Believers, Jews, Sabaeans and Christians -
whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right -
shall have nothing to fear or regret.
-- Sura 5:69
But just three verses further in the text it says
Unbelievers are those that say:
"God is the Messiah, the son of Mary." For the Messiah himself said:
"Children of Israel, serve God, my Lord and your Lord."
He that worships other gods besides God, God will deny him Paradise,
and the fire shall be his home. None shall help the evil-doers.
-- Sura 5:72
So, are Christians believers or unbelievers? Are they allowed to remain as Christians (knowing they worship Christ) as long as they do what is right, or are they condemned outright for their faith? Do we have to worry or not to worry according to the Qur'an?
Sometimes I even wonder if single Suras were even completely authored by the same person.
Now, the obvious answer that a Muslim would give is that the "true" Christians do not worship Jesus as God. Hence there is no contradiction. But the first verse does not specify that. It only talks about the belief in the existence of God and in the (Judgment of the) Last Day and doing right. Any serious Christian will fall in this category.
Muslims try to save the Qur'an by claiming that any Trinitarian is not a true Christian and hence verse 72 does not apply to them. But the problem is only shifted. Either the contradiction is as above, or, with the shift, the contradiction is with reality. It is historical fact that Christianity has always considered Jesus to be the LORD, to be of the same nature of God.
Therefore, either the Qur'an contradicts itself, or it shows itself very ignorant of historical Christianity.
One more comment: No Christian would ever say that Jesus is "another god" as this verse mistakenly says, nor that "God is Jesus". It is only the other way around: "Jesus is God, but not 'all of God'". But this is a big topic that cannot be dealt with in a few sentences here, so let me point you to the material on the deity of Christ and Trinity that is on this site.
The Trinity is a great, insightful presentation.
A collection of much further material on the topic of the Trinity
A Muslim's Response by Randy Desmond
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 05:12:50 PDT
Jochen gives the correct answer for the Muslim perspective; true Christians do not worship Jesus(Peace be upon him) as God, and, as such, there is no contradiction.
For Jochen to prove there is any sort of contradiction, he must show that it is a "historical fact" that Christianity has always considered Jesus to be "LORD, to be of the same nature of God." (Are you saying Jesus is God or not? Never mind, I see you say "he is God, but not 'all of God'")
Where are these "historical facts"? I have yet to be shown where Jesus(pbuh) is said to mention he is God or even shares in the Godhead (I seek shelter in God from such thoughts). As for historical facts that Christians have only worshipped God only, just take a look at a history book about the stuff. I have read the stuff before - I did not keep a record of the books. I'm sure if anyone interested enough they can go to the library and find the material.
And what does "the same nature of God" mean? In refuting a contradiction about what a "day" means in some verses of the Qur'an, I was unjustly accused of "moving God around" when I wanted to illustrate the relativity of time without saying or implying God physically moves around. However, having God (or part of God) become man, then "moving God around" on Earth is a perfectly acceptable logical belief? God is One. I have submitted to Him in Islam, and you are also invited. Just a reminder before the Day comes when a reminder will be too late.
But you didn't take a look at the Trinity articles I pointed to, did you? What point it is to be asked again and again for proof if you don't read the proof I have already provided? I give up. But looking the other way and demanding proof while refusing to look at it isn't very smart.
There is a second set of these statements:
Those who believe (in the Qur'an),
and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures),
and the Christians and tha Sabians, -
any who believe in Allah and the Last Day,
and work righteousness,
shall have their reward with their Lord
on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
-- Sura 2:62
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam
never will it be accepted of him;
and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost.
-- Sura 3:85
In 2:62, those of the religions of Jews or Christians, in fact any who believes a small set of things and does good deeds will be saved [what else is the meaning of "will not grieve"?] yet in 3:85 those who are part of religions other than Islam are unacceptable and among those who are lost.
Contradictions in the Qur'an
Answering Islam Home Page