Chapter 8: Mohammed and Jesus Christ
by Robert Morey
ince Islam claims that Mohammed and
Jesus of Nazareth were both Muslims and both prophets sent by Allah, these
two mighty prophets must coincide in all points and never contradict each
other. After all, if the same Allah sent both of them, it is only logical
to assume that their ministries and messages cannot in principle
contradict each other. Otherwise, Allah would be contradicting himself.
This is, of course, received as a tenet of faith by the orthodox Muslims
and is not open to question in their minds.
Yet Westerners cannot gratuitously
accept such a belief without first comparing the ministries and messages
of these men to see if, in fact, they are in complete accord. But how is
this to be done? Everyone agrees that the life and teaching of Mohammed
can be reconstructed from the Qur’an. But what about Jesus of Nazareth?
Some Muslims attempt to block any attempt to compare
the biblical Jesus to the quranic Mohammed by claiming that the Bible is
hopelessly corrupt and that the Jesus of the New Testament is not the true
Jesus. But this approach lands them in yet deeper problems. Because the
Qur’an uses the New Testament Gospels for information on Jesus (such as
His virgin birth), if they are corrupt, then so is the Qur’an.
Modern Muslim attempts to
limit our information about Jesus to what the Qur’an says about Him once
again reflect circular reasoning. In one friendly debate with a Muslim
student, the following conversation took place:
Muslim: The Qur’an is true in all
Non-Muslim: But it contradicts the
Muslim: Then the Bible is corrupt.
Non-Muslim: But how do you know that
the Bible is corrupt? Do you have any textual proof.
Muslim: I don’t need any textual
proof because I know that the Bible is corrupt.
Non-Muslim: But how do you know
Muslim: The Qur’an is true in all
the best way to deal with the issue is to lay aside all a priori
assumptions of the inspiration of either the Bible or the Qur’an and
simply compare the Bible and the Qur’an as two literary documents. This
literary approach will help us stay objective in comparing the life of
Jesus and the lie of Mohammed.
literary comparison, we will restrict ourselves to the founding literary
documents of each religion. The life of Mohammed will be drawn only from
the Qur’an, just as the life of Jesus will be drawn only from the New
Testament. This will keep things honest and fair. We will not utilize any
of the later Muslim legends which try desperately to elevate Mohammed’s
life above mediocrity and add to it elements of the miraculous. Due to the
limitations of this book, we can give only a brief survey of a number of
the comparisons between Mohammed and Jesus. Those readers who wish to
study this issue in depth should consult Alfred Guillaume’s book The
Traditions of Islam, which is the fullest treatment we know on the
The birth, life, death, and
resurrection of Jesus were clearly prophesied in the Old Testament,
according to the New Testament. Several examples will suffice. Micah 5:2
gives us the very name of the town in which the Messiah would be born. On
the day Christ died, no less than 33 Old Testament prophecies were
fulfilled. The coming of Christ was preceded by the preaching of John the
Baptist, in the spirit and power of Elijah, according to the prophecy in
Isaiah 40 and Malachi 4.
This is in stark contrast to
the coming of Mohammed, which was not predicted by pagan soothsayers, Old
Testament prophets, or New Testament apostles. That this point is well
taken is provided by the extreme lengths that some Muslims will go to in
trying to manufacture some biblical prophecies for the coming of Mohammed.
Some of these claims are so outlandish that they need only be noted to
refute them. For example, one American black Muslim tried to convince me
that the word “amen” in the Bible actually meant “Ahmend,” that is to say,
The vain attempt of some modern
Muslims to claim that when Jesus predicted the coming of a comforter in
John chapters 14, 15, and 16, He was referring to Mohammed, falls to the
ground when one reads John 14:26 where the comforter is specifically
identified as the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in the name of
Jesus Christ. Other biblical passages have been cited by Muslim apologists
from time to time but without any concern for the original language or the
context of the text. They have been ably dealt with by Western scholars.
Mohammed never claimed to be the Holy Spirit who had come in
the name of Jesus Christ. Thus we find that while the coming of Christ was
preceded by numerous prophecies, the coming of Mohammed was not predicted
The birth of Jesus Christ was
miraculous in that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the
virgin Mary. The Qur’an and orthodox Islam fully accept the virgin birth
of Jesus. It is only in modern times that we find some small heretical
Muslim groups who deny and ridicule the doctrine of the virgin birth of
Jesus. They do this out of a reaction to the fact that there was nothing
miraculous or supernatural about the birth of Mohammed. He was the natural
product of the sexual union of his father and mother.
to the New Testament, Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life: “God
made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might
become God’s righteousness in him.”
