In light of the recent
attacks on America, many questions have arisen about
the religion of Islam. One area of confusion surrounds
Allah. We have received several emails asking,
"Are Allah and the God of the Bible the
teaches that the true God is a being called Allah, and
that all other views of God are false. The Koran
emphasizes of Allah: "There is no God but he, the
Living, the everlasting." 1
But who is Allah? Is he
anything like the God of Christian faith?
No. Allah lacks such
attributes as holiness, grace and love. If we compare
the Muslim God with the biblical God, we can see that
Islam and Christianity have entirely different views
of God. First, Allah is a distant God with whom no one
can have a personal relationship in the manner
described biblically. But the God of the Bible desires
men and women to have a personal relationship with Him
(John 1:1,11-14; 15:9-15; 16:27; 17:20-26).
Second, the Muslim God
has a different nature and character from the biblical
God. For example, Allah is not ultimately a God of
love, but the Bible teaches "God is love" (1
the Koran it is stressed that Allah only
"loves" (is merciful to) those who do good,
but that he is not merciful to those who are bad.
Allah repeatedly emphasizes that he does not love
the sinner. 2 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 (John 3:16; Romans 5:1-10).
Third, Allah is
considered the author of evil. But the biblical God is
not the author of evil. Rather He is infinitely holy
and righteous (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 77:13; 99:9;
Revelation 15:4). His "eyes are too pure to look
on evil" (Habakkuk 1:13).
Muslims deny the triune nature of God as revealed in
the Bible. The Koran emphasizes that Christians are
unbelievers and infidels because they believe in the
historic Christian doctrine of the trinity. 3 (The
Koran distorts the orthodox view of the Trinity as
tritheism—three gods.) But the Bible tells us that
God has revealed Himself as a triune Being, as one God
eternally existing in three Persons—Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit (John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3,4). 4
all this mean? It means that the Muslim God and the
biblical God constitute two distinct and opposing
concepts of God. Because Muslims teach that Allah
alone is the one true God, they claim that Christians
worship a false god, a pagan idol. But perhaps Muslims
have forgotten that it was "Allah" who was
originally the pagan god. Scholars agree that before
Muhammad, "Allah" was only one of the pagan
deities of the pre-Islamic Arabic pantheon (collection
of gods)—and not even the central deity. It was thus
Muhammad who transformed and elevated this pagan deity
into the supreme God of Islam. 5
1. A. J. Arberry, The
Koran Interpreted (New York: MacMillan, 1976), p.
2. Ibid., pp. 81, 90,
142, 178, 204.
3. Ibid., pp. 139-40.
4. For a good study,
see E. Calvin Beisner, God in Three Persons
(Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1984), and Edward Bickersteth, The
Trinity (Grand Rapids: Kregel).
5. G. D. Newby in Abingdon
Dictionary of Living Religions, p. 23.