Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? (Part 4)

By Silas

Topic 3:  Relationship with God

This third topic is nuanced.  The previous two topics showed Allah and God contradicting each other loudly which proved they cannot be the same God.  This topic however does not present a contradiction but rather presents a contrast of degree & depth.  It focuses on the believers’ relationship with their Gods and how they know them in some degree of intimate familiarity.  This article examines aspects of these relationships and how each God practices and values them.  Members of both faiths have some degree of relationship with their God but it is the difference in relationship-quality which is our focus.  This focus is not only on the depth of relationship, but also on its breath of application to all believers, not just a select one or few.

Earlier I objected to using mere shades of gray as a legitimate differentiation to declare that they are not the same God.  This topic however involves considerable shades of gray.  The challenge here is to present something more distinguishable than minor variance; it is to show a light gray and a dark gray.  There has got to be a difference so clearly defined in and by both Scriptures and religious writings that an honest and fair person would see and acknowledge it.  This difference must be made clear by comparing and contrasting these writings’ (Bible, Quran, hadith, sira, etc.) verses, passages, and accounts, that describe and portray the degree of intimate relationship between the believers and their Gods.  This difference must be more than mere semantics.  The normal “knowing” of God in Christianity has got to be significantly different from the “knowing” of Allah in Islam.

More fully, I need to show that an intimate or deep relationship between Muslim and Allah is not a part of Islam’s expected experience or a part of its faith’s modus-operandi.

Of course there are Muslims who love Allah.  I have known Muslims who are meticulously honest and I have been impressed with the lengths they have gone to do the right thing.  They obey Islamic law as fully as they can.  But that is actually a classification of devotion, love, and obedience, not relationship.  Allah does not interact with them.

Perhaps I’ll not convince all readers on this topic, and that is fine with me, but I want to present what I consider an important difference between the two faiths and the two Gods.  The longer I’ve studied this topic the more convinced I became of the substantial degree of difference between Allah’s and God’s relationships with their followers.  I’m going to present verses from those religious writings that illustrate the Gods’ intentions of relationships with their followers and provide examples of those relationships in action.


For our purposes I’m using the definitions for “knowing” (via the definition of “know”) and “intimate.”  Here are Merriam-Webster’s definitions for “know” and “intimate” in this article:

Definition of “know”  (as a verb)

1 a (1) : to perceive directly : have direct cognition of
      (2) : to have understanding of
      (3) : to recognize the nature of : discern

   b (1) : to recognize as being the same as something previously known
      (2) : to be acquainted or familiar with
      (3) : to have experience of

2 a : to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain of
   b : to have a practical understanding of

Definition of “intimate.”  (as an adjective)

1 a: intrinsic, essential
   b: belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature

2 : marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity

3 a: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
   b: suggesting informal warmth or privacy <intimate clubs>

4: of a very personal or private nature

Note 1:
The “knowing” I am talking about is not knowing God through the study of Scripture, i.e. the knowing about the Gods via Biblical or Quranic Scriptural knowledge.  You can certainly know about God, but knowing a book about God is not the same as knowing God.  Saying you know God because you’ve studied the Bible is the same as saying you know your wife because you read a book on marriage, or saying you know you someone because you read their Wikipedia biography.  You don’t know them.

I am defining “knowing God” as a person knowing God beyond a set of simple Scriptural verses, beyond a set of commands or “Do and Don’t” rules.  I am talking about communing with God and hearing and recognizing God’s response.

Note 2:
I am NOT talking about various religious, or neo-religious mystics, who claim that their form of spirituality and “knowing” God allows them to transcend, cancel, or ignore, Scriptural doctrines.  Both Islam and Christianity acknowledge that there are many types of “spiritual experiences,” but they are NOT necessarily from God.  I believe strongly in the importance of Christians having powerful spiritual and emotional experiences but those powerful experiences must be paralleled and anchored in Scripture to be considered valid, and valid experiences will not contradict the Bible.  I’ve read some Christian mystics who assert that after they entered a deeper plane with God they no longer had to be obedient to the detailed commands of Scripture because their spiritual experiences put them on a deeper level.  They claimed that some types of sin were allowable for them because they have transcended the mere written word.  I reject those spiritual experiences and that type of “spirituality.”  It is not from God and it is non-Christian because the actions and claims contradict the New Testament’s teachings.  That type of mysticism is egoistical, carnal, and anchored in spiritual deception.

Within the world of Islam there are also mystics who have similar viewpoints and they are similarly rejected by orthodox Muslims.



