One of the most common and strongest objections that Muslims have against Christianity is that Christians worship a trinity of three gods. The very word "trinity" gives most Muslims the mistaken idea that Christians believe God is not one but three. This is totally unacceptable to followers of Islam who have been taught from early childhood that God is absolutely one and that there is no god but Him! To worship someone other than this one god is to commit one of the worst acts of sin!
Unfortunately, during the time of Muhammad there existed in Arabia a heretical Christian sect which claimed Mary to be divine along with Jesus. Thus they worshipped the trinity of God the Father, Mary the Mother, and Jesus the Son. Of course such a trinity is contrary to Biblical teaching, and this is the trinity which the Qur'an refutes:
And behold! God will say: "O Jesus the son of Mary! didst thou say unto men, 'worship me and my mother as gods in derogation of God?'"
Surat-ul Maida (5):116
They do blaspheme who say God is one of three in a trinity; for there is no god except one God.
Surat-ul Maida (5):73
Because of this misunderstanding of the true Biblical "trinity" and the strong sensitive feelings that Muslims have toward anything that suggests the worship of more than one God, it is best not to even use the word "trinity". Be sure to let your Muslim friend know very clearly that you also believe in just one God, and that you do not worship three separate Gods. Share with him the Biblical teaching that God is one from Deuteronomy 4:35, Deuteronomy 6:4, and Mark 12:29. However, let him also know you believe that this one God exists with a will, and that this will is expressed through His Word and carried out by the power of His Spirit, so that wherever there is God, there is also His Word and His Spirit. This truth is revealed in the Biblical account of creation where God spoke the Word, and by the power of His Spirit, creation came into being! (Genesis 1:1-3; Psalm 33:6, Psalm 104:24, 30) Explain to your Muslim friend that you believe that both the Word and Spirit of God are inseparable from God. As long as God existed, so did His Word and His Spirit; they were never created and they can never die. In this sense they are divine!
Surprisingly, unknown to most Muslims, the Qur'an also points to three things that are divine. Of course, the first is God Himself. But the Qur'an also speaks of the Word of God. It is referred to as the Word or Command of creation.
For anything which We have willed, We but say the Word, "Be", and it is.
Surat-ul Nahl (16):40
Verily when He (God) intends a thing, His Command is "Be , and it is!
Surat-u Ya-Sin (36):82
In regard to verse 36:82 above, in "The Holy Qur'an / Translation and Commentary" by Yusuf Ali, footnote No. 4028 says this about God's Word: "The moment He (God) wills a thing, it becomes His Word or Command, and this thing forthwith comes into existence." The Biblical accounts likewise demonstrate that things are created by means of the Word of God. Now if creation is by the Word of God, then it is obvious that the Word itself could never be created, since it is the agent by which creation comes into being. For this reason most Muslim scholars agree that the Word of God is uncreated. Thus if the Word of God is uncreated and eternal, then it certainly is of divine essence. From this reasoning, we explain to our Muslim friends that Jesus is not only of human nature, but also divine nature, since both the Bible and Qur'an refer to him as Word of God.
The third item that the Qur'an speaks of is the Spirit of God, or the Spirit from God.
For such He (God) has written Faith in their hearts and strengthened them with a Spirit from Himself.
Surat-ul Mujadila (58):22
In "The Holy Qur'an / Translation and Commentary" by Yusuf Ali, footnote No. 5365 describes this "Spirit from Himself", or Spirit from God as "the divine spirit which we can no more define adequately than we can define in human language the nature and attributes of God."
And so in the Qur'an as well, we can find evidence that points to a divine threesome -- God, God's Word, and God's Spirit -- each different, yet of the same divine essence, inseparable from one another.
In summary, avoid such words and phrases as "trinity", or a "godhead of three persons", or anything else that would suggest to your Muslim friend that you worship three separate gods. Remember, the Muslim can only think in terms of One God, and ONLY one god! So try to speak of this one God in terms of His Word (Jesus), and His Spirit. Do not try to unravel the great mystery of the Godhead. Let the mystery remain; let God be God! Simply state your belief in one God whose will is revealed through His divine Word and carried out through His divine Spirit.
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