The following was authored by the late Christian theologian and apologist Dr. Labib Mikhail. I post it here for the benefit of the readers.

Chapter 9


 Polytheism is the belief in, or worship of more than one god. Muslims accuse Christians of being polytheistic, because they believe in a Triune God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They ignore the fact that Christians believe in one true God, who is triune.  On the contrary, our study of the Quran will clearly show that it teaches polytheism. Before we mention the Quranic verses which teach polytheism, an important question should be asked and answered, and that question is:

From Where Did We Get Our Knowledge About the True and Living God?

The answer is, from one of two sources.

First, we can imagine God with our foolish hearts and darkened minds, which is what the pagans did. This is what the Apostle Paul said concerning the pagans:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things… who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen (Romans 1:21-25).

Secondly, we can know the true God by a special revelation from Him, which Christians have received in the Bible .We take God at His word and believe His revelation of Himself. God is everlasting, having no beginning; therefore He must be self-sufficient.

 No one can fully comprehend God. The finite human mind cannot contain the infinite God. If we could contain God in our minds, he would no longer be God.

The great and true God is eternal, infinite, and everlasting. His attributes also must be eternal and everlasting. He should not lose any of His attributes nor acquire new ones. God is immutable in wisdom, in power, in holiness, in justice, in goodness, in truth.

According to the Bible, God is called Father (Malachi 2:10, John 8:41).

Eternal fatherhood demands eternal sonship. God is love (1 John 4:16) and love demands someone to be loved. God talks, hears, and sees.

Here we have many important questions concerning God that need an answer. Before God created angels and men, with whom was he talking? Whom did He hear? Whom did He see? Most importantly, whom did He love? These questions cannot be answered unless we believe in a triune God.

The only logical and perfect God must be a triune God to exercise His attributes with no need of His creation. This is the confession of every true Christian, which was expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 2, in the following words.

There is but one living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection… God hath all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of himself; and is alone in and unto himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which he hath made… In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

The Bible Reveals A Triune God

The Old Testament uses the plural name of Deity:

And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness… so God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:26,27).

And the Lord God said behold, the man is become as one of us (Genesis 3:22).

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? (Isaiah 6:8).

Here we have to notice the two words, “I” and “us.” For the One who says “I” says also “us.” That indicates the oneness of the Triune God.

It is of great importance to notice that God never used the word “we” or “us” to magnify himself in the Bible.  It was not the custom of the kings of the great empires to use the word “we” to magnify themselves.

King Nebuchadnezzar, the Emperor of the great Babylonian empire, issued a decree saying, “Therefore I make a decree…” (Daniel 3:29). King Darius issued a decree saying, “I make a decree…” (Daniel 6:26). So when God uses the words “we” or “us,” it is not to magnify Himself but indicate that He is a Triune God.

In the book of Numbers, there is a clear demonstration of the Triune God. The prophet Balaam came to King Balak upon the request of the King to curse Israel.  In that story we read three verses which clearly show the Triune God.

The first verse: And God met Balaam
The second verse: And the LORD met Balaam
The third verse:… and the Spirit of God came upon him (Numbers 23:4, 16 and 24:2).

Here, we see God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit in clear manifestation.

Then we read in Psalm 110:1:

The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Jesus asked the Pharisees concerning this passage saying:

What think ye of Christ?  Whose son is He? They say unto him, the son of David. He saith unto them, how then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, “the LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Matthew 22:42-44).

The only right answer for this passage is the belief in the triune God. For in this passage we see “The LORD” is God the Father and “my Lord” is God the Son. David, by the Spirit, called Him Lord and that Spirit is the “Holy Spirit.”

Again, we read in the book of Proverbs:

Who has ascended into heaven or descended?  Who has gathered the wind in his fists?  Who has bound the waters in a garment?  Who has established all the ends of the earth?  What is his name, and what is His son’s name, if you know (Proverbs 30:4 NKJ).

