Talk:Christianity and Islam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Reading through this article, I see glancing comments about christianity, and then a full-on paragraph about the islamic version of events. "Christianity and Islam"? It should be called "Islam on Christianity".


I think the artice is still very superficial, as there is a large common ground between the two religions. To start with, Islam is the only non-Christian world religion that considers the founder of Christian as sent by God, albeit there are also of course differences between the Islamic and mainstream Christian understanding of the importance of Jesus. The section on what the Quran says on Christianity really needs to be rewritten. The 'translation' of the verses is, er, horrid, and most of the verses cited do not even talk about about Christianity. I suggest the article should adopt a more synthetic way of handling the topic. If verses are quoted, they should at least be relevant. Someone also said, rightly, that the article is more about the Islamic view of Christianity than Christianity and Islam, the page should include the Christian views on Islam as well.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:54, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


Saying that Islam believes Jesus is THE messiah seems incorrect to me...Islam views Jesus as a messiah, but that word has a different meaning then the christian view right? Bigmick

This article would have merit IF it

1) provides some examples of works of comparative religion that use the term "Christo-Islamic Values" and

2) provided some examples of uslim clerics who have criticized the notion "Judeo-Christian" values, and

3) listed some values that are specifically, and exclusively, Christo-Islamic Slrubenstein

Google comes up with zero' hits for "Christo-Islamic values" and only 71 for "Christo-Islamic". -- Zoe

Only 71 huh? Whats the magic number 72? LOL -&#35918&#30505

Looking at the links, the VAST majority are actually for Judeo-Christo-Islamic Danny

Are you suggesting a change - perhaps on universally equal terms? -&#35918&#30505

I looked through the article. There are several questionable assumptions, one of which, that Islam is a break-off of Christianity, is, as far as I know, just plain wrong. I would defer to Elian's opinion on that, since I am not that well-versed in Islam. Other claims don't seem to be saying very much. I don't get what the article is really about. If it is about monotheistic religions, it should be Judeo-Christo-Islamic, but we already have an article about Abrahamic religions. Otherwise, it should be specific about what Christianity and Islam share that Judaism does not contain. Oh, and Luke 10:27 is quoting Leviticus 19:18.Danny

Islam holds the New Testament and Tanach as among its holy books. That its "decended" from is like always a touchy use of the word. Christians might not like the term, nor Muslims -that their religion is the spawn of something else. It's clearly not as simple as that - but avoiding the notion is wrong. There is a vertical relationship as well as a horizontal one, if youre creative enough to know what I mean. I cant help your lack of understanding, since some of it may be faith-related - you must stipulate. Here is the kanji I picked out for your name by the way, Dan - &#19976 &#27877 -&#35918&#30505

As an atheist, I doubt much of my understanding is "faith-related." A vertical relationship is fine as turvergersation, but it cannot "spawn" anything. In fact, from the few classes I did take on Islamic history, Islam was influenced by both Judaism and Christianity, but that doesn't mean that either religion gave birth to it. Saying so, is an oversimplification of the historical processes involved, and seems to be an insult to Islam as well. Now do you care to explain the kanji? Danny

The kanji is a gift - in your case based on the Chinese pinyin phonetics of your name Da - (big-grand) ni - (adherence/attachment) - but its impossible to directly inherit a meaning from a phonetic. Yes, I agree - the concept of 'spawning' something directly is inapplicable its simplistic - but I contend that its only suggested, per its simplistic meaning. It does need to be changed and I did have misgivings when typing it. -&#35918&#30505

Okay, so lets figure out a better way to say it. There is a relationship and that should be discussed. If that's the case though, that should also be reflected in the name of the article. If the article is about values, it should discuss those values shared by Islam and Christianity, that are not, for instance, shared by Judaism, Bahai, Zoroastrianism, etc. Oh, and thanks for the kanji :-) Danny

Sure, Im suggesting Westerners learn and adapt hanji - thre millenia of ideogram development ought be useful. And I do only my best - (considering my variable level of interest, and time, and information constriants)  :)-&#35918&#30505

Just one question though: How come when I look it up at the second symbol comes out as mud? Danny

This article is not neutral and shows things in Christian perspective. For example it says that Islam wants to wipe all religions from Earth because of the quoted Sura 9-5 while it is very known that it was for a specific reason at a specific time. This is out of context because it was in a particular context where they had a peace contract with Muslims but they did not honour it and killed Muslims, they did that many times so Muslims got the OKAY from GOD to attack so that it wont happen again. There are many other quotes that are way off context and even say exactly what should be understood of the text.-- (talk) 13:39, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I cut this:

Many Christians view Christ's teachings as being an amendment to, rather than a replacement for Judaism. While Jewish tradition focused largely on issues of law and deference to God's law; over the course of its development central spiritual principles emerged, primarily in the Ten Commandments, which Christians and Muslims hold in reverence. According to a secular, comparative-religion view, the

for a two reasons: first, Jewish tradition includes the development of spiritual principles -- in an article on Christians and Muslims, there is not need to make offensive and ignorant comments about Jews. Second, what follows this passage is not from a secular, scholarly view, it is from a Christian view -- which is perfectly fine, as long as the article is accurate. I also removed another ignorant and offensive comments about Jews and Judaism not caring about brotherhood of humanity in principle (why do you think Jews say we are all descended from one couple?) or in practice (love the neighbor as thyself, treat the stranger with compassion, etc). Again, I have no problems with a discussion of Christian and Muslim values -- but why go out of your way to misrepresent and denigrate Judaism? That can't possibly reflect well on Christians and Muslims! Slrubenstein

First, I agree that there is no reason to denigrate Judaism. It seems reasonable that whatever Christianity and Islam may have in common, they would also have in common with Judaism, and this should be acknowledged. Frankly, I think Christianity has much more in common with Judaism than with Islam, beginning with its scriptures.

I don't think the central premise is actually shared by Christians and Muslim, namely, Christ was the son of God, Christ was my brother, therefore, I too am directly descended from God. Paul writes in Romans that Christians are adopted children of God, not directly descended. But, there are a lot of diverse beliefs in Christianity, so perhaps someone can show me why I am mistaken in thinking that Christians don't share this view. On the other hand, regarding brotherhood, Jews and Christians both teach that all people are made in God's image, as taught in Genesis. Someone recently told me that Muslims do not share this belief that all are made in God's image; can someone confirm this for me? Wesley 04:27, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)

