10 Quotes On The Difference Between Christianity And Islam

Nabeel Qureshi wrote a couple of outstanding books to help those in the West better understand Islam (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad).

Answering JihadIn Answering Jihad, Nabeel invests several chapters in looking at the differences between Christianity as displayed in the Bible and Islam as displayed in the Quran. Here are some of the more noteworthy quotes I pulled from this book. The references in parenthesis in these quotes are references to a chapter and verse in the Quran.

“Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5:72).”

“According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that God is a father (112:1-4).”

“Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5:73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God and Christianity. … The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three Persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of Islam specifically denies in the Quran.”

“The Trinity is an elaboration of Jewish theology, not a rejection. By contrast, Tawhid is a categorical rejection of the Trinity, Jesus’ deity, and the Fatherhood of God, doctrines that are grounded in the pages of the New Testament and firmly established centuries before the advent of Islam. The earliest Christians were all Jews, incorporating their encounter with Jesus into their Jewish theology. Nothing of the sort is true of Muhammad, who was neither a Jew nor a Christian. Islam did not elaborate on the Trinity but rejected and replaced it.”

“Christians worship the triune God: a Father Who loves unconditionally, a Son Who incarnates and Who is willing to die for us so that we may be forgiven, and an immanent Holy Spirit Who lives in us. This is not who the Muslim God is, and it is not what the Muslim God does. Truly, Tawhid is antithetical to the Trinity, fundamentally incompatible and only similar superficially and semantically. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.”

“The warfare the Quran commands is not due to any evil action, but rather due to the beliefs of non-Muslims, such as the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God (9:29, 30).”

“Warfare in the Old Testament is not about subjugating inferior peoples. Yahweh does not promise the Jews that they are the best of people and that their enemies are less than they are. He makes this quite clear in Deuteronomy 9:4-6. … The Quran, by contrast, envisions Muslims as the best people: ‘You are the best of all people, evolved for mankind’ (3:110). It teaches that Jews and Christians who do not convert to Islam are the worst of all creation: ‘Those who do not believe [in Islam] from among the Jews and Christians and the idolaters will go to hell. They are the worst of creatures’ (98:6; see 98:1-5 for context). This is why the Quran in 9:33 commands Muslims to fight Jews and Christians, so that Allah may cause Islam ‘to prevail over all religions.’”

“Muhammad’s life moved from peaceful to violent in a crescendo, reflecting the trajectory of the Quran, and he died just after conquering the Arabian Peninsula. His words in the canonical collections were, ‘I have been ordered by Allah to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. … [O]nly then will they save their lives and property from me’ (Sahih Bukhara 1.2.25). Muslims are commanded to follow Muhammad’s example, and his example was jihad.

“By contrast, the stories in the Old Testament do not enjoin Jews or Christians to fight today. Though commands to fight are recorded in the text, no Jew or Christian is commanded to memorialize these battles as ongoing conduct. They were a part of the history of Israel, certainly, not a mandate or continuing command going forward.”

“Violence has a very different place in Islam and Christianity’s theological frameworks. The final marching order of Islam is jihad. The final marching orders of Christians are grace and love.”

But I especially love this thought from Nabeel: “One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God.” Amen!

Other quotes from Answering Jihad are here and here.

Additional quotes from Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus are here.

11 Quotes From “Answering Jihad”

Answering JihadAnswering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi is an excellent resource to get clarity on all of the terms floating around about Islam, Muslims, and the use of jihad. You can read my full book review by clicking here.

Below are the first set of quotes from this book that I’d like to share with you. Unless otherwise noted, all the quotes are from Nabeel Qureshi.

“There is a great deal of violence in Islam, even in the very foundations of the faith, and it is not all defensive. Quite to the contrary, if the traditions about the prophet of Islam are in any way reliable, then Islam glorifies violent jihad arguably more than any other action a Muslim can take.”

“As Islam is practiced in a way that calls Muslims to return to its foundations, violence will follow.”

“Islam is not Muslims, and Muslims are not Islam. Though Muslims are adherents of Islam, and Islam is the worldview of Muslims, the two are not the same, as many uncritically believe. … Islam is not Muslims, and one can criticize Islam while affirming and loving Muslims.” 

“Islam was first called ‘the religion of peace’ as late as 1930, and the title of a book published In India. … The phrase was slow to take off, but by the 1970s it was appearing more and more frequently in the writings of Muslims for western audiences.” —Mark Durie, a research scholar of linguistics and Islam at Melbourne School of Theology, in an article for the Independent Journal

“The Quran never says, ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ nor do the traditions of Muhammad.”

