Differences between Muhammad and Jesus

Muhammad and Jesus

Differences between Muhammad and Jesus

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Although some similarities exist between Muhammad and Jesus, their differences are far greater. Let’s look at a few of the most important.

Different Claims

Muhammad said he was just a man; Jesus claimed to be God. In fact, Muhammad never claimed to be more than a man, a prophet of Allah. His following prayer reflects that:
“O Allah! I am but a man.” (Ahmed, Musnad, Vol. 6, pg. 103)

Although Jesus was fully a man who felt pain, became hungry, tired, and was tempted like us, Jesus also claimed to be fully God, equal with his heavenly Father. He said that prior to becoming a man, he and the father had always existed as one God, and had jointly created the universe.

Several popular conspiracy theories, like The Da Vinci Code, have asserted that the church invented Jesus’ divinity, but historical evidence indicates the earliest Christians believed that Jesus is both Lord and God.

Christianity would not be the same if Jesus’ disciples hadn’t truly believed he was God. (The term, “Son of God” does not mean a biological offspring, or that Jesus is inferior to his Father, it only reflects their relationship with one another within the godhead). All the evidence points to the fact that the disciples totally embraced his deity.

Different Character

As a mortal man, Muhammad sinned like us. Jesus was said to be “without sin” (John 8:46). Even his enemies were unable to accuse him of breaking any of God’s Commandments. But Muhammad admitted he had erred, and asked Allah for forgiveness three times (Sura al-Ghafir 40:55; 47:19 al-Fath 48:2).

Different Authority

Muhammad never performed a miracle (Qur’an 29:50), but Jesus exhibited complete authority over nature by performing numerous miracles (Mark 3:9,10).

Different Credentials

Jesus fulfilled ancient Hebrew prophecies; Muhammad did not. Muhammad offered no credentials but his revelation. Yet, nearly 300 Old Testament prophecies with 61 specific details were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Only God could have brought all those details to pass. Thus, Jesus is a perfect match for each of them. Jesus’ divine credentials were established by his fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word.

Different Power

Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated divine power; Muhammad died and his bones are reportedly within his grave at Medina. Jesus, on the other hand, came back to life three days after he was crucified and confirmed dead by Roman executioners. Both Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are historical facts for which there is compelling evidence.

Different Message

Jesus taught love and grace; Muhammad taught submission and rules. Muhammad taught that we must attain salvation by adhering to Islam’s Five Pillars of the Faith. In other words, our salvation depends on our own efforts. Even then, one has no assurance of forgiveness, and must depend upon the mercy of Allah for forgiveness. Some Muslims believe that the Qur’an teaches that becoming a martyr for Allah will gain them favor and they will be rewarded by a heavenly harem.

Jesus said God created us for a relationship with Himself. His plan is to adopt us into His heavenly family as His beloved children. However, we rebelled against Him and broke His moral laws. The Bible calls this sin. Such disobedience against a holy God requires judgment. Our good deeds, money, or prayers cannot take away our sins.

The Bible tells us God is a pursuing God who devised a plan to free us from our sin debt. God’s solution was to pay the price Himself. In order to accomplish that, Jesus became a man who would die in our place (Philippians 2:5). Jesus said: “God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to die for us” (John 3:16). Jesus taught that salvation is a free gift which must be embraced by faith in him alone, not our deeds. It is our choice to accept or reject God’s free pardon.

Similarities between Jesus and Muhammad

  Muhammad and Jesus

Similarities between Jesus and Muhammad

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Before we look at the differences between Jesus and Muhammad, let’s identify a few of their similarities.

Great religious leaders

Jesus and Muhammad established the world’s two largest religions, Christianity with 2.1 billion, and Islam with 1.8 billion people, together half of the world’s population.

Monotheism

Although their views of God’s nature were different, both men believed in and taught about one true God who is sovereign, infinite, all powerful, all-knowing, and the ultimate judge of all mankind.

Old Testament Scriptures

Both men accepted the Old Testament as God’s Word, and acknowledged Abraham, as the one through whom God would make a great people. Jews and Christians believe God’s promise is through Abraham’s son, Isaac, while Muslims believe it is through Abraham’s other son, Ishmael.

Written legacy

Neither Jesus nor Muhammad wrote a book. However, their respective followers recorded their words that we have today; the New Testament detailing the eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ life and words, and the Qur’an, which records Muhammad’s account of his revelation. Whereas Muslims regard the Qur’an as a “Miracle” that must be taken by faith without the necessity of evidentiary support, Christians point to numerous evidences of ancient documents substantiating the reliability of the New Testament.

Muhammad’s most enduring influence has been his ability to unite disparate groups of Arab peoples under the banner of Islam, primarily by military conquest. This influence spread further by conquests of several surrounding countries.

Between the 8th century to the 13th century, Islam was instrumental in several developments in the arts and sciences. This period of cultural advancement is called “The Golden Age of Islam” During this Golden Age Muslim scholars made contributions to literature, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and chemistry. Muhammad’s influence rings loud today through his 1.8 billion followers around the world.

Jesus Christ influenced Western Civilization peacefully. He told us that God loves each of us individually and created us for Himself. He taught us to love and forgive each other. Secular world historian Will Durant credits Jesus’ teachings with “the beginning of democracy.” Jesus’ teaching of the high value of the individual resulted in the establishment of schools such as Yale and Harvard, the abolition of slavery, the elevated dignity of women, and countless hospitals charities and humanitarian works.