Dr. Charles Bridges says in his commentary on Proverbs (pages 591, 592):

. . . and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son. . . (Matthew 11:27 NKJ). Yet there is a Son in the Eternal Godhead; a Son not begotten in time, but from eternity (Proverbs 8:22-30); his name therefore, not as some would have it, a component part of his humiliation, but the manifestation of his Godhead:  co-existent with his Father in the same ineffable nature, yet personally distinct. What is his name? and what is his Son’s name?  Sovereignty-Omnipresence-Omnipotence are His. He too controls the winds and water, and establishes the earth…”

We have to realize that these passages are taken from the Old Testament, the book of the Jewish people who believe in monotheism. Clearly, the plurality of God’s being was still consistent with the Jewish monotheistic doctrines.

We come now to the New Testament.

On the occasion of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist, we see clearly the Triune God.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to hi, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16, 17 NKJ).

In this scene we have:

– The Father speaking from heaven, calling Jesus “My beloved Son.”

– The Son, Jesus Christ, coming up from the water.

– The Holy Spirit like a dove descending from heaven and alighting upon the son.

– The Quran also testifies to the existence of the Holy Spirit as a separate manifestation of the godhead.

 We gave Jesus the Son of Mary evidence, clear [signs] and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:87).

To Jesus the Son of Mary We gave clear [signs], and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:253).

Ibn Katheir cited Ibn Abbas who said, “The Holy Spirit is the Greatest Name with which Jesus was able to raise the dead.” Ibn Katheir cited also Al Zamakhshari who said, “The Holy Spirit here means the Spirit of Jesus Himself” (Ibn Katheir, Volume 1, pages 117, 118).

The triune God is the God revealed in the Bible.

This profound mystery of the Godhead is summed up in the word of Dr. Boardman, the great theologian.

The Father is all the fullness of the Godhead invisible. 

No one has seen God at any time.  (John 1:18 NKJ)

The Son is all the fullness of the Godhead manifested.

No one has seen God at any time.  The only begotten son, who is in the bosom of the father, He has declared Him (John 1:18; NKJ).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-14; NKJ).

The Holy Spirit is all the fullness of the Godhead acting immediately upon the creature.

But as it is written: “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yea the deep things of God (I Corinthians 2:9, 10).

The Quran declares that God is visible and invisible, and seated Him on a throne.

He is the first and the last, and the outward (literally the visible) and the inward (literally the invisible); and he is the knower of all things. He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days; then he mounted the throne (Surat Al-Hadid: 57:3, 4 MPT).

God is invisible.  The apostle Paul says that He is:

. . . dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: To whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen (I Timothy 6:16).

But God became visible in the person of Jesus Christ.  The apostle Paul says:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16).

Why is it difficult for Muslims to believe that Jesus Christ is the incarnated Son of God when the Quran has incarnated God in many of its verses?

1. The Quran gave God a face

Every one upon it will disappear while your Lord’s face will remain full of majesty and splendor (Surat Al-Rahman 55:26, 27 T.B. Irving, The First American Version of the Quran).

2. The Quran gave God a hand

Lo!  those who swear allegiance unto thee [Muhammad}, swear allegiance only unto Allah. The Hand of Allah is above their hand (Surat Al-Fath 48/:10 MPT)

3. The Quran gave God an eye

When the Quran mentions Moses’ mother, it says:

Behold!  We sent to thy mother, by inspiration, the message: “Throw [the child] into the chest, and throw [the chest] into the river. The river will cast him up on the bank, and he will be taken up by one who is an enemy to Me and an enemy to him”: But I endued thee with love from Me. And [this] in order that thou mayest be reared under Mine eye (Surat Ta Ha: 20:38-39).

4. The Quran seated God on the throne

He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six days: then he mounted the throne (Surat Al-Hadid 57:4 MPT).

The Quran gave Allah a face, a hand, and an eye, and seated Him on the throne. This is incarnation, however, Muslims may say this is allegorical.

