Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog


Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.

In the course of surfing the web, I came upon a site I had not viewed before. I was intrigued by the title, Top Ten Misconceptions About Islam. This topic seemed interesting and I read the article.

What interested me was the misconceptions about the misconceptions.  As I read the “misconceptions” I could not resist thinking in my mind how misleading these ideas were. They did not tell the whole story, they left out the really bad parts they were trying to defend. 

So, you might consider who is right on the following misconceptions.  I left out a couple of them because they were irrelevant to the big issue of Islam.   So here is the first one. 

MISCONCEPTION #1:   Muslims are violent, terrorists and/or extremists. 

This is the biggest misconception in Islam, amplified to an extreme by the events af recent years. It is in no doubt worsened by the constant stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam.

When a gunman attacks a mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRA guerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these acts are not used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed to the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard the words 'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence?  Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have any Islamic basis.  Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own purposes. 


First, the media has not been bashing Islam. One may read about a violent act of killing and the media does not indicate the fact that the person was a Muslim. Television news is very careful to shield the religious background of Muslim killers. 

Second, gunman do not attack mosques because the Old Testament tells them to, nor do Catholics set off bombs because the New Testament tells them to do this, nor do the Orthodox rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians because the New Testament tells them to do this. 

In contrast, why do Muslims destroy Christian churches, and burn Christian homes in Pakistan?   Acts of violence by Muslims against “unbelievers” are permitted in the Qur’an, and in some passages even mandated.  The Qur’an does not say burn houses, but it does say that Christians are not to be tolerated as citizens of equal rights in their culture, being demoted to second or third class citizens.   One of the favorite ways of Muslims winning disputes against Christians is to charge the Christian with desecrating the Qur’an.  This brings out hundreds of people to destroy the home of the Christian and run them out of the village. 

There are other ways Muslims have persecuted Christians, claiming they have blasphemed Mohammed.  One such example is: 

Over the weekend at least nine Christians were killed, churches were set on fire, and businesses and homes destroyed in the Tundun Wada area of Kano State, Nigeria, according to reports.

The violence, allegedly committed by Muslim youths, followed unspecified claims that Christians had blasphemed the Islamic prophet Mohammed.

According to sources on the ground, not a single Christian church, house or business had been left undamaged and an unknown number of people were injured and displaced during the violence, reported U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which monitors persecution of Christians internationally. (See here.)          

The author of the “misconceptions” continues: 

“One should remember to go to the source of Islam and separate what the true religion of Islam says from what is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means 'submission to God' and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'.   Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West, whereas Islam is considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and we make no division between secular and sacred in our lives.

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from their homes.  It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock 


"Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not transgress limits.  God  does not love transgressors."
               -- Qur’an al-Baqara 2:190) 

If they seek peace, then seek you peace.  And trust in God for He is the One that heareth  and knoweth all things."
                -- Qur’an al-Anfal 8:61 

War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law.  The term 'jihad' literally means 'struggle'.   Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad.  The other 'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone wages against egotistic desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.”


Yes, let us look at the Qur’an to see what it really says.  The Qur’an contradicts the “peace” expressed in the quotes above.


“O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end.”  (9:73)

So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them herewith with a great endeavour.  (25:52) 

O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey's end.  (66:9) 

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free.... (9:5) 

Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (9:29,30) 

O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end. (9:73)

O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). (9:123) 

Muslim propagandists seek to deceive the unknowing reader in claiming Islam to be a peaceful religion.    In seeking to do this, Muslims quote from the early days of Mohammed’s life in Mecca in which there are verses indicating that there is no compulsion in religion.  However, when Mohammed became powerful in Medina things changed. Mohammed began legislating the real nature of Islam which involved attacking caravans, other towns, killing people who wrote satirical poetry about him, killing Jews, killing poly-theists, and ultimately moving his troops out of Saudi Arabia conquering other nations. 

