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Is Allah Yahweh?

Allah says he is. In the Koran, the god of the Israelites melts into the god of Islam: “And We gave the Book to Moses and ordained it for guidance to the children of Israel–‘that ye take no gods other than me'” (Sura 17.2). “To the Jews did We forbid every beast having an entire hoof, and of both bullocks and sheep We forbade them the fat, save what might be on their backs or their entrails, and the fat attached to the bone” (6.147).

In the Bible, Yahweh is strangely mum touching the matter. Being omniscient, he must have foreseen the sectarian dissension that rival claims to the celestial throne would produce. If he is Allah, why didn’t he announce he would vouchsafe further revelations to an Arabian prophet named Muhammed? Yahweh might thereby have obviated centuries of enmity, distrust, and carnage engendered by an unwarranted cleavage between infidel and believer. If, on the other hand, Allah has stolen Yahweh’s identity, why didn’t Yahweh alert posterity to Allah’s perfidious machinations? He could have attached a pithy rider to the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods besides me. Especially an imposter named Allah.” The clarion edict would have given Muhammed pause. He might have concluded that the revelation he had received was of satanic provenance.

So much for what-ifs. Since Yahweh, in his inscrutable wisdom, opted to maintain silence, it behooves the creature to determine whether Muslims and “the people of the Book”–Jews and Christians–worship the same deity. Seeking a dispassionate analysis of the pertinent data, I enlisted the services of an evidence technician and a forensic profiler affiliated with the International Institute for the Investigation of Fraudulent Deities. Neither entertained any sectarian prepossessions.

After perusing the Koran and the Bible, the experts collated numerous “correlative links” between Allah and Yahweh, among which are these:

  • Each created the heavens and the earth in six days.
  • Each called the first man, whom he created, Adam.
  • Each has a favorite people.
  • Each is called God, Almighty, All-knowing, King, Everlasting, Most High.
  • Each is merciful, forgiving, jealous, angry, vengeful, and wrathful.
  • Each is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnific.
  • Each assumes human form and uses human language.
  • Each employs angelic messengers.
  • Each is opposed by a wicked angelic adversary.
  • Each inspired the biblical prophets: Abraham, Moses, Noah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, Solomon, Job, Jonah, Zechariah, Jesus, et al.
  • Each works miracles and answers prayers.
  • Each subjects woman to man, licenses polygamy, and condones slavery.
  • Each regulates diet and hygiene.
  • Each enjoins gifts to priests and propitiatory sacrifices.
  • Each has a proclivity for thematic and verbal repetition.
  • Each monitors human thoughts and deeds.
  • Each edifies believers by chastening them.
  • Each hardens the heart of enemies so they will not repent.
  • Each stigmatizes criticism and rational inquiry.
  • Each demands charity to orphans, the sick, the feeble, and the poor.
  • Each afflicts, maims, or kills the disobedient, particularly those who worship false gods.
  • Each exalts war.

In the judgment of the specialists, the rife similarities offer “provisory support” for Allah’s claim that he and Yahweh are one. The hitch: Yahweh mustn’t be the biological father of Jesus. Allah is childless. For him, sons “add gods to God,” the worst form of polytheism. Jesus, per Allah, is a prophet on whom he conferred divine power, authority, and privilege: “And in the footsteps of the prophets caused We Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow, confirming the Law, which was before him: and We gave him the Evangel with its guidance and light, a confirmatory of the preceding Law” (Sura 5.50). The Koranic Jesus vouches for Allah (and Muhammed): “O children of Israel! Of a truth I am God’s apostle to you to confirm the Law which was given before me, and to announce an apostle that shall come after me whose name shall be Ahmad” (61.6).

In the Gospels, Jesus occasionally designates himself “son of God,” but the epithet, the evidence technician suggested, may be figurative since Jesus also applies it to his followers: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5.9). True, when Jesus is baptized, a heavenly voice says: “Thou art my beloved son; with thee am I well pleased” (Mark 1.11). Confirmation that Yahweh fathered Jesus? “Even if the voice is Yahweh’s,” said the technician, “‘son’ may have a generic rather than a genetic import since all Israelites were, figuratively speaking, Yahweh’s children. Hence, in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus has his followers invoke ‘our Father which art in heaven.'”

The technician wondered whether the “extant textual data” were tainted. Allah, she noted, is preoccupied with eschatological matters–Resurrection, the Last Judgment, Heaven, Hell–whereas in the New Testament these concerns are intermittent and in the Old Testament virtually nonexistent. Allah oft recounts the eternal sensuous delights that await believers, especially males: “For the God-fearing is a blissful abode, enclosed gardens and vineyards; and damsels with swelling breasts, their peers in age, and a full cup” (78.31-34).

And he indefatigably gloats over the horrendous torture in store for those who scoff at the Koran: “For those who have disbelieved, garments of fire shall be cut out; the boiling water shall be poured down on their heads; all that is in their bowels, and their skins, shall be dissolved; and there are maces of iron for them!” (22.20-21).

“Worse than Jesus’s wailing and gnashing of teeth,” said the technician.

“Paranoid dementia,” quipped the profiler.