Q: “Allah” is the word used to translate the word “God” in the Arabic translations of the Bible. Doesn’t that mean that Muslims believe that Allah is the same God as the Christian God?
A: No one is disputing whether or not Allah is the Arabic word for God. It is. When a Christian speaks of God he is referring to Yahweh, the God of the Bible, and when Muslim says, “Allah,” he is referring to the God of the Koran. The two are very different.
True, we say God is above all; Arabs say Allah is above all.
True, we say God is eternal; Arabs say Allah is eternal.
The principle thing to remember is that when a Christian refers to God, he is referring to Yahweh, whereas when a Muslim refers to Allah, he is making a reference to an entirely different being than Yahweh.
There are a variety of these similarities, but similarities are not as important as differences when it comes to whether two things are the same or not. When you go to the bookstore to buy a study Bible and compare two, you do not look for how they are similar. You do not pay attention to the fact that both have covers, both include Genesis, both have ribbons, etc. You look for differences: one has bigger print, one is thumb indexed, one has a concordance in back, etc. The same is true when deciding whether or not to “buy” into the idea God and Allah are the same.
There are some very important differences between the God of the Bible and Allah: (substitute the name Yahweh for the generic term God and it will become clear).
- God’s only begotten Son is Jesus. Allah has no begotten son.
- God made salvation available by sacrificing His Son and promises salvation by grace to those who believe. Allah sacrificed nothing, and only saves if sufficient works are done.
- God has a payment for sins—Jesus Christ. Allah has no payment for sins.
- God’s Christ paid for the sins of mankind. Allah paid for nothing, and all men pay for their own sins.
- God’s salvation is through Christ’s work. Allah’s salvation is through people’s works.
- God’s saving work is, “Come to Christ.” The major part of Moslem salvation is to believe Mohammed was the sum and seal of the prophets.
- God’s book is very different from Allah’s book. They contradict each other, so they cannot both be true. For example, the Bible says Christ was resurrected from the dead. The Moslems reject that as a lie.
- God says his Son is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Allah says Christ is “only a messenger” (Chap. 5, “The Food” sect. 10, par. 75).
- God treats men and women equally. Allah does not.
- God says marriages today (Christian) are to be monogamous. Allah allows more than one wife.
- There is no marriage in God’s Paradise. Faithful men get many virgins in Allah’s.
- God says it is not necessary to have special days. Allah does: for example, Ramadan, the Moslem holy month during which Moslems fast during the day.
This list could be multiplied many times over, but there is no point. We have a saying, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is a duck. God and Allah do not walk alike or quack alike. They are not the same and anyone who tries to say they are is blind to these obvious differences. To my knowledge, most Moslems do not say that Allah and the God of the Jews and Christians are the same being, which is a major reason Moslems count Christians as “infidels.” Why would they say that if they really believed we were worshipping the true God?