While many Christians note that Muhammad’s version of Christianity is a little skewed – no doubt he encountered a sect of Christianity – we usually focus only only the differences of the Qu’ranic Isa and the Biblical Jesus. However, does the Qu’ran, and thus early Islamic theology, actually offer more than just a repackaging of Jesus, but a theological attack on the Nicene Creed?
Nicene Creed of 325
|Muhsin Khan: Say (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)): “He is Allah, (the) One.Muhsin Khan: “Allah-us-Samad (The Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He neither eats nor drinks).
Muhsin Khan: “He begets not, nor was He begotten;
Muhsin Khan: “And there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.”
|We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
And in the Holy Ghost.
We note that at the very start of the Surat and the Creed, is the defense of monotheism. The second stanza of the Surat refers to the All-Sufficient, but for the Surat, Allah is not explicitly called Maker but is in the role of sustainer.
Is the third and fourth stanzas of the Surat which makes the most theological comparison, especially in light of 7th century Christian theology when ‘co-equal’ had some into play. Here, the Surat stands squarely against the Nicene Creed when it signifies that God does not beget or is begotten, referencing the Father and the Son. Here as well, ‘co-equal’ and ‘comparable’ can refer to the ‘one substance of the Father’ line in the Creed.