Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Is the God of the Koran the Same As the God of the Bible?
Much has been written, and still is being written, on the religion of Islam and its prophet. But not much has been written about its god. The reason for this is because of the general assumption that the god of Islam and the God of true Christianity are one and the same. If this assumption proved to be correct it would cause many problems: If Allah is God and the Koran true, then the Christian can be sure he is lost -- no matter how zealous he may be. The reverse case would prove equally disastrous -- what is the truth?
by HOIM Staff
The difference between the teaching of Koran and that of the Bible is not limited to the doctrine of salvation, but includes the understanding of God. In fact, all the distinctive beliefs and practices of Islam and Christianity stem from their respective understanding of God. The Pope is attempting to build a new partnership with the Muslims by affirming that they worship the same Abrahamic God worshipped by Catholics.
In my reading, I found that this view is embraced by numerous church leaders and scholars of different faiths. For example, secretaries of European episcopates met in Istanbul, Turkey, for a five-day period in June, 2002, to discuss the relationship between Islam and Christianity. The assumption is that by acknowledging Allah, the god portrayed in the Koran, as being essentially the same as Elohim/YEHOVAH, the God revealed in the Bible, it is possible to develop a relationship of mutual understanding and acceptance between Islam and Christianity.
Is this assumption correct? A careful comparison between the Koranic god and the Biblical God, clearly shows that the two Gods are radically different. Though the Arabic name Allah derives from the Hebrew name for God Eloha, the similarity is only etymological, not theological. In other words, the two names sound similar, but their respective teachings are totally different. To illustrate this point, we will look at a few significant teachings.
Our aim is to show that the attempt of the Pope and other Christian Church leaders to build a partnership with the Muslims by acknowledging their god, Allah, as being essentially the same as the God of Biblical revelation, grossly misrepresents the Biblical God. The reason is that the two Gods differ radically in what they have revealed about themselves and their creative and redemptive acts for the human family.
The Papacy and Islam represent the historical outworking of the power of the antichrist -- a power committed to promote the false worship of YEHOVAH God and the persecution of YEHOVAH’s people. Both the Papacy and Islam fulfill the prophetic identifying marks of the antichrist.
The Understanding of God
Muslims and true Christians believe that there is one God, but the way they conceptualize God in their respective theologies is radically different. For example, while the God of the Bible is a Spirit Being who entered into human time at creation, and who came down to this earth in His Shekinah Glory form at various times to live with His creation, the god of the Koran cannot and will not dwell amongst humankind. He is remote, inscrutable, utterly inaccessible to human knowledge. Though human beings are his creatures, no interpersonal relationship is possible with Allah.
While the difference between the Unitarian view of the Koranic god (“There is only one god, Allah, and Muhammad, his prophet”), and the Unitarian view of the Biblical God (there is only ONE Creator God (YEHOVAH) and His adoptive son Yeshua the Messiah) is minimal, the huge difference is in nature and character.
In his book on world religions, veteran missionary evangelist Dr. Lester Sumrall, commenting in this regard, says: "Muslims worship one god and we (true Christians) worship one God, but there all similarity ends. Mohammed's 'god' is radically different from God as He is revealed to us by the Bible. Mohammed's god is a spiteful, selfish autocrat who must be placated with a monotonous routine of holy motions. The God we worship is a LOVING, compassionate Father who asks only that we love Him in return," and obey Him. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (I John 5:3).
The God of the Bible is LOVE. Love cannot be exercised in isolation. You cannot be all-loving and be alone at the same time. Love is manifested in relationships. YEHOVAH God desires to live amongst His creation -- and at the end of the age He will RETURN to this earth in glory to reside in Jerusalem and rule over His creation from the newly-built Temple! The Old Testament is full of references to this mind-boggling return of YEHOVAH God to dwell with His people and oversee their happiness and fullness of life.
