Is Islam a Christian Heresy?

by Matt Slick

Islam is at best a perversion of Christian theology that eventually developed into its own religion. At worst, it is a completely new religion begun by Muhammad. Whichever the case, it is obvious that he had contact with various heretical Christian groups through his travels, most probably the Arians, who denied the deity of Christ. I do not know the extent of those contacts that Muhammad had with various heretical Christian-based groups. But his repeated reference to biblical characters and concepts in the Quran requires that we believe he had contact with people who'd been influenced by the Bible. Notice, in the Quran there is nothing that deals with Hinduism or Buddhism. It's Christianity that influenced him and it seems that he took many ideas from Christianity and altered them.

Let's take a look.


Atonement There is no atonement work in Islam other than a sincere confession of sin and repentance by the sinner.  Muhammad specifically denied the crucifixion of Christ where the atonement took place.
Bible In Islam, the Bible is the respected word of the prophets, but the Muslims cast doubt on its reliability.  this is interesting since the Quran says in Surah 3:3 that the Quran confirms that came before it which would be the Old and New Testament.  In (Surah 6:34; 6:115; 18:27) the Quran says that the words of Allah cannot be altered. This would mean that the Bible cannot be corrupted, yet Muslims teach it is.
Crucifixion Jesus did not die on the cross. Instead, God allowed Judas to look like Jesus and he was crucified instead, (Surah 4:157).
Devil Iblis, a fallen jinn. Jinn are not angels nor men, but created beings with free will. Jinn were created from fire (2:268, 114:1-6).  Here, Muhammad redefined the devil is.
Holy Spirit Muhammad taught that the Holy Spirit is the Archangel Gabriel who delivered the words of the Quran to Muhammad.  But, this is a deviation from the Bible where the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity.
Jesus A very great prophet, second only to Muhammad. Jesus is not the son of God (Surah 9:30) and certainly is not divine (Surah 5:17, 75), and he was not crucified (Surah 4:157).
Salvation Forgiveness of sins is obtained by Allah's grace without a mediator. The Muslim must believe Allah exists, believe in the fundamental doctrines of Islam, believe that Muhammad is his prophet, and follow the commands of Allah given in the Quran.
Son of God A literal son of God. Therefore, Jesus cannot be the son of Allah.  But this shows that Muhammad did not understand what Christianity really teaches about the sonship of Christ.  It does not state in any way that Christ is the literal offspring of God the father. This is an error of understanding on the part of Muhammad.
Trinity The Father, Jesus, and Mary (Sura 5:73-75, 116)

Obviously, Muhammad had a lot of influence from those who are familiar with biblical passages and concepts, particularly concerning Jesus. But, apparently, he did not have a Bible with which he could have checked things out. Instead, he took many biblical concepts that he had heard in his travels and altered them to suit his own preferences.

Therefore, we can say that Islam is, to some extent, a perversion of Christian theology since it uses Christian terms and ideas but redefines them and creates a new religion with many biblical concepts. 


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.