Reproduced under permission from September, 2002 issue of
in the Smoke of The
© 2002, Southwest Radio Church Ministries. Web-site at www.swrc.com
A Comparison of Mohammed and Christ
By Dr. John S. Waldrip
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
- 1 John 4:1
The apostle John reminds his readers that “many false prophets are gone into the world.” There are two things this verse tells us to do to be able to discern between a true prophet and a false prophet. First, “believe not every spirit.” Christians need to stop being so gullible that they are easy prey for anyone who claims to represent God.
Second, “try the spirits whether they are of God.” And that word “try” translates the Greek word for testing ore to determine whether there is gold or silver present. In other words, John is directing his readers to carefully scrutinize those who claim to be prophets of God, to make sure they are genuine.
Now we will put both the Lord Jesus Christ and the founder of Islam, Mohammed, to the test.1 We will place them in a side by side comparison for the purposes of evaluation so that you can decide which of these men is the true prophet of God and which is the imposter.
Thus, we shall examine the legitimacy of Islam by subjecting its founder to scrutiny, while at the same time examining the legitimacy of biblical Christianity by subjecting its Founder to a similar investigation.
The Prophecy of Their Comings Contrasted
The prophecies of the coming of Jesus Christ are well documented in the Old Testament, given long before He was born. Here are a few specific prophecies about the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and the relevant Scripture passages.
Seven hundred years before He was born, the city of His birth was predicted by the prophet Micah, even though it was not the home city of His parents (Mic. 5:2).
One thousand years before it occurred, David predicted the precise form of Christ’s death, though it was a method of execution then not known (Ps. ).
His virgin birth was predicted seven hundred years before it occurred (Isa. ).
More than five hundred years before His birth, the amount of money which He was betrayed was predicted to be thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:3).
A thousand years in advance of His death it was predicted that men would gamble for His clothes (Ps. )
A thousand years in advance it was predicted that His legs would not be broken, as the legs of all others who were executed by crucifixion (Ps. 34:20)
Seven hundred years before His birth, the Old Testament predicted Jesus’ death for sinners (Isa. 53:3-6)
These are only seven of the hundreds of predictions in the Old Testament that were literally fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ, prophecies that were given centuries in advance.
Now search for a prediction of Mohammed’s coming. You will not find any. Look in the Koran and look elsewhere, but you will find no prophetic announcement of Mohammed’s coming. He appeared without any prior notice or any prophecy.
Their Births Contrasted
you that the place of Jesus’ birth was predicted to be
I’ve told you that Jesus was born of a virgin (Isa. ). I should also point out that Jesus was named before He was born (Matt. ).
Now, consider the birth of Mohammed. Except for passing references to the fact that Mohammed was born into a poor family, that his father died before he was born, and his mother passed away before he was six, leaving him to be raised by a grandmother and an uncle, there are no claims made by Muslims regarding the birth of Mohammed.
The birth of Jesus was miraculous. He was born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25). But Mohammed had both a mother and a father, making his birth, in contrast to the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, quite ordinary.
Their Lives Contrasted
First, the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible declares that Jesus lived His life without sin. (Heb 4:15).
The Bible records many signs, wonders, and miracles performed by the Lord Jesus Christ: feeding five thousand with a few loaves and fishes, walking on the water, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, healing the crippled, cleansing the lepers, and casting out demons. These miracles performed by Christ are recorded in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Also, Jesus claimed to be God, claimed to be the exclusive Savior of sinful men’s souls, claimed to forgive sins, and claimed to give men eternal life.
During His lifetime, Jesus did not fight with anyone or attack anyone. As a matter of fact, He actually healed one of the men who arrested Him for trial and crucifixion, after the apostle Peter had wounded him with a sword (Luke -51).
What about Mohammed’s life? Authoritative sources,
such as Fazlur Rahman, Ph.D., professor of Islamic Thought at the
And Muslims acknowledge that Mohammed committed sins, but they say that he was somehow cleansed of all unworthy thoughts when he was 12 years old, enabling him to intercede on behalf of sinners.
Mohammed’s approach to violence was the exact opposite to that of Jesus. Mohammed was active in the pursuit of open warfare against those who opposed him. At one time, according to Muslim scholars, he commanded an army of 10,000. He ordered the killing of many of his opponents.