I’ll start with Biblical relationships.  I need to show the Scriptural foundation for intimate relationship with God, and I need to show examples of this relationship.

Here is a passage from the Old Testament that is also appropriated by the New Testament.

Jeremiah 31:31-34

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

This passage is quoted, essentially word-for-word, in the New Testament as Hebrews 8:7-12.

This passage covers huge theological territory but what stands out for us is God’s intention to have a “knowing” relationship with His people.  God says that He will write His laws on their hearts.  This indicates that He is after relationship.  He intends to have an intimate relationship with His people and one way He facilitates that is instead of relying only upon a written word He puts His laws into His people’s hearts and minds.

Jesus wanted the same thing for His disciples.   John’s gospel, chapters 14 through 17, records perhaps Jesus’ most intimate time of fellowship and prayer.  Below is a selection of verses from those chapters:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”  Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”  Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  John 14:6-9

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  John 17:1-5

“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”  John 17:25, 26

It was important to Jesus that His disciples know God, in fact it was such a priority that Jesus mentions it in His most intimate prayer recorded in the Bible.  Jesus taught His disciples to know God and prayed that they would continue to grow to know God.

This same goal and aspiration is reflected in Paul’s writings:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  Philippians 3:7-11

Paul wanted to know God, specifically “Christ Jesus my Lord.”  This was his utmost aim.  “That I may know Him…” was his driving pursuit in his love and devotion to Christ.

John comments on knowing God in a very intimate way:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.  1 John 1-5

By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.  1 John 2:3-6  (Also see 1 John 3:4-6).

All of these passages state that there is to be a “knowing” relationship between God and His people. 

One characterizing feature of this relationship between God and man is the father-son relationship.  This father and son analogy is exactly how the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, describes the relationship between God and His people.  It is not only a “King and servants” relationship, it is also a familial relationship.  Throughout the New Testament God is referred to as “Father.”  When Jesus taught His disciples to pray He started with “Our Father…”  Therefore knowing and being in relationship with God is coined or fashioned after a father and son relationship. 

I want to further illustrate this relationship by a final passage from the book of Revelation.  Revelation addresses themes of the end times.  Chapter 21 depicts the ending of the world, a new heaven and earth, and the inheritance of God’s people. 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”  And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He *said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”   Revelation 21:1-7

Here, finally at the end of the age, the father and son relationship is declared.  Relationship, relationship, relationship.  God dwells among His people, takes away their pain, and relates to them as a father to a son.  God’s love is real and of necessity it must be personal.  If God is love, (1 John 4:8), then it is an essential requirement that the relationship He establishes with His people be an intimate one available for each follower.  If God were only King or Master then an intimate and personal relationship with His people would be optional.  But if God is our Father, and God is love, then of necessity that relationship must be intimate.

The Revelation 21 passage shows how God intends to reign with His people for eternity – in a father and son relationship.  He will be Almighty God, King, Ruler, etc. and He will be Father.  That will be our final form for eternity and I am looking forward to it!  (Those who have not had good fathers one day will and God promises to make it up to you.)

What does a father and son relationship entail?  Those of you who have been raised by good fathers know that he has been a source of strength, comfort, encouragement, discipline, and most importantly love.  A father has his son’s back.   A father will go to length to support his son.  A good father will discipline his son for his own good.  The relationship between father and child is an important and endearing relationship.

This aspect of Christianity, the Father and son relationship between God and His followers, deserves many more pages.  It is one of the riches of Christianity and Judaism that Islam does not have.  

What follows are New Testament references and examples of Christians who knew God and had a degree of intimate interaction with Him.  They describe how this relationship occurs; God interacted personally with various followers and shows that this interaction is not limited to a select few, but actually just the opposite, it shows that both the apostles and the everyday disciples knew God’s voice. 

1)  Jesus laid the groundwork for this relationship when He foretold that the Holy Spirit would be “in” His disciples in John 14:16-17, 26.  Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as a Person, not an “it,” not a simple wave of inspiration, but as a Person.  The Holy Spirit will be “in” the disciples, will abide with them, and will teach them.  The Holy Spirit facilitates the spiritual relationship between God the Father, and His followers.

2)  In Romans 8:15, 16, Paul identifies the Holy Spirit in us as a proof of our adoption as sons and God as our Father.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…

Relative to this passage, The New International Commentary on the New Testament makes these statements:

Paul’s description of the Spirit’s work in conferring sonship forms one the most beautiful pictures of the believer’s joy and security anywhere in Scripture.  p. 499

The Holy Spirit is not only instrumental in making us God’s children; he also makes us aware that we are God’s children. … It is because of this that we cry so sincerely and spontaneously, “Abba, Father!” p. 503, 504. 

