How does Islam view Christianity?
The death and resurrection of Christ are the central theme in Christianity. But Islam rejects both of these doctrines. Islam teaches that God deceived people into believing that Christ died on the cross, and that He did not succeed in His saving mission. Therefore, it concludes that Christianity is a false religion. Let’s look at some of the facts:
1- The Qur’an states that Jesus was a messenger of Allah and a prophet of Islam.
“And the throes (of childbirth) compelled [Mary] to betake herself to the trunk of a palm tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten! Then (the child [i.e. the infant Jesus]) called out to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely your Lord has made a stream to flow beneath you; And shake towards you the trunk of the palmtree, it will drop on you fresh ripe dates: So eat and drink and refresh the eye. . . “
“Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and poor-rate so long as I live; And dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed; And peace on me on the day I was born, and on the day I die, and on the day I am raised to life.” Qur’an 19:23-26, 30-33
According to Islam, Jesus continued to preach Islam as the message of Allah until he was taken to heaven:
“The same religion has He Established for you as that Which He enjoined on Noah—That which We have sent By inspiration to thee—And that which We enjoined On Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain Steadfast in Religion, and make No divisions therein.” Qur’an 42:13
“[Jesus] was no more than A servant: We granted Our favour to him, And We made him An example to the Children of Israel. . . . When Jesus came With Clear Signs, he said: “Now have I come To you with Wisdom, And in order to make Clear to you some Of the (points) on which Ye dispute: therefore fear Allah And obey me. For Allah, He is my Lord And your Lord: so worship Ye Him: this is A Straight Way.” Qur’an 43:59, 62-63
2- The Qur’an says that Jesus had followers.
Jesus’ followers would have become Muslims:
“When Jesus found Unbelief on their [i.e. the Jews’] Part He said: “Who will be My helpers to (the work Of) Allah?” Said the Disciples: “We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah, And do thou bear witness That we are Muslims.” Qur’an 3:52
“And behold! I inspired The Disciples [of Jesus] to have faith In Me and Mine Messenger; They said, “We have faith, And do thou bear witness That we bow to Allah As Muslims.” Qur’an 5:111
“Then, in their wake, We followed them up With (others of) Our messengers: We sent after them 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.” Qur’an 57:27
3- There is no historical evidence that there were converted Jews to Islam in the first century.
Christian and non-Christian sources report early Christian beliefs, yet none of these sources mention the existence of any Muslim-Christians. The New Testament confirms the early Christian belief in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Also, the Christian writings outside the New Testament report the beliefs of Jesus’ followers such as:
Clement of Rome, who was ordained as Bishop of Rome by the Apostle Peter, writes about the apostles’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection from the dead – 1 Clement 42:3
Polycarp, who was ordained by the Apostle John, mentions Jesus’ resurrection numerous times. – Polycarp, To the Philippians 1:2, 2:1-2, 9:2, 12:2
And among the non-Christian sources that document Jesus and the apostles, both the Jewish historian Josephus and the Roman historian Tacitus, affirm that Jesus was crucified during the reign of Pontius Pilate-Josephus, Antiquities 18.64, and Tacitus, Annals 15.44
Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist, states, “The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account.”- Lucian of Samosata, The Death of Peregrine, 11-13
And the Jewish Talmud reports the crucifixion of Jesus – Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a
4- The Qur’an states that Allah deceived people into believing that Jesus had died on the cross.
“We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary, The Messenger of Allah”—But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, But so it was made To appear to them, And those who differ Therein are full of doubts, With no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow, For of a surety They killed him not—Nay, Allah raised him up Unto Himself; and Allah Is Exalted in Power, Wise.” Qur’an 4:157-158. According to Muslim tradition, Allah made Judas Iscariot look like Jesus, so that Judas was crucified in Jesus’ place. And the disciples believed Allah’s deception.
5- The Qur’an states that Allah helped spread Christianity
“O you who believe! be helpers (in the cause) of Allah, as [Jesus] son of Marium said to (his) disciples: Who are my helpers in the cause of Allah? The disciples said: We are helpers (in the cause) of Allah. So a party of the children of Israel believed and another party disbelieved; then We aided those who believed against their enemy, and they became uppermost.” Qur’an 61:14
Islam’s view of Christianity has serious problems for it raises many questions such as:
Why would God deceive billions of people by tricking them into believing that Jesus died when he really didn’t?
Why would God allow people to corrupt the religion of Christianity that He started and helped to spread?
Why was Jesus the most unsuccessful of all prophets since His life ended up leading more people astray than any other life in history?
There are no coherent answers to these and many other related questions. Jesus Christ predicted and warned His followers that false prophets would come after Him to deceive the world and lead many astray from His truth (Matthew 24:11). And His disciple Paul also gave a similar warning (1 Timothy 4:1).
In His service,