We believe that his "image" is unknowable and well beyond human conception or capacity to describe, and that all attempts to compare the Creator with the created are inherently problematic. Pronouncing, with full intention and belief, the sentence Christ was the son of God, Christ was my brother, therefore, I too am directly descended from God would, I believe, be considered an example of shirk, the gravest sin in Islam. BrandonYusufToropov 17:10, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It sounds like neither Christians nor Muslims affirm that statement, so I'm going to take it out. This is probably going to seriously diminish the degree of commonality between the two. Wesley 17:44, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Not necessarily. The change you made -- a necessary one -- now puts the focus on stuff we just haven't talked about in the article yet. For instance: 1) injunction to remember that God controls all things -- the special providence in the fall of a sparrow, as Shakespeare adapted the famous Gospel passage. 2) Emphasis on constant prayer. 3) Importance of charitable giving. 4) Obligation to reach out across religious divides to help one's fellow human beings, as in Good Samaritan story. 5) Obligation to hide certain virtues (good works such as private prayer or charity), rather than claiming public attention for them or inflating one's ego over them. 6) Delusive nature of apparent physical wealth, and its inferiority as compared to spiritual wealth. All these are in Islam too. There really is much more uniting the two faiths than dividing them, in my view. It's just that that which does divide them -- namely rejection of Trinity and rejection of Godhead of Jesus -- carries (for contemporary Christians) enormous implications. We should acknowledge that fact, but also acknowledge the many, many points of contact. Not for nothing is Jesus considered by Muslims to be one of the Major Prophets. It sounds like a "step down" to Christians, but such status is really quite incomprehensibly advanced in Islam. (The other major prophets are usually identified as Abraham, Noah, Moses, and Muhammad.) BrandonYusufToropov 18:00, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I agree those are things that Christianity and Islam generally have in common, and they are well worth adding to the article. The rejection of Jesus' Godhead is a big deal not only for contemporary Christians but for all Christians throughout history. Just look at what happened with Arianism. A side effect of this disagreement between Christians and Muslims is and has been Islam's iconoclasm, something that is still continuing especially in Kosovo. I will say that Islam is at least internally consistent in rejecting both Christ's deity and icons, unlike Christian Protestants who affirm the former but still reject the latter. Wesley 05:46, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I understand that this is the mainstream position, and I accept and respect that position, and I apologize in advance for any Muslims, including myself, who have from time to time failed to show respect for the position you've just outlined.
For the sake of completeness of our discussion, though, you should know that Muslims firmly believe that the very first followers of Jesus were not under the impression that he was divine, but rather under the impression he was on a divine mission. It's a big difference. So we would, with respect, take issue with the statement that "all Christians throughout history" have accepted Jesus' Godhead. This is one of those divergences I think the article should address. Without in any way diminishing their reverence for the Creator who sent him, or his importance as a Prophet, Muslims understand the "helpers" of Jesus to have been under no confusion as to his status as a human being. In this, of course, they would have differed profoundly from the later Arianism, which held, if I understand correctly, that Jesus was separate from God but nevertheless divine. BrandonYusufToropov 12:14, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm aware of the widespread belief that Jesus was a good teacher, wise man, but still a mere mortal. It is shared by Muslims, Jews, many Hindus, and also atheists, with varying degrees of respect accorded to Him. Just be aware that the scholarship that supports the idea that Jesus was a mere mortal generally also rejects any and all supernatural occurrences, and rejects the existence of any kind of supernatural god. A few of these scholars even suggest that Jesus did not exist as a real man, but was entirely invented. At the very least, surely we can agree that for the last 1,600 years Jesus' divinity has been a big deal for Christians, since the First Council of Nicaea. Many Church fathers wrote that if Jesus were not God, then it would be impossible for Him to accomplish our salvation. I believe there is a strong case that Jesus did actually exist in history, that he claimed to be God and that His immediate followers believed that He was, and that they passed on this belief together with Jesus' teachings and practices. I of course acknowledge that this historical view is greatly contested today by Muslims, Jews, and atheists alike. Arians believed Jesus was the first created angelic being, which is still quite different from affirming His full divinity and oneness of nature with the God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Wesley 18:55, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
My goal in suggesting that we rework this article is pretty simple: to identify that which is now widely ignored, namely the huge areas of overlap and shared belief between the two faith systems. No rhetorical weapons or dueling scholars, only bridge-building. I realize there are core beliefs that differ between the two faiths, and I want to let you know that I understand that respecting such differences is what makes for a productive dialogue. (Respect for and tolerance toward Christians and Jews is mandated in Islam, though this duty is sadly ignored by many Muslims.) BrandonYusufToropov 20:32, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Ok, why not start by adding in the six or so areas of commonality you listed above: care for the poor, constant prayer, and so on. I'm not quite sure what's meant by God "controlling all things;" I'm sure it would help if I were more familiar with Shakespeare. Wesley 03:54, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Not a sparrow falls in the forest without His knowledge, the very hairs on your head are numbered, none of you can add a cubit to his height by will, that which is whispered shall be shouted from the rooftops -- we could and should, I think, connect these and similar teachings of Jesus, peace be upon him, with the notion of "Taqwa", usually translated (inadquately) as "fear of God" or "piety." It's better understood, perhaps, as, "The obedient, profoundly humble state of mind inspired by the sure knowledge that the Creator guides all things and knows all one's thoughts and deeds." But that's a bit of a mouthful. :) I'll get on this later today, Godwilling. BrandonYusufToropov 11:59, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Tropov, you are using this discussion page as a soapbox. Please stop. KittyHawker 22:48, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


The article says: "The delusive nature of apparent physical wealth, and its inferiority as compared to spiritual wealth. (See Luke 6:24, which is a concise summary of a seemingly perpetual Qur'anic theme.)"

What seemingly perpetual Qur'anic theme? Luke 6:24 is quoted but no specific verse of the Qur'an is quoted - just a vauge reference to "a seemingly perpetual Qur'anic theme." Looks like original research to me. It does not even reference the primary Quranic source let alone any exegetical analyses. --Zeno of Elea 12:35, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

I added one verse of reference for comparison, but am not particularly invested in expanding this article myself -- perhaps someone with more time to give should go through and overhaul it to be more clear as to why what is being said is in fact being said. --M. Landers 21:34, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the 'delusive nature' of the physical world is a central theme of the Quran. In Sufism, Islam's strong mystical tradition, the world is even considered to be an illusion or a hallucination, as in Buddhism. See these Quran verses for example:

"Know ye all, that the life of this world is but play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting and multiplying, in rivalry among yourselves, riches and children. Here is a similitude: How rain and the growth which it brings forth, delight the hearts of the tillers; soon it withers; thou wilt see it grow yellow; then it becomes dry and crumbles away. [...] What is the life of this world, but goods and chattels of deception? Be ye foremost in seeking forgiveness from your Lord, and a Garden (Heaven), the width whereof is as the width of heaven and earth, prepared for those who believe in God and His apostles: that is the Grace of God, which He bestows on whom he pleases: and God is the Lord of Grace abounding." (59:21-22)

"All that is on earth will perish: But will abide for ever the Face of thy Lord,- full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny? Of Him seeks its need every creature in the heavens and on earth: every day in new Splendour doth He shine, then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?"

However, ascetism and monasticism are also strongly discouraged, as Islam advocates more a balanced and moral approach to the world. The Quran also critices the tendency to monasticism among the Christians of that time: God says in the royal 'We',

"We sent after them (the Hebrew prophets) Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: We commanded only the seeking for the Good Pleasure of God; but that they did not foster as they should have done. Yet We bestowed, on those among them who believed, their due reward, but many of them are rebellious transgressors." (59:27) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


what is the behavior code the muslims follow? what commandments do they obbey?--T-man, the wise 09:02, 20 May 2006 (UTC) I think those differences should be key elements to this page, that's the trascendental stuff. Uh, and why did x-tians took of the other 603 commandments? did they (we) rewrote stuff from the Old-Testament? That doesn't make much sense.--T-man, the wise 09:12, 20 May 2006 (UTC) What should Christians know about Quran on Monday, September 20, 2010 A: Introduction How many of you have been in a conversation with a Muslim, and you find that soon there are irreconcilable differences between you? You ask the Muslim why he or she says the things they do, and they respond that they only repeat what they have learned from the Qur'an. In reply you claim that what you believe also comes from the Word of God, the Bible. It doesn't take long before you realize that neither side can agree because the authority for what you believe and say is at a variance to what they believe and say. Our Bible contradicts much of what their Qur'an says, and this fact alone will continue to negate many worthwhile conversations which we may wish to indulge in. So, what is the solution? If two documents are in contradiction, the first thing to do is ascertain whether the contradictions can be explained adequately. And if not, then we must conclude that one of the two documents is false. Therefore, before we get into serious dialogue with a Muslim we must ask the question of whether the authority for our respective beliefs (the Qur'an and the Bible) can stand up to verification, and whether they can stand up to a critical analysis of their authenticity. This is an immensely complex and difficult subject. Both Islam and Christianity claim to receive their beliefs from revealed truth, which they find in their respective scriptures. Consequently, to suspect the source for revealed truth, the scriptures for each faith, is to put the integrity of both Christianity and Islam on trial. Obviously this is a task that no-one should take lightly, and I don't intend to do so here. For that reason, I have decided not to attempt a simplistic analysis concerning the authority of the Qur'an and the Bible in one single paper. Instead I will begin by dealing with the authority of the Qur'an in this paper and then turn my attention to the authority for our own scriptures, the Bible, in a follow-up paper. In no way do I claim to know all the answers, nor will I be so pretentious as to assume that I can exhaustively argue the question of authority for both the Qur'an and the Bible in these two papers. These studies are nothing more than mere "overviews," with the hope that they will stimulate you to continue studying these very important areas in your own time, so that you too will "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). When we observe the two faiths, we see immediately that they are in conflict with one another concerning their scriptures. Muslims believe that their scripture, the Qur'an, is the 'final revelation,' while Christians believe only the Bible (including the Old and New Testaments) can claim true authority. If we were to delve into the contents of each scripture we would find that the two are at variance with one another in a number of areas: stories have changed, characters are missing and entire sections do not exist in one but do in the other. In order to delineate which is correct, we will need to take each revelation separately and ask whether it can stand up to scrutiny, whether it can hold firm under critical analysis, and whether it can claim to be indeed the true revelation from God. Let us then start with the authority for the Qur'an

Normally when one begins any research into the Qur'an, the first question which should be asked is how we know that it is what it claims to be, the final word of God? In order to answer that question we would need to go to the sources of the Qur'an to ascertain its authenticity. As you well know, going to the sources of the Qur'an is much more difficult then one would usually assume, as we have so little data with which to use. In another paper (The problems with Sources of Islam) I have dealt with the problems which exist when confronted by the dearth of material on the sources of the Qur'an, so I won't repeat those arguments here. Suffice it to say, that the only real source we have for the Qur'an is the book itself, and what Muslim Traditions tell us concerning how that book came to be created. Because of their late compilations (200-300 years after the event), and the contradicting documentation which we now possess prior to 750 C.E., I find it difficult to consider either of them as valid or authentic as source material. However, since we are attempting to compare the Qur'an with our own scriptures, I will, for the time being, set aside my prejudices, and assume, for argument's sake, that the traditions are correct. In other words, I will take the position of current orthodox Muslim scholarship and presume that the Qur'an was compiled in the years 646-650 C.E., from material which originated with the man Muhammad before his death in 632 C.E. It is from this premise that I will attempt to respond to the question of whether the Qur'an can claim to be the final and most perfect revelation of God's word to humanity.

