OF THE MUSLIM/ISLAM RELIGION
OF THE BIBLE ?
This critical question was twice asked of and well answered by our friends in ministry
at The Berean Call in their newsletter. We thought you would appreciate it.
Question: The word "Allah" as used in your September 1993 issue is not correct. The Hausa translation of the Bible in northern Nigeria uses Allah as a designation for the true God. Allah is therefore the same divine being in both the Islamic and Jewish faiths and the one who became man for the salvation of mankind.
Answer: The translators, by using a term familiar to the Muslims in northern Nigeria, no doubt thought they were being helpful. But by using Allah in the Hausa language, they have succeeded, instead, in creating confusion. Allah is no mere linguistic designation for God, as Dios in Spanish or Dieu in French. Allah is the name of the god of Islam. In fact, Allah was the name of the chief god among the numerous idols in the Kaaba in Mecca, which represented the deities of travelers passing through in the caravans. Allah was the god of the local Quraish, Muhammad's tribe, before Islam was invented. Muhammad smashed the idols but kept the black stone which is still kissed today by Muslims. He kept, too, the name Allah for the god of Islam (its sign was the crescent moon) in order to appeal to his own tribe.
Allah has definite characteristics: he is not a father, has no son, is not a triune being but a single (and thus incomplete) entity who destroys rather than saves sinners, has compassion on only the righteous, does not deal in grace but only rewards good deeds, has no way to redeem the lost sinners, etc. Allah is not the God of the Bible.
The God of Israel, too, has a name, YHWH, now pronounced Jehovah but more anciently as Jahweh. Most Christians are unaware of God's name because the Old Testament substitutes Lord for YHWH. In Exodus 6:3 God says,''By my name YHWH was I not known to them"; and at the burning bush when Moses asked His name, God explained the meaning of it by saying I AM THAT I AM; thus YHWH means not just one who is, but the self-existent One who is in and of Himself (Ex. 3:13-14).
The God of the Bible is love, an impossibility for Allah. As a single entity, Allah was lonely and could not love or fellowship until other entities came into existence. Not so with YHWH (Jehovah). He is three persons in One: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, complete in Himself and in need of no others to love and fellowship with ("The Father loveth the Son" [John 3:35], there is communion within the Godhead, etc.). Only of this God could it be said that He is love in Himself.
Allah could never say, "Let us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26) and the Muslim scholar has no explanation for this expression, which is even found in the Koran's paraphrase of this Bible verse. We could point out other reasons, but this should be enough to show that to use in the Hausa translation the name Allah for the God of the Bible is a great error! In fact Allah is a false god on a par with any other pagan deity.
Question: (condensed to save space--full question will be posted on our website): In response to (your) article I read on the internet (on someone else's website), entitled "Is Allah, of the Muslim/Islam religion, the same God of the Bible?" I would like to make a few comments and ask some questions. Please give me chapter and verse from the Qur'an....lf l do not hear from you I will assume you have no proof and are spreading lies about Islam.
Answer: This has been discussed in these pages in the past. That Allah is not the God of the Bible is very clear. The biblical God is called Yahweh (or Jehovah) nearly 9,000 times. Yet Allah is not called by that name even once in the Koran. Why not, if Allah is the same God? God is also referred to as Elohim more than 2,500 times in the Bible, but again that word never appears for Allah in the Koran. Why? The God of the Bible is called "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob “Israel" (Jacob's name was changed by God to Israel later in life, so he is referred to by either name). He is the father of the Jews.
The God of the Bible revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush by this name ("God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob “Israel") and told Moses, "this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations" (Ex 3:1-16). If Allah is the God of the Bible, why is he never called by these names? The God of the Bible tells us again and again that He is the God of the Jews. Many times He is called "the God of Israel." Yet there is such hatred for Israel among Muslims! The Koran talks about Abraham and Ishmael, even claims they built the Kaaba, but gives Isaac no prominence. The Bible mentions Isaac favorably and prominently more than 150 times. God very clearly says that His covenant is with Isaac, not with Ishmael (Genesis 17:19-21), from whom the Arabs claim they are descended. The God of the Bible calls the Jews His chosen people. He loves them and gave the land of Israel to them as an heritage forever, as hundreds of verses in the Bible declare. Islam denies this basic biblical truth. The Jews are certainly not Allah's chosen people! How can Allah be the God of the Bible, yet not choose the Jews?
