Key differences between Islam and Christianity



I  S  L  A  M


C  H  R  I  S  T  I  A  N  I  T  Y

Garden of Eden

Not on earth (Sura 2:30-39; 7:19-25; 20:116-123).

There was no direct relationship with man, except via the Spirit (Ruh), or Gabriel.

On earth: Gen. 3:8-9 - God walks and talks with man.

God limits Himself - Response expected- in Relationship with man


Distant, transcendent, is merciful to those who do his will; a master to be obeyed. HE is LORD

He is LORD, Personal, Yahweh, Abba   Relational/Sacrificial.

He is Just/Righteous (Ps. 77:13; 99:9; Heb. 1:13). He loves His enemies also and wants them to come back to Him in fellowship through Jesus.


Wahid, God is only one dimensional

Tawhid: the unity of God

‘Do not say three’ (Sura 4:171)

 God is one in three persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – Trinity (Gen. 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7. Deut. 6:4; Matthew 28:18-20; John 8:58 ... ). Best explained by: ‘God is love’.


Relation to God = Taqwa (fear of God). Muslim = one who obeys, born as Muslim, no choice, slave. God is not our Father, but Master and we are his slaves – no more or no less. 

Made in God's image (Gen. 2:27). Not born as a Christian, Freedom to choose.

God is our Father and Lord.


Adam's disobedience was forgiven but banished to earth.

 No relationship existed with God, so none was lost.

Sin = just breaking God's law - no corruption, just weakness to Satan's seduction.

Adam was sinless (perfect) = in relationship with God.

Adam sinned - (Imperfect) knew right from wrong, broke trust, hid, thrown out of Eden, lost relationship with God - no sin in God’s presence.


The consequence of Sin = punishment alone.

The shedding of blood does not bring forgiveness (Sura 6:164; 53:38). Innocent cannot take the place of the guilty. That is unjust. God must not die. It shows the inadequacy of God.

Why Eid sacrifices? (Sura 37:112)

The consequence of sin is death (Eze. 18:20; Rom. 6:23). Thus, need atonement (Lev. 4:21, 26, 35).

NT. Sin separates and atonement redeems. Atonement needs blood (Heb 9:22).

Demanded by Abraham (Gen. 22) and fulfilled in Christ on the Cross (Heb 9:12, 14, 26, 27; 10:10).


Chasm, gap, between God/man, no pollution.

To believe that Jesus Christ is God, is Shirk, blasphemy (Sura 4:48, 5:75-76; 41:6; 27:8-9?)

Best communication = Emmanuel - God with us; Theophany – The manifestation of the divine in human form (Philippians 2:7-8).

Jesus came to eradicate sin and repair the relationship.


Qur'an = Nazil = sent down, via Gabriel to Muhammad. Inimitable (Sura 2:23, 10:37-38, 17:88). Although the Qur’an upholds the veracity of the Torah, the Psalms, books of the Prophets, and the Gospel of Jesus, Muslims often state that the Bible is corrupted. Also, because the Bible has many versions.

1. Progressive and authoritative.

2. General revelation = nature

3. Special revelation = prophets.

4. Personal revelation = Jesus Christ.

5. On-going revelation = Holy Spirit

(Hebrews 1:1-2; John 14:16-26; 16:7:15; Acts 2:36-37, etc.).


Insh'allah  - If God wills (Sura 9:51; 16:93-95). God leads astray and guides whom he chooses.  No choice, destiny (Qismet)

God’s foreknowledge (God seeks, we respond)

Salvation = personal choice


Khilafa system, controlled by Caliph, Ulama who use Islamic law -  Shari'a.

Jihad (both spiritual and military struggle) is used to establish Dar al-Islam;

Both State and the people’s role is to do Da'wa (Islamic evangelism).

Apostasy is treated as treason.

Punishment is death

Sojourners, Kingdom of God in our hearts controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Rights for Caesar and God.

Jesus will establish the perfect kingdom. Christians to reach humanity (Matt 28:19-20).

Christians are to share the good news of assurance of salvation with others

Apostates can be ‘excommunicated’ from fellowship. Punishment is left to God

Spirit World

Dualistic: Folk Islam, Jinns

Exists, controlled by Holy Spirit


Verbatim and memorized, one-way communication – recitation

5 Obligatory prayers only in Arabic

Communication with God is two-way, praise, request, and responses. Reading (reciting) and praises – worship in any language


Garden = carnal delights, a river of wine, houris, for man’s pleasure (Sura 55:56; 56:35-36). God absent. 

Eden revisited, a God-centered, relationship with God realized eternally. God dwells among His people. God is glorified.


No Assurance. Muhammad: ‘I do not know ...’ (Sura 46:9). The Qur’an gives assurance in this life to those who are killed as martyrs in Jihad- not 100 % sure.

Assurance:  Yes. Jesus: ‘Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life’ (John 3:36; 6:50-51; John 3:16; John 14:1-7; Acts 17:31; 1 Thessalonian 1:5; Revelation 1:17-18).


 In detail, you may read Steven's book, One God, One Mediator, One People (pages 254) available here to purchase.