Islamic view of the Trinity, from Wikipedia

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In Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is a single being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a communion of three distinct persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Within Islam, however, such a concept of plurality within God is a denial of monotheism and foreign to the revelation found in Muslim scripture. Shirk, the act of ascribing partners to God – whether they be sons, daughters, or other partners – is considered to be blasphemous in Islam. The Qur’an repeatedly and firmly asserts God’s absolute oneness, thus ruling out the possibility of another being sharing his sovereignty or nature.[1] There has been little doubt that Muslims have rejected Christian doctrines of the Trinity from an early date, but the details of Quranic exegesis have recently become a subject of renewed scholarly debate.[1][2]

In the Qur’an

Three Qur’anic verses may directly refer to this doctrine. Possible Qur’anic references to the doctrine of “Trinity” are verses 4:171, 5:73, and 5:116.[1]

  • People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth: the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was nothing more than a messenger of God, His word, directed to Mary, a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’—stop, that is better for you—God is only one God, He is far above having a son, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him and He is the best one to trust.

    — Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 171[3]
  • Those who say, “God is the Messiah, son of Mary,” have defied God. The Messiah himself said; “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord.” If anyone associates others with God, God will forbid him from the Garden, and Hell will be his home. No one will help such evildoers. Those people who say that God is the third of three are defying [the truth]: there is only One God. If they persist in what they are saying, a painful punishment will afflict those of them who persist. Why do they not turn to God and ask his forgiveness, when God is most forgiving, most merciful? The Messiah, son of Mary, was only a messenger; other messengers had come and gone before him; his mother was a virtuous woman; both ate food. See how clear We make these signs for them; see how deluded they are.

    — Qur’an, sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayat 72-75[4]
  • And when Allah will say, “O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'” He will say, “Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

    — Qur’an, sura 5 (Al-Ma’ida), ayat 116[5]

Furthermore, verses 19:88-93, 23:91, and 112:1-4 are relevant to the doctrine of “Trinity”:

  • They say: “(Allah) Most Gracious has begotten a son!” Indeed ye have put forth a thing most monstrous! At it the skies are ready to burst, the earth to split asunder, and the mountains to fall down in utter ruin, that they should invoke a son for (Allah) Most Gracious. For it is not consonant with the majesty of (Allah) Most Gracious that He should beget a son. Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant.

    — Qur’an, sura 19 (Maryam (sura)), ayat 88-93[6]
  • No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to Him!

    — Qur’an, sura 23 (Al-Mumenoon), ayat 91[7]
  • Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.

    — Qur’an, sura 112 (Al-Ikhlas), ayat 1-4[8]


Interpretation of these verses by modern scholars has been varied.[1][2]

Although the latter group of verses have usually been taken to reject the mainstream Christian view of Jesus as son of God, William Montgomery Watt has argued that they refer specifically to an unorthodox notion of “physical sonship”.[9][10]

Verse 5:73 has been interpreted as a potential criticism of Syriac literature that references Jesus as “the third of three” and thus an attack on the view that Christ was divine.[11] Hence, verses 5:72–75 may merely be criticizing the idea that Jesus and God are the same.[11] Alternatively, it may be a purposeful simplification of the Christian belief in the humanity and divinity of Christ in order to expose its potential weakness when viewed from the firmly monotheistic position of Islam.[1][10]

Similarly, verse 4:171 can be read as a rejection of Jesus’ divinity. It is worth noting that in explaining these verses, early Muslim Qur’anic commentators noted that “the Christian ‘three’ was an internal characteristic of the godhead… rather than a series of external beings placed together with God.”[1]

Regarding the verse 5:116, some scholars have written that the version of the “Trinity” concept that the Qur’an is criticizing appears to be God, Jesus, and Mary; and that this is not a description of orthodox Christian belief, wherein the third part of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. Edward Hulmes writes:

“The Qur’anic interpretation of trinitarian orthodoxy as belief in the Father, the Son, and the Virgin Mary, may owe less to a misunderstanding of the New Testament itself than to a recognition of the role accorded by local Christians (see Choloridians) to Mary as mother in a special sense.”[12]

There is also debate about whether this verse should be taken literally.[10] For example, Thomas states that verse 5:116 need not be seen as describing actually professed beliefs, but rather, giving examples of shirk (claiming divinity for beings other than God) and a “warning against excessive devotion to Jesus and extravagant veneration of Mary, a reminder linked to the central theme of the Qur’an that there is only one God and He alone is to be worshipped.”[1] When read in this light, it can be understood as an admonition, “Against the divinization of Jesus that is given elsewhere in the Qur’an and a warning against the virtual divinization of Mary in the declaration of the fifth-century church councils that she is ‘God-bearer’.”[1]

See also


  1. David Thomas, Trinity, Encyclopedia of the Qur’an
  2. Mun’im Sirry (1 May 2014). Scriptural Polemics: The Qur’an and Other Religions. Oxford University Press.
  3. Quran 4:171
  4. Quran 5:72–75
  5. Quran 5:116
  6. Quran 19:88–93
  7. Quran 23:91
  8. Quran 112:1–4
  9. W. Montgomery Watt (1956). Muhammad At Medina. Oxford At The Clarendon Press. p. 318.
  10. Mun’im Sirry (1 May 2014). Scriptural Polemics: The Qur’an and Other Religions. Oxford University Press. p. 47.
  11. S. Griffith: Christians and Christianity.
  12. Edward Hulmes: Qur’an and the Bible, The; entry in the Oxford Companion to the Bible.

