Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Yes and no.
Many evangelical Christians—and some devout Muslims—would completely deny it, pointing out the differences between the beliefs.
But prominent Christians like St Francis of Assisi, St Teresa of Avila, St Anthony of Padua (and now Pope Francis), point out there is only one God, who is worshipped by Muslims and Christians.
Christians and Muslims have more in common than many people realise. In the Koran, the name of the Prophet Mohammed is mentioned in only four places: chap.3:144; chap.33:40; chap.47:2; and chap.48:2.
On the other hand, the name of Jesus is mentioned far more frequently. Jesus can be found in the Koran in twenty-five places.
Only one woman is mentioned in the Koran. She is Mary (Miriam), the mother of Jesus. Two entire chapters (chapters 3 and 19) are devoted to the story of Mary. The Koran says Mary was without original sin; was a virgin; and went to heaven with her physical body.
Over the many centuries during which Islam and Christianity have co-existed, the debate was never that Muslims and Christians worship a different God. Always it was simply about God’s nature.
Christians contend that God is a Holy Trinity, with Jesus Christ belonging in this Godhood.
Muslims, on the other hand, insist that God is only One, with Jesus as His messenger and servant and not His begotten son.
But don’t Muslims have a different God called “Allah”?
No, indeed. “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God. The Koran is in Arabic, Pick up any Arabic translation of the Bible, and the name for God is “Allah.” Speak to an Arab Christian, and he or she will call God by the name “Allah.”
Then would Jesus have called God “Allah”? Probably. What’s more, if Jesus Christ spoke today, he might also call God by the name “Allah.”
Why can I say this? It is because the historic Jesus didn’t speak Greek, the language of the Gospels. Jesus spoke Aramaic.
Jesus would have used the Arabic name: “Alah” or “Alaha”.
Muslims and Christians don’t agree on the nature of God. But we can agree on the fact that we both worship the very same God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus (peace be upon them all).
Rather than seeking to divide the Children of Abraham, to which both Christians and Muslims belong, we should be looking for ways to come together and work for the common good.