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I've always been interested in Islam, ever since high school when I had a good friend on the debate team who was a practicing Muslim. She didn't wear a head scarf and would wear short sleeves, but never shorts. She was sweet, articulate, intelligent, and didn't have any desire to blow me up. I get frustrated when I hear people make sweeping comments about how violent all Muslims are. I still keep in touch with her and we've had some fascinating conversations about religion and politics.

With all that said, I'm reading a most interesting book, one that I can't put down. It's called My Year Inside Radical Islam (you can see the link down the page). And what I'm most struck with is a glaring inconsistency that's bothered me for a while about how Muslims view Christians. Here it is:

1. On the one hand, my friend has shared with me that as a Christian, I am a "person of the book", meaning that like Jews and Muslims, since I believe in only one God (monotheism), I am OK and can go to heaven, so I'm not really an infidel. The book I'm reading basically echoes this sentiment, and this inclusivism drew the author to his Muslim faith. Since we all share a reverence for the prophets of the Old Testamant, and Jesus is included as a "good teacher", then we all basically believe the same thing. There's a mistaken belief that Jews, Christians and Muslims all pray to the same god; they just call him by different names.

2. BUT, my friend also tells me that if I associate partners with God then I am committing the ultimate sin and will automatically go to hell. Muslims believe that the Christian belief in the triune God is polytheism. Because we see Jesus as the God-Man, both fully God and fully Man, they we must believe in more than one god.

So my question is: which is it? I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone and it's bugging me. Any thoughts? I really am just curious about these theological differences


We watched a video series called The Great Divide: A Christian Introduction to the Muslim Religion [DVD]
by Alvin Schmidt. I thought it was very informative and helpful in understanding what they really teach.

I can't believe you're an hour away from WalMart! I thought we were in the middle of nowhere, but we have a SUPER Wal-Mart. I shop once a week, and have no doubt that we save tons of money that way. When I worked, it seemed that we shopped every night - $$.

Love the blog - will visit often!

April 8, 2007 at 10:08 PM  

hello Juloyes,
i just across your blog by chance while browsing the web and now i feel the urge to respond although it has been so long since you posted this that you may have lost interest in the subject.

if you are interested in islam i would highly recommend that you learn it from its "primary" sources. "my year inside radical islam" might teach you something about muslims - or one person's experience inside a geographically limited community informed by its social and political environment over the course of an year - but you can hardly expect to get a handle on islam from this reading. my intention is not to disparage the book, i have not read it.

english translations of the quran ( are readily available so too are english biographies of the prophet (peace be upon him). there are the only primary sources of islam. having said that let me address your question to the best of my knowledge.

although there numerous quranic verses that could be quoted i will highlight only three.

Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.

O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.

Indeed, Allah does not forgive association with Him, but He forgives what is less than that for whom He wills. And he who associates others with Allah has certainly fabricated a tremendous sin.

muslims believe that islam is not a new religion that was revealed to the prophet muhammad. in fact it was the religion of god from the first day. all the prophets and messengers of god taught the same essential message "worship none save the one true god". in deed, prophet muhammad only reiterated this primordial message. in this sense the true followers of jesus and moses (peace be upon them) are muslims in this sense. the divination of christ is an innovation in the christian religion in the sight of islam.

yet, it is not in the right of any muslim to decree that another person will go to heaven or hell whether he be muslim or otherwise. this is because only allah knows what is in the hearts of people and he can allow out of his mercy who he wills into the garden of paradise.

January 14, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

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