Many people say that Jewish people, Christians, and Muslimin, we all worship the same one God, the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But I don’t believe so. I believe Jewish people and we Christians worship the same God. But I don’t think the same with the Islāmic God.
Today was another snow day in Boston, so I have more time to spend at home. I encountered another Facebook post in a Facebook group, asking if the Christians and Muslim worship the same God. I argued that we Christians believe with the Jewish faith that together we worship the same God of Abraham. The Islāmic faith however claims they worship the God of Abraham but their interpretation is different from the teachings of our scriptures. My argument is that they’re claiming for the wrong God. Then an atheist jumped in the discussion insisting we all worship the same God.
He also pointed out, I quote, “You can claim that but you have no more ability to claim it than the Muslims. Judaism rejects you both.” Judaism rejects Christianity, because they don’t believe in the central point of Christianity that Jesus is the Messiah. The Jesus and Apostles preached from nothing but the the Jewish Tanakh, the Old Testament books and its fulfillment. Israelite envisioned a different kind of Messiah, that’s why when they see Jesus, they reject him. Why we have more ability to claim it more than Muslims because we also use their scriptures, but the Muslims does not acknowledge the Bible that we have now, claiming it either corrupted or outdated. This is for another discussion.
Now I will present some points why Judaism, and where it agrees with Christianity, coming from the Tanakh, to be contradicting with Islam. If we worship the same God, then the scriptures that come down, His Words that are spoken to men over passages of time should not contradict. But the Qur’an, which came later, contradicts the Tanakh in some points which I would present below. I will only focus on some of the differences from the Old Testament, because the differences with the New Testament are pretty obvious, and there are many articles alike out there. So let’s begin.
1. The condition of human upon birth.
Islam says that everyone is born Muslim, meaning in submission to Allah. We were pure until corrupted by our parents and our surroundings.
Sura 7:172 When thy Lord drew forth from the Children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?”- They said: “Yea! We do testify!” (This), lest ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “Of this we were never mindful”:
Do you remember saying this to Allah? I don’t.
This is further exclaimed by the Prophet Muhammad as recorded in a hadith:
Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6426: “No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.” (Yusuf Ali Translation)
Psalmist David says we were all corrupted from conception.
Psalms (Tehilim) 51:7 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Jewish Publication Society Translation)
2. When God punish people…
Qur’an says God is very easy to give punishment.
Sura Al-‘Araf (4):168-169 “Those who reject Faith and do wrong,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to any way- Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever. And this to Allah is easy.”
Tanakh says, God has to punish because he is just but he does not like punishing. Adonai Elohim said this 3 times in Ezekiel (Yehezkiel) 18:23, 18:32, 33:11.
Ezekiel (Yehezkiel) 33:11 “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
3. God’s name.
Qur’an says that the proper name of their God, their Allah, is, Allah. Islam has no god with a personal name, thus he is not a personal god.
Tanakh says that the proper name of their God, their Allah, their Elohim, is EHEYEH ASHER EHEYEH (I am that I am) in Exodus (Shemot) 3:14, and properly YHVH in Deuteronomy (D’evarim) 6:4. The Jewish faith has a God with a personal name.
4. Is God a Father? Does he have children?
Islam says no. This is in response to the Christians who worship Jesus as the Son of God. But also from this matter Muslimin are not supposed to called Allah “my father”/”baba”. There is no Allah-Baba in Islam, because by doing so they would bring Allah down to human level.
Sura Maryam (19):35 “It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is.”
Sura Al-Ma’idah (5):18 “(Both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are sons of Allah, and his beloved.” Say: “Why then doth He punish you for your sins? Nay, ye are but men,- of the men he hath created: He forgiveth whom He pleaseth, and He punisheth whom He pleaseth: and to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between: and unto Him is the final goal (of all)”
We know a good father punishes his sons and daughter if they do something wrong, so we won’t do the same mistakes, right? Islam has an arbitrary and impersonal God. He punishes because he is God who can do what he pleases.
The Tanakh explicitly says that God calls his people as his children.
Exodus (Shemot) 4:22 “Thus saith HaShem: Israel is My son, My first-born.” (The Nation of Israel as God’s firstborn)
Isaiah (Yeshayah) 43:5-7 “Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Jeremiah (Yirmeyahu) 31:9 “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.”
Hosea (Hoshea) 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.”
2 Samuel (Shmuel Bais) 7:14 “I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men;” (speaking of Solomon)
and so many other verses in the Tanakh I would really love to quote like Deuteronomy (D’evarim) 32:6, Psalms (Tehilim) 2:7, Isaiah (Yeshayah) 63:16,
5. Can we be sure of God’s salvation and be thankful for it?
The Qur’an says no. The Prophet himself was not sure.
Sura Al-‘Ahqaf (46):9 “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a Warner open and clear.”
Further explained in a Hadith record:
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 266: “By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me.”
The Christians may also bob their heads and ask me how does the Jewish people have assurance of salvation? Well, read Hezekiah’s prayer below:
Isaiah (Yeshayah) 38:17-18 “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.”
Christians always say this, and sing in songs, about “the joy of salvation.” The Jewish knows that too in their Tanakh!
Psalms (Tehilim) 51:12 “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.”
Let me put an analogy. Say A, B, and C claim to know my father. A says, “Is your father Kaleb? The one who can speak English, Mandarin, and other 3 Chinese dialects, right?” I would say, yeah, that’s my old man. B says, “Is your father Kalip? The one who can speak English, Mandarin, and other 5 Chinese dialects, right?” Kalip is my father’s name on his birth certificate. I don’t know if he can speak more than 4 Chinese dialects but he probably can. So I would say, yes, that’s my dad. But then C comes and say, “Is your father Caleb? The one who can speak English, Mandarin, Spanish, and French?” I would say, no I think you’re thinking about a different Caleb.
There are way more points of division than just these. Hopefully I can write more later. I’m sorry if the post looks hurried, or it’s not of a good quality. I’m open to discussion, correction, addition, and improvement.
Bismi Yasu’ Al-Masiha, rabbina wa mukhalisina.