From the standpoint of the Qur’an there are no innocents. Simply rejecting Islam is to become the enemy of Islam. Anyone who is not a Muslim is guilty and can be dealt with in regard to the severe commands of the Medina suras in the Qur’an.  Moreover, from the history of Islam non-Muslims have not been allowed to live in peace beside Muslims.  Three options were given: accept Islam, reject Islam and pay the jizya or death. There is no living a normal life at peace within Islam for a non-Muslim. 

Moreover, the peaceful suras from the Mecca period were abrogated later when Mohammed was in Medina.  There are differences between Muslim scholars but some have taught that up to 260 suras have been abrogated.   The idea that Islam is a religion of peace appears to be abrogated by the later suras commanding jihad against everyone who is not a Muslim. 

On a practical level, if one takes a look at the daily news how can one conclude that Islam is a peaceful religion when Shia are fighting Sunna,  all of them fighting the Bahai, Muslims are fighting the Hindus, Muslims are killing Buddhists,  the Copts in Egypt, and Christians elsewhere. 

There is not a “moderate Muslim movement” that stands up for “peaceful” Islam.  Peaceful Islam does not exist and cannot exist as long as the Qur’an is held in authority. 

The site propagates the idea that only a defensive war is justified. What is considered an attack on Islam?    Merely rejecting Islam is the basis of confrontation and becomes a motive for attacking non-Muslims. Mohammed sent letters to rulers outside Arabia inviting them to Islam. If they accepted, there would be peace.  If they rejected his invitation to Islam, war followed.   

MISCONCEPTION #2:   Islam oppresses women. 

The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to stay home and forbidden to drive is all too common in most peoples thoughts. Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be seen as coming from Islam.  Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah (Islamic law) and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender equity 

Islam on the other hand gives men and women different roles and equity between the two is laid down in the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam sees a woman, whether  single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings.  A marriage gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are expected to dress in a way that is modest and dignified. The Messenger of God (peace be upon him) said: "The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife."

Violence of any kind towards women and forcing them against their will for anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions.  Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country.  Divorce is not common, although it is acceptable as a last resort.  According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be forced to marry against her will: her parents simply suggest young men they think may be suitable. 


Let’s start with the recent news. There were also photos of the event in which the men and girls were celebrating their wedding.   Of course, the standard reply is that Mohammed did this so it is proper today.   Ask any medical doctor and he will tell you that kids are not physically, emotional, and mentally matured for marriage.  Mohammed at least let Aisha bring her dolls when he married her. Here is a news item from: 

Monday, August 10, 2009   A gala event has occurred in Gaza.  Hamas sponsored a mass wedding for four hundred and fifty couples. Most of the grooms were in their mid to late twenties; most of brides were under ten.   Muslim dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, a leader of Hamas, were on hand to congratulate the couples who took part in the carefully staged celebration.  (See here.)

On driving, well the most staunch Muslim country, Saudi Arabia, does not allow women to drive a car. Saudi Arabia is considered the fountainhead of Islam.  What is wrong with a woman driving a car?  It is not mentioned in the Qur’an or the Sunna, nor the Hadiths.  Cars were not invented until modern times.  There are Muslims who claim that all kinds of modern ideas and discoveries were referenced in the Qur’an, maybe a closer look would uncover the car and who should drive it.  The problem with women driving a car is that it gives them freedom which they have never had. 

Analyze the following statement by the author:  “Although some Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be seen as coming from Islam.”  

Why not?  What motivation is there for oppressing women if it were not for Islam.  If Islam is the dominant religion of the Muslim countries why is there not a movement   by the leading Muslim scholars in those countries to upgrade the position of women? Maybe the reason is that the Qur’an forbids it. Did not Mohammed declare that women are only half as intelligent as men?  Did not Mohammed require that women only receive half the inheritance that men receive?  Did not Mohammed teach that women’s testimony is only half that of men?  Is there a Muslim country that does not have Sharia that is not trying to impose it on the country?   Muslims in England are trying to impose Sharia law on their own communities there.   

