Part 3- Christianity Vs. Islam.

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Islam Versus Christianity

First of all, how are Islam and Christianity different?

Because Islam and Christianity come from the same source (God), they share many of the same morals. Both religions preach the sacredness of human life, stress the importance of loving for others what we love for ourselves, emphasize helping the vulnerable in society, forbid injustice, and so on….However, morals and values aside, Christianity and Islam are very different in terms of creed.

Islam is the most monotheistic religion- the essence of Islam is the belief that there is One Creator, who is Unique….He is One in His Attributes, His Names, and His right to be worshipped. There is nothing like Him and He did not beget nor was He begotten. Instead, God has always existed and will always exist- independent of us. Muslims believe God has never been a part of his creation and that the purpose of this life is for us to voluntarily submit to Him wholeheartedly. This life, then, is a test- to see who put God’s Commands above their desires. Every moment is an opportunity for people to become more God- conscious.
It should be noted that Islam is not a new religion or something founded by Prophet Mohamed. We believe it is the same message that every prophet called to, including Abraham, Noah, Moses, Joseph, Jesus, Mohammed, etc (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon all of them) Every single one of these messengers preached the Oneness of God and the concept of submitting to Him.

What about Christianity? 

To understand Christianity, one has to understand the concept of original sin. Christians believe that when Adam and Eve sinned, humans became tainted. Thus, God came down himself, in the form of Jesus, and was crucified in order to atone for “our sins”. To Christians, God is One but He has 3 aspects: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Each one of these differs in terms of their roles but all are united as God.

Does that make sense to you? How could 1 be 3? Or 3 be 1?

In all honesty, the concept of the trinity, the fundamental part of Christian belief, is baffling- even to many Christians, themselves. How can God be Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Ghost all at once? Most like to shrug it off by claiming that God is beyond human understanding.

But perhaps, what's even more strange, is that the Bible, itself, does not mention the concept of the trinity clearly. Surely, if the trinity is the most fundamental part of the religion, it should be mentioned clearly for anyone to understand….Think about it this way: as a Holy book, the Bible was sent for everyone to understand- women, men, young children…the layman, scholar, professional….wouldn’t God, knowing how we differ in terms of mental abilities, have taken that into account when explaining the essence of Christianity? And yet, there are no clear verses in the Bible- instead, we are somehow supposed to understand/ interpret the trinity from vague verses….it almost becomes like a riddle. Personally, I find this surprising- especially since one of the verses in the Bible, itself, clearly states that “God is not the Author of Confusion”.

Secondly, Jesus says many things that mark a clear distinction between him and God. Yes, we're talking about the Bible! 

“Why do you call me good: No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17, Mark 10-18, and Luke 18:19)
“My Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
“I do nothing of myself, but as the Father taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of himself …” (John 5:19)
“But now I go away to Him who sent me …” (John 16:5)
“Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me.’” (John 7:16)
“For I have not spoken on my own authority; but the Father who sent me gave me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” (John 12:49)[1]
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Luke 4:8)
“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me …” (John 4:34)
“I can of myself do nothing … I do not seek my own will but the will of the Father who sent me.” (John 5:30)
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38)
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the Father. (Matthew 24: 36)
(As a Muslim, the above verse reminds me this verse in the Quran, 7:187: "They ask thee about the (final) Hour - when will be its appointed time? Say: 'The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone): none but He can reveal as to when it will occur….7:187)  
“My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me.” (John 7:16)
“I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.” (John 20:17)

Think about it.

I mean, seriously ask yourself these questions (taken from: Here)

 If Jesus was GOD, then why in John 8:28 Jesus said "I do nothing of myself"? Can't GOD do anything he wills?

If Jesus was GOD, then why in John 14:28 Jesus said "My Father (GOD) is greater than I"?

If Jesus was GOD, then why in John 5:32 Jesus told his followers that they have never seen GOD at anytime nor ever heard his voice?

If Jesus was GOD, then why did he pray to his GOD in Luke 5:16?

If Jesus was GOD, then why in Matthew 26:39 Jesus fell on his face and prayed to his GOD?

What do all these verses sound like? Do they sound like someone calling others to worship him? Or someone calling others to worship God alone?

Don’t they sound like the Qur’an version of Jesus? Don't they sound like the words of a a prophet of God?

In fact,the people around Jesus called him that- a prophet:

“This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:11), and

“A great prophet has risen up among us …” (Luke 7:16).

The disciples recognized Jesus as “a prophet mighty in deed …” (Luke 24:19. Also see Matthew 14:5, 21:46, and John 6:14).