When His enemies came to accuse Jesus before Pilate and Herod, they had to
invent charges because no one could find anything against Him. But when we
turn to the life of Mohammed, we find that he was a normal human being
engaged in the same sins which afflict all of us. He lied, he cheated, he
lusted, he failed to keep his word, etc. Mohammed was neither perfect nor
After I had given a lecture on Islam
at the University of Texas (Austin) in 1991, I was challenged by some
Muslim students to prove that Mohammed was a sinner. My first response was
to point out that the burden of proof was not on me but on them. I then
asked, “Where in the Qur’an is it ever stated that Mohammed was sinless?”
They could not refer me to a single passage in which such an idea is even
suggested, much less taught. They demanded that I show from the Qur’an
where Mohammed was said to be a sinner. I answered their challenge by
citing several passages from the Qur’an which clearly reveal to any honest
reader that Mohammed was a sinner.
For example, in Sura 18:110, and
elsewhere, Mohammed is commanded by Allah:
Say, I am but a man like yourselves.
Nowhere in the Qur’an is Mohammed
said to be sinless. Instead, Allah tells Mohammed that he is no different
than any other man. Those Muslims who claim that Mohammed was sinless have
failed to note Sura 40:55, where Allah told Mohammed to repent of his
Ask forgiveness of thy sin.
Pickthal’s translation of Sura 48:
Lo! We have given thee,
(O Mohammed) signal victory,
that Allah may forgive thee
of thy sin, that which is past and that
which is to
come, and may perfect His
favour unto thee, and guide
thee on a right path.
Not only was Mohammed commanded to
repent of his sins and to seek forgiveness, but he was also reminded of
his past sins that Allah had already forgiven and of future sins which
would need future forgiveness! Mohammed was not sinless according to the
Qur’an. He was just one more poor sinner in need of forgiveness and
During his lifetime, Jesus did many
great and mighty miracles. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out
demons, and even ruled the wind and the waves. But according to the
Qur’an, Mohammed never performed a single miracle. Consider Sura 17:91-95,
where the unbelievers say they will not believe in Mohammed until they see
And they say: “We shall not believe in you (O Mohammed), until you cause
a spring to gush forth from the earth for us; or you have a garden of
date-palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst
abundantly; or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you
have pretended, or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to
face; or you have a house of adornable materials (like silver and pure
gold, etc.), or you ascend up into the sky, and even then we will put no
faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would
read.” Say (O Mohammed): “Glorified (and Exalted) be my Lord (Allah)
above all that evil they (polytheists) associate with Him! Am I anything
but a man, sent as a Messenger?” And nothing prevented men from
believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: “Has
Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?” Say: “If there were on the earth,
angels walking about in peace and security, We should certainly have
sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.”
sign that Mohammed could point to was the existence of his “revelations” —
i.e., the suras that made up the Qur’an.
Alfred Guillaume points out:
Controversy with Christians on the rival merits of Jesus and Mohammed may
fairly be regarded as the origin of the pretended miracles, flatly
contradicting the plain statement of the great Arabian and those of many
of his immediate followers that he was not sent with power to work
miracles. Whether the object of the inventors was to elevate their prophet
to a position equal to that held by Jesus in the estimation of His
servants, or whether it was to furnish themselves and their pupils with a
messenger of God who satisfied a natural craving of the human heart for a
visible manifestation of divine power it is not our purpose to determine.
There are good reasons for believing that deliberate imitation was
resorted to for the reasons already given, and because the
ashabu-l-hadith did not stop at ascribing the works of Christ to their
prophet. His words and those of his apostles are freely drawn on and put
into the mouth of Mohammed.
Mohammed did no miracles. He did not heal the sick, raise the dead, cast
out demons, or rule the wind and the waves. He had no more power than any
normal man. Ali Dashti comments:
Moslems, as well as others, have disregarded the historical
facts. They have continually striven to turn this man [Mohammed] into an
imaginary superhuman being, a sort of God in human clothes, and have
generally ignored the ample evidence of his humanity. They have been
ready… to present these fantasies as miracles.
Iranians have been raised on a diet of myth and are ready to believe that
any emamzada, of however ancestry, can at any moment perform a
miracle. But if they were to read the Qor’an, they would be surprised to
find no report of a miracle in it at all. They would learn from twenty or
more Qor’anic passages that whenever the Prophet Mohammed was asked by
doubters to perform a miracle, he either stayed silent or said that he
would not do so because he was a human being like any other, with no
function except to communicate, to be a “bringer of good news and a
The Love of God
According to the New Testament, Jesus
preached the love of God and was the greatest example of that love:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that
everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life.
contrast, we do not have any record in the Qur’an of Mohammed ever
preaching the love of God. As a matter of fact, neither God’s love for man
nor man’s love for God plays any significant role in the preaching of
Mohammed, the Qur’an, or the religion of Islam. Whereas Christianity can
point to the coming of Christ as the greatest proof and example that God
loves mankind, Islam cannot point to anything that reveals the love of
Human and Divine
According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ was unique in that He was
divine as well as human. This is why Jesus is called “God” in these
In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word
was God. … No one has ever seen God. The unique God, who is close to the
Father’s side, has revealed him
Thomas answered him, saying “My Lord and my God!”