3)  In Acts 9:10-18, the Lord speaks personally to a disciple, Ananias, and gives him specific instructions.  This example reveals that a common believer, Ananias, knew the Lord in a personal and trusting way.  Ananias had been intimate with God and knew His voice.  Even though Ananias was commanded to visit Saul, a known brutal persecutor of the church, Ananias knew the Lord well enough to put his faith into action and obey the Lord. 

4)  In Acts 10:10-23, the Lord speaks with Peter and directs his interaction with the Gentiles.

5)  In Acts 16:6-10, God speaks to Paul and his companions and changes their plans for ministry.

There are more such examples found in the New Testament. 

Correspondingly, in Do Jews, Christians, and Muslims Worship the Same God?, (a book that will be discussed in the next section), Bruce Chilton highlights God’s relationship with His people through His Spirit:

Jesus’ resurrection and Jesus’ designation as God’s Son together are attested and enabled by the spirit of God.  That is a founding principle of Christianity.

Paul, for all the controversy he occasioned, is a representative teacher of the primitive church when it concerns the Spirit of God.  He understands that the Spirit of sonship that raised Jesus from the dead is also available to Jesus’ followers in baptism (Rom. 8:14-16): …

For Paul, as for the earliest Christians of the Petrine tradition, creation itself longed for the fulfillment of God’s spirit, because God was making the world anew with a new people (see Rom. 8:22-23), and it had begun with the resurrection of his own Son.1

In summary, what I’ve tried to do here is establish that the God of Christianity desires a one-on-one relationship with His followers.  This relationship takes several modes, one of which is that He is a Father to us, and that as a living God, He speaks to us through His Spirit.  This relationship is effected by the new birth, being born again.  The famous Christian hymn, “He Lives” illustrates this:

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.

This relationship with God is one of Christianity’s riches and it is to our shame if we are not in that relationship with God.



Islam does not have an equivalent concept or theology of Allah writing His laws in the hearts and minds of His followers and of them having personal relationship with Him.  Allah gave His word to Gabriel who in turn gave that word to Muhammad.  Muhammad proclaimed Allah’s word to the people, both believers and non-believers.  This was not a feature of relationship, rather it was a feature of obedience.  The believers were to obey Muhammad and Allah.  Nor does it have an equivalent doctrine of the Holy Spirit indwelling the believers.  Although the terms “spirit” and  “holy spirit” are mentioned in the Quran the definition and identity of what they are or what is meant by those terms is not explained or well-defined.

While some prominent Muslim theologians identify Gabriel the angel as the “spirit” or “holy spirit” of Islam, the Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, under “Djabra’il” states:

Gabriel’s name only appears three times in the Kur’an; but in other and important passages, a certain personage is designated by titles or epithets such as “the Spirit”, “the Terrible” or even quite indirectly, and the commentators unanimously recognize Gabriel in this personage.  This identification is quite justified by a comparison of the different passages.2

They draw the conclusion that Gabriel is the “spirit” because his ministry parallels the spirit’s ministry.  Therefore they conclude that they are one and the same.  For example, in the Quran, this “spirit” interacted with significant people of previous times, such as Mary, Jesus’ mother, and ministered to them, in similar ways that Gabriel ministered to Muhammad.  But on the other hand, when the name “Gabriel” is substituted in place of the term “spirit” or “holy spirit,” in some passages the result makes little sense and is confusing.  

The identity of Islam’s “spirit” is not part of this article.  The point is that in Islam there is no equivalent of Christianity’s Holy Spirit indwelling believers and there is no equivalent of Allah speaking one-on-one with His followers.  For further readings, see these articles from both Christian and Muslim websites: 

Who is the Holy Spirit in Islam?
The Confusion Concerning Identity of the Spirit and Gabriel in Islam in the Quran
What is meant by the Holy Spirit in the Qur'an?
Knowing God Personally: The Christian Message to the Muslim World

While Islam does not have an equivalent concept of Allah maintaining an intimate relationship with His Muslim followers, the Quran records that previous to Islam, Allah did have a degree of relationship with the prophets and leaders of Israel.  Allah spoke to them, they heard Him, and they spoke to Him.  And as mentioned previously just because Allah is not named “Father” does not exclude Him from maintaining a fatherly relationship with the Muslims.  However, the relationship that Muhammad had with Allah was mediated through the angel Gabriel, and this in and of itself is more formal and distant.  Gabriel was Allah’s intermediary with Muhammad.  Gabriel would come to Muhammad and give Allah’s words to Muhammad.  Sometimes Gabriel would come to Muhammad and reveal portions of the Quran to him, other times Gabriel would give Muhammad direction aside from revealing Quranic verses.  Also notable is that Gabriel did not maintain a constant presence with Muhammad, let alone with individual Muslims, as the Holy Spirit does with Christians.

