Answered by Ustadh Abdullah Anik Misra
Question: Christians believe that Jesus said he was God. Muslims believe he did not. I, as a Muslim, always receive questions asking: “How do you love Jesus if you think he’s a liar?” In response, I say that he never said he was God and that he actually said there was another prophet (Mohammed PBUH) coming. Are there historical facts I can present to back this up? Christians say: “Well, disciples died saying that Jesus was God. Why would they lie?”
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious Most Merciful,
As salamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.
The truth about Jesus (peace be upon him) must be plausible and consistent with reason and revelation.
Your Christian friends make the grave assumption that Jesus declared himself to be God. The Qur’an refutes this claim explicitly [5:116], but you can also look at their own Gospels which claim to quote Jesus.
An honest examination shows that Jesus never explicitly and unequivocally said he was God. It was the authors of the New Testament, none of whom met Jesus, that claimed he was God and propagated this. There is no evidence that the actual apostles of Jesus claimed this, or that they authored the Bible.
Rather, Jesus is shown to be constantly worshiping, and calling others to worship, God alone.
Be polite and respectful, but appeal to their logic: how can they ascribe this claim to Jesus, or even think it true, if it so starkly contradicts the First Commandment to not take any gods besides God, nor to make an idol of anything in heaven and earth? Also, it’s logically absurd for God to become His creation.
Thus, only Islam’s claim is plausible, and consistent with early revelation: Jesus was a prophet, not God.
Take a course to study Islamic monotheism, and share the links below, but never descend into dispute.
Finally, remember that it is Allah alone who guides the sincere to the way of truth.
Abdullah Anik Misra
Below are some resources regarding a comparative look at Christianity and Islam:
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani