Questions and Answers > Practices of Muslims > Christian relations

What have Muslims and Christian faith in common according to the Qur'an?

There are many areas of belief that Muslims share with Christian faith. Therefore it is possible to inspire Muslims from shared areas of belief as advocated by the Qur’an and guided by Muslims:

1. Muslims believe in the Creator
2. Muslims believe that man commits sin
3. Muslims believe in Judgment Day
4. Muslims believe that God is merciful
5. Muslims believe that God reveals himself through his prophets


1. Muslims believe in the Creator

The faith of Muslims is based on Allah (God). In the Qur’an, God is the Creator of heaven and earth: “Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is” (Qur´an 2:117) and:

“He it is who gives life and causes death; and when He decrees a matter, He but says to it, "Be," and it is” (Qur´an 40:68).

This is the same as in the Bible:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And God said, ´Let there be light´, and there was light” (Genesis 1:1,3).

Also Jesus was able to create according to the Qur´an. He created a clay bird and breathed life into it, according to Allah´s will:

"I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by Allah’s leave” (Qur’an 3:49). See also Qur´an 5:110.

The creation acts of Jesus can also be found in the Gospel:

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it” (John 5:21).


2. Muslims believe that man commits sin

According to Muslim belief; the one who commits sin is in danger and has exposed himself to the punishment of God. God is holy and people commit sin:

“So he made them fall, through deception. And when they tasted of the tree, their private parts became apparent to them, and they began to fasten together over themselves from the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called to them, ‘Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you that Satan is to you a clear enemy?’" (Qur’an 7:22).

The Qur’an confirms the Bible:

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Genesis 3:6-11).

That was the first sin of mankind and the moment when pain, suffering and death entered mankind. The Qur’an tells us accountability of every person, including Muhammad committed sin (Qur’an 40:55, 48:2, and 47:19). Life is a test, and earthly life is temporary. A Muslim believes that the result of sin is punishment. According to the Qur’an the future looks hopeless for the disobedient and sinful people. Only Jesus was without sin:

“He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son” (Qur´an 19:19).

The Qur’an confirms the Gospel. Jesus said:

“Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (John 8:46).


3. Muslims believe in Judgment Day

The Muslim must believe in Judgment Day of and the resurrection when the body will be recreated and the soul will be reunited with the body. In Muhammad’s preaching, Judgment Day was not some distant event, but terrible and close at hand [1]. The Muslim has no assurance that he will escape hellfire. Only God has the knowledge of the last day:

“Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” (Qur´an 31:34). See also the Gospel. Jesus said:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Matthew 24:36).

On the last day Jesus is a witness against unbelievers:

“And there is none from the People of the Scripture but that he will surely believe in Jesus before his death. And on the Day of Resurrection he will be against them a witness.”(Qur´an 4:159).

See also the Gospel

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:22-23).

According to the Qur’an, Jesus is the knowledge of the last day:

“And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and follow Me. This is a straight path.” (Qur´an 43:61)

This is confirmed and explained with details in the Gospel:

“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 17:30; 21:25-28).


4. Muslims believe that God is merciful.

Muslims believe that God is merciful and compassionate. God gave grace to Jesus:

“O you who have believed, remember the favor of Allah upon you when a people determined to extend their hands [in aggression] against you, but He withheld their hands from you; and fear Allah . And upon Allah let the believers rely” (Qur´an 5:110).

The Gospel mentions the same grace of God to Jesus, the Word of God:

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Muslims believe that God wrote mercy on Himself:

“Say, "To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?" Say, "To Allah ." He has decreed upon Himself mercy. He will surely assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Those who will lose themselves [that Day] do not believe” (Qur´an 6:12).

The Qur’an tells us that Jesus is God’s mercy:

He said, "Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ’It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter [already] decreed’ " (Qur´an 19:21).

This is confirmed in the Gospel:

“Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us! Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him” (Matthew 20:30,34).


5. Muslims are to follow the guidance that the early prophets received:

Muslims believe in the Holy Books revealed by Allah to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and his children, Moses and all other prophets. Belief in the prophets involves faith in all the prophets mentioned in the Qur’an without making distinction between them:

“Those are the ones to whom We gave the Scripture and authority and prophethood. But if the disbelievers deny it, then We have entrusted it to a people who are not therein disbelievers” (Qur´an 6:89-90).

“Rejected were the apostles before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees)” (Qur´an 6:34).

Both verses are with the same kind of message in the following Gospel verse:

“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:17).

Jesus explains about the prophets and righteous people that he is the Word of God (Qur’an 3:45) and the teacher for mankind:

“For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it (Matthew 13:17).

Therefore the Gospel makes known, also for a Muslim, that Jesus is more than a prophet, he is the one to be followed:

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).


Notes:

[1] Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, Oneworld Publications, 2003, 42-43.

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