Allah, Three Equals One?

“If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How Could we? We are dealing with fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about” (C.S. Lewis. Mere Christianity, Macmillan Company, New York, 1943, page 145).

The Qur’an testifies that Christians are monotheistic and not infidels (Q. 29:46, 3:113-114, 5:82, 3:55)

To understand who God is, it’s good to use some illustrations:

1- The geometric illustration of the Trinity is found in a triangle.  The three corners are inseparable and simultaneous.

2- Augustine compared the Trinity with love that involves a lover, the loved one and a spirit of love between them.

3- Time by itself consists of past, present, and future.

4- Fire generates heat and light. Thus fire, with its light and heat is one thing.

5- In mathematical terms one could compare Trinity with 1 x 1 x 1 = 1.

In Al-Nisa 4: 171, the Qur’an introduces the idea of the Godhead:

“O People of the Scripture! Do not exaggerate in your religion, and do not say about God except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, is the Messenger of God, and His Word that He conveyed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and do not say, “Three.” Refrain—it is better for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him—that He should have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and the earth, and God is a sufficient Protector.”

This verse introduces the Two Natures of Isa Al-Masih:

Human: The Son of Mary and the Messenger of God

Divine: The Messiah, His (God’s) Word and a Spirit from Him

This verse also, says that God has:

1- A Personality: messenger of God (The Father)

2- A Word: and His Word (The Son)

3- A Spirit: and a Spirit from Him (The Holy Spirit)

It’s important to see that the verse says: and don’t say Three. Which three the verse referring to? We need the Qur’an answer this question!

In Surat Al-Maida 5: 116 “And God will say, “O Jesus son of Mary, did you say to the people, `Take me and my mother as gods rather than God?’“ He will say, “Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to. Had I said it, You would have known it. You know what is in my soul, and I do not know what is in Your soul. You are the Knower of the hidden.”

So, the Three the Qur’an refers to are: God, Mary and Jesus. Is this what we believe? No, what we believe in is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Surat Al-Imran 3: 39 explain who Jesus is “Then the angels called out to him, as he stood praying in the sanctuary: “God gives you good news of John; confirming a Word from God, and honorable, and moral, and a prophet; one of the upright.”

Abu al-Su`ud commented on the phrase “supporting a word from God,” that is Isa, may He be blessed, by saying, “…it was said that he (John the Baptist) was the first to believe in Him (Jesus) and to support His being the Word of God and a Spirit from Him. Al Sadi said, “The mother of Yahya (John) meeting the mother of Isa (Jesus) asked, “Mary, have you felt my pregnancy?” Mary answered, ‘I too am pregnant.’ She (John’s mother) then said, ‘I find that what is in my belly worships what is in your belly.’ From here the above utterance of God ‘supporting a word from God’ comes clear” (Abu al-Su`ud Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Ahmadi’s Commentary, page 233). Why should a child in his mother’s belly worship another child in his mother’s belly younger than him even?

In (Al-Imran 3: 45) “The Angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a Word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, well-esteemed in this world and the next, and one of the nearest.”

Muhyi al-Din al-Arabi said, “The word is God in theophany… and it is the one divine person and not any other” (“Fusus al-Hukm p. 38). He also said that the word is the divine person.

Isn’t that what the Bible teaches in John 1: 1-5, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

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