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The God of the Koran

Essay by The Rev. Pastor Lloyd Gross

Don't let anybody tell you that the god of the Koran is the God of the Bible. Whoever says such nonsense has never read the Koran, or has never read the Bible. Although it should be obvious to everyone that a God who rewards suicides and murderers cannot be the same God who gave us the Commandments, there are Christian clergy who claim they are the same, and who speak of "the three Abrahamitic faiths" as if there were some claim to solidarity among the three. This is a vain and false notion.

Consider Abraham: He had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael became the father of the Arabs, Isaac of the Israelites and Edomites. The Torah is very clear as to which of the two received Abrahamís blessing, which of the two carried the Messianic promise, which of the two were "born of the Spirit." Ishmael and his mother were put out of Abraham's life. Ishmael's wife was an Egyptian. Isaac's wife was a descendant of Nahor, that is, a Hebrew woman. Nevertheless, the Koran insists that Abraham's true family comes through Ishmael, not Isaac. St. Paul, in Galatians 4, tells the New Testament meaning of Ishmael and Isaac. What happens to that meaning if the story is the way the Koran presents it?

The Koran was written by Mohammed, an Arab nationalist. He continually denies the Holy Trinity throughout the book, claiming that Jesus was merely a Prophet like Moses. The Koran is by far the most anti-semitic book ever written. Those suras (passages) helped Mohammed justify his wholesale murder of Jews at Medina. When the Imam in Parma spoke of the Jews as "apes and swine" he was merely repeating the Koran (Sura 5:60). In another place the Koran teaches: "Even the stone behind which a Jew hides will say, 'O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'" Mohammed certainly fulfilled such teachings in his life. He went around Medina rounding up the Jewish "tribes" (extended families) forcing them to convert to Islam or be killed. When he turned on the Banu Qurayzah, he sat on a small mound and watched his men behead 900 of them in one afternoon.

Apparently, no one ever taught Mohammed the true doctrine of the Holy Trinity. He thought that the Trinity was God the Father, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus. It is just possible that Mohammed's source for this was a carelessly-observed Catholic piety. However, he had it all wrong. The doctrine of the Trinity, as taught in both the Old and New Testaments, shows God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the terms Jesus used when He instituted Holy Baptism.

Whence came such a religion? Mohammed claims he received it by revelation from the angel, Gabriel. More probably it was a fallen angel, for the religion that was revealed was a despicable falsehood that originated with Satan. But Mohammed also made up a lot of it, particularly the convenient "revelation" he received from time to time indicating that young women should yield to his advances. His domestic troubles were legion, but he dismissed them by receiving new "revelation." In each case, Allah ruled that the wives were wrong, and should do what Mohammed said. Had he not had such a problem with sex, he might have lived out his life as a semi-successful camel dealer in Mecca. But once he found that people listened to his "revelation," he kept going to that well until he had made up a rather sophisticated religion.

Over the years, tradition has been added to the Koran. The god taught by Islam is said to be completely other, completely unknowable. Actually, he is taught as completely unpredictable and arbitrary. Unlike the God of the Bible, who reveals Himself as well as His will, who loves His people and tells them so, who makes promises and always keeps them, the god of the Koran might keep a promise and he might not ≠ to subject him to his own word would be a compromise of his sovereignty. As a result, Allah is irresponsible, puerile, and highly emotional. One positive is that he is presented as loving order, so he differs there from Satan who prefers chaos.

Can Muslims be saved? Not as long as they say that Jesus was nothing more than a Prophet. The fact is, Jesus was, and is, God Incarnate. He had to be, because a Redeemer was needed who was both righteous and mortal. In Christ, God solved this. Those who acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the Nations, who come to Him through Holy Baptism and have their sins forgiven, will be saved regardless of many years of slavery to Islam.

Every Christian should read The Divine Comedy, an epic poem of the late Middle Ages, written by the Tuscan poet, Dante. In the 28th Canto of Inferno, he depicts Mohammed as sentenced to the 8th ring, running the circuit of hell which takes a year. As each new circuit begins, a demon with a sword slashes him and mutilates him as punishment for his mutilation of the church by the dreadful schism of Islam. This is poetry, not Scripture, but it is fair and just to God's revelation, and shows poetic justice to the heretic Mohammed.

Does Dante speak also of the God of the Bible? Yes indeed. This comes from Canto 33 of Paradiso:

  • For within the substance, deep and radiant, of that Exalted Light, I saw three rings
  • Of one dimension, yet of triple hue. One seemed to be reflected by the next, as Iris is by Iris; and the third seemed fire, shed forth equally by both.
  • How powerless is speech - how weak, compared to my conception, which itself is trifling beside the mighty vision that I saw.

Dante then described that the light took on for him the image of a human face that joined all things together. He concludes with these lines:

  • My power now failed that phantasy sublime: my will and my desire were both revolved, as in a wheel in even motion driven, by Love, which moves the sun and other stars.

There you have it. The God of the Bible is Love. The God of the Koran is a self-absorbed, self-serving tyrant. How can they possibly be the same?

Lloyd Gross is the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Cleveland, Ohio.

Essay © 2004, Lloyd Gross. Used by permission. It may be reproduced in totality, including this disclaimer, by anyone, provided that no profit is generated by said republication and redistribution. Translations into other languages should similarly note the United States and any appropriate international copyrights, as well as God's Scriptural injunctions concerning the property of others.

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