The Claim that Muhammad Came to Establish a New Religion

It is claimed by some Muslims that the mission of their prophet Muhammad was to establish a new religion with a new code of law that would replace the corrupt and outdated religious system of the Jews and the Christians. For this reason, many Muslims sense no need to give any attention to the message of Christianity. To them, the Christian religion has been superseded by a new and better religion, the religion Islam, introduced by Muhammad to the world almost 600 years after the time of Christ. Though this thinking has spread into much of Islam, it is not in line with the teaching of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam.

According to the Qur'an, Muhammad's mission was not to establish a completely new religion, but rather to continue on in the religion of Abraham.

So We have taught thee (Muhammad) the inspired message, "Follow the ways of Abraham the true in faith, and he joined not gods with God."
Surat-ul Nahl (16):123

Say: "Verily, my Lord hath guided me to a way that is straight, -- a religion of right, -- the path (trod) by Abraham the true in faith, and he (certainly) joined not gods with God."
Surat-ul An'am (6):161

Say: "God speaketh the truth: follow the religion of Abraham, the sane in faith; he was not of the Pagans."
Surat-u Ali Imran (3):95

They say: "Become Jews or Christians if ye would be guided (to salvation)," Say thou: "Nay! (I would rather) the religion of Abraham the true, and he joined not gods with God.
Surat-ul Baqara (2):13 5

Who can be better in religion that one who submits his whole self to God, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith? For God did take Abraham for a friend.
Surat-un Nisaa (4):125

Aside from the above, the Qur'an itself says that Muhammad did not come to teach anything new. In fact, the Qur'an tells us he was given revelations that were to confirm what was already revealed -- not to correct, replace, add to, or annul, but to confirm!

And before this was the Book of Moses as a guide and a mercy; and this Book (Qur'an) confirms (it, the book of Moses) in the Arabic tongue.
Surat-ul Ahqaf (46):12

Nothing is said to thee (Muhammad) that was not said to the Apostles before thee, that thy Lord has at His command (all) forgiveness as well as a most grievous penalty.
Surat-u Fussilat (41):43

The same religion has He (God) established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah ... and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in Religion, and make no divisions therein.
Suirat-ush Shura (42):13

Say (Muhammad): I am no bringer of newfangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you.
Surat-ul Ahqaf (46):9

It is important to note that the religion of Abraham was expanded upon by moral and civil laws introduced by God to the community of believers through the prophet Moses. As a result, the religion of Islam has adopted many practices that were already common, particularly among the Jews hundreds of years prior to the advent of Muhammad. The following is a brief list of some Muslim practices that have their counterparts in the Bible. Contrary to what some Muslims would have Christians to believe, these were not a new set of customs for a new religion.

  1. Greeting of peace (Luke 10:5)
  2. Washing before prayer (Exodus 40:31-32)
  3. Removal of shoes in God's presence (Exodus 3:5)
  4. Prostrate during prayer (Psalm 95:6)
  5. Animal sacrifices (Deuteronomy 16:1-6)
  6. Pilgrimage (Acts 8:26-28)
  7. Head covering for women (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)
  8. Circumcision (Luke 2:21)
  9. Offering of sacrifice at birth of a child (Luke 2:24)
  10. Prolonged fasting (Exodus 34:28, 1 Kings 19:8, Matt. 4:2)
  11. Modesty and silence of women (1 Corinthians 14:34)
  12. Abstinence from pork (Leviticus 11:7)

Answering Islam Home Page