What does Islam teach
about God and is he like the God of the Bible?
Islam teaches that the
true God is the Muslim deity, Allah. All other views
of God are false because the Koran teaches, "The true
religion with God is Islam."1 The Koran emphasizes of
Allah: "There is no God but he, the Living, the
But who is Allah? Is he
anything like the God of Christian faith? As we will
see, the Muslim God is entirely different from the
biblical God. First, the Koran stresses that Allah is
one person only: "They are unbelievers who say, ‘God
is the Third of Three.’ No god is there but one God.
If they refrain not from what they say, there shall
afflict those of them that disbelieve a painful
chastisement."3 Here, the Koran emphasizes that
Christians are unbelievers because they accept the
historic Christian doctrine of the Trinity.4 But, as
we fully documented in our Knowing the Truth About
the Trinity (Harvest House, 1997), the Bible
unmistakably tells us that God has revealed Himself as
a triune Being, as One God eternally existing in three
Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19; Jn.
1:1,14; Acts 5:3-4).5 Although many Muslims
believe otherwise, Christians do not believe in
three gods. This idea is a clear misrepresentation of
Christian belief. Christians are not polytheists, who
accept three gods, but monotheists who believe in one
Second, the Muslim God
has a different character than the biblical God. It is
significant that of the "99 beautiful names for
Allah," which Muslims memorize and use for worship,
not one of these names is "love" or "loving." The
Koran stresses that Allah only "loves" those who do
good, but that he does not love those who are bad.
Allah himself emphasizes that he does not love
the sinner.6 Thus, the love of Allah is not the love
of the God of the Bible. The biblical God does love
the sinner—in fact, He loves all sinners. God does not
love the sin, but He does love the sinner: Christ died
for the ungodly.... God demonstrates his
own love for us in this: while we were still
sinners, Christ died for us... if when we were
God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him
through the death of his Son, how much more, having
been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life?"
(Rom. 5:6,8,10). Essentially, Allah is primarily a God
of power, not a God of love. But the Bible declares,
"God is love" (1 Jn. 4:6).
predestination of all things, Allah is considered the
direct author of both good and evil. This is
not the God of the Bible. While the biblical God is
sovereign and permits evil, He is not its direct
cause. Even when it is part of His plan, He frequently
turns it to a higher good, as seen in the death of
Jesus for our sins, Joseph being sold into slavery
(Gen. 45:8; 50:20) and in Romans 8:28: "And we know
that in all things God works for the good of those who
love him, who have been called according to his
purpose." Again, the biblical God is not the direct
author of evil. Rather, He is infinitely holy and
righteous (1 Sam. 2:2; Ps. 77:13; 99:9; Rev. 15:4) and
His "eyes are too pure to look on evil" (Hab. 1:3).
Third, Allah is
ultimately unknowable and incomprehensible. In Who
Is Allah in Islam, Abd-al-Masih writes, "Allah is
the unique, unexplorable, and inexplicable one—the
remote, vast and unknown God. Everything we think
about him is incomplete, if not wrong. Allah cannot be
In "What Is Allah
Like?" George Houssney writes, "we humans can never
know Allah, because he is so far from us and so
different from us. The only knowledge Muslims may
admit to is knowledge about Allah, not a personal,
experiential knowledge of him. People cannot know
Allah and should not even try to know him. Allah is
not involved in the affairs of humans." Thus, Houssney
goes on to point out the contrast between Muslim and
Christian concepts concerning humanities’ relationship
to God: "The Christian claim that humans can have a
relationship with God is considered by Muslims to be a
metaphysical impossibility. To Muslims, Allah has not
revealed himself, but rather he has revealed his
mashi’at (desires and wishes, i.e., his will). His
will, according to Islamic teaching, is limited to
Islamic law. A person performs the will of Allah when
he follows the dictates of the Islamic legal system."
[This involves the Koran as interpreted by
Muslim clerics; to submit to the "will of Allah," is
to submit to the religious leaders’ interpretations of
the Koran which involve everything relating to life,
including Islamic law, politics, cultural customs,
family, etc. To submit to Allah is to submit to the
Islamic powers that be. The concept of separation of
church and state is never found in Muslim nations.]
Finally, Houssney further illustrates the distinction
between Muslim and Christian concepts of God at this
point: "Allah has no personality and is indescribable
by any characteristic attributable to man. Most of his
attributes are absolute qualities which are unique to
himself, like adjectives of majesty. Although some of
his attributes may appear to be relational, such as
mercy, they are nonmutual and one-directional.
According to the Islamic doctrine of Allah, he is
nonrelational. To claim that Allah is relational is to
make him dependent on his creation."8
All this stands in
contrast to the biblical teaching that men and women
can know God personally on an intimate,
relational level. Consider the scriptures below: e.g.,
"This is eternal life to know Thee the only
true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent" (Jn.
17:3). "Jesus said, ‘my sheep know me"’ (Jn.
The Apostle Paul prayed
for Christian believers concerning God, "that you may
know him better." (Eph. 1:17) The Apostle Paul
also said, "I know whom I have believed" (2
The Apostle John
emphasized, "We know that we have come to
know him if we obey his commands. The man who
says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands
is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 Jn. 2:3-4).
Thus, he emphasized, "Dear friends, let us love one
another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves
has been born of God and knows God. Whoever
does not love does not know God, because God is
love" (1 Jn. 4:7-8).
The above reveals that
the Muslim God, Allah, and the biblical God, Yahweh,
constitute two distinct and opposing concepts of God.
Regrettably, because Muslims teach that Allah alone is
the one true God, they claim that Christians worship a
[Excerpted from John Ankerberg, John
Weldon, The Facts on Islam (Harvest House,
A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (NY:
MacMillian, 1976), p. 15.
Ibid., p. 65.
Ibid., p. 140
Ibid., pp. 139-140.
See our Knowing the Truth About the Trinity
(Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1997). See also E.
Calvin Beisner, God In Three Persons
(Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1984) and Edward Bickersteth,
The Trinity (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, rpt.).
E.g., Arberry, pp. 81, 91, 142, 178, 204.
Cited in a book review in Reach Out, Vol. 6,
no. 3 & 4, 1993, p. 15.
George Houssney, "What is Allah Like?", Reach
Out, Vol. 6, no. 3 & 4,1993, pp. 12-13.