Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 6 – Salvation

The major reason why the cross is such a stumbling block to Muslims is because of a lack of understanding of the nature of man and the need for atonement. Muslims believe that man is fundamentally good (Sura 30:29-30). Thus, “when Christians share the ‘good news of salvation from sin’ with Muslim friends, it is often not heard as ‘good news.’ This is largely because Muslims have traditionally not diagnosed the human condition as pessimistically as the Bible does; so they have not seen the need for as radical a solution” (1).

Despite this, Muslims believe that people are weak and capable of sin. The Qur’an says Muhammad sinned (2). Salvation, in Islam, is by works. Muslims must fulfill the Five Pillars of Islam: reciting the Shahada (confession of faith), reciting prayers five times a day (Salat), giving alms (zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Saum) and, at least once in their lifetime, participate in a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (Hajj). On top of this, jihad is also considered by some Muslims to be essential. The word means struggle or “utmost effort”, and is interpreted as holy war against “infidels” by radical Muslims. But more liberal and westernized Muslims, jihad connotes a daily struggle to be good Muslims (3).

Even if a Muslim performs all these acts of worship, they can still never be sure of their salvation. Allah can do whatever he wants, and this includes denying heaven for even the most devout Muslim. Muslims are seen not as children of God but as slaves who should never question Allah’s will. They must only submit (4).

This works-based salvation also seems contradictory in light of the Islamic view of God’s sovereignty. How can one earn their salvation if it is already predetermined who will and will not be saved?

The Bible, on the other hand, is clear that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation (John 14:6) and that we are saved through faith, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9). All have sinned and therefore all are born condemned to eternal damnation separate from God (Romans 5:12). But because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross, his death and resurrection on the third day, we can be born again (John 3:3) and reconciled to God (Romans 5:11). Being born again means to die to the sinful nature we were born into and made into new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can then be called children of God as we are born again of the spirit (John 1:12-13). God has shown us great mercy! “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

(1) Woodberry, 149-150.
(2) Martin, 623.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Malek, 78.

Part 1 – Introduction
Part 2 – The Bible and the Quran
Part 3 – The Trinity
Part 4 – God and Allah
Part 5 – The Lord Jesus Christ
Part 7 – Conclusion

Also of Interest: Did Jesus Foretell Muhammad?


One Response to Are Christianity and Islam Compatible? – Part 6 – Salvation

  1. Lala says:

    The way that Jesus is explained in this article is totally incomplete. God sacrificed his only living son who was sin free and perfect for dirty sinners destined for hell (all humans) . The original human condition includes components of evil that without Jesus could not be wiped away. This is why Christians believe that humans are born with original sin. Jesus was brought to the earth to deliver us from this sin so that we might see salvation and be able to enter heaven. What Jesus did for man kind is spiritually advanced and is a complicated concept that atheists and agnostics are unable to comprehend that you only can learn if you go to church and open up your spirit. Christianity does not require that we pray 5 times a day or that we take a pilgrimage to
    Mecca or that we pledge to die for the Pope or something but it does require that
    we live holy lives that purify our souls and bring us to a life of Vertu and take us away from sin. Living a clean life of godliness and confessing that Jesus shed his blood for sinners to be set free from evil is the only way to reach salvation according to the Christian faith and it is correct. Any Christian who never does anything good and never treats people the way they should be treated and never behaved holy is not a real Christian and they are a bad example. You should become Christian! If you are Muslim you should love Christians because they are they keeping peace in the world. incourage your fellow Muslim people to love Christians too and not jihad against us. REAL Christians are good and want to be your friend.

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