With the rise of Islam in many parts of the world, and with many Muslims coming to the United States, it is important to note that there are some major differences between Muhammad, the founder of the world religion known as Islam, and Jesus of Nazareth. In the posting, I want to be fair to my Muslim readers, but at the same time, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, which is something that my Muslim readers do not and yes, even refuse to see.
In this posting, I will share my understanding of who the Prophet Muhammad, what he did to forward the Muslim faith and then share how Jesus of Nazareth is superior to Muhammad. If you are thinking that I am going to ridicule Muhammad or make the Islamic religion look stupid, you are going to be very disappointed. It has been said by one, that if you and I can make a religion look absolutely ridiculous, chances are we have not understood it. So in this posting, I will be showing the utmost respect for Muslims as people despite the fact that I do not accept the teachings of the religion. That being said, let's dive in shall we?
Who Was Muhammad?
Mohammed was born in Mecca in A. D. 570 and died in or around A. D. 632. His original name was Abu’l Kassim, and he was orphaned at an early age. After the death of his parents, he was raised by his uncle, who took him on many long journeys with trade caravans. At the age of twenty-five, he married his employer, quit working, and spent time meditating and reflecting on life.
When he was forty, he began having visions accompanied by violent convulsions during which he received his revelation from Allah. As anyone can guess, people saw and heard of his experiences and began to ridicule him. Due to difficult times of ridicule and persecution, he and his followers fled Mecca to Yathrib, which he renamed Medina. This event was the official beginning of Islam.
The following ten years of his life were marked by almost constant fighting to gain new converts and new territory for his religion until the city of Mecca was finally won. His writings are called the Qur'an, which he claimed were dictated to him by the Angel Gabriel.
What About Muhammad's View of Jesus?
It is it widely agreed on that as the founder of Islam, Muhammed, would agree with Jesus and Moses that God is one, that He created the universe. In fact there is a great amount of agreement over the events of the first sixteen chapters of Genesis, to the point where Hagar was cast out from Abram’s house. After this the split comes with the Bible focussing on Issac as being the son of the covenant, while Islam concerns with the events of their forefather Ishmael.
May I add something here? The beginning of Islam is NOT found in the Bible. Muslim apologists attest that the coming of Muhammad was prophesied in the Bible. There is no real foundation for that truth claim either.
Moving the to the teaching of Muhammad, it can be summarized as followed in five cardinal teachings:
1. "Allah" is the one true God.
2. Allah has sent many prophets, which include Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus of Nazareth. All these prophets were great, but Muhammad, in the heart and mind of the Muslim, is the last and the greatest of all the prophets.
3. The Qur'an is the supreme religious book, and takes place over the Law, the Psalms, and what is called the Injil (the Evangel or Gospel of Jesus).
4. There are many intermediate beings, angels, between God and human beings. Some of these beings are good and others are evil (jin).
5. Each man's deeds will be weighed on the scales in order to determine who will go to heaven or to hell in the resurrection. The way to gain salvation in Islam includes reciting the Shahadah several times a day ("There is no God but Allah; and Mohammed is his prophet”), by praying five times a day, by participating or practicing a month of fasting each year (Ramadan), by almsgiving, and if it is financially possible a pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Haj).
Many well meaning Muslims believe these major teachings for their faith. However they are missing something key. No one can keep whatever commandments that are put before them perfectly in order to appease the coming judgment before a holy divine Lawgiver. In Islam I have to ask my Muslim readers and others, who takes care of your sin or your transgressions you commit before God? This is why I believe Jesus offers a superior message and way in many areas. Let me summarize them for us.
Jesus v Teachings of Muhammad
Jesus offers a superior message in many respects:
I hope you have enjoyed this series and that it has helped you understand the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as being superior to all the popular religious founders and teachers of the great (quantitatively speaking here) world religions.
I am thinking of another series along this line detailing out the pagan copy cat myths that are coming in the face of Christianity and the life of Jesus. Many secular scholars are claiming that Jesus is a copy cat messiah. Is this true? No, but that is another posting or series coming in the future.
Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this series. If you have a question that you would like answered on this blog or on my YouTube channel, please send me an email and I will be more than happy to discuss it with you.