Who is the God of Abraham?
Who is the God whom Abraham (Ibrahim) knew and served? Was he the one known to Islam as Allah?
The Bible proclaims that there is only one God. The Qur’an also says that there is only one God, and calls him Allah.
But is Islam’s Allah the same being as the God of the Bible?
If Allah of the Qur’an does not have the same characteristics as the God of the Bible, then Allah and God cannot be the same. Let us look at the evidence to see whether they could be the same being.
Before he was born into the world as a person in about 6BC, Jesus had already existed as God from eternity. When speaking to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem before his crucifixion, Jesus said that he was God before Abraham was born.
In John 8:58 we read, “I tell you the truth”, Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”
The reference to “I am” refers back to Exodus 3:14, where God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Additional proofs from the Bible that Jesus is God are found in the book of Hebrews chapter 1. The whole of Hebrews 1 is devoted to showing that Jesus is God. For example, verse 8 declares:
“But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.”
Here the Son, Jesus, is directly described as God.
Also note how Jesus is identified in the New Testament book of John, chapter 1, verses 1 – 5, and 14:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Verse 14: 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.”
In John chapter 17, verse 5, we read:
“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
Here Jesus is saying that he had the glory of God before the world was created.
In the first part of the Bible, known as the Old Testament, the God of Abraham is very often called LORD, an English translation of the Hebrew word Yahweh. Compare Revelation 22:12-13 (in the New Testament) with Isaiah 44:6 (Old Testament) where both Jesus and Yahweh (translated LORD) are declared to be the “First and the Last”. Thus we can know that Jesus is Yahweh, the God of Abraham.
In Revelation 22:12-13 the risen Jesus Christ says, “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
And Isaiah 44:6 reads:
“This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”
So these scriptures show that Jesus Christ is the Lord, the First and the Last, and that apart from him there is no God.
But does the Qur’an say that Jesus is Allah? No, it does not, in fact in Surah 5:73 it strongly condemns that belief.
Surah 5:73 (Yusuf Ali translation)
“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy) verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.”
The Qur’an goes on to declare that Jesus was no more than an ordinary apostle like many who preceded him.
“Christ the son of Mary was no more than an Apostle; many were the Apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth makes His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!”
Thus the Qur’an strongly disagrees with the Christian belief, recorded in the Bible, that Jesus is God.
Now the Bible declares that there is no God except Yahweh. All other supposed gods are like worthless idols. Read Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 45:5-6, Isaiah 45:18, and Isaiah 45:22-23 which reads:
“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear.”
We have seen that Yahweh, later to be known as Jesus, who is the God of Abraham and of Christians, is not the same as Allah of the Muslims, because the Qur’an says that Jesus is not God. How can this difficulty be resolved? The Bible and the Qur’an both say that there is only one God. Therefore one of the two is not the true God. Since the Bible is the infallible word of God, we must conclude that Allah of the Qur’an is not the God of Abraham, and therefore not the one true God of the Bible.
The Qur’an, which was written about 600 years after the New Testament books, also denies that Jesus died on the cross (Surah 4:157). Thus the Qur’an denies the only path to salvation and eternal life that God offers, forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ and life through faith in the living Christ.
If you are a Muslim reading this article and now realise that you have been deceived by Islam, you might wonder what to do next. It is important that you receive eternal life through entrusting your life now to the true living God through Jesus Christ.
The first step to a new life is to repent of all the things you have done wrong and to ask God for forgiveness. To repent means to turn from your old ways of thinking and doing. Then thank God that Jesus died on the cross so that you can be freely forgiven. Then invite God into your life and ask him to live in you by his Spirit.
When you have done these things you become a child of God and receive the gift of eternal life.
Here is an example of a prayer that you can pray to the Lord.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life (take a few moments to ask his forgiveness for anything particular that is on your conscience). Please forgive me. I now turn from everything that I know is wrong. Thank you that you died on the cross for me, so that I could be forgiven and set free. Thank you that you offer me forgiveness and the gift of your Spirit. I now receive that gift. Please come into my life by your Holy Spirit to be with me forever. Thank you Lord Jesus, Amen.”
(This prayer is from the booklet “Why Jesus?” by Nicky Gumbel.)
One of the sins that all people commit and yet are not very aware of, is to see oneself as independent and not needing God in one’s life. We need to put away our independent thinking and submit all our plans fully to the Lord. To help with this, we need to set aside time daily to read the Bible, to pray and to think about what we have read. This kind of prayer is not the ritual “salat” of Islam but rather a crying out to God in a private place. There is no need to perform ablutions (wudu) before praying to the Lord, since we are already cleansed by his blood, shed on the cross.