Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

Several years ago, El Arabiya TV asked President George W. Bush whether he was anti-Islam. He responded: “Well, I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God.”

While the president’s comments no doubt were intended to soothe the minds of Muslim viewers, they had just the opposite effect on me. The god of Islam (Allah) and the God of the Bible (Yahweh) clearly are different. We can see this by asking three personal questions:

1. Does God know me?

Allah. The Qur’an teaches that Allah is the transcendent creator. He knows who you are; in fact, he has fatalistically determined your thoughts, words and deeds – and even your eternal destiny, which is why Muslims so often say, “If Allah wills it.” So, Allah does indeed know you.

But Allah is neither knowable nor approachable. The Qur’an depicts him as a singular being with no “partners.” To call Jesus the Son of God is to commit shirk, the unpardonable sin. Of the 99 names for God in the Qur’an, none is intimate. Allah reveals his will, not himself.

Yahweh also is depicted as the transcendent Creator. He knows us; but more than that, He is knowable and approachable. He created us in His image – with personality, thought, and will – for the purpose of enjoying an everlasting, intimate relationship with Him. He exists as a Trinity in eternal relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In fact, God is so knowable, He came in the flesh as Jesus of Nazareth. As the apostle John writes, “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Does God know me? Allah and Yahweh are depicted as supreme beings that know everything and everyone. But … only the God of the Bible is truly personal and knowable.

2. Does God love me?

Allah. The Qur’an teaches that Allah loves those he chooses to love and hates those he chooses to hate. “Allah loves not those that do wrong,” says the Qur’an (Surah 3:140), neither does he love “him who is treacherous, sinful” (Surah 4:107). “Those who reject faith and do wrong – Allah will not forgive them nor guide them to any way – Except the way of Hell, to dwell therein for ever. And this to Allah is easy” (4:168-169). Other types of people Allah hates include the arrogant and vainglorious (4:36; 16:23; 31:18; 57:23); those given to excess (5:87); and the ungrateful (22:38).

Yahweh, on the other hand, loves all people (John 3:16). He demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). John writes, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sin” (1 John 4:10). Even though God hates sin, He loves sinners and takes no pleasure in punishing them (Eze. 18:23).

Does God love me? Only the God of the Bible loves all people.

3. Did God die for me?

Allah. The Qur’an teaches that Allah did not and would not die for you, nor would he send anyone to die for you. In fact, Islam claims that Jesus did not die on the cross but was taken up into heaven, and Judas, or someone who looked like Judas, was crucified in His place.

Further, the Qur’an states that there is no need for Allah to provide a sacrifice for sin because ignorance of Islam, not sin, is man’s problem. (The possible exceptions are apostasy from Islam and refusal to convert to Islam.) Staying away from major sins (whatever those are) will automatically result in one’s “small” sins being overlooked by Allah (4:31).

Yahweh, on the other hand, loves us so much He sent His Son to die for us. This was determined in eternity past; Jesus is declared to be the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ not only died for us; He rose from the dead, conquering sin and death. And He offers us forgiveness of sins and eternal life by grace through faith in Him.

Did God die for us? Only the God of the Bible sent His Son to die for us, securing eternal life for those who trust in Him.

So, are Allah and Yahweh just two different names for the same God?

You decide:

  • Allah is distant and unknowable. The God of the Bible is close and personal.
  • Allah does not love every person. Yahweh does.
  • Allah did not and would not die for you, nor would he send anyone to do so. But the God of the Bible loves you so much He sent His one and only Son to die for you. And He stands ready to grant you everlasting life if you will receive Him by faith.

This column appeared July 21, 2012, in The Pathway of the Missouri Baptist Convention.

6 comments

  1. kadduka Isaac

    If moslems want to convice me that we do Worship the same God, then they should first accept this verse below:

    For God ( allah ) so loved the world,that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  2. Roy Ruser

    Definitely not the same God, Allah, in the Quran claims to create the world in 2, 4, and 6 days look it up, can’t he make up his mind? Yahway, says he created the world in 6, 24 hour days! there was evening and morning each day, he rested on the 7th. He is very precise in what he says, example, man has one kind of skin, birds another,fish another, animals another, 1 cor.15:39, plainly said ,Mr. Evolutionist you are a liar. Yahway hates sin, but loves us, and paid the price, which is death, by sending Jesus who knew no sin to die for us sinners, rising him from the grave, opened the way for us to spend eternity now and in heaven, though his blood, if we come to him .Allah has over 100 ways in the Quran how to destroy infidels, those who won’t be come Muslims, the Quran came out about AD 630 ? what about the people before , and it is a book. Yes the bible is a book also but from the beginning of time, and it is the word of God brought to life by the Holy Spirit. The Quran gets the names David Moses Jesus etc. correct but not the true account, in the book of revaluation, God wrote, it is finished thus no more written word, therefore we don’t have to fall for the lies of who ever, the Bible warns, there would be many self proclaiming prophets, it also says test the prophets, want some fun, compare the life of Jesus, and Mohammed, Jesus fulfilled aprox. 330, prophesies MOHAMMAD 0, he just had many wives, one being a child, I could go on and on, I witness to Muslims as much as I an given opertunity, by the Holy Spirit, I desire they all come to the truth,Jesus, being set free from that religion, if you know Jesus as you Lord and Savour, this should be your desire, not only for Muslims, but for all people, ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding to His Word, and divine opertunities, to share with the lost, every one knows they are sinners, example, ever lied, of course, ever stole something even small, well ya, ever lusted, of course we’re human arn’t we, good news, Jesus paid the price for all our sins, no matter how bad we think it is, his blood is the only thing that can cleanse us, and if he has cleansed us, past, present, and future, get out and share the good news!

  3. Bash

    Allah and yahweh is same god
    Allah is an Arabic word for god,
    If you translate Allah from Arabic to English it means simply God thats all
    Now Muslims pray god of Abraham, and Christians and judaism are the people of the book, Muslims believe and love jesus christ and prophet moses and all the messengers who yahwah or Almighty Allah send on earth yes God “Allah “or yahwah loves every Human being but they have to follow right path thats all god send prophets to teach what is right and wrong.

  4. kamya Daniel

    I have been always telling people that these are two different gods but they have taking it as a blasphemy.Even some Christians believe that Allah is an Arabic name for God .Thanks for bringing this out.

  5. Notzrim

    Islam’s Dome of the Rock mosque sits on the temple mount in Jerusalem. The following text is inscribed on two copper plates on the dome. “The Sonship of Jesus and the Trinity are false. The prophecy of Muhammad is true” – Biblical Archaeology Review July 2006

    “He who denies that Jesus is the Son of God is Antichrist” – 1st John
    “The 666th verse in the Bible is the “Sons of Ishmael” – Islam

    Nope not the same God.

  6. Jerry Cartwright

    Our Presidents all too often make compromises they shouldn’t make. There is only one God who created the heavens and the earth. I have heard others say the same thing about all religions worshipping the same god. Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.
    Very good and timely article. Christians need to understand this subject clearly.

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