To them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh,
Christ descended, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
…as we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearance of our great
God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But about the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and
the scepter of your kingdom is a righteous scepter.…” And “In the
beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are
the work of your hands.”
From Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who
have obtained a faith that is as valuable as ours through the
righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
When we turn to
Mohammed, we find that he was only a man.
On Beauty of Speech
When you study the speeches of Jesus
as given in the Gospels, for example, the Sermon on the Mount, you find
that Jesus was the greatest speaker who ever lived. Even His enemies had
to confess that no man ever spoke as He spoke (John 7:46).
But when you turn to the ecstatic,
confused speeches of Mohammed as found in the Qur’an, you do not find
anything outstanding. There is nothing which matches the beauty,
substance, or style of the way that Jesus preached the gospel during His
A High Moral Example
The way Jesus lived and the way He
was willing to die for sinners has given us a high moral example to
follow. But when you turn to the example of Mohammed, you do not find a
high moral example; you find him involved in many acts which must be
deemed as immoral and unjust.
Killing or Robbing
Jesus never killed or robbed anyone.
If He had done so, this surely would have been brought up during His
trial. When we turn to look at the life of Mohammed, we find that he
clearly killed and robbed people in the name of Allah, according to the
Jesus never used physical violence to force people to believe His message
or to accept Him as the Messiah. As a matter of fact, when Peter took out
his sword, Jesus told him to put it back in its sheath. Physical
persuasion through violence was not the way of His kingdom (Matthew 26:
51-54). But when we turn to the example of Mohammed, we find that he
frequently used physical violence to force people to give up their idols
and to accept Islam.
Directing Disciples to Kill
Jesus never instructed his followers
by way of command, example, or precept to kill in His name, to rob in His
name, or to subdue enemies in His name. But Mohammed did. He taught his
disciples by example, command, and precept that they could and should kill
and rob in Allah’s name and force people to submit to Islam.
On Taking Another Man’s Wife
Jesus did not take any man’s wife to
be his wife. But Mohammed did. This is one of the most distressing aspects
of Mohammed’s life. Mohammed’s adopted son, Zaid, had married a beautiful
young woman with whom he was deeply in love. Then one day, according to
early Muslim tradition, Mohammed saw Zaid’s wife without her veil. Her
beauty was such that he lusted after her. He asked Zaid to divorce his
wife and to give her to him. But Zaid and his wife refused such an
Faced with the refusal of Zaid and
his wife to dissolve their marriage, Mohammed had a convenient
“revelation” from Allah which not only commanded Zaid to give up his wife
to Mohammed but also decreed that there was no evil in a father-in-law
taking his daughter-in-law away from his own adopted son! Zaid and his
wife were told that they did not have any choice in the matter. They had
to submit to the “will of Allah.”
is not for any believer, man or woman, when God and His Messenger have
decreed a matter, to have the choice in the affair. Whosoever disobeys
Allah and His Messenger has gone astray into manifest error. When you
said to him whom Allah had blessed and you had favoured, “Keep your wife
to yourself, and fear Allah,” and you were concealing within yourself
what Allah should reveal, fearing other men; and Allah has better right
for you to fear him. So when Zaid had accomplished what he would of her,
then We gave her in marriage to you, so that there should be any fault
in the believers, touching the wives of their adopted sons, when they
have accomplished what they would of them; and Allah’s commandment must
be performed. There is no fault in the prophet, touching what Allah had
ordained for him.
It is no wonder that this passage
in the Qur’an has led many Muslims to renounce Islam.
Jesus was never a child molester or someone who was sexually involved with
young children. But this is the only description that one can give of
Mohammed’s marriage to a nine-year-old girl who was still playing with her
dolls according to the Hadith.
released his followers from all Jewish dietary laws and in so doing made
all foods clean.
Then he called to the crowd again
and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand! Nothing that
goes into a person from the outside can make him unclean. It is what comes
out of a person that makes a person unclean. If anyone has ears to hear,
let him listen!”