B: The Authority for the Qur'an The Arabic word 'Qur'an' is derived from the root 'qara'a', which means "to read" or "to recite." This was the command which the angel Gabriel supposedly asked Muhammad three times to do when he confronted him in July or August 610 C.E. in the Hira cave, situated three miles north-east of Mecca (Mishkat IV p.354). According to Muslims the Qur'an is the final revelation from Allah. In Arabic the Qur'an is also referred to as 'Al-Kitab' (the book), 'Al-furkan' (the distinction), 'Al-mas'haf' (the scroll), and 'Al-dikhr' (the warning), as well as other names. For those who like statistics, you may be interested to know that the Qur'an consists of 114 chapters (suras), made up of 30 parts, 6,616 verses (ayas), 77,943 words, and 338,606 letters. According to Islamic scholars 86 of the suras were revealed in Mecca, while 28 suras were revealed at Medina. Yet, as portions of some suras were recited in both places, you will continue to find a few of the scholars still debating the origins for a number of them. The suras vary in length and are known by a name or title, which are taken from the general theme of that sura, or a particular subject, person or event mentioned in it. This theme may not necessarily appear at the beginning of the sura, however. Each verse or portion of the sura is known as an 'aya', which means "miracle" in Arabic. Muhammad claimed that the Qur'an was his sole miracle, though the Qur'an did not exist in its written form during his lifetime. In fact much of the controversy concerning the chronology of the Qur'an can be blamed on the fact that he was not around to verify its final collation. But more about that later. To begin with, let's start with the question of revelation: how does Islam understand this concept, and could their view on it be one of the reasons we don't see eye-to-eye concerning our two scriptures?

C: The Revelation of the Qur'an Islam, like Christianity, believes that God (Allah) desires to communicate with humanity. But, unlike Christianity, Islam tells us that Allah is remote, so he must not reveal himself to humanity at a personal level. It is for that reason that Allah is forced to employ appointed prophets, who are known as, rasul, meaning "the sent one." These prophets are mere humans and so finite, though they are given a special status, and consequently protected by God. Because Allah is so transcendent and unapproachable, revelation in Islam is simply one-way: from God to humanity, via the prophets. While each prophet supposedly fulfilled his mission by producing a book, the final revelation, and therefore the most important, according to Muslims, is that given to the final prophet Muhammad: the Qur'an. The Qur'an, Muslims believe, is an exact word-for-word copy of God's final revelation, which are found on the original tablets that have always existed in heaven. Muslims point to sura 85:21-22 which says "Nay this is a glorious Qur'an, (inscribed) in a tablet preserved." Islamic scholars contend that this passage refers to the tablets which were never created. They believe that the Qur'an is an absolutely identical copy of the eternal heavenly book, even so far as the punctuation, titles and divisions of chapters is concerned (why modern translations still can't agree what those divisions are is evident when trying to refer to an aya for comparison between one version and another). According to Muslim tradition, these 'revelations' were sent down (Tanzil or Nazil) (sura 17:85), to the lowest of the seven heavens at the time of the month of Ramadan, during the night of power or destiny ('lailat al Qadr') (Pfander, 1910:262). From there it was revealed to Muhammad in instalments, as need arose, via the angel Gabriel (sura 25:32). Consequently, every letter and every word is free from any human influence, which gives the Qur'an an aura of authority, even holiness, and must be revered as such. Left unsaid is the glaring irony that the claim for nazil revelation of the Qur'an, comes from one source alone, the man to which it was supposedly revealed, Muhammad. There are no outside witnesses before or at the time who can corroborate Muhammad's testimony; nor are miracles provided to substantiate his claims. In fact, the evidences for the authority of God's revelation, which the Bible emphatically produces are completely absent in the Qur'an, namely, that the revelation of God must speak in the name of God, Yahweh, that the message must conform to revelation which has gone before, that it must make predictions which are verifiable, and that the revelation must be accompanied by signs and wonders in order to give it authority as having come from God. Because these are missing in the case of the prophet Muhammad and of the Qur'an, for those of us who are Christians, it seems indeed that it is the Qur'an and not the Bible which turns out to be the most human of documents. Yet, Muslims continue to believe that the exact Arabic words which we find in the Qur'an are those which exist eternally on the original stone tablets, in heaven. This, according to them, makes the Qur'an the "Mother of books" (refer to sura 43:3). Muslims believe there is no other book or revelation which can compare. In fact, in both suras 2:23 and 10:37-38 we find the challenge to, "Present some other book of equal beauty," (a challenge which we will deal with later). This final revelation, according to Islam, is transcendent, and consequently, beyond the capacity for conjecture, or criticism. What this means is that the Qur'an which we possess today is and has always been final and pure, which prohibits any possibility for verification or falsification of the text. Because Allah is revered much as a master is to a slave, so his word is to be revered likewise. One does not question its pronouncements any more than one would question a masters pronouncements. What then are we to do with the problems which do exist in the Qur'an? If it is such a transcendent book, as Muslims claim, then it should stand up to any criticism. Yet, what are we to do with the many contradictions, the factual errors and bizarre claims it makes? Furthermore, when we look more carefully at the text that we have in our possession today, which is supposedly that of Uthman's final codification of the Qur'an, compiled by Zaid ibn Thabit, from a copy of Hafsah's manuscript, we are puzzled by the differences between it and the four co-existing codices of Abdullah Masoud, Abu Musa, and Ubayy, all of which have deviations and deletions between them. Another problem concerns its very pronouncements. Because of its seeming transcendency we may not question its content, much of which, according to Muslim Tradition, originates from the later Medinan period of Muhammad's life (the last 10 years), and so consists of basic rules and regulations for social, economical, and political structures, many of which have been borrowed from existing legal traditions of the Byzantine and Persian cultures, leaving us with a seventh-ninth century document which has not been easily adapted to the twentieth century. As Christians, this question is important. The Bible, by contrast is not simply a book of rigid rules and regulations which takes a particular historical context and absolutizes it for all ages and all peoples. Instead, we find in the Bible broad principles with which we can apply to each age and each culture (such as worship styles, music, dress, all of which can and are being contextualized in the variety of cultures which the church finds itself today). As a result the Bible is much more adaptable and constructive for our societies. Since we do not have a concept of Nazil revelation, we have no fear of delving into and trying to understand the context of what the author was trying to say (the process of historical analysis). But one would expect such from a revelation provided by a personal God who intended to be actively involved in the transmission of His revelation. This, I feel is the crux of the problem between Islam's and Christianity's views on revelation. Christians believe that God is interested in revealing Himself to His creation. Since the time of creation He has continued to do so in various ways. His beauty, power and intricate wisdom is displayed in the universe all around us, so that humanity cannot say that they have never known God. That is what some theologians like to call "general revelation." But God also chooses to reveal Himself more specifically; what those same scholars call "special revelation." This He does by means of prophets, who are sent with a specific word for a specific time, a specific place, and a specific people. Unfortunately, much of what was revealed to those people was quickly forgotten. The human mind has a remarkable capacity to be completely independent of God, and will only take the time to think of Him (if at all) when they are in a crisis, or near to death. Therefore, God saw the plight of His creation and in His love and compassion for His creation, decided to do something about it. God decided to reveal Himself directly, without any intervening agent, to His creation. He did this also to correct that relationship which had been broken with humanity at the very beginning, in the garden of Eden. This is consistent with a God who is personally involved with His creation. Simply speaking, God Himself came to reveal Himself to humanity. He took upon Himself the form of a human, spoke our language, used our forms of expression, and became an example of His truth to those who were His witnesses, so that we who are finite and human would better understand Him who is infinite and divine and beyond all human understanding. As we read in Hebrews 1:1-2: "God, who at various times and in diverse ways spoke in past times to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds."