Such expressions in the Quran, where it is said that God has a face, a hand, and an eye are to be understood only in the sense that those human expressions are used in order to bring the infinite within the comprehension of the finite. The conclusion is that incarnation is necessary for human beings to comprehend at least a glimpse of the Divine.

Christians accept the Biblical revelation concerning the nature of God and the incarnation of Jesus, the eternal Son of God. It is the only source for knowing the true God – the Triune God.

The Bible Reveals A Supreme God

God is the supreme Being, no one is above Him. No one associated with Him. In the Book of Hebrews we read:

For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself (Hebrews 6:13 NKJ).

For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute (Hebrews 6:16 NKJ).

Every time God swears in the Bible, He swears by Himself because no one is greater than Him. In the Book of Genesis, He said to Abraham:

By Myself I have sworn, say the Lord… in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 22:16-18 NKJ).

In the book of Isaiah, He said:

I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow. . .(Isaiah 45:23 NKJ).

In the Book of Jeremiah, He said:

I swear by Myself, says the Lord (Jeremiah 22:5 NKJ).

The true and supreme God could not swear by someone else, let alone anything else. So He swore by Himself. Christians are not polytheists by the Muslims are. The Quran puts Allah in a lesser position than His creation since He swore by many things other than Himself. This is polytheism which the Muslims call “shirk” in Arabic.

The Quran Reveals That Allah Is Lower Than His Creation

Allah swore in the Quran twenty-four times, by the Quran, the angels, the winds, the mount, the star, the pen, the moon, the night, the dawn, the day of resurrection, the sky, the day of judgment, the men and odd numbers, the sun, the earth, the soul, the creation of male and female, the fig, the olive, the city of Makkah. Are these things greater than Allah that He would swear by them? What is the value of the pen, the sun, the moon, the fig or the olive compared to Allah?

Suppose that you are called as a witness in court, and instead putting your hand on the Bible or the Quran and saying that you will tell the truth and nothing but the truth, you say, “Your honor, I swear by the fig, the olive, the pen, and the star to tell the truth.” Will the judge accept your testimony?
 For the Quran to declare that Allah swore by things He had created is to teach heresy and clear polytheism.

1. Allah swore by the Quran five times

By the Quran full of wisdom (Surat Ya Sin 36:2)

By the Quran, full of admonition (Surat Sad 38:1).

By the Book that makes things clear, we have made it a Quran in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (Surat Al-Zukhruf 43:2).

By the Book that makes things clear (Surat Al-Dukhan 44:2). By the Glorious Quran (Surat Qaf 50:1).

2.  Allah swore by different ranks of angels or probably men

By those who arrange themselves in ranks. Those who so are strong in repelling [evil]. Those who thus proclaim the message of Allah (Surat Al-Saffat 37:1-3).

By the [angels] who tear out [the souls of the wicked with violence] by those who gently draw out [the souls of the blessed] and by those who glide along [on errands of mercy], and then press forward as in race, then arrange to do [the commands of their Lord]  (Surat Al-Naziat 79:1-4).

3. Allah swore by the winds

By the [winds] that scatter broadcast, and those that lift and bear away heavy weights, and those that flow with ease and gentleness, and those that distribute the affair (Surat Al-Zhariyat 51:1-4).

By the [winds] sent forth one after another (Surat Al-Mursalat 77:1).

4. Allah swore by the mount, the inscribed book the kaaba, and the ocean

By the mount, by the book inscribed in a parchment unfolded, by the much-frequented house [Kaaba} by the canopy raised high and by the ocean filled with swell (Surat al- Tur 52:1-6).

It is of great importance to notice in this verse that Allah swore by the Kaaba, while it was the shrine of three hundred and sixty idols.

5. Allah swore by the star

By the star when it goes down (Surat Al-Najm 53:1).

6. Allah swore by the pen

By the pen and by the record which [men] write (Surat Al-] 68:1).

7. Allah swore by the moon, the night, and the dawn

Nay, verily:   By the moon, and by the night as it retreateth, and by the dawn as it shineth forth (Surat Al-Muddathir 74:32-34).