If these statements were inaccurate, why didn’t Jesus correct them? Why didn’t he define his divinity if, that is, he truly was divine? When the woman at the well stated, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet’” (John 4:19), why didn’t he thank her for her lowly impression, but explain to her that he was god? (Taken from: http://www.leveltruth.com/articles.html)

Third of all, Jesus is not the only ‘son’ of God mentioned in the Bible. There are other prophets called “Sons”. Why are these prophets, then, not considered God? Could it be that the word “son” has a different meaning than “offspring”? And if so, doesn’t that mean that Jesus could actually be equal to David….

In Matthew 5:9 Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Later in Matthew 5:45, Jesus prescribed to his followers the attainment of noble attributes, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” Not exclusively his Father, but their Father …


In fact, not only are prophets called sons but ‘normal people’ as well! Again, this indicates that the word “son” was never meant to be taken literally.

Deuteronomy 14:1, “Ye are the children of the Lord your God.”
Job 1:6, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD…”

Perhaps equally important if not more important, why do some translations of the Bible translate “Son” as “servant”? Let’s go to a Bible site together and see the translation of this verse: http://bible.cc/acts/3-13.htm (Mind you- this is a Christian website that shows different authentic translations of the Bible…so it’s a pretty good source)

American King James Version
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus ; whom you delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.

Vs:
New International Version (©1984)
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus . You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.

You see? One translated it as “Son” and the other as ‘servant”. (In fact, the majority of the translations translated it as “servant”)

Don’t you think there’s a very big difference? And don’t you think that the servant translation is completely in line with Islamic thinking? This is what we believe..

The reality is that “Son” was never meant to be taken literally.

Moreover, why would God suddenly change his religion dramatically? I mean….what did the people before Jesus believe? For example, Moses's people? And why was that enough to save them? Why would God suddenly decide that this wasn’t enough to save people? Hear O Israel the LORD our God is one LORD. Doesn't the Old Testament clearly say that?  Why did God’s message change?

Finally, why would God need to atone for our sins? Or punish someone else for our sins? How, then, is God just?  Isn't God more powerful than a 'sin'? Isn't He the most Forgiving?

Before I go, though, I do want to address two things that I often hear:

1- If Islam is right, why are all terrorists Muslims? As we pointed out before, Islam is actually a very peaceful religion. We don’t judge a car by its driver- similarly, we cannot judge a religion by the people who follow it….

2- Why, then, does Christianity have the highest number of followers? The truth is, the reason so many people remain Christian is because people often just follow what their parents’ and families’ embrace. Very few people take the time to really think about their religion, themselves, or to question what it teaches them. When you think about it, when it comes to Christianity, how many people have actually read the entire Bible? Unfortunately, most Christians have only read a few passages- and therefore, are unaware of the contradictions that exist. Secondly, Christianity offers a “feel good” solution without really requiring work. Instead of adhering to commands, it only requires that you believe that a sacrifice was already made for you.


Well, this is a very quick reply- but I urge you to check these websites which do a much more thorough analysis (I also got many of the verses and questions from there).

http://www.leveltruth.com/articles.html

http://www.islamreligion.com/category/68/

http://media.isnet.org/off/Islam/JesusSay/

Also, you might want to see the youtube video called "How the Bible Led Me to Islam".


:)





P.S. Sorry for taking so long. :)

19 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

The Creative Muslimah April 13, 2011 at 2:36 PM  

Assalamualeikum dearest sister!! JazakAllah khair for this post, it's very informative. i love to read about such things and to discuss them with my non-muslim classmates. As a matter of fact I was discussing the concept of trinity with a girl in my class, and as we went along I was even more confirmed in my thought that all her arguments were based on feelings rather than intellect and logic. I kept on trying to ask a little provocative questions in a respectful manner and I could see her face growing red as she was getting more nervous due to her contradictory replies. May Allah swt give us all more hidayah. Ameen thumma ameen. may ALlah swt reward you greatly for the time you took to writing this post.

-The Creative Muslimah

Umm Khaleel,  April 13, 2011 at 6:50 PM  

Salam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah,

If you don't mind I'd like to add a few points to this already-comprehensive reply insha Allah :) My close friends in the past were mostly Christians so in the process of them giving me "da'wah" and through readings, I learnt and picked up a few things that will never bode well with me.

1) In the bible, it was stated that when Jesus was on the cross, he cried out "Elah! Elah! (Hebrew word that means God) Why have you forsaken me?" This verse itself is contradicting because if Jesus was truly God, would he have cried out to himself?

2) If Jesus was God and he came to die for us, would there be a need to drag him to the cross? I doubt it because he would be on that cross willingly since it would be his duty to be our 'saviour'.