“To contend that the word Islam signifies peace in the absence of violence is incorrect. Islam signifies a peace after violence, or under the threat of it. According to Islamic tradition, that is how Muhammad himself used the word. His warning to neighboring tribes is famous: Aslim taslam, ‘If you surrender, you will have peace.’ It was a play on words, as aslim also connotes becoming Muslim: ‘If you convert, you will have safety through surrender.’”

“The vast majority of Muslims inherit their understanding of Islam and have not investigated the foundations of Islam for themselves. If they were raised in the West and taught that Islam is the religion of peace, as I was, then their first foray into the foundations might be somewhat of a shock, and they will probably soon find themselves either in a defensive position or grappling with significant cognitive dissonance.”

“Since there are thousands of verses in the Quran and hundreds of thousands of hadith, it is expected that only trained Muslim jurists can engage in determining what sharia teachers. The jurist must give primacy to the Quran, then consider the actions (sunnah) and sayings (hadith) of Muhammad, followed by reviewing the consensus of Islamic scholars, or ijma, before using his own reasoning (qiyas). By following these four steps, a Muslim jurist can make a decision, or fatwa, about what sharia teaches on a given matter. The ultimate goal is to apply the teachings of sharia to Muslim life, and that is called fiqh.”

“As is probably clear by now, at no point was the average Muslim expected to read the Quran to decide upon correct Islamic practices by himself or herself. Not only is Islam not a faith that upholds the sufficiency of scripture alone, the complexity of its foundations virtually necessitates a reliance on jurists and scholars for proper practice.”

“Islam was not in fact ‘spread by the sword’—conversion was not forced on the occupants of conquered territories—but the conquests created the necessary preconditions for the spread of Islam. With only a few exceptions… Islam has become the majority faith only in territories that were conquered by force. Thus, the conquests and the doctrine that motivated these conquests—jihad—were crucial to the development of Islam.” —David Cook

“I ask your pardon, but I really do feel that the Christian teaching of loving one’s enemies, even in the face of death, might perhaps be the most powerful answer to jihad at our disposal today. Not only does it allow us to counter jihad, it also enables us to treat Muslims with the utmost dignity: as image bearers of God.” 

Stay tuned for more quotes from Answering Jihad

Answering Jihad (book review)

Answering JihadMilitant Islam … Jihad … Religion of peace … ISIS … Islamic terrorism. These phrases dominate the news stories and the water-cooler conversations, but do we really know what they mean? Nabeel Qureshi does. He was born to devout Muslim parents, trained in the Quran, and ready to follow in his parents’ footsteps. But along the way, Nabeel became a Christian. Knowing both the Muslim and Christian angles of these topics, Dr. Qureshi can capably help us Westerners in Answering Jihad.

(By the way, if you haven’t read Nabeel’s account of how he became a Christian, you really should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.)

Answering Jihad is presented to us in the form of answers to 18 of the most-asked questions about how jihad is really perceived in the Muslim community. As he did in his biography, Nabeel presents this information in a way Western minds can grasp. He introduces key points of history that surround Muhammed, explains Islamic terms, and quotes relevant passages from the Quran and other Muslim scholars. I think you will find, as I did, so much more clarity than the sound bytes thrown around on news sources and on social media.

Nabeel concludes his book by telling us that there is a better way forward than the “either-or” extremes that are usually proposed. He explains it this way—

“If we avoid the truth about jihad, we leave the door open for innocent people to be killed in attacks like Paris and San Bernardino. If we lack compassion, we close the door to innocent people who need refuge from places like Syria and Somalia. … Even though Muslims are often raised with the teaching that ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ when they study the texts for themselves, they are faced with the reality that Mohammed and the Quran call for jihad. They will stand at the crossroads for only so long before they choose what path they will take—apostasy, apathy, or radicalization. As Muslims make that choice, it would benefit the whole world if they did not make it alone, or worse, with radical recruiters. We need to show compassion for Muslims and befriend them.”

Well said! And with the information in Answering Jihad, you can be ready to befriend your Muslim neighbors on their journey.

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

13 Quotes From “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

Seeking Allah Finding JesusIf you want to know about Islam from an insider’s perspective, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi is simply a phenomenal book! Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I found quite educational.