8. Allah swore by the Resurrection Day and the self-reproaching soul

I do swear by the Resurrection Day.  And I do swear by the self-reproaching soul. Surat Al-Qiyamah 75:1, 2).

9. Allah swore by the sky, the Day of; Judgment, and by the one that witnesses

By the sky, with its constellations, by the promised day [of judgment]. By one that witnesses and the subject of witness (Surat Al-Buruj 85:1-3).

10. Allah swore again by the sky

By the sky and the night-visitant (Surat Al-Tariq 86:1).

11. Allah swore by the dawn, the ten nights, by the even and odd, and by the night

By the dawn, by the ten nights; by the even and odd [contrasted]. And by the night when it passeth away (Surat Al-Fajr 89: 1-4).

12. Allah swore by the city (Makkah)

Nay, I do swear by this city (Surat Al-Balad 90:1).

13. Allah swore by the sun, the moon, the day, the night, the firmament, the earth, and the soul.

By the sun, and his [glorious] splendour: by the moon as she follow him; by the day as it shows up [the sun’s] glory; by the night as it conceals it; by the firmament and its expanse; by the soul, and the proportion and order given to it; and its inspiration as to its wrong and its right (Surat Al-Shams 91:1-8).

14. Allah swore by the night, the day, and the creation of male and female

By the night as it conceals [the light]; by the day as it appears in glory; by the creation of male and female (Surat Al-Layl 92:1-3).

15. Allah swore by the morning light, and by the night

By the glorious morning light, and by the night when it is still, thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased (Surat Ad-Duha 93:1-3).

Ahmad Abdel-wahab city Muhammad’s biographers wrote in his book, Prophecy and Prophets, the following:

Revelations ceased from coming to Muhammad for a long time (some say two years); some of Muhammad’s friends may have said to him “It seems that you Allah has forsaken you.” The prophet passed through a terrible spiritual crisis. The biographers of Muhammad say: “During that time Muhammad though to commit suicide by throwing  himself from the top of Mount Hira, or Mount Abi-Qubees, because he felt desperate  and lonely” (Prophecy and Prophets, pages 177, 178).

Could you imagine the Prophet Muhammad thinking of committing suicide?  At that time Allah swore to Muhammad “by the glorious morning light, and by the night that He had not forsaken him, nor was He displeased with him.”

Who is this Allah, who swore by the glorious morning light, and by the night?  How could anyone believe in a promise based on this oath?

16. Allah swore by the fig, the olive, Mount Sinai, and the city of Makkah

By the fig and the olive, and Mount Sinai, and this City of Security [Makkah] (Surat Al-Tin 95:1-3).

17. Allah swore by the steed, which, according to the commentators of the Quran, might be camels, war-horses, or spiritual forces

By the [Steeds] that run, with panting [breath] and strike sparks of fire, and push home the charge in the morning, and raise the dust in clouds the while, and penetrate forthwith into the midst [of the foe] (Surat Al-Adiyat 100:1-5).

18. Allah swore by time through the ages

By the time, verily man is in loss (Surat Al-Asr 103:1,2).

Doesn’t the association of Allah, the almighty and supreme God, with these objects and creatures represent polytheism?

Muhammad positioned himself as a counselor with Allah, when he forced Zainab, daughter of Gahsh, to marry Zaid, Muhammad’s adopted son.  When Zainab refused Muhammad’s proposal, the Quran declares that this proposal was the decision of Allah and Muhammad.

It is not fitting for a believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger, to have any option about their decision. If anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong path (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:36).

The Bible declares that God does not accept any human counseling:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been His counselor? (Romans 11:33, 34 NKJ).

For Muhammad to associate himself as a counselor with Allah is clearly polytheism.

The Quran Positioned Mohammed As The Center Of Praise In Heaven, And On Earth

Lo!  Allah and His angels shower blessings on the prophet. O ye who believe? Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worth salutation (Surat Al-Ahzab 33:56 MPT)

The literal translation of this verse is:

Allah and His angels pray on the prophet. O ye who believe pray on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.