For Muslims the mainstream "Christian" teaching that the Messiah is the Son of God and part of a "trinity" is blasphemous -- and rightfully so! “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no God except One God” (Surah 5:76). The Bible agrees with this. However, Islam’s teaching of the absolute Oneness of God stems from their belief that God is “far above” and beyond any intimate relationship. He lives in solitary aloofness. Such a teaching derives from Gnostic sects that lived in Saudi Arabia at the time of Muhammad. By contrast, true Christians believe that the God of the Bible is a God of love who greatly desires to live in eternal fellowship. The only reason He has not continually dwelt with His people is because of SIN -- the sin of mankind has driven a wedge between YEHOVAH and His creation. Only when YEHOVAH's spirit blankets this earth and all sin is wiped away will He permanently set up His headquarters in Jerusalem.
It is from this perspective that we, as true Christians, can help our Muslim friends to understand the uniqueness of the ONE God of the Bible. We can affirm that the Biblical God does not live in solitary aloofness, but is in constant communication with His creation and will soon return to usher in a time of world peace and great blessings and abundance that will defy imagination -- and their wildest dreams!
The Origin of Allah
Arab historians, like Vaqqidi, have revealed that Allah was actually the chief of 360 gods being worshipped in Arabia at the time Muhammad rose to prominence. Ibn Al-Kalbi gave 27 names of PRE-Islamic deities. From the Koran itself we can name up to nine of these idols. The Ka'ab, housing many of these gods, has remained the temple of Allah which Muslims revere and travel to to worship and kiss in Mecca during the Hajj. It is significant that even if a Muslim is not in Mecca, he has to face the direction of the shrine -- the Ka'ba -- while praying, without exception.
History records that PAGANS in Arabia had been visiting the Ka'ba on pilgrimage BEFORE Islam originated. Mecca was a commercial center at the time, and foreign merchants and Arabians faced the Ka'ba in prayer because that was where most of their gods were deposited. Many of the gods were brought there by these merchants from their respective countries.
In the Koran itself, we see that PRE-Islamic Arabs made their strongest oaths in the name of Allah because they believed he was the MOST POWERFUL of their gods (Surah 6:109). He was already regarded by the pagans as the creator, the lord of the shrine, Ka'ba, and the city of Mecca. Ka'ba was known as "baithu'llah" ("house of allah"). All other idol shrines in other regions in Arabia were also called "baithullah" (Surah 106:3; 27:91; 6:109). Apart from Allah, other major deities worshipped at Mecca are Al-lat or Allat, the feminine form of the Arabic word "allah," al-Uzza and al-Manat, three female idols being worshipped inside the Ka'ba.
Professor A. Guilluame, an expert in the studies of the Islamic religion, says the worship of the moon god was rampant in Arabia at the time of Muhammad. According to him, the moon god had several names -- one of which was "Allah."
Method of Revelation
Another significant difference between the God of the Bible and that of the Koran, is in the method of revelation. In the Koran, Allah has spoken through a book. In the Old Testament of the Bible, YEHOVAH God has revealed Himself supremely through His Shekinah Glory. In the New Testament through a human being -- Yeshua the Messiah. In Islam, the "great marvel" of Allah is to be found in the Arabic version of the Koran written by a man who "early Moslem tradition records that when Mohammed was about to receive a revelation from Allah: '...he would often fall down on the ground, his body would begin to jerk, his eyes would roll backward, and he would perspire profusely.'" In Christianity the great miracle is to be found in the person of Yeshua the Messiah and his resurrection. Being a personal God, YEHOVAH God can reveal Himself more fully through a person, than through a book.
If Satan is worshipped in any guise, he is worshipped through devils or demons. There is in reality no such thing as monotheism (or more appropriately, monolatry) in heathenism. One cannot serve Satan and not have a relationship with demons. In fact, most operations and interactions in the occult and all YEHOVAH-less religions are more with these demonic spirits than with Satan himself. This is because Satan is not omnipresent. He is NOT YEHOVAH God. He cannot be in all places at the same time.