“There is much division in Islam. The best determination of whether a man is Muslim is if he exclusively declares that Allah is God and Mohammad is Allah’s messenger. Beyond this point, there is great diversity in Islam.”

“There is no book of sharia. We must derive the law from a hierarchy of sources using a process of jurisprudence called fiqh. The first and greatest source is the Quran. Nothing can supersede the Quran because it is the word of Allah. But the Koran is not comprehensive. As Muslims, there is much we must do and believe that is not found in the Quran. For this, we go to the second source, hadith. The hadith elaborate and clarify what is found in the Quran, but they never contradict. There is no contradiction in Islam. If a hadith is found in any way to contradict the Quran, then it is inauthentic and must be disregarded. If no hadith can be found to clarify an issue, then we must turn to the third source of sharia: the ulema, Muslim scholars who are wise and experienced in Islam.”

“Muftis from different schools of thought have different precedents and therefore provide different fatwas. Each denomination differs on what hadith they consider accurate. Since the hadith are the second rung of sharia, these differences of opinion have real consequences. Many of the differences between the ways Sunnis and Shias practice Islam are over this very matter. Their books of hadith are disparate. This difference, combined with the Shia position regarding the authority of imams, results in a significantly different view of sharia. … Most Muslims do not know these things. They know Islam to the extent that they practice it, and these are matters for the learned.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate, and this is a necessary belief for orthodox Christianity. Muslims believe that Jesus is no more than a prophet, and to consider Him God incarnate would be blasphemy and would cause one to be condemned to hell eternally, according to the Quran.”

“Regarding Jesus, there are two issues on which Muslims particularly disagree with Christians: that Jesus died on the Cross and that Jesus claimed to be God. The Quran specifically denies both of these beliefs.” 

“Sahih Bukhari…is the most trustworthy book of hadith, compiled by Imam Bukhari. The hadith were not collected into the books until a long time after Mohammad’s death. Many false hadith had been fabricated, and it was difficult to determine which ones were accurate. Imam Bukhari sifted through five hundred thousand hadith and pick out the five thousand most accurate.”

“The earliest historical records show that Mohammad launched offensive military campaigns and used violence at times to accomplish his purposes. He used the term jihad in both spiritual and physical contexts, but the physical jihad is the one Mohammad strongly emphasizes. The peaceful practice of Islam hinges on later, often Western, interpretations of Mohammad’s teachings, whereas the more violent variations of Islam are deeply rooted in orthodoxy and history.”

“The Bible and the Quran were nothing alike. Not in the slightest. … Mohammad dictated the contents of the Quran to his scribes over a period of twenty-three years. Only after his death was the Quran collected into a book. Verses that had been dictated years or decades apart are frequently found side-by-side in the Quran, often with no obvious connection. The result is that Muslims placed relatively little weight on surrounding passages when trying to interpret sections of the Quran.”

“Almost everything Muslims know about Mohammad comes to them orally, rarely from primary sources. Unlike Christians learning about Jesus from the Bible, the Quran has very little to say about Mohammad.”

“Mohammad’s first biography, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, comes down to our date only through the transmission of a later biographer, Ibn Hisham. In his introduction, Ibn Hisham explains that he altered the story of Mohammad’s life. ‘Things which it is disgraceful to discuss, matters which would distressed certain people, and such reports as [my teacher] (sic) told me he could not accept as trustworthy—all these things I have omitted.’”

“According to the hadith, Mohammad named four men as the best teachers of the Quran. The first one was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, whome Mohammad distinguished as the foremost expert of the Quran. The last one was Ubay ibn Ka’b, whom Sahih Bukhari identifies as the best reciter of the Quran. These were the men that Mohammad hand selected as the best teachers of the Quran, but as I studied the early sources, I found that they did not agree with the final Quran, which has been passed down as today’s version. They did not even agree with each other. … Ubay is known to have had 116 chapters in his Quran, two more than Zaid’s edition. Ibn Mas’ud had only 111 chapters in his Quran, insisting that the additional chapters in Zaid’s Quran and Ubay’s Quran were just prayers, not Quranic recitation.”

“In Islam, there is only one unforgivable sin, shirk, the belief that someone other than Allah is God. Shirk is specifically discussed in the context of Jesus in 5:72. He who believes Jesus is God, ‘Allah has forbidden Heaven for him, and his abode will be the Hellfire.’”

“All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is amazing.”

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