So, Christ claimed to be God, while Mohammed claimed only to speak for God. Christ performed miracles, while Mohammed did not. Christ refused to resort to violence, while Mohammed was very violent and killed many who opposed him. They had very different births, and very different lives.
Their Brides Contrasted
The Lord Jesus Christ never married and never was the father of earthly
children, but that doesn’t mean He has no bride. Just as
Mohammed, on the other hand, had many wives.; His first wife, Khadija, was a businesswoman who proposed to him, though he was 20 years younger then she was.4
So long as she lived, Mohammed took no other wives.5 But when his first wife died, he married at least 10 women, and had a number of concubines.6 The youngest wife he took was a 9-year-old named A’isha, who actually brought her toys with her when she married him.
Although none of Mohammed’s sons lived to adulthood, he did adopt a son named Zaid. Later, he received a special “revelation” authorizing him to marry Zaid’s beautiful wife, Zainab.7 So you can see, with respect to their brides, there are vast difference between the Lord Jesus Christ and Mohammed, the founder of Islam.
Their Deaths Contrasted
Consider the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ did not die in old age. He did not die the death of someone who was sick or ailing. He died and unimaginably brutal death at the hands of Roman soldiers.
The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was predicted as far back as Genesis , and in great detail in both Isaiah 53 and Zechariah . By His death and the shedding of His blood, a number of things were accomplished, including:
1. The fulfillment of many prophecies concerning His death.
2. The satisfaction of God’s righteous demand the sins be punished.
3. The forgiveness of sin.
What about Mohammed’s death? Islamic scholars tell us that in A.D. 632
Mohammed became ill with violent headaches and a fever, possibly from poison.8
Before he died, he exhorted his followers to remain united, proclaim the duties
of married couples, and gave a few other instructions. Mohammed then died and
was buried in the house of his wife A’isha, who had nursed him during his last
days.9 The “prophet’s” tomb at
So, the death of the Lord Jesus Christ in the prime of His physical life, at the age of 33, was an event of cosmic proportions, bringing to a climax God’s redemptive purpose in the sacrificial death of His Son to pay for the sins of mankind. The death of Mohammed was the death of an old man who got sick and said a few words before he died.
Their Resurrection Contrasted
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is foundational to Christianity. First of all, Christ’s resurrection was predicted 1,000 years before it happened. Second, it occurred despite enemy forces placed at His tomb to prevent any such thing from happening. And third, the Lord Jesus Christ showed Himself alive, with many infallible proofs, after His resurrection.
The women saw Him. The apostles saw Him. The men on the road to Emmaus saw Him. Thomas was invited to thrust his fingers into Jesus’ crucifixion wounds. Then the risen Christ appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. As a matter of fact, when Paul wrote his 1 Corinthians letter, more than 500 eyewitnesses to Christ’s resurrection were still alive, and that was more than 20 years later. So important is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead that Paul wrote, “If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1Cor. 15:14).
What do Muslim say about the resurrection of Mohammed? The story of Mohammed’s ascension into heaven is thought by most Muslim scholars to have been modeled after the ascension of Jesus. But Islam tells of Mohammed’s ascension into heaven without any evidence of a resurrection, and without any significance in Mohammed’s death. What did Mohammed’s death accomplish? Islam does not claim that it accomplished anything.
Christ’s death was redemptive; Mohammed’s was not.
Christ’s death was sacrificial; Mohammed’s was not.
Christ’s death was predicted; Mohammed’s was not.
Christ’s death was meaningful; Mohamed’s was not.
Their Legacies Contrasted
First, the legacy of Jesus Christ. How did the early followers of Christ spread the gospel? They did so by preaching and teaching, and by suffering martyrdom. Christ’s followers did not kill people with the sword, but suffered great persecution at the hands of the Romans, the non-messianic Jews, and others. Christ’s legacy is one of forgiveness, of mercy, of grace, of goodness.
But what of legacy of Mohammed? His followers were warriors. Islam spread across the face of the earth by a different means.10 Their message was, “Convert or die by the sword.” And many people did convert, for fear of execution. What a different legacy was left by Mohammed from that of Christ!
The Growth of Islam
Consider the spread of Christianity before the crucifixion of Christ. By looking at the historical record, we find that the Lord Jesus Christ gathered large crowds with His teaching, His preaching, His miracle working, His feeding of the multitudes. Drawing a crowd of interested listeners was never a problem for Someone who gave sight to the blind and who raised the dead. But the large crowds thinned out when He taught things they didn’t want to hear, leaving Him with only the 12 apostles: “From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” (John 6:66-67).
