Key Differences Between The Christian And Muslim Heaven

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Here are the vast differences that there are between the Christian and the Muslim in regards to what heaven will be like.

The God in Heaven

One of the greatest differences between what Christian’s know about heaven and the Islamic Paradise, is the God Who will be worshipped. God is radically different for the Christian than He is for the Muslim. Christians describe our final home as heaven and that we’ll be holding an office or position in the kingdom (Rev 1:8), but for the Muslims, Allah is not the focus, but Paradise is, and enjoying every physical pleasure they could imagine. Believers find their pleasure in God (Rev 21:3, 21:4), and not in things. Muslims expect Jesus to be in Paradise just like Muhammad will be, but they don’t believe Jesus is God, as Christians do. The Bible teaches that there are Three Persons but one God; for Muslims, there is only one god and they call him Allah. Believers know there are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and all three are God…but in the Islamic faith, there is but one god, and he is not the god who is always loving, forgiving, and compassionate. Muslim’s would never refer to Allah as their father. That’s because Muslims don’t believe in a very intimate, personal relationship with Allah as a father and son would have, or that this kind of relationship will be experienced in Paradise. For Christian’s, we’re already in that relationship, and He will be our Father forever, including in heaven.

key-differences-between-the-christian-and-muslim-heaven

How we get There

Christians know that we can never be saved by works, but we are actually saved to do good works for God (Eph 2:10), but for the Muslim, there is a lot of work for them to do. Like several of the cults today, they base their salvation upon works, but the question troubles them; “How many works are enough,” and “How will a Muslim ever know for sure if they’ve done enough “good works” to get to heaven?” Muslims might know…but Christians can know, but Christians also know that we can’t do anything to save ourselves. Our works are nothing more than filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6), but the Islamic faith stresses works to get to heaven. That’s a huge different. One is going to heaven by Jesus’ work at Calvary; one is not. Unless they trust in Christ, they cannot be saved. He is the doorway to heaven because He is the one and only way to be saved (Acts 4:12). On the other hand, Surah 2:82 says “But those who have faith and work righteousness, they are companions of the Garden: Therein shall they abide (For ever).” Thankfully, Christians do not need to work their way to heaven (Eph 2:8-9). We’d never make it anyway. Muslims believe that only good people will get there…the Bible teaches that none are good (Rom 3:10-11), but a very good God imputes Jesus’ righteousness on our behalf. That’s the only possible way we can make it.

The Savior Reigns

Who is it that reigns in Paradise for the Muslims? It is Allah, and always will be, but it is believed that Muhammad will have a prominent role in Paradise, just like Jesus will, although they believe, below Muhammad. As for the Christian, we read that the New Jerusalem will descend out of heaven and be here on a new earth (Rev 21:1-2), and in the Kingdom of Heaven it is Jesus Christ Who reigns, and unlike the Islamic faith, the children of God will participate in His reign in the heavenly kingdom (Rev 1:6, 3:21, 20:4-6). This was God’s original plan for the nation of Israel as it says “you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel” (Ex 19:6), however we know that they failed, and so where Israel failed, the church will succeed. As for Paradise, there is no mention of kings or priests that I could find, or where Muslims will reign.

Rewards

The rewards that Christians and Muslims have are vastly different. For one thing, the joys in heaven for the believer are not carnal in nature like it is in Paradise. Heaven will not be having sex with multiple virgins. Heaven will be unending joy that no sex could ever compete with. Paradise is said to have a beautiful garden, springs, jewels, expensive robes, and any foods you can imagine (clean foods). For Christians, the joy of being in the presence of Jesus Christ will be absolutely off the charts (Rev 21:3, 22:4). He will bring joy…not things. The Prophet Muhammad said that “the smallest reward for the people of paradise is an abode where there are 80,000 servants and 72 wives.” [1] The Bible teaches that the redeemed “sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth” (Rev 5:9-10). That will be our heart’s desire…to worship God, but we will also have things to do in the kingdom. We’re not going to be taking it easy, but working, as today, Jesus’ works.

Physical Details between Paradise and Heaven

Paradise sounds very much like the Garden of Eden in Genesis. It’s described as having an enormous garden, a river flowing next to it, and all along there are groves of fruit trees growing everywhere in the garden. There it is said to be unending bliss, with every desire fulfilled, every food available, and every physical need that one could possibly think of. It does sound like the Garden of Eden; however the Garden of Eden pales in comparison to the New Jerusalem, where heaven comes down to earth! The Apostle John tried to describe it as “having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal” (Rev 21:11), and “The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel” (Rev 21:18-19). Of course, these words can’t really describe what it must be like! No doubt, no garden can compare.

Who Receives the Glory?

One of the hardest differences to see between the Islamic Paradise and heaven is that God will receive all the glory. Even today, God receives worship and glory 24/7, where the mighty seraphim proclaim, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3)! In Paradise, there is no mention of giving glory to Allah for his greatness; rather it is those “good people” whose “garments will be of fine green silk and gold embroidery. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a pure drink” [Surah 76:12-21], so Allah’s people receive the glory for their works, and not the God who brought them to heaven (as with Christianity). When we are in heaven, others won’t say, “Wow, look at those Christians”…rather, they will say, “Who is the God Who redeemed them!” You don’t give the credit to a fine painting…you give the credit to the fine painter who painted it. That’s a big difference. We give God all the glory, for not one of us could be saved without Jesus, the Son of God.

Conclusion

A great difference to me is that Christians don’t hate Muslims. If they do, they should immediately repent of that because Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:44-45). We should pray for those who don’t know Christ, whether they’re Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, and really, anyone who’s still breathing that is not yet saved. We are not better people than the Muslims and can think that’s why God chose us and not them. No, no, no! God didn’t choose us because we were better. I don’t know why He chose us, other than it was His will to do so. Why? I don’t know. What I do know is we should be thankful people, and thankful enough to pray that God would use us as a means to save others.

Related reading: Does the Quran Mention Jesus?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. [1] Surah 55:72, Ibn Kathir (d. 1373 CE).



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