by Matt Slick
In Islam, what is the greatest act of love Allah has ever accomplished? I asked this question of several Muslims, and I got similar answers: he forgave us of our sins; he gave us families and provisions; he showed us mercy; he gave us the Qur'an. The answers didn't vary much beyond these responses. I found them lacking.
Most Muslims believe that the Bible is not trustworthy, that it has been corrupted, that the Injeel (gospel) of Jesus has been lost, and the Qur'an restores God's truth to mankind. But, that is another subject to be debated.
In John 15:13 Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friend." I have the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament with the textual apparatus included in it. The textual apparatus is the complete listing (per verse) of any textual variants that occur in any of the ancient New Testament manuscripts. Therefore, it is a very easy thing to go to John 15:13 and look at the textual evidence to see if there are any manuscripts at all, anywhere that have any variation on that verse. There are none. In other words, there is not a single manuscript of the more than 25,000 manuscripts of the NT that have a different translation on that verse. Every single one of them says the exact same thing. I will, therefore, conclude that it is an authentic and reliable saying of Jesus.
Again, Jesus said, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay his life down for his friend." According to Jesus, the greatest act of love is to sacrifice one's life for another. This means that giving one's life for another is a greater act of love than providing food for him, giving him a family, being nice to him or being honest, helpful, or whatever. Self-sacrifice, to the point of death, is the very greatest act of love.
Has Allah performed the greatest act of love? The answer is no. Allah has not sacrificed himself at all. Allah has not died for another. Allah has not loved us to the point of death. In Christianity, Jesus, who is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), laid His life down for us. Jesus performed the greatest act of love.
If Islam is true . . .
If Islam is true and Allah is the true God, then Jesus, a creation (according to Islam) has performed a greater act of love than Allah (according to the Bible). A mere man has outdone Allah in love and sacrifice. But, of course, Islam denies that Jesus ever died. They then say that Jesus has not done the greatest act of love. Their denial does not change the fact that Jesus died on the cross as is amply attested to by the eyewitnesses who wrote the gospel. Besides, whether or not the Muslim believes Jesus died on the cross does not change the fact that Jesus told us what the greatest act of love was--and Allah has not done it. Yet, according to Christianity He has. Since Muslims want Christians to adopt Islam, they are asking Christians to give up their Lord who has performed the greatest act of love on their behalf. Why would they want to do that?
If Christianity is true, then God has performed the greatest act of love. If Islam is true, then God hasn't. Which "god" then is more loving: the one who speaks of love or the one who acts out love?
I have found nowhere in the Qur'an where it says that Allah is love. The Qur'an says that Allah loves people, but it never says that Allah is love. By contrast, the Bible clearly tells us that God is love. "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him." (1 John 4:16).
Who does God love?
Does God love all? In Islam, the answer is no. In Christianity, the answer is yes. Consider the following verses from the Qur'an.
- "Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and messengers, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith," (2:98, Trans. Yusuf Ali)
- "Say: Obey Allah and the Messenger; but if they turn back, then surely Allah does not love the unbelievers," 3:32, Trans. Shakir).
Consider the following verses from the Bible
- "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16).
- "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? 47 "And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt. 5:43-48).
We can easily see the huge difference between the God of Islam and the God of the Bible. In Islam, God does not love all people. In the Bible, God does love all people. In Islam, Allah did not die for the sins of those who were not his. In the Bible, God did do that. In Islam, Allah has not performed the greatest act of love. In the Bible, God did exactly that.
My question to the Muslims is, "What makes you think that I want to give up my Lord who loves me so much that He would die for me, and did die for me, for a god who has not and cannot perform the greatest act of love?