3) I used to watch sermons and one of the things mentioned by the pastor was that "when Jesus died on the cross, his soul was raised to heaven and in heaven he sat on the right side of God's throne and Holy Ghost was on the left. Again, this is like trinity concept; just that the only question I have is - if three is one and one is three, why is there a need to sit side by side on the throne? It undoubtedly shows that they are two different entities even if we don't believe that Prophet Jesus alayhi salam died on the cross.

4) My friend tried explaining to me that I should understand trinity through this analogy (most christians tend to use this analogy a lot): Trinity is like a family- there's a father, mother and child. There are three people but all in one family. My question is: Can the father be his own child or vice versa? No, it's just not logical. They are two different entities who have different roles in the family.

5)The meaning of 'Son' to describe Jesus as being a Son of God do not literally mean that God has a son but in fact, this term has been used for other Prophets in the bible as well. (ok, it's being mentioned in the post already heh)

6) Christians have told me that Jesus was a miracle because he had a mother but no father. Then, how about Prophet Adam alayhi salam who has no father or mother?

7) Last point that I can think at this moment, (this might sound a little silly..) if Jesus was actually God and he died on the cross, who ruled the earth? Christians will tell you, "God in Heaven".. then why do they even worship Jesus in the first place! (And they will tell you, their prayers cannot reach God but only Jesus can so they pray to Jesus to reach God instead. And this will clearly mean that Jesus and God are not one entity to begin with)

I can list more actually but I hope that sis, you would sit and reflect on this. The above were some of my thoughts about Christianity at one point in my life when I actually considered becoming a Christian (nauzubillah). I stressed on the trinity aspect because that is the fundamentals of Christianity belief and to me, I can never find any logic in that, al-hamdulillah.

Islam has made it very easy for us to understand. In suraah Al-Ikhlas itself, it states that Allah is One and there is none like Him. Read through Suraah Maryam and in the Suraah itself, Allah has cleared this misunderstanding of Christians about Prophet Eesa Alayhi salam.. The video given at the end of Little Auntie's post is wonderful masha Allah, I hope you will take a look at that too insha Allah because Brother Yusha explains it very well.

And a good point by little aunties about Christians who don't read the bible. My friends don't exactly read the whole bible - they just attend Church and the pastor would take a verse from the bible and expound according to his own interpretation. Which is another reason why they leave me more confused than before.

Anyway, I hope the sister sees this post Little Aunties! :)

Umm Khaleel,  April 13, 2011 at 6:51 PM  

And oh yes, please watch lectures by Dr Zakir Naik and Sh.Ahmad Deedat :)

Umm Khaleel,  April 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM  

^I mean - not my post but this whole post about christianity and Islam.. I sincerely hope the sister would consider reading the Qur'an thoroughly :) Islam is just so beautiful masha Allah!

p/s/ sorry for spamming :/ I tend to post without editing first sometimes.

Bubbli April 13, 2011 at 10:34 PM  

gave u the inspiration award: http://bubblezisland.blogspot.com/2011/04/inspiration-award_12.html :)

Bubbli April 13, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

where is part 1, and 2 for this post?

Little Auntie April 14, 2011 at 1:17 AM  

Bubbli, did you find them? Part 1 and Part 2? Part 2 we linked to in the beginning of this post. I'll go and edit the post and add part 1 :)

UmmKhaleel, GREAT contributions. I sincerely hope the sister does read your comments.

Creative Muslimah, it's great that you and your friend were able to talk about it. You know, if she realized she was saying contradictory things, that's a good sign, ma'sahAllah! I find a lot of them won't admit that what they are saying is contradictory. May Allah guide your friend :D

Little Auntie April 14, 2011 at 1:19 AM  

And thank you so muccccccccccch for the inspiration award!

Anonymous,  June 10, 2011 at 4:21 AM  

i am sorry but you have no right to talk about what other people believe in.. if its a Islamic website then please you should just talk about Islam.. You Should go around talking about Christianity, everyone has their different faith and we should all respect that.
I a Muslim, BUT i do take element from other religion and follow them
its 2011 come on don't be so small minded

Anonymous,  June 10, 2011 at 4:25 AM  

@ Umm Khaleel I believe Christians worship god through Jesus and Catholics believe Jesus is the lord.. and Jesus is a Miracle because Mary didnt shag anyone to conceive him... it was God/Allah 's wish

Little Auntie June 10, 2011 at 8:08 AM  

Dear Anonymous,
My blog is about answering questions. I am a Muslim, so yes, I answer the questions from an Islamic point of view. That doesn't mean that all we talk about is Islam, though. We've talked about being diagnosed with PCOS, being called fat and ugly, how to get good grades in university, how to help our mother around the house. What I promise in my blog though is that whatever we talk about, we provide the Islamic point of view -- not all that we talk about is Islam.

