A simple question about Islam

What are 5 things Catholicism shares in common with Islam?

What are 5 things that are in polar opposition to Islam?

Thanks, I look fwd to your answers.

I’m a student of Islam. I can help

5 Similarities:

  • The use of a central body of doctrine to interpret Scripture. Whilst Catholicism has the Catechism and Magisterium to help doctrinal understanding, the Islamic faith has the hadith, which include explanations of Qur’an passages, instructions on Islamic law and other issues, all given by the Prophet Muhammad (saw). OK, it differs slightly in its workings, but both the Magisterum and the hadith have a direct link to their original source (the Catholic Church has apostolic succession, Islam has isnads or chains of transmission).

  • Emphasis on works of charity and good deeds. Catholicism has long had a history of charity and works as an example of Christian message, including aiding the sick, helping those with leprosy, giving shelter to travellers, educating children in some of the poorest countries in the world, disaster relief etc. Islam also places emphasis on charity, and in fact zakah (almsgiving) is a compulsory practice of Islam. Islamic charities all around the world also give disaster relief, provide education to the poor, helping the sick etc.

  • Emphasis on gender roles. The Church has long been known for its stance on women priests/deacons and the like, and is emphatic on the separate roles of women and men as per the creation of Adam and Eve as two separate beings. Catholicism is also emphatic that man and women have different attributes roles, both spiritually and physically. Islam has something along the same lines, with women barred from being imams (leaders in mosques) but equally having their role as good Muslimahs and as equal members of Islam put forward.

  • Mary! Islam holds Mary to be worthy of honour as the mother of 'Isa, a prophet chosen by God. But she is not venerated in the Catholic manner. However, she is held as an example of a good Muslimah.

  • Genuflection/prostration. This is probably scraping the barrel, but kneeling, prostration (this is used at a priest’s ordination I believe)and bowing are both part of Islamic and Catholic practices. Similarly, the use of the tasbeh (prayer beads) is a similar practice to the Catholic rosary, although the tashbeh is typically used to recite the 99 Names of Allah and not prayers.

**5 Differences! **

  • Single most obvious one: Islam rejects the Crucifixion of Christ, or even his divinity. Islam also rejects the current form of the Gospels as corrupt along with Torah.

  • Islam has no one central authority unlike the Pope in the Church. There are leaders for various sects, scholarly schools and various authorities, but no central authority.

  • Islam permits divorces, and any woman or man can get a divorce. Similarly, as far as I’m ware, there is no system of annulments in Islam. You either remain married or you get divorced.

  • Islam rejects the intercession of a person for another, including saints. This applies not just to the Crucifixion, but also to the Catholic principle of the intercession of the saints. Rather, each man is called to account for his own deeds.

  • Islam permits the use of family planning, artificial contraception but does not allow adoption due to sharia rulings on inheritances.

Could you recommend a good book to understand islam from the christian perspective?


I’d have to look up some titles, as I’m currently on my Kindle and can’t open up another window, but a good place to start is Muhammad: The LIfe of the Prophet by Karen Armstrong, which goes through the life of the Holy Prophet and some of Islam’s major teachings. It’s well-written but simple enough to follow even if you’re not particularly knowledgable about Islam.

There’s also a good book which I read some time ago called Understanding Islam; The First Ten Steps by Chris Hewer which looks at both the foundation of Islam and also the teachings and practices of the faith.

Both are written by non-Muslims, but I’m unsure as to whether anything has specifically been written by Christians on Islam other than evangelical texts.

Could you elaborate a bit. Doesn’t a moslem father or mother pray for their own children? Don’t they pray for relatives, other moslems or non-moslems?

It’s well-written but simple enough to follow even if you’re not particularly knowledgable about Islam.

  1. We both affirm that God is One
  2. This means that we live our lives in complete submission to God

We both understand that to require…
3. prayer
4. fasting
5. service to the poor

  1. Christianity claims that God is Trinity; Islam finds that incompatible with the common affirmation that God is One

  2. Christianity claims that Jesus is God; Islam also finds that incompatible with the affirmation that God is One.

  3. Christians believe that Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God; Muslims believe the Qur’an to be the ultimate revelation of God.