History records that Muhammad, after acquiring much wealth from his caravan trade, left his business in search of spiritual realities -- as many people do today, getting themselves involved in psychic practices when they get disenchanted and fed up with material things. He belonged to the Hanifas, or "seekers of truth," a group of agnostics of his time. It was the practice of this group of people to be seeking light through inner consciousness and MEDITATION. After leaving his business Muhammad spent most of his time meditating in the Cave of Hira -- about three miles from the city of Mecca. It was during one of his meditations that he was said to have been called to preach.
The question is: WHO was the being that called him? And WHAT was he commanded to preach?
States Valter Ohman, former Swedish occultist and meditation teacher, after his conversion to Christianity: "If meditation is not thoroughly Christian, it leads to pagan communion with spirits. Meditation based on a false ideology brings people into contact with false spirits and a false god. The result is not liberation but OPPRESSION and POSSESSION."
West Indian Hindu yogi, Guru Rabindranath R. Maharaj, after dedicating his life to the Messiah, wrote in his autobiography: "I now understand that these were beings I had met in yogic trance and deep meditation, masquerading as Shiva or some other Hindu deity."
The renowned Transcendental Meditation teacher, Vale Hamilton (now a Christian) also describes her own experiences in meditation: "As my consciousness extended, I became aware of the presence of spirit beings sitting on either side of me when I was meditating, and sometimes at night, they would sit on my bed. I spent three months meditating from three to ten hours a day. I had vivid experiences of demonic oppression while there. In the night during sleep, I woke with a sense of fear and apprehension as pressure was being put all over my head and body by a spirit who was trying to enter my body...I did not consider the possibility of Satan and his demons at that time, but just accepted it as a really weird trip...I even mistook them for guardian angels at times."
YEHOVAH God has given mankind the freedom to be in control of their minds. But when man tries to run away from the realities of life by resorting to psychic practices, he opens his mind to demonic influence, to the prince of the power of the air. He is then no longer in control of himself at all times. He gets "possessed." Unless he is soundly converted to the Messiah and able to renounce such practices with the help of YEHOVAH's holy spirit, these demonic forces will continue to influence his life till he dies.
Most occultists come in contact with what most of them call "the being of light" during their meditations, especially during their "astral travels." This "being of light" is referred to by different names in different cults. He is the "ECK" in the Eckankar Movement, the "Das" or "Krishna" in Hare Krishna Consciousness. Some other popular mystical organizations like the Rosicrucian (AMORC) call him "the angel of light." Some even regard such a being as the "Grand Master Jesus"!!
According to the Bible, these beings are that SAME old liar and deceiver or some of his demons assigned for that purpose. Notice!
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (servants) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (II Corinthians 11:14-15).
So, with this in mind, we ask the question again -- "With WHOM did Muhammad come in contact during his meditations? We have all the necessary material from Islamic sources to answer this question.
Remember that whatever their various spiritual and physical manifestations, there are only TWO spiritual forces working in the world today -- namely "the spirit of Truth" and "the father of lies" (John 16:13; 8:44). ANY spiritual experience that does not come from YEHOVAH's holy spirit is from the "father of lies."
Whether or not Muhammad's "Allah" is the same YEHOVAH God Almighty that reveals Himself to all the prophets in the Bible -- the One who has dwelt with His creation at various times -- is the subject of our debate here. If the Allah of Muhammad is the REAL God and his words are true, and the words in the Koran are His words, then we have to face the fact that ALL Bible believing Christians are lost! On the other hand, if he is a demonic spirit masquerading as YEHOVAH God Almighty, then EVERY truth-seeking Muslim must consider this matter very seriously.
In the Hadith we have a documentation of Muhammad's deeds and experiences as testified by those who were close to him and were active in Islam during his time. The traditions that are referred to in this regard are those held RELIABLE by both the Shi'ites and Sunnis. This is a very crucial area and we need to stress that these stories were not invented by some Western historians to prove any point, but were written down BY MUSLIMS THEMSELVES. These are the testimonies of Ibn Ishaq, Husain ibn Muhammad, Ibn Athir, Muslim, Abu Huraira, Al Bukhari and even Zaid ibn Thabit, the Scribe of Muhammad and the traditional editor of the Standardized Koran.