In your Koran, as you must know, Allah commands Muslims, "Take not the Jews and Christians as friends 1 Surah 5:51, A1 Hi1-a1i, v. 54, Jusuf a1i), so Allah is not the God of the Christians either. In the hadith, Muhammad himself said, "The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Muslims kill them" (Mishkat al Masabih Sh. M. Ashraf, 1990, pp. 147, 721, 810-11, 1130, etc.). Islam's god hates the Jews; the God of the Bible loves them as His chosen people! Allah is very clearly not Jehovah, Elohim, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the God of the Bible!
The God of the Bible chose Jerusalem as His holy city. Forty times He calls Jerusalem "the city of David" and repeatedly He promises that the Messiah will be descended from David and will rule on David's throne in Jerusalem over the whole world (2 Chronicles 6:6; 33:7; 2 Samuel 7: 16; Psalm 89:3-29, etc.). Never does the Bible (or the God of the Bible) mention Mecca or Medina, but Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times. Yet Allah never mentions Jerusalem. How can this be if Allah is the God of the Bible? And how can the Muslims today claim Jerusalem as a holy city of Islam, when it isn't even mentioned in the Koran? That recent claim comes from those who want to take that city from the Jews.
That Allah has no son is further proof that He is not the God of the Bible, who definitely has a Son, as both the Old and New Testaments declare. Psalms 2 says, "Kiss the Son." Referring to the God of the Bible, Solomon says, "What is his son's name...?" (Proverbs 30:4). The angel Gabriel, whom Islam claims to honor, told the virgin Mary (Islam accepts the virgin birth of Jesus), " And, behold, thou shalt...bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be...called the Son of the Highest ...the Son of God...and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David..." (Luke 1:31-35). That throne is in Jerusalem, not in Mecca.
Muslims insist that the name " Allah" must be used in every language; it cannot be translated Dios in Spanish, Dieu in French, or God in English. Muslims thus treat " Allah" not as a generic word for God, but as the name of a particular god. In fact, Allah was the god of the Kuraish tribe centuries before Muhammad was born. You deny that he was the chief god in the Kaaba, but you admit there were for centuries 360 idols in the Kaaba and one of these was called Allah. What is Allah doing in a temple among 360 idols if he is the God of the Bible, who forbids idolatry? Why does Islam keep this idol temple, and why must Muslims to this day make a pilgrimage there? That Allah was the chief idol in the Kaaba is documented history. Let me quote one of the greatest historians: The desert Arab...feared and worshiped incalculable deities in stars and moons....Now and then he offered human sacrifice; and here and there he worshiped sacred stones. The center of this stone worship was Mecca (with) the Kaaba and its sacred Black Stone...in its southeast corner, five feet from the ground, just right for kissing.…
Within the Kaaba, in pre-Moslem days, were several idols representing gods. One was called Allah...three others were Allah's daughters, al-Uzza, al-Lat, and Manah. We may judge the antiquity of this Arab pantheon from the mention of A1-il Lat (AI-Lat) by Herodotus [fifth century B.C. Greek historian] as a major Arabian deity . The Quraish [Muhammad's tribe controlling Mecca] paved the way for monotheism by worshiping Allah as chief god; He was presented to the Meccans as the Lord of their soil, to Whom they must pay a tithe of their crops and the first-born of their herds. The Quraish, as alleged descendants of Abraham and Ishmael, appointed the priests and guardians of the shrine and managed its revenues (Will Durant, "The Story of Civilization," IV: 160-61).
The Kaaba still stands, without its idols, but with the Black Stone. The pilgrimage to the Kaaba, to...kiss the sacred stone, to run between Safa and Marwa, and to climb Mount Arafa, was practiced by pious pagan Arabs for centuries before Muhammad. Why did your prophet keep, as part of Islam, these pagan rituals?
You say "Islam is the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus..." Do you think Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, et al. journeyed to the idol temple, the Kaaba, and kissed its Black Stone? Impossible! Not one follower of the God of the Bible would ever have gone near the Kaaba, because the God of the Bible forbids any association with idols; and you admit (as history tells us) that the Kaaba was filled with idols before Muhammad destroyed them all. In history and the Bible, you will find no mention of Islam or any religion like it. How could you have Islam without the Koran and Muhammad?