The author says, “Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah (Islamic law) and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender equity.”  This sentence seems to imply that Sharia would liberate women from oppressive measures in countries without Sharia.    Sharia is the problem.  In the countries seeking to impose sharia it has been detrimental to women’s rights and freedom.  One of the first oppressive measures is to require women to “cover up.”  

One might raise the question also about honor killings of women, single and married.  In what culture do these killings occur?   The killers are usually Muslim. Just today I read of a “Muslim man sentenced to life in jail after killing his German-born wife because she was 'too independent.”  (See here.)

The news sources seem regularly to chronicle  honor killings  in England, USA, France, Pakistan, wherever there are lots of Muslims.   Does this not sound like an awful oppression.   Rarely does one hear of honor killings of Muslim men.   Surely the author is hiding the real story about women in Islam. 

MISCONCEPTION #3:  Muslims worship a different God. 

Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah for Muslims is the greatest and most inclusive of the Names of God, it is an Arabic word of rich meaning, denoting the one and only God and ascribing no partners to Him. It is exactly the same word which the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (aloha), the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; Allah is the same God worshiped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.  Muslims believe that Allah's sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places throughout history. However, it should be noted that God in Islam is One and Only. He, the Exalted, does not get tired, does not have a son i.e. Jesus or have associates, nor does He have human-like attributions as found in other faiths. 


Allah may be used as a name for God in Islam, but that cannot be his name in the Bible.

Yahweh is the name of God. God is not His name. God is a general term referring to the divine being whose name is Yahweh.  There are lots of reasons to think that Allah and Yahweh are not the same.   “... in orthodox Islam the Holy Spirit is not God, but the angel Gabriel. This fact separates Allah from ever possibly being the same God that Christians worship.” For many more reasons that the same God is not worshiped. (Go here.)          

One cannot merely use a common term and claim identity.  One has to know something of the character of God, his attributes, his dealing with mankind.  When one examines all of these and more, it becomes obvious that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same being. 

Christians claim that God has revealed Himself embodied in Jesus the Christ. This is seen in the following examples of Scripture.

“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily...” (Colossians 2:9)

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.”  Colossians 1:15-16 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and   the   Word was God.    He was in the beginning with God.”  John 1:1-2 

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  John 1:14

"No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known. John 1:18    (ESV)   

Since God has revealed Himself in this fashion, since God assumed human form in the person of Jesus Christ, how can one conclude that God would  give a new revelation later  and deny the previous revelation?  Moreover, the prophetic literature of the Old Testament gives a basis for the coming of the Messiah, but there is absolutely no Old Testament or New Testament basis for the coming of Mohammed and a new revelation! 

The character of God in the Old and New Testaments is quite different than the character of God in the Qur’an.   To claim that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same being is deceiving and obscures the blatant differences between the Bible and the Qur’an. 

MISCONCEPTION #4: Islam was spread by the sword and intolerant of other faiths. 

Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab horseman carrying a sword in one hand and the Qur'an in the other conquering and forcibly converting. This, though, is not a correct portrayal of history.  Islam has always given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Qur’an says:

"God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who  are just.
               -- Qur’an al-Mumtahina 60:8

            Freedom of religion is laid down in the Qur’an itself:

"There is no compulsion (or coercion) in the religion (Islam).  The right direction is distinctly clear from error".
                -- Qur’an al-Baqara 2:256

Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question of the spread of Islam: "... of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the non-Muslim  population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the Christian religion, we hear  nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestantism ..."

It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world.  History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the caliph Omar entered Jerusalem  in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city.   Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives, and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places.  Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered sacred whether the person is Muslim or not.

Racism is not a part of Islam, the Qur’an speaks only of human equality and how all peoples are equal in the sight of God. 