 In Jesus Christ we see God perfectly revealed to humanity. This goes beyond special revelation. This is revelation personified!

The Bible, therefore, introduces the world to Jesus Christ. It is, for all practical purposes, a secondary revelation. It is simply the witness to the revelation of God. The Bible tells us about His life, mentioning what He said and did, and then expounds these teachings for the world today. It is merely a book which points to a person. Therefore, we can use the book to learn about the person, but ultimately, we will need to go to the final revelation, Jesus Himself to truly understand who God is. And here is where revelation becomes specific for us today, because God did not simply stop revealing Himself with Jesus Christ. He still desires to be in relationship with His creation, and has continued to reveal Himself in an incarnational way. His ongoing revelation continues from that time right up until the present as He reveals Himself by means of Himself, the Holy Spirit, the comforter, convicting us of guilt in regard to sin, guiding us into all truth, telling us what is yet to come, and bringing glory to Jesus (John 16:7-15). Jesus is the truest revelation. We find out about Him in the Bible. Yet, that is not all, for the Holy Spirit continues to make Him known to us even today, and that is why the scriptures become alive and meaningful for us. For Muslims this must sound confusing, and possibly threatening, as it brings God's infinite revelation down from its transcendent pedestal, and presents it within the context of finite humanity. Perhaps to better explain this truth to them we may want to change tactics somewhat. Instead of comparing the Qur'an with the Bible, as most apologists tend to do, it might be helpful to compare the Qur'an with Jesus, as they are both considered to be the Word of God, and stand as God's truest revelation to humanity. The Bible (especially the New Testament), consequently, is the testimony of Jesus's companions, testifying about what He said and did. To take this a step further, we could possibly compare the Bible with their Hadiths, or the Tarikh, the Sira of the prophet and the Tafsir, all of which comment upon the history and teachings of the prophet and the Qur'an. While this may help us explain the Bible to a Muslim we must be careful to underline that though the New Testament speaks mostly about what Jesus said, about His message, it has little to say concerning how He lived. On the other hand the Hadiths and such talk primarily about the life of Muhammad, what he did, with here and there interpretations of what he said. In this light there is no comparison between the two revelations, Jesus and the Qur'an. The Qur'an, a mere book with all its faults and inadequacies, its very authenticity weakly resting on the shoulders of one finite man, who himself has few credentials as a prophet, is no match against Jesus, the man, revered by Muslims and Christians alike as sinless, who, according to His sinless Word is God Himself, and therefore, the perfect revelation. It may be helpful to use this argument to introduce Jesus to a Muslim, rather then begin with His deity, as it explains the purpose of Jesus before attempting to define who He is; in other words explaining the why before the how.

D: The Inspiration of the Qur'an That then leads us into the question of inspiration. We have already said that God (or Allah) requires agents in the form of prophets to communicate his truth to his creation. Yet how does Allah communicate his thoughts and will to these prophets? How is revelation carried out? The Arabic term which best explains the process of revelation is the word 'Wahy', which can mean 'divine inspiration.' According to the Qur'an the primary aim of Wahy is two fold:

1. to prove Muhammad's call to prophet-hood (according to suras 13:30 and 34:50), and 2. to give him authority to warn people (according to sura 6:19). Concerning the inspiration of the previous prophets, we are told very little. In sura 42:51 we find Wahy explained as such: "It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a Messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills, for He is most high, most wise." According to the above sura there are three methods by which Allah communicates to his creation: 1. by direct inspiration 2. from behind a veil and 3. through a messenger (the implication is that of an angelic being). Since the Qur'an tells us little concerning how Muhammad received his revelations, we refer to those who compiled the Sira of the prophet, men like Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Ibn Athir, and the Turkish writer 'Ali Halabi to get a clearer insight. Their writings list seven forms of the experience of Wahy by Muhammad, some of which are quite revealing:

1. While the Wahy (inspiration) lasted, according to his wife Aisha, there were the sounds of bells ringing as he sweated profusely. He would become greatly perturbed and his face would change (Sahih Muslim). Muslim Tradition tells us that sometimes he would shiver and swoon, his mouth would foam, and he would roar like a camel (Mishkat IV p.359). At other times when the inspiration descended there was the sound near his face like the buzzing of bees (from 'Umar ibnu'l Khattab), while at other times he felt a tremendous headache (from Abu Hurairah). Many times it seemed to his friends that he swooned and looked like someone intoxicated (Pfander 1910:346). 2. Wahy came to him in dreams. 3. Inspiration also came to him in visions while he was awake. 4. At times he saw an angel in the form of a young man (Pfander 1910:345). 5. At other times he saw angels in angelic form (sura 42:51). 6. During one evening (known as the Mi'raj) he was raptured through the Seven Heavens (according to the Hadith, Muhammad was taken to the highest heaven where he received the command to pray five times a day). 7. Allah spoke to him from behind a veil (sura 42:51). When we look at all these examples of inspiration a picture begins to form, of a man who either had a vivid imagination, or was possessed, or suffered from a disease such as epilepsy. Muhammad, according to 'Amr ibn Sharhabil, mentioned to his wife Khadijah that he feared he was possessed by demons and wondered whether others might consider him possessed by jinn (Pfander 1910:345). Even during his childhood Muhammad was afflicted with similar problems, causing concern to his friends who felt he had "become afflicted" (Pfander 1910:347). Anyone acquainted with occult phenomena would be aware of the conditions of those who participate in seances. Occult phenomena in childhood, daydreams, the hearing of voices and calls, nightly meditations, excessive perspiration during trances and the subsequent exhaustion and swoon-like condition; as well as the ringing of bells are quite common. Even the intoxicated condition resembles someone who is in a reasonably deep trance. Also revealing is the report by Al Waqidi that Muhammad had such an aversion to the form of the cross that he would break everything brought into the house with a shape of the cross on it (Nehls 1990:61). What we must ask is whether these manifestations point to true occurrences of inspiration, or whether they were simply a disease, or a condition of demonization? Historians inform us that certain great men (many of whom tended to be great warriors, such as Julius Caesar, the great Roman general, as well as the emperor Peter the Great of Russia, and Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor), all exhibited the same symptoms mentioned above. But none of them claimed to be prophets or apostles of God, nor did their followers offer them such status. While we want to be careful not to revel in trivial speculation, we must remember that the above statements concerning Muhammad's condition did not originate from sources outside of Islam. These were statements by his friends and relatives, and those who most firmly believed in his claim to be the seal of the prophets. I am not an expert on these matters, so I leave it to you to decide whether the facts which we have learned concerning the condition of Muhammad at the time he received his revelations, can lead us to the conclusion that what he received were truly inspired.

E: The Qur'an's Supposed Distinctive Qualities Moving on, we now tackle the book itself, and ask whether its supposed qualities give it the right to claim a unique position alongside those of the previous scriptures.