The only people who journeyed to the Kaaba and kissed the Black Stone were pagan Arabs who worshiped one or more of the idols within and around it. Muhammad started a new religion called Islam to which Arabs, Persians, Egyptians, Turks and everyone else in the region had to convert at the point of the sword. They became Muslims, and there is no way you can say that Islam was the original religion of that or any other region.
You ask me to explain, "The God of the Bible is love, an impossibility for Allah." If Allah is a single being, as Muslims insist, then he cannot be love in and of himself, because he had no one to love until he created others; but the God of the Bible is love in and of Himself because He is three Persons but One God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit loved and communed with one another before men or angels were created.
While the Jews know that Allah is not Jehovah, they try to say (as Muslims do for Allah) that Jehovah is a single being. If so, then why does the Bible refer to Him more than 2,500 times with the plural Elohim (gods)? Interestingly, however, always with the plural noun there is a singular verb. One cannot escape the plurality combined with singularity repeatedly used.
The famous shema (Dt 6:4), the most fundamental saying about God for a Jew, declares, "Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah." Far from declaring that the God of the Bible is a singular being, the Hebrew word translated "one" is echad, which means a unity of several becoming one, as when God said the man and woman became "one (echad) flesh" (Genesis 2:24); when many soldiers became "one (echad) troop" (2 Samuel 2:25) or when two sticks became "one (echad) stick" (Ezekiel 37:17) etc.
The Bible teaches that God's very essence is love and says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). This is not true of Allah. The Bible repeatedly speaks of God's love for man and the love we must have for Him. But love is scarcely mentioned in the Koran. Not once is "love" listed in the index of the popular Marmaduke Pickthall translation of the Koran. Of Allah's 99 attributes, love is not one. The Koran does say that Allah loves "the beneficent" (Surah 2:195), "the stedfast ( and) those whose deeds are good" (Surah 3:146-48), and "those who battle for his cause" (Surah 61:4). But never does it say he loves all mankind, much less sinners; but the God of the Bible loves sinners, even those who hate Him. Allah is said to be merciful, but he does not show mercy to those who need it. The God of the Bible, however, is merciful to all, ready to forgive confessed sin.
The first of the Ten Commandments is that we are to love the God of the Bible with our whole heart; but never does the Koran say a Muslim is to love Allah. You cannot love Allah, because he is unknowable. The God of the Bible can be known and repeatedly calls upon men to know Him; but the Koran says no one can know Allah because he is too great. In spite of being infinite, without beginning and end, and the Creator of the universe, the biblical God reveals himself so that men can know Him. Jesus himself said, "This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Those who don't know the God of the Bible are lost eternally. No one knows Allah.
The Bible is filled with prophecies of the coming of Messiah Jesus, but there is not one such prophecy in the Koran for Jesus or Muhammad. In fact, the Koran was written after Muhammad came, so it could not prophesy his coming, but the Old Testament prophesied the coming of Jesus centuries and even thousands of years beforehand. The Jewish prophets in the Old Testament said the Messiah would be crucified and rise from the dead the third day. Jesus came at exactly the time prophesied and died for the sins of the world, as the Bible says over and over. But the Koran contradicts this and says He didn't die on the cross at all, much less for our sins. The Bible says that the penalty for sin must be paid and that God himself had to come as a man to die for our sins. Allah did not do that.
How does Allah save sinners? It would be unjust to forgive the guilty without the penalty being paid. Where does Allah explain the penalty? When and by whom was that penalty paid? If Allah forgives, how does he forgive? Allah simply refuses to forgive or forgives whom he will, but there is no consistent or just basis for either. No Muslim can be sure Allah will forgive him. As a Christian I know for certain that I have been forgiven all my sins and that I have eternal life as a free gift from God through the death and resurrection of Christ and that I will be in heaven—not by my good works, but by Christ paying the penalty for my sins. Allah is merciful to those who do good. The Bible says that none do good, all have sinned, and that God saves sinners if they believe in the Christ who died for them.
You ask where Allah says in the Koran, "Let us make man in our image." I don't read Arabic so can't find that exact place but I was told by an Arabic scholar that in the Arabic that is what it says. However, the God of the Bible said, "Let us make man in our image." If Allah is the same God, why didn't he say that? There are many contradictions within the Koran, and between the Bible and the Koran. Please refer to my book, A Cup of Trembling, which lists some of them.
Reprinted with permission of the Berean Call Ministry
P.O. Box 7019 Bend, OR 97708 www.thebereancall.org
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