"O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another.  Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety.  God is All-Knowing, All- Aware."
                -- Qur’an al-Hujraat 49:13


Sheer propaganda!!  Distortion of history!!   From the very beginning of Mohammed’s rule in Medina force was the predominate instrument in his strategy. It seems that the author of these comments has not read the Life of Muhammad, by Ibn Ishaq.  Abu Sufyan who was an enemy of Mohammed was brought to Mohammed who said, “Woe to you, Abu Sufyan, isn’t it time you recognize that I am God’s apostle?  He answered, “As to that I still have some doubt.”

I said to him, “Submit and testify that there is no God but Allah and that Muhummad is the apostle of God before you lost your head,” and he did so.” (Page 547)  The Life of Muhammad records the battles, the atrocities heaped upon disbelieving people, the coercion, the force used in bringing Islam to Arabia and other areas.

When Mohammed conquered Mecca he did not do it with 10,000 pilgrims who were peaceful and loving, they were his soldiers willing to kill anyone who opposed them. The story of Islam’s spread to Jerusalem, Egypt, North Africa, and on to Spain cannot be understood without the concept of the sword.   I don’t know where the “missionary” Arnold got his information but it was not out of Islamic sources, and it is certainly an ignorant statement.   Like many Muslim statements there are not sources cited for the quote to be checked out along with the person’s credentials.

How do Muslims deal with the contradiction posed here?  On the one hand there is no compulsion in religion and on the other hand, there is compulsion in religion.   Mohammed changed his mind?  Allah changed his mind?  The “no compulsion” verses come from the early period when Mohammed was trying to gain followers in Mecca.  The compulsion verses come from the Medina period after Mohammed had gained power. What happened to the divine revelation in Mecca?   Can you really trust a prophet who changes his mind, or a deity who changes his mind?  Can you trust a propagandist who tells you only one side of the story?

Read the account in the following paragraph to see something of the violence of Islam.

“The Muslim historian Baladhuri (d. 892 C.E.), maintained that 30,000 Samaritans and 20,000 Jews lived in Caesarea alone just prior to the Arab Muslim conquest; afterward, all evidence of them disappears. Archaeological data confirms the lasting devastation wrought by these initial jihad conquests, particularly the widespread destruction of synagogues and churches from the Byzantine era, whose remnants are still being unearthed. The total number of towns was reduced from fifty—eight to seventeen in the red sand hills and swamps of the western coastal plain (i.e., the Sharon).” (Source)

It appears that the author of these misconceptions has never heard of dhimmitude.  The concept of dhimmi came into being when there was more profit in keeping non-believers alive rather than killing them outright. Dhimmitude is the idea of enslaving non-Muslims, reducing them to second or third class citizens.  

 Referring to the Christians of Syria, ‘Umar, the second Caliph declared:

“They are forbidden to build churches, or monasteries, in their cities or nearby areas. They are not allowed to renovate such buildings. They must allow any Muslim to lodge in these buildings for three nights, and provide him with food. They must never shelter a spy, nor show any duplicity to Muslims. They are not to teach their children the Qur’an. They must not display any sign of their unbelief, or forbid their relatives from converting freely to Islam. Furthermore, they must show reverence to Muslims, and give them pride of place at their assemblies. They should avoid appearing like Muslims in their clothing, their head covers, their shoes, and the parting of their hair. They must not speak the language of Muslims, nor use their names. They are not allowed to use a saddle on a beast of burden, nor bear a sword, nor any other weapon. Their rings must not bear any Arabic inscriptions. They must refrain from selling wine. They must have the front of their hair cut, and wear their own kind of clothing all the time, and must use belts. They are not to display a cross or any of their books, as they are passing Muslims on their way. Their dead must not be buried nearby a Muslim cemetery. They should not ring their bells in a loud manner; equally, they must not raise their voices while reading their Scriptures in their churches. They are forbidden to parade their palm branches (on Palm Sunday.)”