  4. Christians understand themselves to be the fulfillment of a particular religious tradition that begins with Israel’s God; Islam affirms that God’s relation is equally with all humanity, God’s call to humanity is universal, and prophets were given to every nation.

  5. Christians require on a mediator between themselves and God; Islam affirms a direct relationship between God and humanity (which is what I think Kouyate meant when they said that Islam rejects intercessors… but that doesn’t seem to be the right way to put it since there is both prayer for others and a rich tradition of saints).

John Esposito is Catholic writer whose work on Islam is widely respected by Muslims.

Yes, it is more than acceptable to offer du’aa on behalf of others. But what I meant by rejection of intercessors is that Islam holds the idea that each man is able to speak to God directly, but also that each man is accountable for his actions in front of Allah alone. When the Last Day comes, if anyone claims that they prayed to saints, to the Prophet Jesus (saw), to Mary, to anyone other than Allah for forgiveness of sin or aid, these same saints, Jesus, Mary, anyone held in veneration other than Allah, they will be present on the Day of Judgment to witness to Allah that they never asked for nor accepted worship, veneration nor could answer prayer.

Kouyate said this in another thread

Rather than disrespecting the Bible and the Church Fathers you should look to your uninspired Quran that says this:

“Nay, and by the moon” – Surah 74:32

Abdallah Yusif Ali your trusted Muslims scholar comments “The moon was worshipped as a deity in times of darkness”

Yousuf Ali further comments:

“Moon-worship was equally popular in various forms………Apollo and Diana—the twin brother and sister, representing the sun and moon. …in the Vedic religion of India the moon god was Soma, the lord of the planets…….moon was male divinity in ancient India. Moon was also male divinity in ancient Semitic religion, and the Arabic word for the moon “qamar’ is of the masculine gender, on the other hand, the Arabic word for sun “shams” is feminine gender. The pagan Arabs evidently looked upon the sun as a goddess and the moon as a God.

Allah was imitating what the pagans used do i.e. swear by the moon god. Why should I believe in a book where it has God imitating the pagans???

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Select “Other Religions”

Answering Islam
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Beginning Apologetics 9: How To Answer Muslims
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The Bible and the Qu’ran
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*]There is no Father/child relationship between God and human beings. In other words, the “Our Father” prayer is blasphemy.

*]The Muslim version of God does not have unconditional love for his human beings. The Muslim version of God is only concerned about being worshiped.

*]Christians worship God out of love. Muslims worship God out of obedience.

*]Islam considers its scripture, the Quran, to be co-eternal with God. We believe the Son and the Holy Spirit to be co-eternal with the Father. We believe scripture is divinely inspired.

Leaving your first point aside, the second point is silly and obviously untrue, and the third point is a distinction without difference. Even for Christians, love of God is revealed by their obedience, for instance. Finally, not all Muslims would talk about the Qur’an being co-eternal with God in the manner you just described…and the language of co-eternal is problematic on its own. If it is the eternal word of God, the words would have to be God, since God is One.

The second point concerning unconditional love is not silly. Here are quotes from Muslims when I posed this question on a Muslim form.

*]“Islamic God is different. To put it in simple terms ; He loves those who do good deeds, He dislikes those who do bad deeds. That is why there is hell. None of this “but God loves us all”, unless people believe hell is for show and that God puts people He loves in hell. You don’t kill 100 people and say “but God still loves me it’s all good”. Just doesn’t work like that in Islam. It’s a very balanced and rational based God.”

In Catholicism, God does not send people to hell. We send ourselves to hell by rejecting God and his will.

*]“The ones whom God loves, those are a special set of people–Allah says in the Qur’an in various places that He loves the people who do good, and the people who constantly repent, and the people who purify themselves, for instance. And there are those whom God does not love–those who cause corruption, who disbelieve, and who are unjust, for instance.”

