2. Allah, Muhammad and the Prophets
Slide 2 of 5
Twenty-five prophets are mentioned by name in the Qur’an, including Jesus and Muhammad, but Muslims believe there have been a vast number of prophets throughout history (pre-dating Muhammad). Some Muslims would claim the number is over 120,000.
So if Jesus is considered a prophet in Islam, why don’t Muslims find Jesus’ words in the Bible contradictory of Muhammad’s words in the Qur'an? The answer is that according to Islam, there have always been "Muslims" throughout history despite the official start date of Islam as a world religion in 622 AD. This is due to the fact that Muslims believe Allah created the world and everything in it as muslim—for Allah’s purposes and to serve Allah. According to this Islamic doctrine, Muslims have always followed the current prophet, or the last prophet as it is today.
For example, they believe that when one prophet died (like Abraham), the people were to follow the next prophet and so on. Whatever the next prophet said was to be taken at face value as the next and current revelation of wisdom from Allah. And as Islam's last prophet, Muhammad’s revelation took precedence over all the previous prophets and their messages, including Jesus. This is why Muslims will believe Muhammad's words in the Qur'an over Jesus' words in the Bible.
Also for Muslims, it doesn’t really matter what Jesus said in the Bible because they believe the Christian and Jewish sacred texts have been corrupted. They believe the original texts were misinterpreted or manipulated by followers of Christianity and Judaism. Again, this is why Muslims will only trust the text of the Qur’an as it is written in Arabic. Muslims would claim examples of corruption in the Bible to be Jesus as the Son of God (in Islam Allah cannot be triune or have a son), and according to the Qur’an Jesus did not die on the cross. Islam claims that Allah switched the bodies of Judas and Jesus on the cross and made Judas look like Jesus because Allah would not have let his prophet die an undeserving death.
This is because there is no reason in Islam for Allah to make a sacrifice for Muslims; according to Islam, Muslims are not born into sin, so there is no original sin and continued curse to pay the penalty for. However, Muslims do believe they can be tempted, hence their requirement to do good deeds and earn their way to heaven. There is no atonement for Muslims who fall short, and there is no guarantee for even the best-behaved Muslims. Muslims have no assurance of salvation; they believe they cannot know for sure where they are going until they are standing before Allah on judgment day. And according to Islamic belief, Allah may or may not have mercy on them, but either way moderate Muslims will strive to do as much good (justice and mercy to others) as they can and hope for the best.
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