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  • Writer's pictureScott Carr, Jr.

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? The deities of Islam and Christianity share many characteristics. They are both the only God of their respective religions. They are the Creators of all. They are holy, merciful, omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign. The Qur’an itself seems to suggest the possibility that the two faiths worship the same God. "There are some among the People of the Book who are upright, who recite God’s revelations during the night, who bow down in worship, who believe in God and the Last Day, who order what is right and forbid what is wrong, who are quick to do good deeds. These people are among the righteous and they will not be denied [the reward] for whatever good deeds they do: God knows exactly who is conscious of Him." [1] While there are Christians who do submit to God, not all do: “Those who persist in making up lies and attributing them to God after this are the wrongdoers” [2]. The Qur’an’s position is that it is possible for Christians to truly submit to the God of Islam, but it is also possible for Christians to use their faith to lie about the God of Islam and reject Him all the while claiming to worship the one True God.

As for Christianity, it is possible to notice the similarities between Allah and God the Father and to argue that they are the same deity after all. However, Christian theology does not merely speak of God’s attributes. In classical Christianity, God is only fully revealed and understood in the person of Jesus Christ. St. John the Apostle recorded Jesus as saying, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works” [3]. In the Christian tradition, the unity of the Father and the Son requires the profession that Jesus is “the only Son of God, begotten from the Father before all ages, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of the same essence of the Father” [4]. For Christianity, to answer whether or not Christians and Muslims worship the same God, the question must first be clarified as, “What have you done with Jesus?”

The Qur’an has a firm statement on who Jesus is in Islam: “Those who say, ‘God is the Messiah, the son of Mary,’ are defying the truth” [5]. “In God’s eyes Jesus is just like Adam: He created him from dust, said to him, ‘Be’, and he was” [6]. Islam firmly denies that Jesus is Himself divine.

Christianity and Islam both have different modes of revelation from God. Islam receives its revelation primarily from the Qur’an while Christianity receives its revelation primarily from the person of Jesus, whom Christians believe is divine. Islam, on the other hand, rejects the divinity of Christ. Because their understandings of Jesus’ divinity and their modes of revelation differ so dramatically, Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God.

[1] The Qur’an, translated by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, Sura 3:113-115.

[2] Sura 3:94

[3] John 14:9-10 NRSV

[4] Nicene Creed

[5] Sura 5:17

[6] Sura 3:59

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