YUSUFALI: They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity
PICKTHAL: They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three
SHAKIR: Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three
Do Christians believe God is a third of three? Let’s find out together.
Christians believe God is One in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each Person is God, in virtue of the Oneness of God*, so when Christians speak of the Father, they speak of God, or when they speak of the Son, they speak of God, or again when they speak of the Holy Spirit, they speak of God. This is why Christians sometimes say, “God the Father,” or “God the Son,” or “God the Holy Spirit.” Now, because each Person is God, Christians call the Son of the Father “the Son of God,” and they call the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of God”. It is a reafirmation of the Oneness of God.
When people hear God the Father, they might get confused and think, “So only one Person is God? But what are the other two?” And this can cause some misunderstanding. An exemplary case of such misunderstanding is Mohammed’s understanding of God in Christianity. He thought that the first Person - the Father - was only God, and so, he wondered what the other two Persons were. Because He saw Christians worshipping Jesus, and because he assumed that building churches dedicating to the saints was worship, he thought that the Trinity was God and Jesus and Jesus’ mother; he thought that Christians worship Jesus and Mary next to God. Hence, the Qu’ran states that Christians call God a third of three and say Christians place Jesus and Mary beside God.
- In Judaism and in Christianity, God is One and Unity. His Unity is a Oneness and His Oneness is a Unity. The understanding of God’s Oneness is different in both religions: In Judaism, God is a Unity in virtue of His Attributes; in Christianity, God is a Unity in virtue of His Persons. Jews believe the Word of God and the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) are two Attributes of God (Verbitum and Presence); Christians believe the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are two Persons (Son and Spirit).