by Pastor Gordon Brubaker

Christ Meeting the World

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them,
for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

1 Timothy 4:16


Serious Study Home / Community Door / Christianity and Islam Home Page

A Study of Conflicting Beliefs

Session Two - October 30, 2002
Q: “Who is Jesus Christ? Who is Muhammad?”

Questions for Discussion:
Who is Jesus Christ? A great prophet, teacher, lunatic, or God? 
Who is Muhammad? A great prophet, teacher, or lunatic?

Leaders command obedience. Any major religion must first be seen through the eyes of its founder. In both Christianity and Islam , the founders demand respect and submission.

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,”

(surah 33:21) "You have indeed in the messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Final Day, and who remembers Allah much."

Disciples must be able to trust the leaders commands and teachings. First criterion is to determine whether Muhammad and Jesus Christ are worthy models.


Muhammad was born in 570 in Mecca, part of a tribe whose duty was to keep the Ka’aba, a stone used for various offerings to pagan deities. Father, Abdulla, died before his birth. Mother, Amina, died when he was six. A grandfather cared for Muhammad for two years and then died. Uncle Abu Talib, became custodian. A normal childhood, except that he never participated in the pagan activities of Meccan life. It is claimed that Muhammad could never read or write.

As a young man, Muhammad gained the patronage of a wealthy widow, conducting her caravans to Syria, eventually marrying Khadija, 15 years his senior. Two sons died in infancy, of his four daughters two married future caliphs (spiritual and political leaders of Islam). 

When Muhammad was 50, Khadjia died. They were married 25 years. This was his only wife, an exception in his culture as most men of high status took numerous wives. Only later did Muhammad have eleven other women and took two concubines, the youngest of whom was nine when they consummated their marriage. These marriages occurred between 620 and 629 although existing Muslim law permitted only four wives.

When Muhammad was 40, he believed the angel Gabriel called him as the last and most authoritative prophet. Read “the most accepted account relates,” page 41-42, Unveiling Islam.

Muhammad expresses skepticism of his encounter with an archangel of Allah. Why would the greatest of prophets doubt the validity of his own defining vision? Muhammad was deathly afraid of the sources of the revelation, believing at first that he was possessed by an evil spirit or jinn.

(hadith 1.1.3) "Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration and with his heart beating severely. Then he went to Khadija bint Khuwailis and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and after that he told her everything that had happened and said, "I fear something may happen to me." Khadija replied, "Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones." "

Although Islam theology asserts that women are intellectually inferior to me (hadith says, “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?’ the women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’” Yet it was Khadiji who confirmed Muhammad’s revelations. Muhammad received his first revelation during the first week of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam where Muslims fast 40 days during the light from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and other activities. 

It was three years from the first to the second revelation from Allah. Muhammad became despondent, doubting that Allah was pleased with his conduct and obedience. Even Khadiji asked “Does not it seem that your Lord is displeased with you?” Muhammad contemplated jumping of Mount Hira to end his life. 

Muhammad repeatedly “believed himself to be demon possessed” page 44, Unveiling Islam. It was his wife’s desire that he would be “the Prophet of this nation.” Later wives believed Muhammad’s visions were authentic because of the uncontrollable convulsions he had at those times. Later revelations became more eccentric, Muhammad claiming that he spoke with the dead. Some Muslim scholars believe Muhammad was a psychic, endowed with heightened perception and sensitivity. 

Muhammad believed that some of his revelations were from Satan. One revelation encouraged intercession to certain idols. When questioned by young disciples, Muhammad withdrew the revelation, explaining that Satan had deceived him. Thus we have what has become known as the “Satanic verses.” 

Muhammad would at times change the words of the revelation with seeming unconcern. One well known disciple left Muhammad questioning his revelations based on these discrepancies. If Allah were the source of the revelations, how can a mere messenger of Allah have the arrogance to change the revelation? Even if god were the source, how can the Qur’an be trusted if the human author was careless and inconsiderate with the revelation? 

When Muhammad proclaimed to the Meccans that their goddesses were myths and that Allah was the only true god, he was quickly subjected to persecution. Soon after his wife Khadija died (620), as well as his greatest benefactor. Without their protection, even his own tribesmen would not protect him.

Before he left Mecca, Muhammad claimed to have been translated into the heavenly realm, passing first through the land around Jerusalem. Here he met all of the major prophets, including Moses and Jesus. This was the final straw for many in Mecca. In 621 a dozen men from Medina secretly accepted the faith and devoted their lives to Muhammad, and began adding to their number. Mecca’s leaders decided to assassinate Muhammad and end this religion. 

This became the starting point of Islam. Muhammad’s escape is seen as a confirmation of their faith. Muhammad arrived safely in Medina on September 24, 622. Here they found acceptance because of a strong Jewish tradition of monotheism. Islam adopted the practice of the Jews of praying toward Jerusalem, instead of Mecca, accepted the Jewish Day of Atonement as a day of fasting. 

Muhammad quickly united a factionally divided region. The Jews also quickly noticed the contradictions between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Qur’an and rejected Muhammad’s message and authority. 

(surah 9:29) "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been fobidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay compensation with willijng submission, and feel themselves subdued."

(surah 5:82a) "Strongest men in enmity to the Believers [Muslims] will you find the Jews and Pagans."

