By George Mitrakos| A very popular statement being tossed around by those within the Muslim community is that Jesus was a Muslim. And I mean, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. But the problem doesn’t really end there.
These go as far as to say that the gospels support the ideology that Jesus was a follower of the Islamic religion and that they fall in line with the qur’anic narrative pertaining to Christ. But was Jesus a Muslim? And do the gospels portray Jesus in the same manner as the Quran?
Within this article, I am going to attempt to answer these arguments by demonstrating that the New Testament Jesus is incompatible with both Muslim beliefs and the qur’anic narrative. The points we will be looking at are the following:
- The Quran says that Jesus is not the son of God.
- Muhammad said that the most detestable name on the day of resurrection is king of kings.
- The Quran says that Jesus was no more than a messenger.
- The Quran says that Jesus was not crucified.
- Muslims say that Jesus performed Salat.
- The Quran says that Jesus was not God.
- The Quran says that associating others with God is the unforgiveable sin.
- Allah commands that no Muslims drink any wine.
- The Quran says that Jesus prophesied the coming of Muhammad.
- The Quran says that Substitutionary atonement is erroneous and unnecessary.
1) The Quran says that Jesus is not the Son of God
Now the first point, as stated, is the Islamic ideology that Jesus is not the son of God. Just to give you a few examples, the Quran states in Surah 9:30-31 that the Christians are disbelievers and will be destroyed due to them calling Jesus the son of God. Furthermore, Surah 19:88-92 writes that those who say that God has taken up a son have said an atrocious thing against him, while chapter 17 verse 111 says that Allah has not taken a son unto himself. I also want you to take note of surah 112 verse 3 which, in verbatim, says that Allah does not beget, nor is he begotten. In other words, he does not have a begotten son.
Surah 19:34-36 also reads:
“Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be’ and it is”.
Now despite the qur’anic claims concerning the son-hood of Jesus, the bible has something different to offer. Following the baptism of Christ, the father’s voice came from heaven which said that Christ was his son, in whom he is well pleased, Matthew 3:17. Jesus even called himself the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD in John 3:16, which lies in stark contrast to that of chapter 112 verse 3 of the Quran.
Furthermore, when Peter called Jesus the son of God, Christ blessed him and said that this was revealed to him BY THE FATHER, Matthew 16:16-17. He also did not rebuke him or warn him of destruction for ascribing a son to God, as the Quran does in chapter 9:30-31.
2) Muhammad said that the most detestable name in the sight of Allah on the day of resurrection is king of kings
This one is pretty interesting. Pertaining to the day of resurrection, Muhammad made known to his followers that the most detestable name in the sight of God is Malik AL-Amlak which means king of kings.
In Sahih Bukhari Volume 008, Book 073, Hadith Number 224, it writes:
Narated By Abu Huraira : Allah’s Apostle said, “The most awful name in Allah’s sight on the Day of Resurrection, will be (that of) a man calling himself Malik Al-Amlak (the king of kings).”
However, in revelation 19:16, the bible writes that on his (Jesus’s) thigh and robe is written king of kings whilst Revelation 17:14 says: “They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
3) The Quran says that Jesus was no more than a messenger
In the Quran, chapter 5 verse 75, Jesus is described as being no more than a messenger of God, just like other messengers which came before him. Chapter 3 verse 84 also makes it clear that we should not make distinctions between any of the messengers of Allah. However, in Jesus’ own words, he said that he was greater than the prophet Jonah and even greater than Solomon in Matthew 12:41-42.
John the Baptist even tells us that Jesus is above all in John 3:31. So according to the bible itself, Jesus is not just like the messengers of old, and there is a distinction between Jesus and the prophets.
4) The Quran says that Jesus was not killed or crucified
The next point which we are going to look at is the gospel. Now when reading the Quran, you don’t have to go too far into it before you reach certain passages which speak against the idea that Jesus was ever killed or crucified. For example:
Surah 4:157 states:
That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;-but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.”