“Now should Christians ever deviate from obeying these rules, Muslims would cease to honor the covenant that had protected them. In that case, Muslims can deal with them as if they have become people of discord and trouble.” (Source)

This is quite a contradiction to the claims of the author concerning freedom to worship, safety of the homes, the freedom of being a non-Muslim citizen.  Moreover, it appears that the author has not read the news of young girls in Egypt, Pakistan, and other places who are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and be married to somebody they know not. Also, the author presumes that the reader has not read of these terrible things done to girls and women.

One other comment, the author claims “Racism is not a part of Islam, the Qur’an speaks only of human equality and how all peoples are equal in the sight of God.” Where is there human equality in slavery, concubines, the selling of human beings into slavery?

The history of Islam from the beginning involves slavery.  Mohammed kept slaves, Islam has been involved in the slave trade through the centuries up to the modern era.  As late as 1965 the royal family of Saudi Arabic kept slaves. See here.       

MISCONCEPTION #8:   Muslims are a barbaric, backward people.

Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God worthy of worship.  It also repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the Prophet (pbuh), 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and woman'.

The  synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought about great  advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, art, literature,  and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the Arabic numerals, and also the concept of  the zero (vital to the advancement of mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from  Islam.  Sophisticated instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery  were developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.


First, there was no peaceful spread of Islam.  This is Islamic mythology. We have seen this above.   Second, strange that Muslim educators throughout history have apparently not understood the Quran whom these Muslims claim  instructs “man to use his powers of intelligence  and observation.”   Islamic education has not  encouraged the use of rationality and pursuit of knowledge.      Historical fact is that   education was restricted to the madrasas which excluded the natural sciences, or what Muslims called “foreign sciences.”  This is one of the reasons why Islamic science failed to break into the modern period.  Islam inherited the vast literature of the Greeks and many of these works were translated, often by Christians and Jews, into Arabic.

However, Islamic science did not advance beyond these works except in astronomy, math and medicine. The natural sciences were ignored.   Part of the reason may be seen in the attitude of the philosophers who believed that “ordinary citizens (the masses) are not capable of grasping the higher truths of philosophy....or the inner truths of the scriptures.”  (Toby Huff, The Rise of early modern science, p.82)

Muslim advances in the natural science were limited to areas useful for Muslim use. These science included medicine, astronomy, and mathematics, physics and optics. In spite of some advances in these areas the Islamic world never made the transition to the scientific revolution. Natural science has been in disrepute in Islam so long that in the mid-1980's Muslim intellectuals "lamented the fact that modern science had not taken root in the Islamic countries of the world..." (Huff, p. 235)

Consider the following: "In the actual event, the founding of Spanish universities in the thirteenth century, first in Palencia (1208-9), Valladolid, Salamanca (1227-28), and so on, occurred in long-established Christian areas, and the universities were modeled after the constitutions of Paris and Bologna. The various Arabic histories of Spain indicate that there were no Islamic colleges–madrasas--built in Spain prior to the fourteenth century, when one was founded in Granada ca.1349." (Huff, p. 206)   Remember that madrasas are not the same as universities. Madrasas did not encourage critical thinking as the universities did.  For more see here.

Islam did not know of a corporate entity which became the basis of the university in the west.  The corporation gave the university an independence that Madrasas did not have. Madrases were still controlled by Qur’anic law.  The university began with the idea of pursuing the truth wherever it led.   The madrases were intent upon indoctrination of the student and submission to Islam rather than questioning and critical thinking. This is part of the reason that Islamic natural sciences have been unproductive.  Only a few (8 or 9)   Muslims have won Nobel prizes in science while nearly 200 Jews have been awarded such scientific prizes.  The reason for the differences relates to the type of education existing in Muslim countries as opposed to western universities. Compare the population, a few million Jews in contrast to more than one billion Muslims.           

If seeking knowledge is so important for every Muslim man and woman, why are women so excluded from pursuing education? Why are Muslim schools for girls being blown up in various parts of the world?

