As for those who believe in God and hold fast to Him, He will admit them into mercy and favor from Him and will guide them to Him on a straight path. (Surat an-Nisa': 175)
The Qur'an Rejects Belief in the Trinity
The New Testament frequently emphasizes God's infinite power and might, and describes Prophet Jesus (pbuh) as a messenger of God with human characteristics. Those few expressions that purportedly support belief in the trinity, as we will show below, clearly contradict the New Testament as a whole. All of this evidence reveals that trinitarian belief emerged long after Prophet Jesus (pbuh) was raised to God's presence. However, first we need to look at how the Qur'an, the only source from which people can obtain totally accurate information about Christianity and Prophet Jesus (pbuh), treats this belief.
The Qur'an states that the Gospel was revealed as a confirmation of the Torah:
And We sent Jesus son of Mary following in their footsteps, confirming the Torah that came before him. We gave him the Gospel containing guidance and light, confirming the Torah that came before it, and as guidance and admonition for those who guard against evil. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 46)
By proclaiming this revelation, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) corrected the errors that had crept into the Torah. The Qur'an, revealed to Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), states that both the Gospel and the Torah are true, but that their original forms have been corrupted. One of its verses reveals that the Qur'an confirms and conserves:
And We have sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming and conserving the previous Books. So judge between them by what God has sent down and do not follow their whims and desires, deviating from the Truth that has come to you. We have appointed a law and a practice for every one of you. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community. But He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with each other in doing good. Every one of you will return to God, and He will inform you regarding the things about which you differed. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 48)
The quality of the Qur'an revealed in the above verse is of the greatest importance. Not only does the Qur'an confirm the original purity of the revelations sent to Prophet Moses (pbuh) and Prophet Jesus (pbuh), it also conserves them. Revealing their subsequent corruption and then calling Jews and Christians to the true path is a manifestation of that attribute.
Christianity's place is very different at this point, because our Lord reveals that:
…You will find the people most affectionate to those who believe [Muslims] are those who say: "We are Christians." That is because some of them are priests and monks, and because they are not arrogant. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 82)
The truth of this verse has been seen throughout the history of Islam. The close relationship between Christians and Muslims began in the earliest days of Islam, and was further reinforced when some of the first Muslims sought refuge from Makkan persecution in Christian Ethiopia. Christians living in Muslim lands have always lived in peace, tolerance, and justice. (For detailed information, see Harun Yahya, A Call for Unity [Istanbul: Global Publishing, 2004])
Our Lord states that the Gospel was sent down as "guidance and light… and as guidance and admonition for those who guard against evil" (Surat al-Ma'ida: 46) and "as guidance" (Surah Al 'Imran: 4) to Prophet Jesus' (pbuh) people. Some verses actually invite Christians to abide by the truth revealed in the Gospel:
The people of the Gospel should judge by what God sent down in it. Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are deviators. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 47)
Say: "O People of the Book. You have nothing to stand on until you implement the Torah and the Gospel and what has been sent down to you from your Lord..." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 68)
Other verses extend a very warm welcome to Christians. In fact, the Qur'an praises Christian moral values and invites those who possess them to become even more godly. Several verses also reveal the error of believing in the trinity. For example:
People of the Book. Do not go to excess in your religion. Say nothing but the truth about God. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God and His Word, which He cast into Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers. Do not say: "Three." It is better that you stop. God is only One God. He is too glorious to have a son! Everything in the heavens and in Earth belongs to Him. God suffices as a Guardian. The Messiah would never disdain to be a servant to God, nor would the angels near to Him. If any disdain to worship Him and grow arrogant, He will, in any case, gather them all to Him. (Surat an-Nisa': 171-72)
With these words, our Lord reveals just how mistaken belief in the trinity is and warns its proponents that they will be held accountable on the Day of Judgment.
The belief that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is God is also clearly rejected in the verses. (Surely God is beyond that!) Our Lord reveals that those who hold such a belief have become unbelievers:
Those who say that the Messiah, son of Mary, is God are unbelievers. The Messiah said: "Tribe of Israel. Worship God, my Lord and your Lord. If anyone associates anything with God, God has forbidden him the Garden and his refuge will be the Fire." The wrongdoers will have no helpers. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 72)
As revealed in this verse, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is a servant created by God, a prophet who has submitted to God, possesses superior moral values, and is made superior to the worlds. In telling people of the true religion, he spoke of our Lord's infinite might and power and stated that he was His servant. Another verse reveals that those who ascribe divinity to Prophet Jesus (pbuh) do not fully appreciate God and His might:
Those who say: "God is the Messiah, son of Mary," do not believe. Say: "Who possesses any power at all over God if He desires to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone else on Earth?" The kingdom of the heavens and Earth, and everything between them, belongs to God. He creates whatever He wills. God has power over all things. (Surat al-Ma'ida: 17)
As revealed in the verse, everyone is helpless and needy in our Lord's presence. God, Who created everything from nothing, possesses absolute power and dominion over all animate and inanimate entities. Thus, Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is the servant and messenger of God, a human being created by and submitted to Him.
It is also revealed in Surat al-Ma'ida that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) himself rejected all claims concerning his supposed "divinity":
And when God asks: "Jesus son of Mary! Did you say to people: 'Take me and my mother as deities besides God?'" he will respond: "Glory be to You! It is not for me to say what I have no right to say! If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is in my self, but I do not know what is in Your Self. You are the Knower of all unseen things." (Surat al-Ma'ida: 116)
Other verses reveal the true message that Prophet Jesus (pbuh) imparted to his people:
He said: "I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and made me a Prophet. He has made me blessed wherever I am and directed me to perform prayer and give the alms as long as I live…" (Surah Maryam: 30-31)
I come confirming the Torah I find already there, and to make lawful for you some of what was previously forbidden to you. I have brought you a Sign from your Lord. So have fear of [and respect for] God and obey me. God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path. (Surah Al 'Imran: 50-51)
Another verse reveals the essence of the message imparted by the prophets:
It is not right for any human being that God should give him the Book and Judgment and Prophethood, and then that he should say to people: "Worship me rather than God." Rather, he will say: "Be people of the Lord because of your knowledge of the Book, and because you study." (Surah Al 'Imran: 79)
Our Lord is unsullied by these erroneous beliefs, and the Qur'an reveals some of His titles:
Say: "He is God, Absolute Oneness; God, the Everlasting Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born. And no one is comparable to Him." (Surat al-Ikhlas: 1-4)
This is the truth. God is One and Prophet Jesus (pbuh) is His servant and prophet, as were Prophet Abraham (pbuh), Prophet Moses (pbuh), Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and grant him peace), and all of the other prophets (peace be upon them all).
In the following chapters, all aspects of belief associated with the trinity will be set out in detail based upon the Qur'an, the Bible, and other Christian sources.