Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 4 – God and Allah

In Islam, God is called Allah. It is the Arabic word for God, as is actually used by Arabic-speaking Christians as well. Many Muslims claim that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God. But based on the rejection of the Trinity, we have already seen that the God of the Bible is not the same as Allah of Islam. For this reason I make the distinction between God and Allah.

The Qur’an claims many attributes of Allah that are similar to the Bible’s attributes of God. Each sura of the Qur’an starts with “In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” Many places in the Bible refer to God in this way (e.g. Exodus 34:6). Some Muslims recite the ninety-nine names of Allah found in the Qur’an, such as the Forgiving One (1).

The word Islam means submission (2). It is a fitting name because the religion of Islam is all about submitting to Allah. Christianity is likewise about submitting to God. We are told to obey the Lord (e.g. John 14:15), and surrender our lives completely to him (e.g. Matthew 16:24).

Muslims believe that everything is predestined by Allah. He may lead people to believe in him, or even lead people astray and cause them to do evil. This view is fatalistic and may cause Muslims to be indifferent about their behaviour, because “it is written” or predestined already. No one can go against the will of Allah (3).

Some Christians believe that God predestines all things in a similar way, but the Bible is clear that man has a choice to choose to follow him or to disobey. For example, Israel was told, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15), and Jesus pointed to the fact that people could choose to do God’s will (John 7:17).

(1) Saal, 103.
(2) Ibid.
(3) Malek, 87

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 6 – Salvation
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?

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