Islamic writers seek to take credit for the zero.  The concept of the zero came from the Hindus, and should not be claimed by the Muslims.

MISCONCEPTION #10:   Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets.

Muslims respect and revere Jesus, upon him be peace, and await his Second Coming.   They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind.  A Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him be peace' (abbreviated as (u) here).   The Qur’an confirms his virgin birth (a chapter of the Qur’an is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all creation.

          The Qur’an describes the Annunciation as follows:

"Behold!" the Angel said, "God has chosen you, and purified you, and  chosen you above the women of all nations.  O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those  brought near to God.  He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said:  "Even so; God creates what He will.  When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is."
            -- Qur’an  al-E-Imran 3:42-47

Jesus (u) was born miraculously through the same power, which had brought Adam (u) into being without a father:

"Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the likeness of Adam.  He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was."
           -- Qur’an al-E-Imran 3:59

During his prophetic mission Jesus (u) performed many miracles. The Qur’an tells us that he said:

"I have come to you with a sign from your Lord:  I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breath into it and it becomes a bird by God's leave.  And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's leave."
           -- Qur’an al-E-Imran 3:49)

Neither Muhammad (pbuh) not Jesus (u) came to change the basic doctrine of the brief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and renew it. In the Qur’an Jesus (u) is reported as saying that he came:

"To attest the law which was before me.  And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me."
            -- Qur’an al-E-Imran 3:50

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:  "Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone without partner, that Muhammad (pbuh) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven. "(Hadith related by Bukhari).


“Muslims respect and revere Jesus,” it is declared. On the surface this seems like a good thing to say.

When you think about it with reference to the teaching of Jesus and what He said about Himself, it is not revering and respecting Him, for the Muslim claim about Jesus and his teaching reduces Him to being a liar, a false prophet, and a deceiver.

Consider the words of Jesus when he asked them who they thought he was.

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Matthew 16:15-18

The disciple Philip requested that Jesus show him the Father.

Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?    Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.   Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”   John 14:9-11

In an argument with the Pharisees, Jesus was asked:

“Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?"    Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.'    But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.    Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad."   So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"    Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."  John    8:53-58

How can it be said that Muslim respect and revere Jesus when they declare his words to be false. How can they revere someone they think deceived people in claiming to be the Son of God when Muslims believe He is not.  Moreover, they deny the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus.   They attribute a silly miracle to him, the clay pigeon story and the story of Jesus speaking from his cradle that came from centuries later, and deny the most awesome miracle of His resurrection.

It appears that Mohammed did not really understand what Christian faith was and is. Consider the following two verses from the Qur’an:           

1)   “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.”   4:157  

The reference is to the so-called claim of the Jews that “we slew the Messiah.”  If they really believed that Jesus was the Messiah they would not have crucified Him.  They would have fallen to their knees and worshiped Him.   So not only did Mohammed not understand the implication of his statement, the Qur’an is wrong on the history of the event.

2)   “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!”   9:30

In this case the Qur’an is wrong again.   No Jew or groups of Jews ever affirmed that Ezra was the son of Allah in the sense that the Messiah is The son of God.   The Qur’an is wrong on this historical item.

One last comment relates to the idea of partners to Allah.  Certainly Allah had many partners in pre-Islam Arabia.  However, confusion exists in the Muslim thinking about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The idea of monotheism is securely preserved in Christian thought. Jesus speaks of the Father in the Son and the Son in the Father.  One may speak of distinct persons, but not separate persons.  The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son to the believer. Separate persons would involve tri-theism perhaps, but distinct persons in a union of oneness preserves monotheism.   The early disciples who were devout Jews were clearly staunch monotheists.  The revelation that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself was difficult to accept because they had never encountered anyone like Him before.  This was the Christian message from the beginning recorded in the New Testament.  It has not changed.

There are other misconceptions that the author described but these were the most misleading ones and important ones.