Islam and Jesus







Take hold of eternal life!














Jesus is the way,
 the truth, and the life



Chapter 4 -

"You serve three gods"





One of the Muslim's most typical beliefs is that the Christians have three different gods, the Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (or Mary), whom they serve. The following quote from a former Muslim refers to this:


What foolishness! I swear by the Prophet that you Christians have odd fancies. Is it not true that you have many gods? You say that you serve one true God, even though you speak of three gods. How can you divide Allah into three gods or how could Allah be composed of three persons? I have heard that the Christians speak about the Father God and Jesus as if he were God, and about Mary as if she was the mother of God. Is God married? How could it be said in an intellectual world that the great and powerful God had a son? How abusive it is to speak about Allah's mother! The blessed Koran tells us very clearly, "He, Allah, is One. Allah is He on Whom all depend. He begets not, nor is He begotten. And none is like Him." (Sura 112) (6)


What DOES THE Bible say?


Even though the Muslims believe that the Christians serve three gods, this is not true. (Actually, it would be much more correct to say that the Muslims believe in polytheism: almost on every second page of the Koran, God is referred to in the plural form, "we", as if there were many gods. The next  verse from the Koran is a good example of how the Koran teaches about God in the plural form, "In six days We created the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them; nor were We ever wearied.", 50:38) The Bible clearly says both in the Old and New Testament that there is only one God. This is said in numerous passages of the Bible:


- (Deut 4:35) To you it was showed, that you might know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.


- (Isa 45:5-6) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded you, though you have not known me:

6  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.


- (Isa 45:21) Tell you, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time?  have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me.


- (Isa 46:9) Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,


- (1 Tim 1:17) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


- (Acts 14:15) And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach to you that you should turn from these vanities to the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:


- (Eph 4:5-6) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


- (Jam 2:19) You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.


The Koran 29:46. It is curious that also the Koran proves that the followers of the Book, the Christians, have one God - the belief of many Muslims thus goes against their own holy book. The Koran clearly says, 29:46: "Be courteous when you argue with the People of the Book, except with those among them why do evil. Say: "We believe in that which is revealed to us and which was revealed to you. Our God and your God is one. To him we surrender ourselves.'




It is curious that even though it is difficult for Muslims to believe in the trinity - meaning that one God has informed himself as the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit - this teaching still appears even in some passages of the Koran.


The pre-existence of Jesus. First of all, the Koran teaches that Jesus, who is called the Word of God and the Spirit of God, lived with God already before he came on Earth. From that we can see that Jesus is God's own Word (Kalimat Allah, which reflects the speaker's innermost being) and His Spirit, who was sent to Earth. (It is also said in the Islamic tradition, "He [Jesus] went in the middle of the spirits. We sent him to Mary." - This refers to the pre-existence of Jesus. / W. Goldsack, Christ in Islam, London, Cls, 1905, p. 14-15.)

   This can be clearly seen in a passage in the Koran which says that God gave His Word to Mary. It proves that the Word must have existed already before God in a supernatural way moved Him into the womb of Mary, making it possible for Jesus to be born to this world. This passage in the Koran says:


People of the Book, do not transgress the bounds of your religion. Speak nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God's apostle and His Word, which He cast to Mary: a spirit from Him. believe in God and… (4:171)


Also, the understanding that Jesus lived with the Father already before he came on Earth appears in the following passages of the Koran. They indicate that Jesus is not only an ordinary man, but that He came from Heaven here on Earth - He is the Word of God and the Spirit that was sent from God. These passages refer to his divinity and earlier existence:


The angels said to Mary: "God bids you rejoice in a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the hereafter, and shall be favoured by God. (3:45)


People of the Book, do not transgress the bounds of your religion. Speak nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, was no more than God's apostle and His Word, which He cast to Mary. believe in God and… (4:171)


He will instruct him in the Scriptures and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel, and send him forth as an apostle to the Israelites. He will say: "I bring you a sign from your Lord. From clay I will make for you the likeness of a bird. I shall breathe into it and, by God's leave, it shall become a living bird. By God's leave I shall heal the blind man and the leper, and raise the dead to life… I bring you a sign from your Lord: therefore fear God and obey me. (3:48-50)


And of Jesus the son of Mary, who said to Israelites: 'I am sent forth to you from God to confirm the Torah already revealed, and… (61:6)


The Word of God and the Spirit of God. The previous passages of the Koran used such names as the Word of God (Kalimat Allah) and the Spirit of God (Ruh Allah) for Jesus, which also prove the eternity and divinity of Jesus. This appears at least in the next ways:


The Spirit of God is everlasting. First of all, if we believe that God is everlasting, his Spirit must certainly also be everlasting, and not last only for a man's lifetime, for example. Therefore, when Jesus in the Koran is called the Spirit of God who has come from God, we can assume that also He is everlasting and one with God. The name "the Spirit of God" therefore refers to His divinity and eternity.


The Word of God is everlasting. If we still hold on to the understanding that God is eternal, certainly also his Word must be eternal because it is unlikely that God was silent until Jesus, his word, was born on Earth. Certainly, He must have spoken before that - just as we people speak because we exist - and because He created everything by his Word and people existed already before Jesus came on Earth.

   When it is a question of Jesus, we can assume that He is also eternal and one with the Father God. This is the only reasonable conclusion if we call Him the word of God, and if we assume that God has spoken already before Jesus was on Earth.


The Word of God and the essence of God. Furthermore, if we use the name "the Word of God", it is important to note that the Arabic text uses the word "kalimah" for it, meaning "the essence of the speaker", his "innermost". The Koran does not use another possible Arabic word, "qawlum", meaning "a word or statement", which does not refer to the essence of the speaker.