E1: Its Holiness While Muslims hold a high view for all Scriptures, including the Old and New Testaments, they demand a unique and supreme position for the Qur'an, claiming its ascendancy over all other scriptures, because, according to them, "initially, it was never written down by men and so was never tainted with men's thoughts or styles." As we mentioned earlier, it is often referred to as the "Mother of Books" (taken from sura 43:3). Since the Qur'an is such a highly honoured book, it therefore is treated as if it, in itself, is holy. To enquire into its source is considered blasphemy. In most mosques which I have attended, no one would be permitted to let their Qur'an touch the floor. Instead, every individual was urged to use ornately decorated book-stands to rest their Qur'an on while reading from its contents. My Muslim friends were horrified to learn that Christians not only stacked Bibles alongside other lesser books, but that they wrote notes in the margins as well. The function of the Qur'an, then, seems to be in opposition to that of the Bible. This points out another clear distinction between the two faiths view on revelation. Take the example of an old man I met in a Pennsylvania mosque, who was highly revered due to his ability to quote, by memory, any passage from the Qur'an (and thus had the title of Hafiz). Yet, I never saw him lead any discussions on the Qur'an. A young Saudi Arabian man was given that responsibility. When I asked, "Why?" I was told that the old gentleman didn't understand Arabic well (memorizing thus doesn't command understanding). It shocked me to find a man who had spent years memorizing the Qur'an, yet had no yearning to understand the content of its message. Is it no wonder, then, that Muslims find little desire to translate their most holy book? Merit is found in the rote reading of the Qur'an in Arabic, and not in its message. Another example is that of a friend of mine here in London who considered the Qur'an the epitome of beauty, and offered me certain suras as examples. Yet, when I asked him to translate the texts he could not. Some of the Pakistani students at the university I attend who could quote certain passages, admired the beauty of the text, but had great difficulty in explaining the meaning. I found it disconcerting that the "beauty of the Qur'an" had such an influence, yet its "beauty" seemed, in fact, to discourage its understanding, which becomes an enemy to its mystique. Here then is the key which points to the difference between the scriptures of the Christians and that of the Muslims. The fact that Muslims accord the Qur'an a place of reverence and worship, while memorizing its contents without necessarily understanding it, sparks of idolatry, the very sin ("Shirk") which the Qur'an itself warns against, as it elevates an object to the same level of reverence as Allah (suras 4:48; 5:75-76; 41:6). In much of the Muslim world leather amulets worn on the body are sold outside the mosques (sometimes called Giri-giri). Within these amulets one can find folded pieces of paper with an aya, or verse from the Qur'an written on them. These verses supposedly have power to ward off evil spirits and diseases. For these Muslims the very letters of the Qur'an are imbued with supernatural power. Christianity stands against this view of God's written word. We believe that the power and authority for the scriptures comes not from the paper it is written on, but from the words it expresses. We believe that the Bible is merely the testimony of God's revelation to humanity, and so is not holy in and of itself. It is a text which must be read and studied, much as a textbook is read and studied in school. Therefore, its importance lies in its content, rather than in its physical pages, just as a newspaper is read and thrown away, though the news it holds may remain imprinted on the readers mind for years to come. Perhaps, the criticism by Muslims that Christians abuse the Bible is a result of this misunderstanding of its purpose. Once we understand the significance of the scriptures as nothing more than a repository of God's word, we can then understand why Christians feel no injunction against writing in its margins, or against laying it on the floor (though most of the Christians I know would not do so out of respect for its message). The high regard for the Qur'an carries over into other areas as well, some of which need to be discussed at this time.

E2: Its Superior Style Many Muslims claim that the superiority of the Qur'an over all other revelations is due to its sophisticated literary style. They quote suras 10:37-38, or 2:23, or 17:88, which say: "Will they say 'Muhammad hath forged it? Answer: "Bring therefore a chapter like unto it, and call whom ye may to your assistance, besides Allah, if ye speak truth." This boast is echoed in the Hadith (Mishkat III, pg.664), which says: "The Qur'an is the greatest wonder among the wonders of the world... This book is second to none in the world according to the unanimous decision of the learned men in points of diction, style, rhetoric, thoughts and soundness of laws and regulations to shape the destinies of mankind." Muslims conclude that since there is no literary equivalent in existence, this proves that the Qur'an is a "miracle sent down from God, and not simply written by any one man." Ironically, we now know that many stories and passages in the Qur'an were borrowed, sometimes word-for-word, and sometimes idea-for-idea, from Second century apocryphal documents of Jewish and Zoroastrian origin (to be discussed later in this paper). To support this elevated belief in their scripture, many Muslim Qur'anic translators have an inclination to clothe their translations in a style that is rather archaic and 'wordy,' so that the average person must run to the dictionary to enquire their meanings. Yet, these translations were not conceived hundreds of years ago. This is merely a ploy by the translators to give the text an appearance of dignity and age which, they hope, will in turn inspire trustworthiness. In response, we must begin by asking whether the Qur'an can be considered a miracle written by one man, when we know from Muslim Tradition that the Qur'an which we have today was not written by Muhammad but was collated and then copied by a group of men who, fourteen to twenty years after the fact, took what they found from the memory of others, as well as verses which had been written on bones, leaves and stones and then burned all evidence of any other copies. Where is the miracle in that? More current research is now eradicating even this theory. According to the latest data, the Qur'an was not a document which was even given to Muhammad. Much of what is included in the Qur'an were additions which slowly evolved over a period of 150-200 years, until they were made a canon sometime in the eighth or ninth century. If this is true, and it looks to be the best theory which we have to date, then the authority for the Qur'an as a miracle sent down from heaven is indeed very slim. But, for the sake of argument, let's ask whether the Qur'an can be considered unique in its style and makeup. The logic of the claim to its uniqueness, according to Dr. Anis Shorrosh, is spurious as: "... It no more proves its inspiration than a man's strength demonstrates his wisdom, or a woman's beauty, her virtue. Only by its teachings, its principles, and content can a book be judged rightly; not by its eloquence, elegance, or poetic strength" (Shorrosh 1988:192). Furthermore, one must ask what criteria is used for measuring one literary piece against the other. In every written language there must be a "best piece" of literature. Take for example the: Rig-Veda of India (1,000- 1,500 B.C.), or the eloquent poems in Greek, the Odyssey and the Iliad by Homer, or the Gilgamesh Epic, the Code of Hammurabi, and the Book of the Dead from Egypt, all which are considered classic masterpieces, and all of which predate the Qur'an. Closer to home: would we compare Shakespeare's works against that of the Qur'an? No! They are completely different genres. Yet, while few people today dispute the fact that Shakespeare's plays and sonnets are the best written in the English language, no-one would claim they were therefore divine. To show the futility of such an argument, it would not take a very brilliant person to quote from classical pieces of literature in rebuttal. They could use such examples as the prayer written by Francis of Assisi (from the 12th century), or the prayer of Thomas Aquinas (in the 13th century), or portions of our own scripture, such as the 23rd Psalm and other Psalms, or even point to the imagery found in the gospel of John, or the sophistication evidenced in the letter to the Romans, or the chapter on Love in 1 Corinthians 13. These could all make the claim to be superior to the Qur'an and some of them definitely are, but that is not the point. We know the authors of each of these pieces of literature, humble men all; men who would shudder if we would consider their writings somehow elevated to that of the divine. To make this distinction more clear, compare for example: 1. sura 76:29-30 (sura or 16:93) and I Timothy 2:4, Luke 15:3-4, John 10:14,18. 2. sura 111 and Francis of Assisi's prayer (see Nehls, Christians Ask Muslims, example no.11, pg.75). 3. suras 4:74,84; 5:33; 48:16-17 and Matthew 5:3-12. 4. sura 109 and Psalm 23. 5. sura 24:2 and John 8:3-12. 6. suras 2:222-223; 4:11,24,34,176 and Ephesians 5:22-25. 7. sura 9:29 and I Corinthians 13:4-7. 8. sura 33:53, 56-57 and Matthew 20:25-28. 9. suras 55:46-60; 56:22-26,35-38 and Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27; 22:1-6. You may feel that the selection of the suras has been unfavorable in contrast to the quotations from the Bible and the prayer, and you are correct. But you must remember that the claim of the Qur'an is to "produce a chapter like it." A chapter would mean any chapter, and certainly, as I have done here, those chapters which are similar in kind and content. I am aware that the reverse could be done, that Biblical texts could be taken and opposed in similar fashion, but for what purpose? We make no claim, as has the Qur'an, that the Bible is superior to all pieces of literature. In fact many statements and events described in the Bible are historical records, including quotations uttered by opponents of God, which do not necessarily reflect the consent, thought and will of God. Taken out of context such texts can and frequently are abused to support just about any view or opinion. Our intent here is to consider whether indeed the Qur'an has a superior style, such that it is unique among the scriptures of God. From what you now know, you, then, must decide.

