Was Anyone in the Bible a Muslim?

by Anne Phillips
Many Biblical people also appear in the Muslim Quran.

Many Biblical people also appear in the Muslim Quran.

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The Christian Old Testament was written between roughly 1200 and 165 B.C., while the New Testament was written in the first century A.D. Muhammad, the founder of Islam, was not born until 570. In that sense, no one in the Bible was a Muslim, because Islam did not exist when the Bible was written. However, many biblical figures also appear in the Quran, and Muslims honor some of them as prophets.

Adam

Both Islam and Christianity portray Adam as the first man, who lived with Eve in a garden paradise. Both show Adam and Eve disobeying God by eating a forbidden fruit, and in both stories God throws them out of the garden as punishment. However, Christians teach that all of Adam's descendants are born with original sin because of Adam's disobedience. Muslims reject that idea and believe that each person is only responsible for his or her own actions.

Abraham

Muslims have given Abraham the title "friend of God," and he is highly honored in their religion. Muslims and Christians both believe that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham prepared to obey, but God stopped him at the last moment. However, while Christians teach that Abraham planned to sacrifice his son Isaac, Muslims say that it was the other son, Ishmael, who was almost sacrificed and whom they consider their ancestor. Many Islamic rituals during the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, come from parts of their Abrahamic story.

Joseph

The Quran has an entire section, "Surat Yusef," about Joseph, the son of Jacob, who also appears in the Bible. In the Quran, Joseph's brothers became jealous of him because he had visions, so they left him in the bottom of a well. Slavers found and sold him, but he eventually gained the favor of the king and a position of influence in the country; he later saved his brothers from starvation.

Jesus

Although only Christians believe that Jesus was divine or God's son, Muslims revere Jesus and teach that he lived a sinless life and performed many miracles. Both religions also teach that Mary, Jesus's mother, was a virgin when she miraculously became pregnant with Jesus. However, because Muslims reject the Christian idea of original sin, they also reject the Christian belief that Jesus died so that God would forgive people's sins.

About the Author

Anne Phillips graduated with highest honors from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in International Studies. She speaks Arabic and French fluently and has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. Anne has been writing for six years

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