What was the religion of Abraham?

This article is a summery of a dialog between a Christian (C) and a Muslim (M).

C. If all three religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, claim to emanate from the One and same Creator, why do they differ?

M. All prophets from Adam to Muhammad were sent with the same message: man's total submission to Allah. In Arabic, this submission is called "Islam," which also means peace, peace between the Creator and His creatures. Unlike the names Judaism and Christianity, the name Islam was given by Allah Himself, as mentioned in Qur’an 5:3: This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor on you, and have chosen for you Islam as your way of life. Neither "Judaism" nor "Christianity" is found in the Bible or in a Bible dictionary. No Israelite prophet said the word "Judaism." Jesus never claimed to establish Christianity and never called himself a Christian. The word "Christian" is mentioned only three times in the New Testament and first by pagans and Jews in Antioch about 43 A.D., long after Jesus had left this earth. Read in Acts 11:26: "And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."

The first Muslim on earth was not Muhammad but Abraham, who submitted totally to Allah. But Islam as a faith had been revealed to other prophets prior to Abraham, such as Adam and Noah. Then Islam follows as the faith for all humanity.


C. How could Abraham be a Muslim? It is known that he was a Jew.

M. A Jew? Who told you that?


C. We are taught that, so it must be confirmed by the Bible.

M. Can you show me where in the Bible it says that he was a Jew? If you can't find it quickly, let me help you. Read Genesis 11:31.


C. "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran and dwelt there."

M. So Abraham who was born in Ur of Chaldees could not have been a Jew. First because Ur of Chaldees was in Mesopotamia, which is now a part of Iraq. He was then more an Arab than a Jew. Secondly the name "Jew" came after the existence of Judah, the great-grandson of Abraham. Read further, Genesis 12:4 and 5.


C. " ... and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.... and into the land of Canaan they came."

M. So Abraham immigrated to Canaan at the age of seventy-five and the Bible clearly mentioned that he was there a stranger m Genesis 17:8: "And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." Read now Genesis 14:13.


C. "And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew.... "

M. How can you call Abraham a Jew if the Bible itself calls him a Hebrew which means a man from the other side of the Euphrates. It also means pertaining to Eber, a descendant of Shem. Read now in Genesis 32:28 what happened to the name of Jacob after wrestling with an angel (or with GOD as in some versions of the Bible).


C. "And he said: 'Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel; for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.'"

M. So Abraham was a Hebrew. The descendants of Jacob were Israelites consisting of the twelve tribes. Judah was nicknamed "Jew" so that only Judah's descendants were called Jews originally. To know who Moses really was, read Exodus 6:16-20.


C. "And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Ghershon, and Kohath, and Merari.... And the sons of Kohath: Amram.... And Amram took him."

M. Because we are using the Holy Qur'an as standard. You can explain the Bible and correct the Jewish and Christian prejudice with the context of the Qur'an. It is the last revealed book and has never been corrupted or adulterated. Its contents has been guaranteed by Allah in Chapter 2:2: "This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt..." and also in Chapter 15:9: "No doubt We have sent down the Qur'an and surely We will guard it (from corruption)". This verse is a challenge to mankind. It is a clear fact that more than fourteen hundred years have passed and not a single word of this Qur'an has been changed although disbelieves tried their utmost to change it, but they failed miserably in their efforts. As it is mentioned in this Holy Verse: "We will guard this Book" by Allah, He has guarded it.

On the contrary, all the other holy books (Torah, Psalms, Gospels etc.) have been adulterated in the form of additions, deletions, or alterations from the original.


C. What does the Qur'an say about Abraham and Moses that you can deduce from the Bible?

M. In Chapter 3:65-67:

O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense? Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim (worshiper of none but Allah alone) and he joined none in worship with Allah.

In Chapter 2:140:

Or say you that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve sons of Jacob were Jews or Christians? Say (of Muhammad), 'Do you know better or does Allah? And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony he has from Allah?' And Allah is not unaware of what you do.

Of course they were not Jews or Christians, as the name "Jews" came after Judah (son of Jacob) and the name "Christians" came long after Jesus had left.