In Catholicism, God loves the worst sinners and because of his fatherly love he desires that they repent.

Third point: If I understand correctly, Muslims submit to God’s will out of obedience. Catholics submit to God’s will out of love. We submit so we can love and worship him with all our hearts and mind.

Fourth point: I admit I really don’t understand this completely, However, I suspect this co-eternal belief of the Quran is why many Muslims get extremely violent when a Quran is burned.

I am sorry if I offend you. I find Islamic spirituality very hard to understand. I would appreciate any further clarification you can give.

Another difference is the Quran teaches about what to do with the spoils of war. The Gospels do not teach Christians to make offensive war nor what to do with the spoils of war.

The characteristics of God as seen in the Qur’an and the Bible are very similar (I would say this includes your comments on war as well). In the Bible, there are all sorts of people God rejects and even hates… most famously, “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated” (which is a claim about God’s attitude toward Esau from his conception… not because of any particular sin he has committed). Paul even uses this as a general rule to understand God’s relationship to all human beings. If you are going to affirm people in hell, at the very least one has to state that they are NOT there against God’s will (otherwise, you are not really talking about God in the first place).

How you interpret those passages in the larger context of a doctrine of God is, of course, another matter.

God’s love for those in sin is one of the most constant themes of the Qur’an. Over and over again God calls out, promising mercy to those who repent.

Moreover, Love itself is one of the canonical 99 names of God that Muslims frequently recite.

Finally, the goal of Islam is to achieve union with God; the peace that the Muslim seeks can only be found through “oneing” (tawhid; uniting). But this is only achieved through love. “Obedience” in return for a reward (e.g., if I don’t break the law, I will go to heaven) is in fact shirk (i.e., idolatry); you are putting something (desire for a reward) in the place of God. The ultimate motive underlying all our acts ought always to be God; we ought always to act out of love and desire for God and for no other reason.

The Pentateuch seems to be the only 5 things that come to my mind.

Their god is not Jesus Christ- the one true Lord and God of all.

and…well…there you have it!

He who does not have the father does not have the son and vice versa.

I know where you’re headed next - [what about the Jews?] The Jews are God’s chosen people so, don’t even go there.

Islam in it’s origins was not considered a religion - it was considered a simplistic synthesis of Christianity…a heresy at the time that gained strength and popularity by way of threats, wars and violence. Much like it still is today.

Some day, in the not so distant future, many muslims will convert to Catholicism. And then the heads will really start to roll.

I think our biggest difference in our understanding of God is that in Islam God is a Creator and we are God’s creations just like all the other creations are created by God.

In Christianity, God is not mere Creator but a Father for those who believe thus Christians can call God daddy, papa or abba which is an abomination to Islam. Therefore there is big difference in the relationship between God and humans according to both religions respectively.

:thumbsup:, Allah in Islam created human being to just worship Him, while GOD in the Bible shared His love with the human being…

The bible says that God created man to glorify Him.

The concept of God as a Father is one that makes Christianity unique because mainly people see God only as a Creator. But Christianity teaching does not stop as us being merely creations that are being loved by the Creator. After all, there are many things and specie being created.

In term of human-God relationship, the implication of being children of God and being merely creations of God would make lots of difference. This is a major difference between Christianity and Islamic concept of God.

In the Bible there are many instances of what it likes to be children of human father but what more to being children of God. Even Christians themselves find it is hard to live as children of God simply because they have seen and experienced being children of their own imperfect human fathers that had left wounds on them. But Christ has never had a father wound because he had a perfect Father.

Christian’s relationship with the Father begins where Jesus began, with the knowledge that we are loved by the Father and they must let Him love them. The deepest need in everyone’s heart is simply to be loved. It doesn’t matter how tough we are, how self made we are, whether we are the Pope or the President, what we need is to be loved. Unless we get that basic need filled, we will try to fill that need with other things and therefore can never truly love as how God loves.

That’s why we see hatred in the world and there are people who justify hatred.

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