If Allah in heaven is praying on the prophet, the question is, to whom is Allah praying? Why do Muslims doubt the deity of Jesus Christ because He prayed when He was on the cross?

My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?  (Matthew 27:46 NKJ)

If the Muslim accepts the Biblical revelation of God, and believes that God is a Triune God, if he understands that the one who was incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ is God the Son, and that Jesus took the form of a servant, came in the likeness of men, and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:7,8 NKJ), then he would know that Jesus, as a servant, cried out to God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon commented on that verse saying:

In order that the sacrifice of Christ might be complete, it pleased the Father to forsake his well-beloved Son. Sin was laid on Christ, so God must turn away his face from the Sin-Bearer. To be deserted of his God was the climax of Christ’s grief, the quintessence of his sorrow. See here the distinction between the martyrs and their Lord; in their dying agonies they have been divinely sustained; but Jesus, suffering as the Substitute for sinners, was forsaken of God. Those saints who have known what it is to have their Father’s face hidden from them even for a brief space, can scarcely imagine the suffering that wrung from our Savior the agonizing cry, “My God, my God, why has thou forsake me?” (Matthew: The King has Come, page 406).

Nevertheless, the first word Christ uttered while on the cross was:

Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34 NKJ)

Then he committed his human spirit to the Father, saying:

Father, into your hands I commit My spirit (Luke 23:45 NAS).

He was always the Son calling His Father. In addition, He offered that prayer, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” to demonstrate that He was the one whom the prophet David spoke about in Psalm 22. All the prophecies in that Psalm were fulfilled to the letter when Christ died.

We have to see in Christ’s prayer Jesus as the Son of man, praying to God the Father, and in that hour of darkness, God is still the God Christ reveals.

But in the Quran Allah, who is absolute, prays to himself on the prophet. The Muslims accept that. They should not question Christ’s deity because of his prayer on the cross. More importantly, if Allah and his angels in heaven are praying on the prophet, and on earth Muslims are praying on the prophet, then Mohammed is the center of worship in heaven and on earth. This is also the conclusion arrived at by some intellectual Muslims.

The daily Egyptian Newspaper, Alwafd (September 9, 1992), recorded the following question sent to Sheik Hassan Mamoun, one of the prominent clerics in Egypt:

What is your judgment concerning prayer on Mohammed, the messenger of Allah, doesn’t that mean worshipping him?

Muslims never mention the name of Mohammed without saying peace be upon him or in Arabic Salla Allaho Alihe Wasalaam or Alihe Alsalaato Wasalaam which means “Allah’s prayer and salutation on him.”

Look at any Islamic inscribed sign, and you will read the name “Allah” at the same level of the name “Mohammed.”

Muhmoud Al-Saadani, the well known Egyptian journalist, wrote a critical article in the August 9, 1996 issue of Al-mussawar, Egyptian weekly magazine, in which he said:

On the memorial birthday of the Messenger [Mohammed] I listened to the Friday message on an Arabic television. The speaker was a young man… he said while shedding tears over the decline of Muslims in this age… the only cause for the Muslims’ demise in this age is that they do not glorify the master of creatures, Mohammed Ibn Abdullah, as they should glorify this glorious Messenger, who is the beginning and the last of all creation… the early Muslims used to glorify the Prophet to the point of drinking his urine…

Some Christians think that the God of Islam is the same God revealed to Jews and Christians in the Bible. When they talk about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, they call the three major religions the monotheistic religions. The Quran declares to the Jews and the Christians:

Our God and your God is one (Surat Al-Ankabut 29:46).

In fact, the Allah of Islam is not the same God as the God of the Christians and the Jews revealed in the Bible.

Clearly, the Quran and Islamic traditions fall short of monotheism and in fact teach polytheism by their representation of Allah swearing by lesser creatures and objects, and by raising the level of created things to that of Allah as well as associating the praise and superiority of Mohammed with that of Allah.

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