Do Muslims Worship the Same God?

To lazy to read? The short answer is yes. Ok, go back to Netflix.

I’m going to paraphrase a long quote from Lumen Gentium Paragraph 16.

Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God….But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind. – Pope Paul VI

Now notice that Paul VI uses the word for God “the Creator”. Obviously the God that Christians worship, which is not simply God the creator, but also the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Muslims do not believe this, and some would say that the Muslim God is so different because of this that it does not count as the same God we worship. I would say that this is focusing only on the differences and not on the similarities, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater. 

That is a valid point to bring up, but is not sufficient to say that we do not worship the same God. One of God the Father has a main quality, that he created. If I was to say “I believe in the same God as you, but he did not create the universe” then ya, that’s not the same God. For example “Pantheists” believe that nature is God and that there is no outside force holding nature in place. That has a certain amount of truth to it however I wouldn’t equate it with the Christian God. Muslims however believe in the Abrahamic God, the same God present in the earliest writings of the bible. From what I understand, Muslims followed Ishmael’s lineage and Christians follow Isaacs.


Now that is not to say that Christians can embrace the full Islamic religion. There are very important differences but at its core we do worship the same God and we have so much we could learn from Muslims. There is a problem that arises from when we only account for our differences and focus little on our similarities. It leads to a “us vs. Them” mentality and we see them as enemies rather than allies. They most certainly are our allies when we live in such a secular, dare I say, anti-theistic world! 

What I think people don’t realize is that the criticisms of Muslims from non-religious people can easily be turned on Christians as well. Some say Muslims are violent or oppress women or believe in an archaic book. All these attacks can be used against Christians as well. We can respond with “not all Muslims are violent, only some” or “oppression of women is rooted in people, much deeper than simply their religion” or “just because a book is old doesn’t make it untrue”. Even if these arguments from non-religious people are somewhat true, the sweeping generalizations made are not true. Furthermore from a secular perspective those sweeping generalizations, sweep us Christians away with them.

 

So when we hear someone say anything negative about Muslims that is unfair, untrue or over generalizes them, we have a duty to object! Justice calls us to defend Muslims far more often than we realize! When we let a joke slide that makes fun of a religious Islamic tradition, we allow them to make fun of our Christian traditions as well.it is our obligation to defend religions of all sorts against slander. If we do not, we are really letting slide slanderous words about Christians and ultimately slanderous words about the one true God.

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