The Trinity: a Muslim perspective

wayfarer

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#1
Firstly, let's give an interesting quote by Imam Al-Ghazali, regarded by the Muslim community as one of the foremost classical Islamic scholars and philosophers:

...the Christians had been so dazzled by the divine light reflected in the mirror-like heart of Jesus, that they mistook the mirror for the light itself, and worshipped it. But what was happening to Jesus was not categorically distinct from what happened, and may continue to happen, to any purified human soul that has attained the rank of sainthood. The presence of divine light in Jesus' heart does not logically entail a doctrine of Jesus' primordial existence as a hypostasis in a divine trinity.

The article below by ex-Christian, Timothy Winter, very accurately sums up the Muslim perspective of Trinity:
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INTRODUCTION

...the doctrine of Trinity was the most notorious point at issue between Christianity and Islam, and hence was freighted with fierce passions. For the pre-modern Muslim mind, Christian invaders, crusaders, inquisitors and the rest were primarily obsessed with forcing the doctrine of Trinity on their hapless Muslim enemies. It is recalled even today among Muslims in Russia that when Ivan the Terrible captured Kazan, capital of the Volga Muslims, he told its people that they could escape the sword by 'praising with us the Most Blessed Trinity for generation unto generation.' Even today in Bosnia, Serb irregulars use the three-fingered Trinity salute as a gesture of defiance against their Muslim enemies...

To this distortion one has to add, I think, some problems posed by the doctrine of the Trinity itself. Islam, while it has produced great thinkers, has nonetheless put fewer of its epistemological eggs in the theological basket than has Christianity. Reading Muslim presentations of the Trinity one cannot help but detect a sense of impatience. One of the virtues of the Semitic type of consciousness is the conviction that ultimate reality must be ultimately simple, and that the Nicene talk of a deity with three persons, one of whom has two natures, but who are all somehow reducible to authentic unity, quite apart from being rationally dubious, seems intuitively wrong...

These two obstacles to a correct understanding of the Trinity do to some extent persist even today. But a new obstacle has in the past century or so presented itself inasmuch as the old Western Christian consensus on what the Trinity meant, which was always a fragile consensus, no longer seems to obtain among many serious Christian scholars. Surveying the astonishing bulk and vigour of Christian theological output, Muslims can find it difficult to know precisely how most Christians understand the Trinity. It is also our experience that Christians are usually keener to debate other topics; and we tend to conclude that this is because they themselves are uncomfortable with aspects of their Trinitarian theology.

What I will try to do, then, is to set out my own understanding, as a Muslim, of the Trinitarian doctrine...

Now, looking at the evidence for this process, I have to confess I am not a Biblical scholar, armed with the dazzling array of philological qualifications deployed by so many others. But it does seem to me that a consensus has been emerging among serious historians, pre-eminent among whom are figures such as Professor Geza Vermes of Oxford, that Jesus of Nazareth himself never believed, or taught, that he was the second person of a divine trinity. We know that he was intensely conscious of God as a divine and loving Father, and that he dedicated his ministry to proclaiming the imminence of God's kingdom, and to explaining how human creatures could transform themselves in preparation for that momentous time. He believed himself to be the Messiah, and the 'son of man' foretold by the prophets. We know from the study of first-century Judaism, recently made accessible by the Qumran discoveries, that neither of these terms would have been understood as implying divinity: they merely denoted purified servants of God.

The term 'son of God'...

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To read the full article, click below (the above is only the first half of the article, and even here, many of the paragraphs have been shortened for reasons of practicality):

The Trinity: a Muslim perspective


Some of the discussion relevant to this topic may be found here:

Jesus (Son) is seen as a separate created entity from God (Father) ?
 

wayfarer

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#3
See Youtube clip of Dr Naik, speaking about the absence of this concept in the Bible. Note that Dr Naik is not a scholar of Islam, but he is very active in debates on issues of religion:

[video=youtube;YEk3vvLN1sU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEk3vvLN1sU&playnext=1&list=PLA8C48286E5499D3E[/video]
 
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Eyenstyn

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#4
In Hinduism, God can take any shape and form - which is why Hindus don't eat certain animals or meat entirely. So the theory of the trinity should not be soo far fetched if it's the same entity in different forms.
 
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