External links

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5 Responses to Islamic view of the Trinity, from Wikipedia

  1. madmanna says:

    Mohammed seems to be totally ignorant of the concept of the Holy Spirit as a distinct person in the trinitarian godhead. If the Quran was a revelation of God surely it must have got the trinity doctrine, as latent in the bible, correct. But it doesn’t. This shows it is not a revelation from God.

  2. madmanna says:

    “both ate food. See how clear We make these signs for them; see how deluded they are.”

    The other two of the three making up the trinity both ate food. This can only refer to Jesus and Mary. There is no one else mentioned in the text. Theta you have lost. Islam is not a credible witness to the truth. There is no concept of Mary as part of the trinity to be found in the bible.

  3. θ says:

    “madmanna says:The other two of the three making up the trinity both ate food. This can only refer to Jesus and Mary. ”

    The Arabic word كانا “they both” refers to a group of Messengers in which Jesus is just a member of, and Mary who is not a member of Prophet. Hence كانا doesn’t refer to both Jesus and Mary, but both Prophets and non-Prophet.
    Q.5, v.75. Messiah son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed before him. His mother was a believer. They both used to eat food.

  4. θ says:

    (i) Is Jesus a god because he can “do” some divine works? No. Jesus admits the divine work is not his works but God’s involved himself, Mary (virgin birth), his followers (resurrection by hands of Peter and Paul for instance).

    (ii) Is Jesus a god because he is divine by nature in the past? No. Jesus never gets service from previous Prophets.
    It is bisarre to Jews that Abraham’s reaction when seeing Jesus’ day is just giving a smile. Being glad is not sufficient as deification.
    It is bisarre to Jews that when seeing Jesus’ glory Isaiah just addresses God and Spirit who send him as Messenger to Jews. Isaiah just dismisses preexistence of Jesus.

    (iii) Is Jesus a god because he receives a proper deification from others? No. Jesus never gets Latreauo (religious service) from the others, not even from Paul who oftentimes talks about Jesus’ superiority over mere mortals.

    (iv) Is Jesus a god because he gets a reverence by men, angels and demons, even such a “cosmic reverence” in 2nd coming? No. No matter how much it is, yet the reverence isn’t sufficient for deification.
    In Afterlife, Paul also gets convinced that all Christians shall be made omniscient and ominpotent, hence they shall be able to judge the unseen angels and demons, and shall be kings.

    (v) Is Jesus a god because he is called “God” by God? No. The New Testament never specifically calls Jesus “God”, not even once.
    Moreover, when Jews pressure Jesus to openly claim a divinity (John 10:35), Jesus just declines by rather stating he is just the Son.

    (vi) Is Jesus a god because he is called “figurative God” by God (as Moses and kings in the Old Testaments)? No. Neither Jesus nor other citations of the New Testament ever specifically calls Jesus “God”, not even once.
    For instance, it is the kings of the Old Testament that get addressed by Psalmists “O, God, thy throne” that Heb 1:8 referenced. It is event at time when Jesus was not yet sent, or at time when God still spoke thru Prophets (not thru son).

    (vii) Is Jesus a god because he is “one” with the Father? No. If Jesus were one with the Father he would not have still prayed to the Father to give him back a “glory” before the world began.

    (viii) Is Jesus a god because he is called “the God of me” by Thomas? No. God is not seen, not got touchable, not made of flesh, not got nailed or speared.
    Jesus response to Thomas just negates Thomas’ careless exclamation as he rebukes quickly as much as “thou has seen me but thou believed me what?”

    (ix) Is Jesus a god because he is called the “Word” by John 1:1 ? No. The Word is inherent attribute of God. Otherwise, God must have been always silent or totally speechless since the beginning.

    (x) Is Jesus a god because he is called the “One Lord” by Paul ? No. the term “Lord” refers to a specific Hebrew word “Adon” for king, angels, et cetera, not to “Adonay” for Jehovah.
    The word “Lord” (Kurios) in the passage of Phil 2:11, 1Cor.8:6, and Eph.4:5 is just “Adon” in Hebrew, and can’t be Adonay. The title “God the Father” in the passage of Phil 2:11 must imply 2 meanings “God” and the “Lord” (Adonay). Otherwise, if Jesus were “one Adonay” (per 1Cor.8:6 and Eph.4:5), then as worse consequence the Father can’t be Adonay anymore, hence the Father lost his divinity. Trinitarians would have stripped divinity of the Father as well as of Spirit, if a crucial phrase “One Lord” (Eis Kurios) in 1Cor.8:6 and Eph.4:5 were referenced to Jesus as “one” Adonay.

    (iv) Is Jesus a god because he shall be called “Mighty God” in 2nd coming? No. the prophesy of Isaiah 9:6 can’t be applied to Jesus in the future. A prophesied son shall be a Prince, whereas Christians shall be more higher as Kings (Rev 1:6) above Prince at 2nd coming.

  5. θ says:

    Jesus became God because the men need to paraphrase the Bible to suit a doctrine, hence there was Jesus’ divinity after 4th century because the council of Nicene says so. Even John 1:1 doesn’t use the name “Jesus” or the title “Son”, and the order of words in the passage is different than the Nicene Creed has constructed or paraphrased wrongly.

    John 1:1 literally reads “God was the Word.” Hence it cannot be read contrarily as the Word was God. The KJV and other translators have obscured, distorted, twisted and altered with the Bible.
    The same pattern is in John 1:4 (which KJV and others are correct in translating it) that says “the Life was the light of men.” Hence it can’t be read as the men’s light was Jesus (the Light) in the same nature.

    In a nutshell, John 1:1-4 tell a similarity that the Word comes from God just like the light of men comes from Jesus. It doesn’t mean the Word is God since the men aren’t Jesus either.

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