Islam is a typical works salvation religion centered around a false god. Its fundamental tenets deny the heart of the Christian Gospel, revealing its demonic origin.
The Koran — As I have already pointed out, the holy book of Islam is riddled with contradictions. Consider, for example, what it says about creation. In one place it asserts that Allah created everything in "the twinkling of an eye" (Sura 54:49-50). Elsewhere it says that the time period of the creation was two days (Sura 41:9, 12); four days (Sura 41:10); six days (Suras 7:54, 10:4, and 32:4); in "a day equaling 1,000 years" (Sura 32:5); and also in "50,000 years" (Sura 70:4). That's a total of six different time periods!
The Koran contains many scientific errors. A crude example is found in Sura 18:8-86 where it says that Alexander the Great followed the setting of the sun and discovered that it went down into the waters of a muddy spring!
Many Arabian fairy tales about genies are contained in the Koran, and the book is also full of historical errors. It presents Mary the mother of Jesus as the sister of Moses and Aaron (obviously confusing her with their sister, Miriam). The Noahic flood is placed in the time of Moses, and the claim is made that one of Noah's sons refused to enter the Ark and was drowned.
The Koran also pictures Abraham as offering Ishmael as a sacrifice in Mecca, whereas the biblical account has Abraham offering Isaac on Mt. Moriah in the area that would later become the heart of Jerusalem.
God — The Koran asserts that the god of Islam is the God of Christians and Jews (Sura 29:46). Nothing could be farther from the truth.1
The god of Islam, Allah, is most definitely not the God of the Bible. Allah is presented in the Koran as an autocratic ruler who is aloof and arbitrary (Sura 5:40). Allah is unknowable whereas the God of the Bible is knowable (2 Timothy 1:12). Allah is impersonal, unlike the personal God the Scriptures reveal (1 Peter 5:6-7). Allah is unitarian (Sura 4:48) whereas the God of the Bible is trinitarian (2 Corinthians 13:14). Here is what the Koran says about the God of the Bible (Sura 4:171): "Believe in Allah and say not 'Trinity.' Cease! It is better for you! Allah is only One God. Far is it removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son."
Allah is capricious (Sura 2:284), whereas the true God is trustworthy. And Allah is never anywhere presented as a god of love — which is the essence of the nature of the true God (1 John 4:7-16).
Jesus — The Koran denies point blank that Jesus was the Son of God (Sura 112:2-3). It also denies His atoning sacrifice by claiming that he never died (Sura 4:157). A substitute died for Him on the Cross. Jesus was translated to Heaven, like Enoch, where He will remain until He returns to kill all pigs, destroy all crosses, and convert the world to Islam. Jesus will marry, reign for 40 years and then die and be buried next to Muhammad in Medina.2 Jesus is characterized in the Koran as nothing more than "an apostle of Allah" (Sura 4:171).
Sin — There is no concept of sin in Islam and therefore no need for forgiveness. Shame replaces sin. Everything is a matter of honor verses dishonor.3 In the Muslim view, man does not need redemption, he only needs some guidance so that he might develop the inherently pure nature with which the Creator has endowed him. If he will be faithful in his prayers, almsgiving and fasting, God is likely to overlook his failures and usher him into Paradise.4
Ethics — The situation determines the appropriate action, not a standard of right and wrong. As an example, Al Ghazzali (1058-1111), one of the greatest Muslim theologians, wrote: "Know that a lie is not wrong in itself. If a lie is the only way of obtaining a good result, it is permissible. We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results."5 The Koran sanctions revenge: "If anyone transgresses... against you, transgress likewise against him" (Sura 2:194).
Salvation — Islam is a religion of works. One obtains favor with Allah by performing the five pillars of the faith:
- Reciting the creed that there is one god, Allah, and his prophet is Muhammad.
- Praying five times a day toward Mecca.
- Giving alms to the poor.
- Fasting from sunrise to sunset one month a year during the month of Ramadan.
- Making a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Another way to reach Paradise is to die fighting for Allah (Sura 3:157).
Islam is so works oriented that it teaches that good deeds cancel bad ones (Sura 11:114). In contrast to all this emphasis on works, the true Word of God teaches that it is impossible to earn salvation because it is a gift of God's grace that is received through faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Heaven — The Islamic Paradise is a place of sensual pleasure consisting of gluttonous feasts and endless sex orgies (Suras 52:17-24; 55:54-56; and 78:32-34).
- A good discussion of the differences between the god of Islam and the true God of the Bible can be found in the book, Islam, Israel, and the Last Days, by Elishua Davidson (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1991). See pages 47-62, 103-122.
- Lance Lambert, "The Messianic Expectations of Islam," Jerusalem, 1994. Produced by The Christians Friends of Israel Ministry in Jerusalem.
- Clarence Wagner, Jr., "Islam and the Land," an undated, unpublished manuscript.
- "Insights into Islam," an unsigned article on The Muslim — Christian Debate Website at http://www.debate.org.uk/topics.
- "The Dark Side of Islam," an unsigned article on The Muslim — Christian Debate Website at http://www.debate.org.uk/topics/coolcalm/Dark-Side-of-Islam.htm.
The next article will explore the truth about the intolerant nature of Islam.