According to these witnesses, often when "the inspiration" came upon Muhammad, he would fall to the ground, with his body shaking violently, perspiring intensively, eyes shut, mouth foaming and the face looking like that of a young camel. Sometimes he would hear a bell ringing in his ears. The experience was normally followed by the most severe headaches. Abu Huraira is quoted in the Hadith as saying: "...when Inspiration descended on the Apostle, they used to bathe his sacred head with henna, because of the headache that used to come on." Sometimes, he just simply appeared intoxicated. Muhammad Haykal records that when Muhammad's wife, Aisha, was accused of adultery, Muhammad received a revelation that was "accompanied by the usual convulsion" to exonerate that wife.
We should note that Muhammad was, at first, very sincere with himself and suspected he might be under the influence of a demon. For example, he pondered, why should he feel as if he were being strangled if it was a good God that wanted to give him a message? Also, must he be having such serious convulsions and fits before receiving a message from God? How are these different from what happens in some idolatrous rituals?
After the initial experiences, however, Muhammad became so FULLY POSSESSED and convinced by the Koranic message that he could recite it anywhere, any time. Even the idolaters of Mecca suspected something was very wrong with Muhammad's actions and message and, in fact, rejected his theology. They called him a Majnun, that is, "a poet possessed" (Surah 37:35-36; 68:2; 44:14; 52:29; 81:22, A.J. Arberry). He was also called mashur, that is, someone acting or speaking as a MEDIUM of evil spirits (Surah 25:8; 17:47; 81:22, etc.). In at least eleven places, the Koran tries to defend Muhammad as not being possessed by demons. However, the very existence of such excuses in the Koran proves that there were such strange experiences that there were deep suspicions among the people.
The bottom line is that what is wrong with Islam is MORE than the doctrine -- it is the inspirer of the basic doctrine! It is the very "god" whose spirit possessed Muhammad that has the big question mark. So, instead of basing his faith on YEHOVAH's Truth, he collected stories in bits and shreds, mixed them with the ones he had heard during his caravan journeys, became "inspired" by a certain malevolent spirit, and then concocted his own fictions to build his new religion.
Satan the Devil has always been busy roaming about seeking whom he might use to oppose the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God in any particular time of history. It seems quite clear that he saw in Muhammad all he needed in order to exterminate Christianity, which at that time had become weak and perverted.
The radical difference between the Biblical God and the Koranic god, becomes even clearer when we compare their respective teachings in such areas as sin, salvation, Yeshua the Messiah, hell, paradise, evangelism, and womanhood. For the sake of brevity, we shall look only at the last two.
Method of Evangelism
The Koranic god explicitly enjoins Muslims to slay the pagans, Jews, and Christians who do not embrace Islam. “When the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war). But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity [become Muslim], then open the way for them” (Surah 9:5).
Such a coercive method of evangelism stands in stark contrast to the teachings of YEHOVAH God to win men and women for His Kingdom by proclaiming to them the Good News of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God and His saving grace through the Messiah’s atoning sacrifice.
Apparently the Pope has no problem in accepting the teachings of Allah regarding the extermination of the infidels, because historically the Catholic Church has taught and done the same thing. Thomas Aquinas, who is rightly regarded as the most influential Catholic theologian who ever lived, clearly states in his Summa Theologica that heretics are not to be tolerated, but exterminated. He wrote: “With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side, the other, on the side of the church. On their own side there is a sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith, which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports the temporal life. Wherefore, if forgers of money and other evildoers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated, but even put to death.”
This historical Catholic teaching that “heretics,” if they did not recant, must be not only excommunicated but also exterminated, sounds strikingly similar to the teaching of the Koran. Such a common teaching explains why the Catholic Church has historically used Holy Wars (crusades) to exterminate Muslim “infidels” and Christian “heretics.” The fact that the Catholic Church has historically embraced and used Islam’s Jihad, Holy Wars, to exterminate dissenters, helps us understand why the Pope finds the Koranic god to be similar to the intolerant god worshipped by the Catholics. Such gods, however, are light years away from YEHOVAH God of Biblical revelation.