(surah 98:6); "Those who disbelieve, among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in hell-fire, to dwell therein [for aye]. They are the worst of creatures."


Muhammad had unified the region, yet had lost his ability to make a living. The caravan trade could no longer sustain his family. The Muslims began raiding caravans for financial gain. They felt justified since their enemies had expelled them from their homes; they saw themselves as fighters in the cause of Allah. There  was no governmental call for warfare, only individual desire. Ethical values seemed to play little or no role. The Muslim cause was just, justifying every deed. 

Muhammad became a warrior-prophet. 

(surah 4:95-96) "Not equal are those Believers who sit [at home], except those who are disabled. And those who strive and fight [jihad] in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah has granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit [at home]. Unto all [in Faith] has Allah promised good: But to those who strive and fight He has distinguished above those who sit [at home] by a great reward. -- Ranks specifically bestowed by Him and Forgiveness and Mercy. For Allah is oft-forgiving. Most Merciful."

(surah 3:195) "Those who have left their homes, and were driven out there from, and suffered harm in My Cause, and fought and were slain, -- Verily, I will blot out from them their iniquities, and admit them into Gardens with rivers flowing beneath; -- A reward from Allah and from Allah is the best of rewards."

(surah 9:5) "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them, in every stratagem of war."

This command to engage in jihad only ends when the enemies are “subdued” and will pay compensation for Islamic protection. This tribute program eternally unites Islam with the state. The Hadith states that no Muslim who kills an infidel deserves death.


Muhammad was a great war tactician. Comparatively he was less cruel than his contemporaries. He showed no mercy for his critics. His goal was to see his fellow tribesmen convert to Islam. Muhammad seldom gained converts except though coercion. A current example is the Taliban in Afghanistan. Muhammad was capable of showing great mercy and great cruelty. 

Muhammad Haykal, a noted defender of the Islamic faith, “asserts that even if all charges against Muhammad are true, he could still ‘refute them with the simple argument that the great stand above the law.’” “Muslim scholars proclaim Muhammad as someone to be heard and also followed. Haykal concludes, ‘[Muhammad’s} life constitutes the highest ideal, the perfect example, and the concrete instance of the Lord’s command.’”

(surah 5:33) “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands, and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.” 

Although treason against Allah and the Islamic State differ widely in Muslim countries, in the perfect example of Muhammad treason varies from armed to verbal insurrection. Under this description, missionaries are criminals guilty of treason!

Muhammad was able in his lifetime to bring a unity to the people of his area halting the constant tribal warfare. Faith replaced blood as the closest tie. He improved the conditions of women in his day. Personally he maintained a lifestyle of simplicity even after he was financially wealthy. 

Muhammad died June 8, 632.


Muslims believe in Jesus. They believe Jesus was a great prophet. His name occurs 25 times in the Qur’an. They believe Jesus was born of a virgin, that Jesus preached the truth. Yet Muslims assert that Jesus is not worthy of worship and praise, but only of admiration as a messenger of Allah.

Muslims believe that Jesus, like Adam, was created. “The similitude of Jesus before Allah is that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: ‘Be’: And he was.” (surah 3:59). Thus Jesus was a mere man, and not the eternal Son of God.

The virgin birth is seen not as a sign of Jesus’ nature and power, but a sign of Allah’s power. Allah can and will do as he pleases.

All that needs to be known about Jesus is contained in the Qur’an, surah 5:47. Islam believes taht only fragments of Jesus’ message is preserved in the Christian Bible and it has been so badly corrupted that it cannot be recovered. Jesus merely worked to prevent false worship. 

That Jesus is not God is the essential difference between Jesus of Islam and the Jesus of Christianity. 

( surah 5:75) “Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him.” 

Jesus’ real name is Isa. His mother was Mariam (Mary) the daughter of Imran (3:34,35) – the Amram of Exodus 6:20 (Aaron and Moses’ father). Mary was fostered by Zachariah (father of John the baptist), surah 19:28. The Qur'an tells us, Isa spoke while still in the cradle, breathed life into clay birds, healed blind lepers and raised the dead. He also foretold the coming of Muhammad. 

The Muslim who links the nature of Allah with the nature of man has committed the ultimate sin (shirk). Jesus is called the “son of Mary” 23 times stressing his humanity and mortality. Messiah was simply a title for one on a precise mission. Jesus was sent specifically to the Jews, the same as others were sent to different people groups. As a messenger, Jesus was a prophet since Allah gave revelation through Him. 

To the Muslim, Jesus did not die on the cross! They cannot say confidently what happened, but they believe that one of the disciples died in Jesus’ place, while Jesus hid; or that God made Judas Iscariot to appear like Jesus and to take His place; or Simon of Cyrene replaced Jesus before the crucifixion; or even that Satan himself was put on the cross as a punishment for his disobedience. Since Muslims believe there is no original sin, there is no need of a savior.

Since then Jesus did not die, his mission is not completed. Jesus will return and battle and defeat the anti-Christ, confess Islam, kill all pigs (destroy the Jews) break all crosses (destroy Christianity), establish 1,000 years of righteousness. Then He will die and be buried next to Muhammad.

Yassar Arafat, addressing the United nations in 1983 called Jesus “the first Palestinian fedayeen who carried his sword.” Jesus was an Islamic freedom fighter. 

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