When he had left the crowd and
gone home, his disciples began asking him about the parable. He said to
them, “Are you so ignorant? Don’t you know that nothing that goes into a
person from the outside can make him unclean? For it doesn’t go into his
heart but into his stomach, and is expelled as waste.” (Thus he declared
all foods clean.) He continued, “It is what comes out of a person that
makes a person unclean. For it is from within, from the human heart,
that evil thoughts come, as well as sexual immorality, stealing, murder,
adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, slander,
arrogance, and foolishness. All these things come from within and make a
Mohammed, on the other hand,
maintained the dietary laws of his day, and so his followers are forbidden
to eat pork or drink wine.
On Dying for Others
When Jesus Christ died, He died for
the sins of His people in order to deliver them from the wrath of God:
For I passed on to you the most important points of what I received:
Christ died for our sins in keeping with the Scriptures, he was buried,
he was raised on the third day in keeping with the Scriptures—and is
But when Mohammed died, he died for
his own sins. He did not die for anyone.
Jesus did not remain dead. He
conquered sin, hell, and the grave, and physically rose again on the third
day in the same body that had hung on the cross. Just as He died for our
sins, He arose again according to the Scriptures for our justification.
was handed over to death because of our sins and was raised to life
because of our justification.
But when Mohammed died, he stayed
dead. He did not rise from the dead. Mohammed is dead while Jesus Christ
Jesus ascended bodily into heaven.
This was witnessed by the disciples in Acts 1:9-11.
After saying this, he was taken up while they were watching, and a cloud
took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up
toward heaven, two men in white robes were standing right beside them.
They asked, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven?
This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come
back in the same way you saw him go up into heaven.”
But Mohammed did not ascend into
heaven. The Qur’an never states that he ascended.
Jesus is now in heaven as our
intercessor and Savior, the only mediator between God and man.
There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and human
beings—a human, Christ Jesus.
But Mohammed is not an intercessor
or a savior. In fact, the Qur’an states in Sura 6:70 that there is no intercessor or
…there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides
Him [Allah], so that they may fear Allah and keep their duty to Him…. [H]e
will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah, and
even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him.
Under Islam, you have to save yourself.
In the New Testament, Jesus was
worshiped as a living Savior. The incident is recorded in John 20:28:
Thomas answered him, saying, “My Lord and my God!”
But the Qur’an never speaks of
worshiping Mohammed. That would be blasphemous. Muslims will admit that
Mohammed should not be worshiped by anyone because he was only a man.
According to the New Testament,
people can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as He enters
into their hearts through His Spirit at conversion. This is why Christians
talk about their love of Jesus. On the other hand, what Muslim speaks of
Mohammed in terms of loving him? There is no personal relationship
possible with Mohammed. Mohammed is dead!
Returning to Earth
Jesus will return to resurrect and
judge all men. Even orthodox Muslims will often admit that this is clearly
true. But at the same time it must be stated that there is no teaching in
the Qur’an that says that Mohammed will return one day or that he will
resurrect or judge anyone.
In Search of the Historical Mohammed
Now to be sure, Western scholars are
perfectly aware of the fact that in later conflicts between Muslims and
Christians, there were those Muslims who attempted to renovate the life of
Mohammed so that it would more closely correspond to the life of Jesus
Christ. According to Ali Dashti, these stories are “an example of
myth-making and history-fabrication of Moslems.”
These later legends claim predictions were made for Mohammed’s coming, add
a supernatural element to his birth, depict him doing miracles, and claim
that he was sinless and perfect and that he ascended into heaven. But
these claims are not found in the Qur’an or in early Muslim traditions. As
all the standard reference works point out, they are later fabrications
made by embarrassed Muslims who were faced with the rather obvious fact
that Mohammed was inferior to Jesus Christ. This led them to remold the
life of Mohammed to parallel the life and miracles of Jesus. As Professor
Muslim theologians… borrowed also events from the life of Jesus,
attributing them to their prophet.
Mohammedan apologists could not afford to allow their apostle to labour
under the disadvantage apparent when his everyday mundane life was
compared with the mighty works of Christ… The curious and interesting fact
is that the later picture of Mohammed approximates… that of the Jesus of
A Hindu Parallel
reminded of the followers of Krishna in India who, in response to the
Christian teaching that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, immediately
answered “Well, then Krishna, too, must have died on a cross for our
sins.” This fabrication did not last long as it was revealed that in all
the literary sources concerning Krishna, no such death or crucifixion was
mentioned until after the followers of Krishna had engaged in
debate with Christians.
same way, Muslim legendary material concerning the miracles of Mohammed
all date after heated debates between Christians and Muslims. These
myths and legends were created in response to the challenge that Jesus
Christ was obviously superior to Mohammed.
who rationally examines the differences between the biblical Jesus and the
quranic Mohammed must come to the conclusion that Jesus and Mohammed did
not both represent the same God. They did not live or preach like each
other. On all the essential issues, they were poles apart.