On a broader scale, both the early Muslims and today’s Muslims were not “born again” of the Spirit.  Muslims were not “filled” by the Spirit, rather they chose to become believers.  Surely some felt emotions when they chose to believe or recited the Shahada.  I know Muslims who’ve told me they had a wonderful “Shahada” experience.  That is a great emotional experience, not the establishment of a relationship with Allah.  They became dedicated, obedient, believers, not intimate knowers.  In Christianity, along with dedication and obedience, God desires relationship with His people.

The contrast here is not one of black and white, 100% vs. 0%.  Rather it is a contrast of degree.  Relationship with Allah exists in Islam but it is less explicit and more distant.  Given that setting, the Quran states that Allah has love for His followers and desires some degree of relationship with them.  Here are some examples using Pickthall’s translation:

2:222 …Truly Allah loveth those who turn unto Him, and loveth those who have a care for cleanness.

3:31  Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

61:4  Lo! Allah loveth them who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure.

There are more verses like those above that state that Allah loves those who believe in and obey Him.  Even though this love is predicated solely upon performance it exists for Muslims.

Other verses in the Quran, like 50:16, show that Allah is close to His followers:

50:16 We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.  (Pickthall).

This verse does not underscore relationship; it stresses Allah’s omniscience.  Allah knows and understands His creation perfectly but He is not intimate with them.  I am not discounting Allah’s love for the Muslims for it is certainly real within Islam.  I am saying that it is a love in a distant, structured, Master and slave, not Father and son, relationship.


Allah and Muhammad

Although Allah favored Muhammad their relationship was not a one-on-one encounter as God can have with Christians.  As mentioned above, Allah ministered to Muhammad through Gabriel.  Gabriel spoke the Quran’s verses to Muhammad and apart from Quranic revelation, Gabriel gave Allah’s words of encouragement, instruction, and even rebuke, to Muhammad.

Muhammad’s initial experience with Allah/Gabriel occurred while he was meditating and praying in a cave.  Sahih Bukhari volume 9, #1113 describes the event.  If you read through the hadith you’ll see immediately that this was not a pleasant, magnificent, awe-inspiring experience.  It was quite the opposite.  As a result of that experience Muhammad was near-hysterical with fear and became suicidal.  Ibn Sa’d records that Muhammad believed he had gone mad4 and Ibn Ishaq records that Muhammad believed he had gone mad or had become demon possessed and attempted suicide.5  This was certainly a strange way for Allah to express His love to Muhammad.  In fact, its effects were the opposite of the interaction that Christianity’s God has with His people.

On the other hand, there are many examples of Allah giving Muhammad revelations, though the spirit identified as Gabriel.  For instance, the episode of the “Satanic Verses” in which Gabriel reproves Muhammad for the allowance of worshiping false gods, Allah’s revelation (through Gabriel) to Muhammad concerning Aisha’s innocence against the charge of adultery, and so forth.  Frequently, during difficult times, or during a change in the status quo, Muhammad received revelations that comforted, encouraged, or directed him to a specific course of action.


Allah and the Muslims

Allah had a relationship with Muhammad.  It was not as close and intimate a relationship that God had with Moses and some of the Old Testament prophets, and certainly not as intimate as God the Father had with Jesus, or with the Christians, but it was a relationship nevertheless. 

However, a void exists when it comes to Allah being in relationship with other Muslims. 

Allah says in the Quran that He loves those that obey Him.  There are traditions (hadith) that say similar things.  For example, from Bukhari volume 9 number 502:

9.502:  Narrated Abu Huraira:

The Prophet said, "Allah  says: 'I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.' "

If a Muslim makes an effort to identify with Allah, Allah will do more-so.  But Allah’s love and effort towards the Muslims is not effected in relationship, rather it is displayed by Allah’s providence for the Muslims as they obey His words in the Quran and imitate Muhammad’s lifestyle (sunnah).