E3: Its Literary Qualities But what about the Qur'an's supposed literary qualities? While Christian or secular Arabic speakers are likely to appreciate the Qur'an's poetic qualities, when anyone who is familiar with the Bible picks up a Qur'an and begins to read it through, there is the immediate recognition that he or she is dealing with an entirely different kind of literature than what is found in the Bible. Whereas the Bible contains much historical narrative, the Qur'an contains very little. Whereas the Bible goes out of its way to explain unfamiliar terminology or territory, the Qur'an remains silent. In fact, the very structure of the Bible, consisting of a library of 66 books, written over a period of 1,500 years, reveals that it is ordered according to chronology, subject and theme. The Qur'an, on the other hand, reads more like a jumbled and confused collection of statements and ideas, interposed many times with little relationship to the preceding chapters and verses. Many scholars admit that it is so haphazard in its make-up that it requires the utmost sense of duty for anyone to plow through it! The German secular scholar Salomon Reinach in his harsh analysis, states that: "From the literary point of view, the Koran has little merit. Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence strike the unprepared reader at every turn. It is humiliating to the human intellect to think that this mediocre literature has been the subject of innumerable commentaries, and that millions of men are still wasting time in absorbing it."(Reinach 1932:176) McClintock and Strong's encyclopedia concludes that: The matter of the [Koran] is exceedingly incoherent and sententious, the book evidently being without any logical order of thought either as a whole or in its parts. This agrees with the desultory and incidental manner in which it is said to have been delivered. (McClintock and Strong 1981:151) Even the Muslim scholar Dashti laments the literary defects of the Qur'an, saying: "Unfortunately the Qur'an was badly edited and its contents are very obtusely arranged." He concludes that: "All students of the Qur'an wonder why the editors did not use the natural and logical method of ordering by date of revelation, as in 'Ali ibn Taleb's lost copy of the text" [Dashti 1985:28]. When reading a Qur'an, you will discover that the 114 suras not only have odd names for titles (such as the Cow, the Spoils, the Bee, or the Cave), but their layout is not at all in a chronological order. Size or length had more to do with the sequence of the suras than any other factor, starting with the longer suras and ending with the shortest. Even within the suras we find a mixed chronology. At times there is a mixture of Meccan and Medinan revelations within the same sura, so that even size is not an infallible guide in dating them. Another problem is that of repetition. The Qur'an was intended to be memorized by those who were illiterate and uneducated since they could not read it. It therefore engages in the principal of endless repetition of the same material over and over again [Morey 1991:110]. This all leads to a good bit of confusion for the novice reader, and gives rise to much suspicion concerning its vaunted literary qualities. In contrast to the Bible, which was written over several hundred years by a variety of authors, and flows easily from the creation of the world right through to the prophecies concerning the end of the universe; the Qur'an, supposedly written by just one man, Muhammad, during a span of a mere 20 years, seems to go nowhere and say little outside of the personal and political affairs of himself and his companions at one particular time in history. With no logical connection from one sura to the next, one is left with a feeling of incompleteness, waiting for the story to give some meaning. Is it no wonder that many find it difficult to take seriously the claim by the Hadith that the Qur'an is "a book second to none in the world," worthy of divine inspiration?

E4: Its Pure Arabic Muslims believe that the Arabic language is the language of Allah. They also believe that the Qur'an, because it is perfect, is the exact representation of Allah's words. For that reason only the Arabic Qur'an can be considered as authoritative. It, therefore, follows that those who do not know Arabic are still required to read and memorize the Qur'an in the Arabic language, as translations can never replace the language of Allah. Yet, is the Qur'an the Arabic document which Muslims claim it to be? The answer is unequivocally "NO!" There are many foreign words or phrases which are employed in the Qur'an, some of which have no Arabic equivalent, and others which do. Arthur Jeffrey, in his book Foreign Vocabulary of the [Koran], has gathered some 300 pages dealing with foreign words in the Qur'an, many of which must have been used in pre-Qur'anic Arabic, but quite a number also which must have been used little or not at all before they were included in the Qur'an. One must wonder why these words were borrowed, as it puts doubt on whether "Allah's language" is sufficient enough to explain and reveal all that Allah had intended. Some of the foreign words include:

1. Pharaoh: an Egyptian word which means king or potentate, which is repeated in the Qur'an 84 times. 2. Adam and Eden: Accadian words which are repeated 24 times. A more correct term for "Adam" in Arabic would be basharan or insan, meaning "mankind." "Eden" would be the word janna in Arabic, which means "garden." 3. Abraham (sometimes recorded as Ibrahim): comes from the Assyrian language. The correct Arabic equivalent would be Abu Raheem. 4. Persian words

1. Haroot and Maroot are Persian names for angels. 2. Sirat meaning "the path" has the Arabic equivalent, Altareeq. 3. Hoor meaning "disciple" has the Arabic equivalent, Tilmeeth. 4. Jinn meaning "good or evil demons" has the Arabic equivalent, Ruh. 5. Firdaus meaning "the highest or seventh heaven" has the Arabic equivalent, Jannah.

5. Syriac words: Taboot, Taghouth, Zakat, Malakout are all Syriac words which have been borrowed and included in the 'Arabic' Qur'an. 6. Hebrew words: Heber, Sakinah, Maoon, Taurat, Jehannim, Tufan (deluge) are all Hebrew words which have been borrowed and included in the 'Arabic' Qur'an. 7. Greek words: Injil, which means "gospel" was borrowed, yet it has the Arabic equivalent, Bisharah. Iblis is not Arabic, but a corruption of the Greek word Diabolos. 8. Christian Aramaic: Qiyama is the Aramaic word for resurrection. 9. Christian Ethiopic: Malak (2:33) is the Ethiopic word for angel.

Joachim Rana  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 21 September 2010 (UTC) 

Rename this article[edit]

I propose the article should be renamed or merged with the Abrahamic religions article. While "Christo-Islamic" would be a helpful word, it simply does not exist (yet). Kudos to whoever coined it and wants to make a word. Until that happens merge or rename. My suggestions:

  • Christo-Islamic Similarities
  • Christian-Islamic Similarities
  • Shared beliefs of Islam and Christianity

I believe it should be renamed to Christianity and Islam, like the article Islam and Judaism. Feer 15:14, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I've been bold and moved the page to said name. Feer 22:48, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Not the place to be sarcastic but this should more be renamed Roman Catholic Church and the Islam (with a few side notes on protestantism). Actually since the christiann part is so focused on roman catholic believes, dogmas, positions, councils, etc. I think it would make it easier for the author. You might say it would be impossible to go through christianity and islamism branch by branch and sect by sect, along the centuries of history that both carry, but the way u exposed it makes it sound a bit redutionist, at least from a christian point of view (who is obviously not roman catholic). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Victorcarthius (talkcontribs) 00:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

"A Common Word"[edit]

I think this significant recent development should be mentioned in this article, but there's really no section on historical relations between the two faiths and I don't want to give undue weight to this letter. Any thoughts?

On October 11, 2007, a group of 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals sent an open letter, titled A Common Word Between Us and You, to Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of other Christian denominations. This letter emphasized that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and share many values, including living in peace with one's neighbors.[1]
  1. ^ "Muslim scholars reach out to Pope". BBC News. 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-11.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 19:27, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Historical relationship between Christianity and Islam[edit]

No mention of the Crusades or of Islam and Anti-Christian persecution? Or of all the times that Muslims and Christians got along? Some mention should be made about the historical relationship between the two faiths. Arch O. La Grigory Deepdelver 17:34, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I came to this article looking for information on the historical relations - which I know have often been bloody - between the two faiths, and specifically, the justifications put forth by both sides for said bloodshed. It is an important, if unfortunate, facet of the relationship between the two, and without a discussion of it, this article presents an overly rosy picture of the two faiths' relationship. Keiranhalcyon31 (talk) 16:29, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Merger with Muhammad and Christianity[edit]

I daresay this issue will be discussed anyway sooner or later so I'm raising it now before someone starts to put much work in expanding the other article just to have it cut down and merged into this one later. I think I don't need to point out that Muhammad's views on Christians are fundamental to understanding Muslim views on Christians in general so the question would be if wouldn't be much more beneficial to this article to have the issue dealt with here. This article is not that long either so that "outsourcing" sections would seem necessary.-- (talk) 15:54, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

    • Support that article should be Muhammad and Christians then, he never met Christianity only Christians. Pbhj (talk) 14:29, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Article is unbalanced[edit]

The article is titled Chrisitianity and Islam but is actually about Islamic views of Christianity. It needs to be totally rewritten to include Christian views on Islam, or to be moved to a new title such as Islamic views of Christianity. I have tagged the article for now. --Fremte (talk) 22:16, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree. This article is clearly about how Islam views Chrisitianity. There is nothing about how Christian scholars view Islam.Ranp (talk) 21:51, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I've tried to add some views, such as Galatians view that guards against a false gospel being delivered by an angel; work of early church historians in response to the Koran, etc.. Koran quotes need summarising and reducing to a few representative examples, also other early Muslim writings (say pre-1000 CE) on Christianity could be noted as I've only had time to add names of some writers. Note that the Christian side is chronicled whilst the Muslim side appears to be simply statements about Christiantiy which itself creates a disparity; but this appears to be due to the purpose of the writings and can't really be helped, Nicetas treatment seems most like that of the Muslims writers. Pbhj (talk) 13:22, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I Am Offended[edit]

I am quite offended by the fact that the article includes "Part of a Series on Islam" (a fallacious religion), while not including "Part of a Series on Christianity" (the true faith). This seems like typical christianophobic bias. --T.M.M. Dowd (talk) 19:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you would be interested in Category:Christianity. However, this is not the place to call any faith "fallacious," to proselytize, or any of that jazz. See WP:SOAP. Cosmic Latte (talk) 15:02, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

But the objection is still valid: why does an article on both Christianity and Islam have a sidebar link only to the Islam series and not to the Christianity series? (talk) 11:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)DB

In Judaism and Islam have a sidebar link only to the Judaism series and not to the Islamic series? These all issues are must to be resolved.