   What this means is that Jesus must be more than a mere word from God. Actually, He must be the perfect manifestation of God, the will of God or the brightness of God's glory, as the Bible says. The Koran so refers to this and teaches in the same way as the Bible that we can properly understand the will and essence of God only through Jesus. Several Bible verses refer to this:


- (Hebr 1:3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:


- (2 Cor 4:3-4) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4  In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.


- (John 10:30-33) I and my Father are one.

31  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?

33  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God.


- (John 12:44-45) Jesus cried and said, He that believes on me, believes not on me, but on him that sent me.

45  And he that sees me sees him that sent me.


- (John 14:8-9) Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffises us.

9  Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?


The personality of the Holy Spirit. As it is possible to find several passages in the Koran referring to the second person of divinity, Jesus, His divinity and everlasting existence, we can also find references to the third person of divinity - the Holy Spirit - in the Koran. Also, these passages are almost similar to what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit, and they refer to His personality. Let's look at this through some examples:


The Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus. First of all, it is important to note that we can find the name "Holy Spirit" from the Koran, the same name that also appears in the Bible. It seems that if the Koran mentions it, the Holy Spirit must exist because it is mentioned. For example, the next passages connected with the life of Jesus speak about this:


To Moses We gave the Scriptures and after him We sent other apostles. We gave Jesus the son of Mary veritable signs and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit... (2:87)


Of these messengers We have exalted some above others. To some God spoke directly; others He raised to a lofty status. We gave Jesus the son of Mary veritable signs, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit... (2:253)


God will say: 'Jesus, son of Mary, remember the favour I have bestowed on you and on your mother: how I strengthened you with the Holy spirit that you preached to men in your cradle and in the prime of manhood; how I instructed you in the Book and in wisdom, in the Torah and in the Gospel; how by My leave you fashioned from clay the likeness of a bird and breathed into it that, by My leave, it became a living bird; how, by My leave, you healed the blind man and the leper, and by My leave restored the dead to life; how I protected you from the Israelites when you had come to them with clear signs: when those of them who disbelieved declared: "This is but plain sorcery" (5:110)


The Holy Spirit in the life of Mary. Some of the Koran's references to the Holy Spirit are connected with Mary. The next verses of the Koran clearly tell how God breathed His own Spirit into Mary. The passages in question cannot mean the angel Gabriel, because the angel did not go into Mary. (Some Muslims explaining Islam have tried to claim that the Holy Spirit in some passages would mean Gabriel. However, it is difficult to find any clear support for this, and it also means arbitrary changing of the original name.) Neither can it mean breathing the breath of life into a dead person, because Mary was alive - it must mean God's own Spirit. These passages say:


And of the woman who kept her chastity. We breathed into her of Our spirit, and made her and her son a sign to all men. (21:91)


And in Mary, 'Imran's daughter, who preserved her chastity and into whose womb We breathed of Our spirit; who put her trust in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was truly devout. (66:12)


The personality of the Holy Spirit. As comes to the personality of the Holy Spirit, we can find passages also from the Koran confirming this. According to the Koran, the Holy Spirit brings, reassures, gives guidance, and comes, which are not possible for an impersonal power. The Koran also speaks about the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit which is possible only for a person:


Say: 'The Holy Spirit brought it down from your Lord in truth to reassure the faithful, and to give guidance and good news to those that surrender themselves.' (16:102)


This is surely revealed by the Lord of the Universe. The faithful Spirit brought it down into your heart that you might warn mankind in plain Arabic speech. (26:192-195)


By His will He sends down the angels with the Spirit to those among His servants whom He chooses, bidding them proclaim: 'There is no God but Me: therefore fear Me.' (16:2)


They put questions to you about the Spirit. Say: 'The Spirit is at my Lord's command. Little is the knowledge vouchsafed to you.' (17:86)


Thus have We inspired you with a spirit of Our will when you knew nothing of faith or scripture, and made it a light whereby We guide those of Our servants whom We please. You will surely guide them to a straight path: (42:52)


…God has inscribed the Faith in their very hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit of His own…(58:22).


On that night the angels and the Spirit by their Lord's leave come down with each decree. (97:4)




The name "Son of God" that is used for Jesus is understood by several Muslims as something physical, meaning that God married and had a son, Jesus. (Many Muslims think that the trinity means God, Mary, and Jesus.) They base this on an old Arabic belief that God can be sexually connected with people and can thus have children who are called "sons of God".

   However, this view is not true. It cannot be true because the Bible speaks about the pre-existence of Jesus already before He was born here on Earth. He has been with God - according to the Bible - already in the beginning of times and came here only at a certain moment when the Word became man - as several Bible verses tell us. Let's look at these verses:


- (John 1:1- 3,14) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2  The same was in the beginning with God.

3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


- (1 John 1:1-2) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show to you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us;)


- (Phil 2:5-8) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7  But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.


- (Hebr 2:14,17) For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

17  Why in all things it behooved him to be made like to his brothers, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.


Secondly, it is good for us to understand that when the Bible uses the word "Son", it does not mean that God was married, it is only one way to describe issues. The Bible mostly uses language that is easy for us to understand and that best explains things.

   These kinds of descriptions appear also elsewhere in life - descriptions of which we can mention the following examples:


- Mahatma Gandhi has been called the Father of India, even though he is not physically the father of India.

- The Egyptians have been called the Sons of Nile but it does not mean that the river Nile got married and had children.

- The Bedouins have been called the Sons of the Desert, and neither does this mean that the Desert got married and then had children.







Author: Jari Vesa Juhani Iivanainen Lahti Finland

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