The Koran and the Bible on Womanhood
The infinite superiority of the Biblical God over that of the Koran, is most evident in the teaching regarding the status of women, especially as it relates to marriage, divorce, and the world to come. A brief comparison between the two can be instructive. It will help us to see that, in spite of what the Pope says, the Biblical God cannot be legitimately compared to Allah.
YEHOVAH God of the Bible created woman out of man to be his counterpart (Genesis 2:18), corresponding to him mentally, physically, and spiritually, and making him a larger person than he would have been alone. The same holds true for man. He brings to his wife a perspective that enlarges her life, making her a more complete person than she could be without him. Thus, “in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman” (I Corinthians 11:11).
The Bible consistently teaches that marriage is a sacred and permanent covenant which YEHOVAH God Himself witnesses and protects. For this reason, marriage is effectively used in the Old Testament to portray YEHOVAH’s relationship with Israel, and in the New Testament to represent the Messiah’s relationship with his Church.
The high esteem that the Biblical God places on the role of women in the home and in the Church, is foreign to the Koran. According to Allah, women exist primarily for the sexual gratification of men. To ensure this goal, the Koran allows an ordinary Muslim to marry four wives, though wealthy Muslims can fill their harems to the extent of their wealth and lust. The latter practice has been encouraged by the example of Muhammad himself, who did not follow the Koranic limitations of four wives.
After the death of his first wife, Khadija, he married nine wives. One of them, Aiysha, was only nine years old. She was the daughter of Abu Bakr As Siddiq, who was a close friend of the Prophet and in charge of his books. Muhammad was 53 years old when he insisted on marrying Aiysha, a nine-year-old child, immature, and obviously ignorant of married life. He also gave his twelve-year-old daughter, Fatima, in marriage to his cousin Ali bin Abu Taleb. These criminal acts of child abuse alone suffice to discredit Muhammad’s claim to be the greatest prophet sent by Allah, even supposedly greater than Yeshua the Messiah Himself.
It amazes me how Muslims can accept Muhammad as the greatest prophet who ever lived, in spite of the fact that he had sexual intercourse with a nine-year-old girl. If the Koranic god sanctions the abuse of children for sexual gratification, then He should be exposed as a criminal god, rather than worshipped as a Holy Being. Perhaps the Pope is not distressed by the sexual misconduct of the Prophet, because the Catholic Church has had its own share of sexual scandals, not only in the past when some Popes had women lovers and children, and even today, when Catholic priests are being sued in many countries for sexually abusing minors.
The fact that the Koranic god permits special people like Muhammad to do things forbidden to others, raises serious questions about his moral character and consistency. Muhammad claims that Allah gave him the permission to marry any other woman he fancied. Here is the relevant text from the Koran:
“Oh Prophet, we have made lawful for thee thy wives whom thou hast given their wages and what thy right hand owns, spoils of war that God has given thee, and the daughter of thy uncles paternal and aunts paternal, thy uncles maternal and aunts maternal, who have emigrated with thee, and any woman believer, if she give herself to the Prophet and if the Prophet desire to take her in marriage, for thee exclusively.”
The special provision granted by the Koran to a man like Muhammad to take any woman as wife, even those captured in warfare, without any regard to the will of the women, clearly shows that Allah treats women as lambs to be led to the slaughter by the whims of men. After a man has obtained whatever he desires from a woman, he is free to keep or dismiss her without fear of injustice. This is clearly taught in the same Surah: “Thou mayest put off whom thou wilt of them, and whom thou wilt thou mayest take to thee; and if thou seekest any thou hast set aside there is no fault in thee.”
It is evident that Allah has no respect for a woman’s emotions and rights. He treats women as disposable objects. By contrast YEHOVAH God of the Bible teaches that husbands should “love their wives as their own bodies (Ephesians 5:28). “The wife does not rule over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not rule over his own body, but the wife does” (I Corinthians 7:4).