Following Muhammad’s death Gabriel disappears.  Following Muhammad’s death the Muslims were left on their own to figure things out.  There was no Holy Spirit to guide them.  All they had was what they remembered of the Quran and of Muhammad’s life.  (The official Quran had not even been compiled yet – that happened dozens of years after Muhammad’s death.)  Allah was not speaking to them directly, neither Allah nor Gabriel were bringing them any direction.  They were left to judge for themselves and decide their next courses of action.

And it is in this situation that the dark, evil, sinister side of man, the depravity of men’s hearts, blossoms fully.  Within a day or so of Muhammad’s death the Muslims were divided and a power struggle ensued.  Punches were thrown, swords were drawn (but not used), while the Muslims argued amongst themselves as to who would be their leader.  Allah never showed up, Gabriel did not show up to tell Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Al-Zubayr and Sa’d b. ‘Ubadah how to proceed.  The decision was determined by quarrel and force, and allegiance was obtained willingly or unwillingly.  This situation is documented in Tabari’s History and you can read about it here.   

If there were ever a group of Muslims who should know Allah’s will and guidance, it was these Muslims.  After all, these were Muhammad’s intimate “companions.”  They listened to and obeyed his every word.  They fought, killed, and put their lives on the line for him.  They memorized his Quran and followed his lifestyle.  These Muslims, these Companions, knew Muhammad and Islam best!  Further, if there was ever a time when Allah was needed to guide His people it was now.  They were in severe crisis and were now fighting each other.  Much like two men fighting violently to settle things with the winner determining the next course of action, these Muslims used power and violence to figure it out for themselves.

There is no evidence of Allah’s love or relationship here. 

The subsequent lives of most of these “companions” was destitute of Allah’s relationship and guidance.  You can read numerous stories in Tabari’s History of the cruelty these “Companions” perpetrated one upon another.  Over and over again, when they were not attacking and plundering non-Muslims, they were attacking and killing each other.

On and on it continued.  Shakespeare could not have written a better tragedy!

The “Companions” of Muhammad, the most prominent Muslims, brutalized, tortured, fought, killed, murdered, and oppressed each other (along with non-Muslims).  It seems that much of what Muhammad had taught about Muslims helping and loving fellow Muslims was lost quickly.  Instead these “Companions” were as brutal, cunning, and deceitful, as any group of atheist or cultist leaders in history.

All of this shows a lack of relationship with Allah in Islam.



Part of Christianity’s faith is for believers to come into a knowing-of-God.  We cannot know God in totality but we can know Him partially.  We can experience Him in an intimate way.  There is a phrase today that is almost cliché which says, “have a personal relationship with God,” and that phrase is theologically accurate.  God states His people shall know Him, and one of His goals, one of His intentions, one of His plans is for His people to have an intimate relationship with Him.  This is undergirded by the NT description of that relationship:  Father and son. 

Both faiths have some degree of relationship with their Gods but Islam’s, established by the Quran and exemplified by the lives of Muhammad and the early Muslims, is a distant, unfamiliar, relationship, whereas Christianity’s, established by the Bible and exemplified by the lives of the early Christians, is a familial relationship.  Islam’s is perhaps a kindly God/master-to-slave relationship, Christianity’s is not only God/master-to-slave, but also Father to son. 

This distinction shows that these two Gods are dissimilar.  Their plans and intentions for Their followers are quite different.  From the beginning to the end, God intended to establish a Father and son relationship (Rev. 21:1-7).  Allah never established such a relationship with Muhammad, let alone any of Muhammad’s followers.  These two Gods cannot be the same because They established different means and sought different ends between Themselves and Their believers.  When you compare and contrast the faiths’ “knowing” or “relationship with” the Gods, you find both a qualitative, and quantitative difference.  These are significant differences in intimacy.  Therefore, they are not the same God.

End of Part 4.  Continue with Part 5.
(Back to Part 1).

[First published: 5 November 2013]
[Last updated: 12 January 2017]


1 Neusner, Do Jews, Christians, & Muslims Worship the Same God?, p79, Abingdon Press, 2012

2 Gibb, H.A.R., Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, p79, Brill, Netherlands, 1991

3 Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan

4 Ibn Sa'd, (d. 852 A.D.), "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", (Book of the Major Classes), page 225, translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society

5 Ibn Ishaq, (d. 782), "Sirat Rasulallah", compiled by A. Guillaume as "The Life of Muhammad", page 106, Oxford, London, 1955

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