The 12 did not forsake Him until the night before His crucifixion, when Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver and the others ran away in fear. And when you count the number of followers Jesus had shortly before the day of Pentecost, about two months after His resurrection, the number had grown to 120 (Acts 1:15)
How did the number of disciples grow to 120 over a period of 32 years? Was any force used? Was there any coercion? Read the gospels through from beginning to end and you will find Jesus demonstrating meekness and humility, seeking the salvation of lost souls. Jesus said of Himself, “The son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke ).
Those who followed Him had no promise of wealth or power. Quite the opposite. He once rebuked two apostles who tried to gain higher positions. Paul who was called to be an apostle after Christ’s resurrection, was quite typical in this regard. Christ told him, “I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake” (Acts ).
Christ was peace loving. His followers were instructed to turn the other cheek when they were persecuted. And the good news was spread by preaching and teaching, without threat of violence to anyone. The violence that came was suffered by Jesus’ followers without retaliation.
Quite a different account is given of the growth of Islam during
Mohammed’s lifetime. In seeking to spread his religion, Mohammed
ran into a difficulty with those in the city of
Fazlur Rahmani, professor of Islamic Thought at the
The spread of Christianity during the lifetime of
Christ and the spread o Islam during the lifetime of Mohammed were very
different. Jesus insisted on peace, dying to self, meekness, and turning the
other cheek. His religion grew over the space of 32 years to about 120 men
and women. Mohammed, on the other hand, resorted to violence and the deaths of
many who opposed him. By the time of his death, Islam controlled most of
The Growth of Christianity and
Islam During the First 100 years
Have you ever thought about the spread of Christianity during its firsts
100 years? As far as
It is a common misconception that the book of Acts
describes the growth of Christianity from
God worked greatly in their lives, and they were empowered to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. They almost always met great oppositions when converts were made, resulting in both of them being beaten, imprisoned, and eventually martyred.
So effective were the ministries of the apostles that it was said of them, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6). But how did they turn the world upside down? How did they spread the Christian religion? They were men of peace, who were pacifists in the face of persecution, who did not render evil for evil (1Pet. 3:9), and who sought revenge for wrongs done to them (Rom. )
This cannot be said for the growth of Islam over a comparable period of time. To be sure, the growth of Islam in its first 100 years was about the as great as the spread of Christianity in its first 75 years. But the method by which Islam expanded was exactly opposite from the method employed by Christians in spreading their religion.
When Muslims came out of the
For the first 100 years, Islam was a religion that grew by violence, by coercion, by warfare, by intimidation. It was literally spread by the use of force.
Christ, on the other hand, never intended that His kingdom should be advanced the way Mohammed spread Islam. When Christ was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor, shortly before His crucifixion, He said: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: by now is my kingdom not from hence” (John ).
There are different ways of evaluating a religion to determine whether it is from God. You can examine the religion’s origin, as we have done, and you can examine the religion’s founder.
Consider Jesus. Then consider Mohammed. One was foretold in prophecy, while other was not. One had a miraculous birth and a miracle-filled life, while the other had the blood of his enemies on his hands. One was celibate until the time of His death and resurrection, while the other had many wives, including a 9-year-old child, and the wife of his adopted son. One’s death was redemptive and full of profound meaning and accomplishment, while the other’s was just the ordinary death of an old man. One rose from the dead, with many witnessed attesting to His victory over the grave. The other supposedly did the same, only there were no witnesses. Finally, consider their legacies. The followers of Christ spread the gospel peacefully by preaching. The followers of Mohammed spread their message by fear and persecution. One founded a religion that is legitimate and that truly represents God, while the other plagues mankind even today.
I urge you to stop your ears from hearing the doctrines of demons that form the basis of all core Islamic belief and practice. Instead, listen to the good news of Jesus Christ, who came to save you form your sins.
1. William J. Saal, Reaching Muslims for Christ (Chicago: Moody Press, 1993), p. 29
2. The Spirit of Islam, website, http://www.theperilofislam.com/text/q20.html
7. G. J. O. Moshay, Who Is This Alah? (United Kingdom: Dorchester House Publications, 1995), pp. 85-87
8. The Spirit of Islam.
10. William J. Saal, Reaching Muslims, pp. 31-73.