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A Thought For Your Christian Journey:

 

Are YHWY and Allah the same God?

The following letter was published in the Tribune-Star in Terre Haute, Indiana.  My answer follows this letter.

Published: November 26, 2009 09:31 pm   

Reader's Forum: Nov. 27, 2009

The Tribune-Star

Christians, Muslims have differences, but much in common

I normally do not write letters to the editor, but this time I feel my words have some healing to offer. I have followed the dialogue about the Bible Baptist signage and the 13-year-old girl’s critique. Here is my contribution to the dialogue.

I taught in a Jesuit Catholic High School in Cairo, Egypt. Half the student body was Christian and half was Muslim, intentionally constituted 50/50 for dialogue among students and their parents. I also lived for three years in the Sahara Region of Africa while serving in the Peace Corps. Both experiences allowed friendships to develop between me and my Muslim co-workers and neighbors. As you can imagine, after we got to know each other well, any hours of religious discussions took place well into the night. I would enjoy recounting those discussions but this space doesn’t permit it. Let me just provide the insight that resulted.

The question that the Bible Baptist pastor posed is valid for Christians trying to understand Islam in a sincere interfaith dialogue. However, the venue was not well chosen because the apparent response that the sign suggested is that Jesus did something immense (He died, rose and lives … a valid Christian creedal statement.), but Allah did nothing like that.

Let me offer some insight: Jews, Christians and Muslims acknowledge the same ONE GOD. The Jewish tradition acknowledges “The One” by not speaking the sacred tetragram (YHWH) or by using ADONAI (The Lord) as well as other names. The Christian tradition acknowledges “The One” by the same Jewish usages or through the Gospel designation ABBA (Loving Father). Muslims acknowledge “The One” by the Arabic name Allah (The Holy One, the Compassionate, The Merciful … three of 99 beautiful names of God). Adonai, Abba, Allah are simply different names out of different cultures and religious traditions for the ONE GOD.

Now the pastor’s question: “What did Allah do?” I will answer his question out of our Christian tradition. ALLAH (Adonai, Abba) chose to become human, take on human flesh (incarnate) and we know him as Jesus who died and rose again to life and now lives. Obviously this part of our Christian creed in not the faith of our Jewish friends or our Muslim friends. But from our Christian perspective, “What did Allah do?” He did an immensely wonderful and loving thing. He became one of us (the Christmas Mystery which we are about to celebrate). He became human to reveal himself to us.

As the Sunday editorial of the Tribune-Star suggests, can we try to understand each other through sensitive, friendly dialogue? We do have differences, but we share so much in common. — Fr. Ron Ashmore, Terre Haute

 

YHWY and Allah Are Not The Same God!

By Pastor Walter D. Huyck Jr. 

In response to Ron Ashmore’s letter that states that YHWY, Adonai, and Allah are one and the same.  I suggest that Ron go back to the history books, and the Bible and do what God has suggested for over two thousand years, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God . . .” (2 Tim 2.15).  The God of the Jews and Christianity is not the same God as the Muslim god Allah, there is no comparison between the two. 

Dr. David Jeremiah in his book “What In The World Is Going On” notes “There were more than 360 deities in the Arabic pantheon, and Muhammad chose the name of one of them, Allah, to be the true god.”  For thousands of years before Muhammad Jehovah God (YHWY) had declared Himself to be the one and only true God.  God declared, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deut 6.4).  From the beginning of His revelation Jehovah has singled himself out from the world’s poly theism and declared mono theism.  The difference between the two is that poly theism declares that every god is either the same god or an equal god, while mono theism declares there is only one God and every other god is no god at all.   

How does one discern the truth?  Christianity and the Jewish faith have the undeniable marks of the supernatural as their witness.  The most remarkable for Christians being the undeniable physical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as supported by over 500 eye witnesses and many other proofs.  For the Jewish faith the supernatural evidence of their continuity as a people and reuniting as a nation in partial fulfillment of the promises and prophecies recorded in the Bible.  The evidences supporting that Jehovah (YHWY) is exactly what He claimed to be are more numerous than could be recounted in this short discourse, yet they are open for diligent examination in the Bible, God’s Holy Word.   

Jehovah (YHWY) himself declares every other God, Allah included, as not God at all.  For Isaiah wrote,  “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (Isaiah 44.6)  Christians who read and study the Bible could never acknowledge Ron’s position that YHWY and Allah are the same God, they are not! 

 



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