Islam does not predate Christianity[edit]

Over the past 3 days, I've reverted the following 3 edits, which all change the lede to say that Islam predates Christianity:

  • [1], edit summary "It is wrong to say that Chirstianity is older than Islam when Islam dates back to the time of Adam and Eve."
  • [2], edit summary "It should be vice-versa when it states that Christianity predates Islam by six centuries.How can you say that when Islam dates back to the time of Adam and Eve? You don't concrete evidence to prove it"
  • [3], edit summary "We have the Holy Al-Quran to prove that Islam began from the time of Adam and Eve.Whoever said that it is predated by Christianity has no prove"

In an effort to prevent a violation of the spirit of the three revert rule (though technically there has been no violation), I'm bringing it here to double-check my edits - is there a consensus to leave the lede in it's long-standing form, which states that Christianity predates Islam by 6 centuries? My rationale is that the edits are POV and aren't supported by a reliable source. Thoughts? Dawn Bard (talk) 11:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

There is no controversy and the edits are POV. Thus I have requested prevention of editting by unregistered users, see below. --Fremte (talk) 20:34, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I've added a citation needed tag to the claim of Islam predating christianity. I know it does (Recall reading some source saying it), but I can't recall the source. It would be nice to cite this contentious statement. Paranormal Skeptic (talk) 19:33, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

This is vandalism pure and simple. I requested page protection again. There is no support for Islam predating Christianity and such ideas are POV. --Fremte (talk) 20:06, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, can you find a source that says the contrary? Quick Googling found this: which states Islam was founded 700 AD (thereabouts). So, it (christianity) would predate islam by 7 centuries, and I've added such to the page. Paranormal Skeptic (talk) 20:09, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank-you. --Fremte (talk) 20:59, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually according the Qur'an, Muslims(the ones who submit to the will of GOD) were before all religion and all Prophets were Muslims. Please see Sura 22:78 and 3:67 and other verses in Qur'an that ahow this.-- (talk) 13:29, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

What the Quran says does not matter. It was written well after the fact is not considered a reference for this. Islam was founded by Mohammed, who wrote the Quran 700 years after Christianity started. That's the accepted fact. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but this is about fact. It does not matter at all what Muslims might want to think about this, nor what their holy book might say, nor what their religious traditions want, nor what religious leaders say. It is POV, belief and not fact. --Fremte (talk) 18:24, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Islam means "submission to the will of God/Allah" (or "wholesome peace" if you track its root S-L-M). The arguement Muslims make is that every prophet submitted to the will of God, and since the first prophet was the first man, it makes sense to say that Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was a Muslim or "submitter to the will of God." Christianity literally means "worship of the Messiah (peace be upon him)" and a Christian is a "follower of the Messiah (peace be upon him)." Technically, Islam is the first religion ever, but IN A WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE NO MATTER WHAT THE ANSWER IS NO. Islam came in 610 CE when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) recieved a message from the Angel Gabriel. The Islam referred as today is the Islam as told by the Prophet (peace be upon him) and in the Qur'an. Since Paul created Christian theology before Muhammad (peace be upon him) even existed, we Wiki editters should go with the fact that Christianity came before Islam. END OF STORY HaterofIgnorance (talk) 23:54, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Don't end. Since Paul and other christians' scripture came before Quran and Muhammad. Paul etc. did not know about Islam so christianity don't have views about Islam. Kindly improve this article only Islam has christainy's views. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:37, 16 July 2015 (UTC)

Double standard to christianize article[edit]

Neutality? All article is one sided and neglects islamic views. Wikipedians should use both views. 1. Islam is first religion according to Islam as another user explained and christianity is first religion according to christianity 2. If christianity is first religion, it will be wrong to write christian views of Islam. Because supposedly christianity is first religion how it has views about Islam. And If it has then how can predate Islam. Rather they are not religios views rather the opinions of Islamophic people. If there is any real reformist who considers both religions equal?

Protection from editting by unregistered users requested[edit]

I have requested page protection because of continued reversions to "islam predates christianity" by unregistered users. --Fremte (talk) 20:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Islamic Rug?[edit]

Why is the rug classified as "A "Bellini type" Islamic prayer rug". It looks like Armenian rug with typical composition that may be traced back to Armenian miniatures with altars and lamps. There are even small elements inside the lamps that may be described as Armenian letters (may be "n" and "gh"), though the resolution of the image is not enough to say firmly.--Zara-arush (talk) 01:04, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Nothing to do with it[edit]

Another verse in the Christian New Testament that points out major rift between Christianity and Islam is: Who is false but he who says that Jesus is not the Christ? He is the Antichrist who has no belief in the Father or the Son. (John&verse=2:22&src= 1 John 2:22)

Muslims believe Jesus was 'Christ', or the messiah. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Ah, yes, that clause have been used, but since the written statement predates Islam, some secondary source that used it must be provided to the usage of that clause against Muhammad. I think it is not a generally accepted interpretation of 1 John 2:22, since church historians use to interpret it in a 100 AD context, implying some gnostics or similar heretic movement. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 17:04, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Problems in the opening[edit]

The opening of the article has problems with bias and POV. First of all the sentence "...with the [[Prophet]] [[Muhammad]]..." should be "...with the [[Prophets of Islam|Islamic prophet]] [[Muhammad]]..." as set out in Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Islam-related articles)#Muhammad.

Second "...between [[God in Islam|God]] and [[Islamic view of Abraham|Abraham]]... and "...see [[Jesus in Islam|Jesus]] as the last [[prophet]] sent to the Children of Israel like in the vein of [[Islamic view of Elijah|Elijah]], [[Isaiah]], and [[Jeremiah]],... are biased. The article is supposed to be about Christianity and Islam so linking to one set of views be it the Islamic or the Christian view violates Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Links to both sets of views should be provided not just the one. Another problem with the second sentence is that Isaiah has no Islamic view of Isaiah and the Islamic view of Jeremiah is disputed. There are several prophets listed at Prophets of Islam#Prophets and messengers in the Qur'an and it would be better to use some from there. And yes it was a stupid error to list Noah, I have no idea what I was thinking.

Another couple of minor things ..Children of Israel like in the vein of... and extends even further with the Islamic prophet Muhammad even instructing are not good English. Either like or in the vein of needs removing in the first and one of the two even in the second. Finally, "...defend the Christian faith from aggressors.<ref></ref> is not a valid reference. Wikipedia can't be used to reference another Wikipedia article. Enter CBW, waits for audience applause, not a sausage. 08:04, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I stand corrected with regards to the sentences. But to the issue on Isaiah and Jeremiah: They are valid as an Muslim argument. They are not mentioned in the Quran per se, but are seen by prominent scholars - such as Ibn Khadir - to be prophets. The Quran even confirms that many great Jewish prophets are not mentioned. Therefore not biased. They are merely included so as to stress the point of Jesus' prophethood. Musse-kloge —Preceding undated comment added 21:18, 23 November 2010 (UTC).


There appears to be some dispute over the edits I made recently. Hopefully these articles will shed some light on them. Thank you for your time. Jlensinger (talk) 19:43, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

Why not Samaritojudeochristianislambahaiahmadiyyadomormonojehovaswitnessism? I would think that being "catchy". Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 10:57, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Mahamaddim in Song of Songs[edit]

I found that the section, "The Bible on Islam and Muhammad," stated that the Old Testament book of Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) mentions Muhammad by name.

Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16: "Hikko Mamittakim we kullo muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem." "His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

The entire book of Song of Solomon presents two lovers who pine for each other. The specific passage in question is the woman pining for her lover. The Hebrew word "mahamaddim" means "delights" or "delightfulnesses." In this verse, it is the English phrase, "altogether lovely." It is not a personal noun and does not mean, "Prophet Muhammad." It is only a coincidence that Hebrew has a word that transliterates into a name in Arabic. All of this information is documented by language scholars. However, someone keeps removing all references to the non-Muslim view. The last change came from an anonymous editor. This page needs to be protected. Pooua (talk) 05:20, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The only reference given to support the claim that Prophet Muhammad is mentioned by name in Song of Songs is a generic link to the home page of the site, "Islam 101." Although a Web search shows that some people have often made the claim on various Websites, no authoritative source is in evidence. Furthermore, the only discussion anyone has undertaken has been to tell me that the counterpoint from "Answering Islam" won't be allowed. So, I removed the material from the page. Pooua (talk) 22:16, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Webiste: Answering islam[edit]

Hi, Any one who visits will clearly understand that it is a Religiously biased website. Referring that website for a matter of comparing the 2 religions will not give a Neutral point of view for the wikipedia users. You can browse through the article and put a cn tag, for the Islamic statements whichever you find unsourced and biased. Instead, claiming that, Biased references are better than unsourced statements will not be acceptable for this article and will not help build a Neutral wikipedia page. Wasif (talk) 14:24, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

Citing only the Islamic view, as you are doing, does not make the page neutral. "Answering Islam" fairly presents the Christian answer to Islam. That supposed religious bias that offends you is really the Christian, non-Islamic view. What is more, you keep removing material that has nothing to do with "Answering Islam," and is standard, acceptable Wikipedia material, specifically, the "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia" (a tertiary source, which can be used for a general overview, per WP:IRS) and "The Johannine Paraclete in the church fathers: a study in the history of exegesis." Pooua (talk) 15:05, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

I am fine with the source "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia" which put forwards the Christian point of view. But quotes from answeringislam are not neutral refernces to cite here. This page is just a comparision of the 2 religion and Not the page to dump what christianity has to answer Islam. Wasif (talk) 10:20, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

"Answering Islam" features scholarly articles by established theologians. Furthermore, the only source for the Islamic viewpoint is "Islam 101," which certainly is a biased source. I don't want to remove the entire section, because this is an issue in Islamic interpretation of Jewish and Christian literature, but we can't have only the Islamic propaganda, either. Pooua (talk) 18:03, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
We could of course use muslim voices too, why not? The topic is perhaps "contentious" but we could then make the article balanced by presenting both sides. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:02, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


AFAIR (R = remember) the Qur'an somewhere condemns believers in the trinity composed of Father/Mother/Son. Since, AFAIK this is some heretic Christian (perhaps ebjonites) trinity, it would be interesting to have it here too. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:02, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Never mind! I already found it in Islamic view of the Trinity, which is a more proper place. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 11:10, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Jesus the messiah in Islam?[edit]

From Jesus in Islam: "In Islam, Jesus (Isa; Arabic: عيسى‎‎ ʿĪsā) is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā'īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim." -Editor2020 (talk) 14:13, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Move to a more descriptive/comparative article.[edit]

Hi everyone, with the gradual merger and deletion of various Christianity and Islam-related pages, this one has become the main page on the topic, so I have attempted to describe both religions in a neutral, comparative style. As it stood it was basically an Islamic perspectives on Christianity page, with a long (too long) section on medieval Christian criticisms of Islam, rather than an NPOV description of the similarities and differences between the two religions.

I've adjusted assessments of merit of either religion to be descriptions of how each religion assesses the other one. For instance, the change to the section on Jesus' on the topic of monotheism, as it was the article was essentially reciting a popular Islamic theological argument. Said argument has been retained, labelled as such, and its counterpart added.

For the most part has been describing Christian beliefs and scriptures in a more NPOV way rather than from an Islamic perspective. I've focused on the beliefs of Trinitarian, non-Orthodox churches, and am planning on using the following as representative of the various "mainstream" Protestant churches. These are represented here by the SBC, NBC, Anglican Communion and PCUSA, or an evangelical, anglican and liberal church respectively.

Could anyone contribute similar material on the Orthodox churches?

I think the following are still needed to make this a useful article for someone trying to do basic research on the topic:

  1. The addition of a short history section. This should probably be along the lines of a very short sumary with lots of internal links as any religious history page on WP inevitably attracts edit wars, and the topic has plenty of content on existing pages.
  2. Trimming down of the medieval criticisms of Muhammed section.
  3. Some major theological topics with short descriptions and internal links.
  4. Moving some content from the Islam and Prostantism section to the history, scripture and theology related sections.
  5. A short summary of differences or lack thereof between Shia and Sunni perspectives on Christianity.

SeanusAurelius (talk) 22:12, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Islam doesn't recognize the Christians as "people of the Book"[edit]

Illustration of the difference between "Nazarenes" & "Christians". The term "Nazarenes" define a group that is larger and older than the group of "Christians". This term includes another group known as the "Ebionites" who refused to be addressed as "Christians" and maintained that Jesus wasn't the long awaited Messiah of the Tanakh. The Qur'an addresses the people of Jesus with the term "Nazarenes" and always avoids to use the term "Christians".

Islam recognizes the Nazarenes as people of the Book, but it doesn't recognize the Christians as such. The Qur'an never mentions the word "Christians" anywhere. Whenever it speaks about the people of Jesus, it uses the term "Nazarenes (in Arabic: نصارى Nasara)" instead of the term "Christians".--Religions Explorer (talk) 14:25, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia operates by sources, so please provide academic sources for this view. Jeppiz (talk) 14:33, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Christianity and Islam. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 21:29, 23 November 2016 (UTC)

Hope for improvement[edit]

Christianity and Islam (and also Judaism) have much, much more in common than they have differences. This is an important article and I'd like to see it reflect that more. Skylark777 (talk) 06:44, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

To me it has too much of the spirit of: "My religion is better than your religion." Skylark777 (talk) 17:14, 24 November 2016 (UTC)
That seems to be what WP editors are most interested in. An opinion by some prominent person pointing out the commonalities might be the way to go. Rewriting the whole article not so much. Kitfoxxe (talk) 16:25, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
An article mostly going on about their similarities would be tedious and in many ways unhelpful; at the moment someone can at least come here and learn the ABCs of what the two religions are about, and how those ABCs differ. Both the theological and functional differences between Christianity and Islam have massive implications for the world, and this page is the one place where you would expect to find some sort of convenient reference to them. What are you proposing? SeanusAurelius (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2016 (UTC)


There are no mentions of the fact that people not following "The One God" and not The Trinity are classed as Kafir, and as such is mentioned in The Qur'an, that they must be besiged and their fingertips and heads cut off. Which happens almost every day. Don't you think this should be mentioned? Or how about the fact the Islam-Christian war has never ended ever since Mohammed slayed his way out of Saudi Arabia. Nor will it ever. There are significant attempts at undermining this page, and it has a greatly Islamic bias. Nowhere are the Jihadic verses or mentions, of which there are 109 calls to warfare against believers in The Holy Trinity in The Qur'an. In fact it's around 68.4% of the entire book, dedicated to it. Stop this taqiyya. It needs a historian (none paid off) to write the page, not a biased description, including my own. As this page is going to be getting A LOT more visits in the coming year.

Two line summary of my post: Create new sections and don't try to make every point of theology link back to the sections on wars, etc, or the page will end up a hot mess. At the moment you can at least discern the ABCs of the two religions, which (sadly) makes this page as good as its ever been.
Years ago, I did a major edit of this page. At the time it was basically an Islamic views about Christianity page. At the time I tried to make it a useful resource so that someone who knew nothing about Christianity or Islam went away knowing "the basics" - Christians believe Jesus was the Son of God, God is three persons in One (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), while Muslims follow Muhammed, reject Jesus' divinity, don't believe in the crucifixion, etc etc.
I completely agree that there should be a history section, but be warned: It's going to be an absolute magnet for every disputatious Muslim, Christian, and Atheist on WP. That's a LOT of disputatious Muslims, Christians and Atheists. If you're going to add one, for the sake of sanity keep it contained in its own section and don't try to link the "basic info" sections to it or the whole page will end up a hot mess of warring edits and duplication of content on other pages. I'd suggest wherever possible that it contains one sentence summaries of things with links to the dedicated articles.
FWIW I think at the moment even as a description of the basics of Islamic theology, it oversells the "People Of The Book" aspect, to the point that an ignorant reader would go away thinking that Christianity is well respected in the Muslim world, which functionally isn't really true. SeanusAurelius (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2016 (UTC)