This mutual equality and complementarity taught by the YEHOVAH God, is foreign to the Koranic god. The polygamy and servile concubinage taught by the Koran, destroys the dignity of woman, the beauty of the home, besides discrediting the morality of Allah’s character.
Women in the Afterlife
A most compelling example of the glaring difference between the Biblical and Koranic Gods, is to be found in the teachings of the Koran regarding the role of women in the afterlife.
It came to me as a shock to read in the Koran and the Hadith -- traditional teachings of Muhammad -- that in the afterlife, most women are consigned to hellfire to suffer eternally. Only some chaste maidens, known as hur, will live in the garden of Paradise, in order to provide sexual gratification to faithful Muslims.
The teaching that the majority of women will be consigned to hellfire, is said to have come from a vision of the Prophet Muhammad. This vision is reported in several traditions (Hadith).
According to one tradition, the Prophet related: “I saw the Fire and I have not seen to this day a more terrible sight. Most of the inhabitants are women. They [those to whom the Prophet was talking] said: O Messenger of God, why? He said, Because of their ingratitude. They said: Are they ungrateful to God? He said, No, but they are ungrateful to their companion [meaning husband] and ungrateful for the charity shown by their husband to them. Even if you men continue to do good things for them, and a woman sees one thing bad from you, she will say, I never saw anything at all good from you.”
The same vision is reported with minor variations in other traditions (Hadith), which speak also of the sin of breaking of confidence. Frankly, I find it appalling that the Koranic god consigns most women to hellfire because allegedly they are all ungrateful and untrustworthy. This teaching is insulting not only to women in general, but to devout Muslim women in particular.
A visit to any Christian church shows that women outnumber men in church attendance and religious piety. It is hard to believe that Muslim women are less religious and trustworthy than their Christian counterparts, and consequently they deserve to be consigned to hellfire.
The problem is not the Muslim women, but the teaching of the Koran that treats women as mentally and morally deficient. The low esteem of women is especially evident by their absence at the worship service at the mosque in most Muslim countries.
Chaste Maidens to Delight Faithful Muslims in Paradise
While most women are consigned to hellfire, some chaste maidens, known as hur, will live in the garden of Paradise to delight the faithful Muslim. The Koran refers four times to these chaste maidens whom no man has ever touched (Surah 52:20; 56:22; 55:72; 44:54). They are described in the Koran as chaste, with glancing eyes like pearls, lovely, virginal, and of the same age of male believers (about 30 years old) for whom they are intended as a reward. Later traditions offer a great deal of elaboration.
In their book, The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection, Jane Idleman Smith and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad offer a helpful summary of the traditional teachings regarding the chaste maidens of Paradise: “In the hadiths [traditions] details of their description differ, but they are generally said to be composed of saffron from the feet to the knees, musk from the knees to the breast, amber from the breast to the neck, and camphor from the neck to the head. Working often with multiples of seven, the traditionalists have described them as wearing seventy to 70,000 gowns, through which even the marrow of the bones can be seen because of the fineness of their flesh, reclining on seventy couches of red hyacinth encrusted with rubies and jewels, and the like. The hur [chaste maidens] do not sleep, do not get pregnant, do not menstruate, spit, or blow their noses, and are never sick. References to the increased sexual prowess of those male believers for whose pleasure the hur [chaste maidens] are intended, are numerous; the reports make it clear that the hur are created specifically as a reward for males of the Muslim community who have been faithful to God.”
The sensual element that pollutes even the Koranic vision of Paradise, shows the immense difference that exists between the sexual obsession of Allah and the holiness and purity that characterizes YEHOVAH God.
The foregoing comparison between the teaching of the Koran and that of the Bible, suffice to show that the Pope’s attempt to equate the God of Biblical revelation with that of the Koran, may be politically correct, but it is completely and utterly Biblically wrong. The two Gods differ like day from night in their nature, character, and plan for human life and destiny. The Biblical God offers salvation to His people Israel as a gift by grace; the Koranic god teaches that salvation is a human achievement attained at the expense of others.
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