We often hear the question, “Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?” Many secular scholars (and even some who are Christian) see Islam as one of the three great Abrahamic religions who believe in “One God.” To them, Allah is just another name. The Qur’an claims this sameness in Surah 29:46, “Our God and your God is one.” Is this true?
It is more helpful to ask, “What kind of God is revealed in Christianity and in Islam?” Both Christians and Muslims believe that God is one, but what they believe is very different. The confusion is because they do not understand the fundamental beliefs of Christianity and Islam.
As Christians, we have the revelation that the God we serve is a God of love. I John 4:8 tells us that “Whoever does not love does not know God because God IS LOVE” (Gr. Agape). He has power, He has strength, but HE IS LOVE. When we look at how the Bible describes love, then we see a few ways in which God is truly the essence of love. Agape love is beautifully described in I Corinthians 13.
How do the Muslim people see Allah as a God of love? If we examine their holy book, the Qur’an, the one they follow is totally different from the God of the Bible.
One example of the difference is in James 1:13, “For God cannot be tempted by evil, or does He tempt anyone.” This scripture reveals that when we are tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” In other words, God does not tempt with immorality or sin. He does not deceive. Psalm 5:4 tells us that God takes no pleasure in wickedness. He is holy, and He is pure.
The Qur’an in Sura 3:54 says this about the god of Islam: “And (the unbelievers) schemed and planned, and Allah schemed also, and the best of schemers is Allah.” This thought is repeated in many other Qur’an Suras.
The Arabic word for scheme is makara. This denotes one who is a deceiver, one who is conniving, a schemer. It is always used in a negative sense. Allah is seen as the best of deceivers, the premiere schemer. This is not simply a Christian perspective but one thoroughly endorsed by Muslim theologians as well.
Dr. Victor, our Arabic consultant (whose PhD. is in Islamic Studies), verified this information. He shared that for English language speakers, it is translated as “planner”. In the original Arabic language, and as taught to Muslims worldwide, the word used is “deceiver.”
One of the roots of their faith is based on deception, not on truth. When we realize this, our hearts are stirred with compassion for the Muslim people. We want them to know the God of truth who loves them with an everlasting love.
- Pray for Muslims to be stirred in their hearts to desire truth and to realize that they are loved by God unconditionally, and that He will never deceive them.
- Ask God to bring laborers across their path during Ramadan who can share God’s love for them. Pray they will have a revelation of salvation by grace, not works.