However, throughout Christ’s earthly ministry, he made no less than 3 predictions concerning what must fall upon him. These can be found in Matthew 16:21, Matthew 17:22-23 and Matthew 20:17-19. All these display Jesus as telling his disciples that he would be condemned, mocked, flogged, crucified/killed and risen on the third day. Furthermore, all 4 gospels attest to the fact that he was crucified:
“And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.”
“And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.|
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
“And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left.”
The crucifixion is independently attested in no less than 11 independent sources from both within and outside of the New Testament: Pre-Mark Passion Narrative, Q, John, Paul, Hebrews, 1 Peter 2:24, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Martyr, Josephus Flavius, & Cornelius Tacitus. Pre-Mark and Q are very early dating to within years of the actual crucifixion.
Other later, less valuable, sources such as Lucian, Mesa Bar Serapion (depends on dating), Thallus and the Talmud all affirm a constant tradition of Jesus’ crucifixion. Moreover, opposing the idea of the crucifixion altogether is so contrary to the will of Jesus, that when Peter did exactly that, Christ literally called him the devil.
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
5) Muslims say that Jesus performed salat
Now onto the next point. Muslims assert that because Jesus prayed with his face to the ground in Matthew 26:39, that this serves as evidence that he prayed just like the Muslims do. However, throughout the performance of the Islamic prayer, the supplicator is always reciting memorized passages of scripture in its original tongue, despite whether or not he understands what he is saying.
This is done on a daily basis, multiple times a day. Yet Jesus said in Matthew 6 that we should stay far away from meaningless repetitions during prayer. Furthermore, in this very same passage they quote to support their claims, Jesus prays, calling God his Father, which goes against the qur’anic description of Allah, that he has no son and is a father to no one. Allah even has 99 names, yet not one of them is Father.
And praying with his face to the ground is not the only positions employed by Christ, for he also prayed with his eyes to the heavens in John 17:1. So Jesus could not possibly be performing salat.
It is also important to note that salat is always preceded by ablution, which is the washing of one’s limbs and face to prepare for prayer. Yet Jesus never performed this ritual. Interestingly, Christ is rebuked for not washing his hands prior to eating, stating that what goes into a man does not make him unclean, but that which comes out of him, Matthew 15:11.
Jesus even said in Matthew 23:35-36:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
6) The Quran says that Jesus is not God
One of the main differences we see between the biblical and qur’anic narratives are their views concerning the deity of Christ. In Surah 4:171, the Quran exhorts us NOT to say Trinity, and that Jesus was no more than a messenger of Allah. Moreover, the God of the Quran also says in surah 5:17 that those who say that Jesus is God are blaspheming.
As a matter of fact, the following verse speaks to the eventual dialogue Allah will have with Jesus concerning his deity.
Surah 5:116 states:
Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of Allah’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee! never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart ”
Now, in harmony to what Allah said, Jesus did tell Satan that worship should ONLY be due to God. Yet, in contrary to the Quran’s statement that Jesus did not endorse the people’s worship of him, here are just 5 verses which paint Christ as being worshipped, in which he did not rebuke or stop the people from doing so.
- He was worshipped by his disciples in Matthew 14:33.
- By A Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:25.
- By A leper in Matthew 8:2.
- By A blind man in John 9:38.
- After his resurrection by his disciples in Matthew 28:9.
But now concerning his deity. Did Jesus really claim such a thing?
Well, in John 10:33 the Jews accused Jesus of making himself equal with God, while in John 5:17-18 the apostle John tells us that Christ made himself equal to the Father.
Furthermore, Jesus referred to himself as I AM in John 8:24, 8:28 and others, which is God’s name as found within the Old Testament. He also said in John 14:9 that seeing him is the same as seeing God whilst also claiming to be one with the Father in John 10:30-33. John 1:1 says that Jesus existed in the beginning with God and as God, whilst verse 3 says that he is the creator of all things. In John 1:47-50 Christ reveals his omnipresent nature, much to the astonishment of Nathaniel.
