arabic, eat only what Arabs eat, treat your wife as Arabs treat their wives, etc.

The religion of Islam was thus born out of Arab cultural imperialism and is rooted in a racist attitude that all things Arab are good while all things non-Arab are evil. Until this is understood, the true nature of Islam cannot be grasped. This is why Western dress, food, movies, hair styles, etc. are zealously denounced by the Mullahs and Imams as Satanic. Such things as blue jeans are not really condemned because they are immoral but because they are not Arab.

The truthfulness of this observation is easily dem­onstrated by Islam’s demand that one bow in prayer in the direction of Arabia (Mecca) and make a pilgrimage to Arabia (Mecca). The religion of Islam is Arabian paganism and culture raised to divine law and imposed upon conquered nations.

Nations such as Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, etc. who had the misfortune of having Islam forced upon them by the sword, need to break free from Arab imperialism in order to regain their own identity and culture. Until they throw off the shackles of Islam, they cannot be­come free societies where human rights are honored.

How can this be done? The oppressed masses must return to their Christian heritage which was stolen from them by wave after wave of Arab armies. Why would anyone in the 21st century want to continue to believe in a foreign religion that was forced upon his ancestors many centuries ago by violence, slavery, oppression and unjust taxes? It’s time to break free from the dark­ness and ignorance of Islam and enter into the freedom and light of Christianity.

—Adapted from the writings of Robert Morey


WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? 

The gospel of Christ is good news of pardon to the guilty, addressing all as equally guilty before God. It reveals an atonement sufficient for all; and every sinner is commanded to receive it as a faithful saying, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). The gospel is addressed to those who are “far from righteousness” (Isaiah 46:12); who are poor, and blind, and naked; who have no money to purchase salvation, no merit to recommend them to the favor of God (Isaiah 55:1; Luke 7:42).

Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repen­tance (Neh 9:13). If we are not sinners, we have nothing to do with the gospel; and if we are sinners, let us not reject the counsel of God against ourselves, by vainly supposing that anything about us gives us a peculiar claim to his favor, or by imagining that our sins are too great to be forgiven. The thief upon the cross was saved by faith in Jesus, and none shall enter heaven in any other way. Our only plea is this—”God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Although the Scriptures are so clear on this subject, it is a stumbling-block and foolishness to the great body of those who hear the gospel. It offends their pride to be put upon a level with the outcasts of society; surely, they think, some difference will be made; but they err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor under­standing the malignity of sin or the grace of God.

They view salvation as a kind of bargain which God pro­poses to make with his creatures, that on certain conditions he will accept them; while in fact it is the message of reconciliation, equally addressed to all mankind, declaring that a full atonement for sin has been made upon the cross, and inviting every sinner of Adam’s race instantly to approach God through Christ.

When Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, it was a remedy equally adapted for all who had been bitten (Num 21:8; John 3:14-15). By looking to the serpent the patient was healed; and in reference to this emblem, Christ, indiscriminately addressing all mankind, says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:21-22).

While the gospel is preached freely to all, it is “the power of God unto salvation” only to those who believe (Rom 1:16). But it is vain to talk of being justified by Christ’s righteousness, unless our hearts are “purified by faith” (Acts 15:9). We may profess faith in Jesus while we are slaves to sin; we may deceive ourselves, and affirm that we are trusting in Christ while we are living after the flesh; but every branch in the vine that beareth not fruit shall be cast into the fire (Neh 3:10; John 15:2).

If we believe Christ’s gospel, it will effectually work in our hearts (1 Thess 2:13), and teach us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world (Titus 2:11-12); and if what we believe does not produce this effect, it is not the true grace of God in which we stand. We are deceived. “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” Gal 5:24).

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