As for your statement about being narrow minded, I have to disagree. Narrow mindedness to me is ignoring logic and choosing to follow one's belief system simply because your are born with it.
What I did in this post was use logic- and ask questions using the very text of Christianity. I evaluated a belief system- and then, answering the girl's question- gave my opinion. Narrow mindedness is being racist, prejudiced, etc. Had I simply said "Sister, Islam is right and Christianity is wrong" without evaluating it, then that would have been narrow mindedness.

I do not think that just because we are in 2011, I have to accept parts of other people's religion. I am tolerant of other people's religion and I believe they have the right to choose their religion. There is NO compulsion in Islam. But I do not believe that I should accept parts of their religion.

I am a Muslim 100% and I believe in Islam 100% and I am not ashamed of that.

Yes, we know that they believe that Jesus is the "Lord", but we were trying to show that Jesus never said that.

Just because Mary was pregnant with out a man does not make Jesus God. The Qur'an gives the best answer for this:

The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being. (Quran, 3:59)

Jesus' birth was a divine proof of God’s power and Jesus’s prophethood, but not proof of Jesus's lordship.

(Actually, while we’re on the subject, we believe that there were 4 kinds of ‘births/coming to life’. One- Adam was created with neither a mother nor a father. Hawa was created from a man, without a woman (rib of Adam). Isa was created from a woman, Mariam/Mary, without a man. And finally, me and you- we were created with moms and dads, hehe. Taken together, these 4 'births' testify to God's Absolute Power.)

They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. (72) They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. (73) So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (5: 74

Anonymous,  June 18, 2011 at 2:54 AM  

hey i muslim girl
i just wanted to share this one thing
when i told my mom she told my dad
and now i have a black eye and a broken arm
umm i am a muslim girl
but i Don't like Mohammad // im sorry i just domt like hos teching
i dnt like how he married a 9 year old and how he beat his wife/wives.. i don't like hoe sexist he was.. i hate how he made islam about him and not Allah
I am really sowi but thats just how i feel.. i am so sorry

Little Auntie June 18, 2011 at 3:05 AM  

You know, Anonymous, I'm terribly sorry to hear that you got a broken arm and eye. Some parents don't know how to respond to simple questions properly. I will respond to this in its own post, later on. I've got a lot of questions that I still need to answer, but you've brought up some things that really need to be addressed and cleared up, inshaAllah.

Stay tuned and keep in touch.

Anonymous,  June 22, 2011 at 4:51 AM  

thank you
i saw your post about Muhammad
but im sowi but i still dont connect with him
like i dnt see why he is the best prophet
i am really sorry
i did a lot of research myself as well
but umm can I be a muslim and not relate to muhammad but love Allah ?
i sowi but even after being hurt i dnt "like" him

Little Auntie June 24, 2011 at 9:31 PM  

I've replied to you sister in this new post:

http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.com/2011/06/meet-final-prophet.html

Please read the post thoroughly and then comment there :)

Anonymous,  July 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM  

Umm Khalil:

no muslim is a muslim if u dnt love jesus
stop hating

Little Auntie July 7, 2011 at 12:20 PM  

^ Umm Khalil was not disrespectful in her comment at all nor did she demonstrate any hatred to our beloved prophet Jesus. All she explained is that Jesus is not God. I highly suggest you read the comment again more thoroughly. In no area has she insulted our Prophet, at all. She has laid down in simple terms the fact that the trinity is a complete mystery- that's all.

On the other hand, sister, I must say.... you are the single person who has written disrespectful comments regarding prophets in this blog. You have continued to disrespect Prophet Mohammed.

So may I tell you the same?

Stop hating, please.

We're here to have meaningful discussions. If you won't discuss things rationally, this probably isn't the blog for you :)

Thanks for understanding and GOOD luck :)

Anonymous,  July 9, 2011 at 7:09 AM  

i dnt HATE Muhammad
i just dnt undersatnd his ways.. thats all
i dont write disrespectful comment all over ?

Bubbli July 9, 2011 at 7:17 PM  

hey, i just wanted to say that its okay that you dont understand, but its not okay to stay that way because it will bother you forever. Its not fair that you readily believe some of the wrong things people are saying about our prophet pbuh. Its not fair to prophet muhammed pbuh or to yourself. Please read the biography of prophet muhammed pbuh and you will then understand how wonderful this prophet that Allah swt choose for us really is.

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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