Jesus also claims to have the ability to answer our prayers in John 14:13, which says that Jesus will do whatever it is that we ask for in prayer. In Matthew 25:31-33 Jesus claims to be the final Judge whilst in Mark 2:5-12 Jesus forgives a man of his sins, only to have the Jews accuse him of blasphemy. He also claimed the ability to do whatever the father does in John 5:19, making him omnipotent.
Christ also displays his omniscience in John 4:29, where he knew everything about a woman whom he had just met, while in John 21:17 peter told him that he knew ALL things, without having Christ amend or correct his statement. And not only this, but he also uses his name along with the Father interchangeably, assuming that they are one and the same.
For example: Jesus said that God sends the holy spirit in John 14:26, while in John 16:7 Jesus says that he will send it. Jesus also said that God will raise the dead in John 5:21 whilst then saying that he will raise it in John 6:40.
7) Allah says that associating others with God is the unforgiveable sin (shirk)
As in Christianity, there also exists an unpardonable sin in Islam. And that is the sin of associating others with Allah as stated in chapter 4 verse 48. Moreover, as seen above where Christ claims divinity, Jesus is also guilty of this very same sin. And not only that, but he also associates both him and the spirit with God during his disclosure of the great commission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
So if Jesus was a Muslim, let alone a prophet of the Islamic religion, we would never in a million years witness him performing Islam’s unforgivable sin, let alone not know it, because the unforgivable sin according to the biblical Jesus is not shirk, but blasphemy of the spirit, Matthew 12:31.
8) The Quran commands Muslims to stay away from wine
In chapter 5 verse 90 and chapter 2 verse 219 of the Quran, Muslims are commanded to stay away from wine, describing it as Satan’s handiwork. This is the reason why till this day, devout Muslims will not even dare to take even the smallest sip of this beverage.
However, Jesus turned water into wine in John 2:1-11 and drank it during his last supper, commanding us to do the same, because it symbolizes his blood which is poured out for many, Matthew 26:27-28.
Furthermore, Jesus also describes himself as a drinker of wine in Matthew 11:19.
9) The Quran says that Jesus prophesied the coming of Muhammad
In the Quran, chapter 61 verse 6, Allah describes Jesus as one who prophesied about the coming of a prophet who would go by the name of Ahmad, which is another name for Muhammad. However, not only are such passages lacking within the New Testament narrative, but Jesus himself makes such a statement impossible to be true. Consider the following verse:
Hear another parable: “There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.”
Now, take notice that the parable revolves around the prophets of the most high being sent into the world. Yet, I want you to pay particular attention to what Jesus said: Last of all, he sent his son. In other words, there would be no one coming after Jesus who would take on a prophetic role. So not only does Jesus not even mention the names Muhammad or Ahmad, but he even goes as far as saying that no one will come after him.
The only advent Jesus spoke about was that of the Holy Spirit’s in John 16:12-13.
10) The Quran says that Substitutionary atonement is erroneous and unnecessary
Concerning the gospel, the Quran immediately renders it unnecessary and impossible for one to bear the burden of another man’s sins. Surah 17:15 writes that whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another while Surah 35:18 writes that no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls to carry its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative.
However, in Mark 10:45 Jesus described himself as dying as a ransom for many. A ransom, in brief, is a sum of money or other payments demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. So we see here that the death of Jesus was a payment to release us, namely, that he paid the penalty for our sins.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11
Furthermore, Matthew 27:46 where Jesus asks the father why he forsook him is believed by most scholars to be an indication of Christ taking our sin upon himself.
2 Corinthians 5:21 also says:
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
These 10 points which I just finished speaking about are by no means the only differences we see between Islam and Jesus. However, they should serve as sufficient evidence in demonstrating that the Jesus of the Quran and the Jesus of the New Testament are, for the most part, complete opposite to one another. The Jesus Muslims speak about is not the Jesus of the New Testament. And the Jesus the bible speaks about is surely not a Muslim.