How Do I Witness to a Muslim? What Are the Differences Between Christianity and the Islamic Faith?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Believers are to bring the gospel to the whole world, but what about Muslims? How do we witness to them and what are the differences between the two religions?

Explain the Differences

Believers are to bring the gospel to the whole world, but what about Muslims? How do we witness to them and what are the differences between the two religions? We already know that Christianity and Islam are not the same at all. In fact, they serve two totally different gods. The view of Jesus, salvation, evangelism, and so on, is almost diametrically opposed. The three greatest contrasts are the Trinity, Jesus and salvation. They don’t believe in the Trinity. They believe in Jesus but only as a prophet, not having died on the cross. And they believe in salvation but it’s by works toward or for Allah. The problem about works, as we know is, how can we tell when we’ve done enough? Christians know Christ has done it all. Muslims may never be sure they are going to heaven or not. Believers have assurance. Muslims have no such guarantee.

The Trinity

The fundamental article of faith in Islam, the shahada, affirms that “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The monotheism of the Quran could be summarized in Surah 112:1-4: “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto Him.” In Islam, the Trinity is a denial of monotheism and foreign to the Muslim scripture. God is simply known as Allah who is one person, so there is no other God in existence. Muslims also believe Allah is the creator of the universe (3:191) and sovereign over all (6:61-62). Christians hold to God in Three Persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All co-equal in glory and power and majesty.


Don’t be mistaken. The Islamic faith holds great respect and reverence for Jesus as a great Prophet and teacher, so Muslims respect and revere Jesus as a great person. They consider Jesus to be one of the greatest of all of God’s messengers. While the Quran confirms his virgin birth, it says that Jesus is not the son of God (9:30-31) and is not divine (3:59; 5:17, 75; 43:59) or God, therefore they do not believe that Jesus is part of a triune Godhead and neither do they believe that Jesus died on a cross. Tragically, Muslims believe that Muhammad (570 – 632 AD) is a far greater prophet than Jesus was because he brought a much later and much greater revelation from God, receiving it directly from an angel. It should be noted historically that Muhammad died, but was never resurrected. Jesus died and in three days was resurrected and seen by well over 500 eye witnesses (1 Cor 15:6).


The Quran and Jesus

The doctrines of Islam present a distorted picture of Jesus.

Christianity recognizes that Jesus is fully God (Matt. 16:16; John 1:1-14) and the second Person of the Trinity. He is the One Who humbled himself, even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:6-11). He came into the world and became fully human, being born of the virgin Mary (Matt. 1:23). This Jesus was/is sinless, and is accurately called the God-Man (Col. 2:9). Therefore, since He is God, it is only by His sacrificial atonement for the sins of the elect that they could possibly be saved (2 Cor. 5:21; Acts 4:12). After He lived a perfect and sinless life, He was crucified (2 Pet. 2:21-25) and then rose again from the dead (Acts 4:10; 1 Thess. 4:14). We know with certainty that He will return to judge the world, while yet interceding on behalf of the saints (Heb. 7:25). Believers have no doubt that Jesus is the one and only way by which people can be reconciled to God (John 1:12; Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:24). There is no other way to be saved (Acts 16:30-31).

The Afterlife of Muslims

In Islam, the Quran rejects the idea of redemption. Salvation depends on a person’s attitudes and actions or what they do in this life. It is salvation by good works. Judgment Day occurs on the day of resurrection. Muslims go to paradise/heaven (3:142, 183-185, 198). Everyone else goes to hell (3:196-197). Judgment is based on a person’s deeds (5:9; 8:29) and not based upon mercy or grace. Muhammad believes “three things can continue to help a person even after death: charity (acts of kindness) which he had given, knowledge which he had taught, and prayers on their behalf by a righteous child.” Believers know that judgment will come after death and anything someone does cannot change that (Heb 9:27).

The Afterlife of Christians

A true Christian knows that faith is given as a free gift and cannot be earned by works. It is done wholly by Christ, meaning it is unearned, undeserved, and totally free (Rom. 6:22-23). A Christian is saved, not by good works, but saved to do good works (Eph. 2:8-10). It is not by our might, our works or our strength, but by the work Jesus completed at the cross (John 19:30), “For there is no deliverance through any other person, nor has any other name on earth been given by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).


Muslims are not our enemies. God desires that they too be saved and that should be our desire as well. Pray for them; love them, and do good to them as Jesus would have us do (Luke 6:27-38). Be patient. Conversion is more difficult with Muslims than with people with no religious affiliation. Explain the differences between the two but never argue with them. Pray the Holy Spirit enlightens them, for only by the Spirit of God and the Word of God can they know the Son of God. And oh, by the way, if you have not come to Christ yet, then Jesus Christ will turn you away and prevent you from entering into the Kingdom (Matt 7:21-23). This is reason enough for me to plead with you as you read this; repent today and put your trust in Jesus Christ. If not, you will face God’s judgment after death (Heb 9:27) or at the Lord’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), whichever happens first.

Here is some related reading for you: How Do We Witness to Muslims?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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