How Does Islam See Itself in Relation to Judaism & Christianity?

by Timothy Peckinpaugh, studioD When Muslims ruled Spain, they allowed Jews and Christians to practice their faiths.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are Abrahamic religions; they all trace their roots to the Prophet Abraham, whom they believe received special revelations from God. Muslims believe their faith has always existed in the forms of Judaism and Christianity. However, humans misunderstood God's original intent. Islam reveres some of the same figures as Judaism and Christianity, and Muslims believe they worship the same deity as the other two.


Muslims respect the Christian and Jewish faiths, and believe God gave messages and revelations to practitioners of them. However, Muslims believe God communicated the final and most authentic form of the religion to the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad was meditating in a cave near Mecca, when he received messages from God; he later wrote the messages in the Quran, according to Muslim theology. Muslims believe God contacted Muhammad to correct errors in previous renditions of the faith, and that they are participating in the most authentic form of the faith.


Allah means "The God" in Arabic, and Muslims see no difference between the deity they worship and the one in the Jewish and Christian traditions. However, Muslims reject the notion of the Christian three-part God, and see it as blasphemous. Muslims believe that no other gods exist or have ever existed. They believe God exists in only one form, and that he is an all-powerful being who created the universe and human life. God will destroy everything at end of the world in all three faiths, and will judge people during the apocalypse.

Prophets and Beliefs

Muslims believe in the same prophets as Judaism and Christianity. They see the Prophet Abraham, or Ibrahim, as the patriarch of the Jewish and Arab people, and believe God created a covenant with him. His example taught others to follow the monotheistic religion. Muslims revere Moses, or Musa, as a prophet, who, like the Jewish and Christian beliefs, liberated the Israelites by leading them out of Egypt. However, according to Islam Jews and Christians do not tell the entire story, and that Allah continued to send prophets. Jesus, or Isa, is the second most revered prophet in Islam who announced the arrival of the most revered prophet in the faith, Muhammad. Muslims believe Muhammad corrected all errors, delivered the authoritative text of the Quran and was the last prophet.

Historical Tolerance

Muslims believe they must extend religious tolerance and acceptance to Jews and Christians. The Quran specifically requires Muslims to respect the other two faiths, calling practitioners "people of the book." Historically, Islamic-ruled countries demonstrated religious tolerance toward Jews and Christians. For instance, when Muslims ruled Spain from 711 to 1492, they extended a relative degree of religious liberty to Jews and Christians at the time; while those who practiced Judaism and Christianity were forced to pay additional fines, they were allowed to do so and were not persecuted. When Christians took over, they expelled Jews and Muslims from Spain.


PBS: Religion: Three Religions, One God
BBC Religions: Ibrahim - The Muslim View of Abraham
BBC Religions: Musa - The Muslim View of Moses
BBC Religions: Muslim Spain
BBC Religions: Basic Articles of Faith
BBC Religions: Jesus Through Muslim Eyes
Washington Jewish Week: Imam: Holocaust Denial Cannot be Islamic Cause

About the Author

A resident of Riverside, California, Timothy Peckinpaugh began writing in 2006 for U.S. History Publishers, based in Temecula, California. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside, with a bachelor's degree in English.