Is the idea that Muslims worship the one true God just the pope's opinion?

By March 31, 2015 34 Comments

Full Question

When I told my Catholic friend that the Church teaches that Muslims worship the one true God, he said it was strictly a private opinion of popes. Is this true?


The idea that Muslims worship the one true God is not a “private opinion of popes.” It was the teaching of Vatican II in its document Nostra Aetate:

The Church regards with esteem also the Muslims. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even his inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. (NA 3)


  • Thomas says:

    Is this not a false teaching. We all are aware as to what the muslims worship. Who Mohammed was? What is there in the Kaaba? What does the Koran preach? The opinion of the muslims against our Lord. This opinion has to change, since it is totally wrong.

  • kamran says:

    100% false teaching. I always knew Vatican 2 was a devil’s work. I a Catholic but if this is an official Catholic church stand then I reject it. Because a church that preaches false teachings is a false church.

    • John Hayes says:

      Something is not a false teaching simply because you don’t like it or it doesn’t resonate with you. Islam is one of the three monotheistic, Abrahamic religion that has its root the Hebrew Scriptures, as do Judaism and Christianity. A simple study of Christian theology will indicate this. Islam looks to Abraham as the father of its faith (Ibrahim) just as Christianity and Judaism do. And, Vatican II was not the devil’s work, but a gift to the Church that has never been fully actualized and was more or less re-interpreted according to personal agenda by a couple of Church leaders prior to the current one.

      • Hansel says:

        Islam is an Antichrist religion. It twists verses from the Torah and the Bible to suit the so called prophets depraved beliefs.
        U see the difference between when the so called prophet saw the angel and when the blessed mother saw the angel .
        The prophet thought he saw and spoke to Satan.

        • Ugo says:

          While this may be true in an unsantized way, that doesn’t change the fact that Muslims (believe they) worship the same God as Christians.
          Their religion may be a corrupted imitation of Judaism/Christianity, but it is an imitation. It’s not about whether you accept them or not, nor whether their beliefs are even true.
          They could have fabricated the whole faith, for all anybody knows. But this was done on a Judeo-Christian base.
          So they do worship the same God as we do, albeit falsely. Where the inspiration for that worship comes from is another matter as well.
          The statement that they worship the same God as we do does not in any way endorse their worship or equate it with Catholic worship.
          They are like the Samaritans, who worship what they do not know.

  • Lu says:

    Islam contains many problems that would prohibit it’s peaceful coexistence with the other Monotheistic religions, but in this sense, their God is the same as our God. Their understanding of Him, or their ability to understand, is so radically different from ours…

  • Joe Marine says:

    This is why I am not attending Catholic Church now. This is like before and during WWII the then Pope turned a blind eye to Hitler and his persecution of the Jews, so he would not attack Rome.

  • Shari says:

    My opinion is God is also not the same as our God.. our God treats us as his sons and daughters whereas Muslims have an understanding of God as a Master and mankind as his creation which can be also understood as slave… If Mohammad was given this understanding from Allah I am sure that God is not the same as ours… because our God has given himself as a Living sacrifice and has taken us as his children.

    • Joe Marine says:

      When Mohammed was a boy, he was raised by his grandfather, who was a pagan and worshiped a different god each day. He realized as a young man how controlling religion was. He saw it as power over people. He created the god Allah, which is actually one of the gods, the moon god, his grandfather worshiped. He wrote the koran and the rest is history. To control, he never allowed any tolerance to other religions or non believers. This is NOT OUR GOD!! As I said before, man created religion, not God. Study the history of the Catholic Church, and it also has a violent past, not because of Christ, but the men who created and still create all the rules and regs to keep Catholics in the church, and under control.

  • Valerie says:

    They follow the koran which teaches many things in opposition to the Bible. Do not take Christians as friends, it’s okay to lie, cheat, steal and deceive as long as those things are done to infidels, etc.

  • plbunting2 says:

    Muslims do not recognize the divinity of Christ so how could it be the same God.

    • schufford says:

      @plblunting2: Muslims _do_ believe in the same God, the Father, as well as the Savior, Jesus, the Christ.
      1.) Ishmael was the first son of Abram, bore by his slave girl, Hagar. When Sarai gave birth to Isaac, she demanded that Abram send the Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness, for Isaac was to be Abram’s heir. She did not want Ishmael to have a claim. When Abram prayed to God, the Father, He said, “I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” GEN 21:8-21. This nation, of Ishmael, is the nation of Islam;
      2.) Muslims also believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Father. However their understanding of the Christ’s role as Savior is a bit skewed from our own. Muslims believe that Jesus was the King of the Jews, sent to transom captive Israel. They believe that Jesus was sent as Savior for the Jews, and secure the Kingdom of Heaven only for the Israelites. They believe further that since the Jews killed Jesus, the Kingdom of Heaven was taken away from the Israelites, by God, the Father, and given to the Muslims. To support their beliefs, the point to MATTHEW 21:33-44, MARK 12:1-11, and LUKE 20:9-18.
      BEFORE WE get bent out of shape, and start talking about leaving the Church, we have to educate ourselves. This want nervt to be forever at you, personally, but to all who have commented in such fashion, to this article. We have to actually read and understand our own Bible, and also examine the tenets of other faiths, as well.

  • Darlene says:

    Ask a Saint – He Knows
    Pope St. John Paul II strikes the balance beautifully, concisely, and without compromise between acknowledging what Muslims get right, and challenging where they go wrong, in his excellent book, Crossing the Threshhold of Hope. After pointing out that the Church has a “high regard for Muslims who worship one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth,” he then observes after reflecting on Islam and the Koran:
    Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the Prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God’s self-revelation, which constitutes the heritage of the Old and New Testaments, has definitely been set aside. Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the World, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection(p. 92).
    St. John Paul first acknowledges the truth that Muslims get it right when they profess faith in one God. Then, and only then, does he point out they have it as wrong as wrong can be when it comes to what God has revealed to us in Scripture about who he is, and, I would add, what he asks of his people by way of his commandments. ~ Tim Staples, Director of Apologetics and Evangelization at Catholic Answers

  • Alphonsus Mbanasor says:

    Just as then Saul persecuted God by his supposedly upholding and worshipping the God of Abraham, which God Himself showed He wasn’t happy with, the Muslims can’t in all honestly be pleasing the same God by killing His children in name infidels including those who correctly believe and worship Him in Christ Jesus . I hope this teaching is not a doctrine of faith which we Catholics are bound to believe.

  • penny esparza says:

    What people forget is that the Jews do not recognize Jesus as God’s son,inthe beginning they did not socialize with Gentiles, considered them beneath themselves, yet we fight for their rights. Oh, and let’s not forget how they misinterpreted their own scriptures. There are extremeists in EVERY religion FYI, religion and faith are NOT the same thing.

  • noypocw says:

    absolutely they are not the same because in the fact that they muslims are Monotheistic, and the jews are also monotheistic why they hate each other?

  • CATHOLIC says:

    Dear brothers, this statement does not mean that our church support or acknowledge the muslim traditions and rituals. It simply states the fact that ultimately christians ,jews and muslims all worship the one and only one GOD ,God of our father Abhraham. It does not mean that their teachings and rituals are to be followed .

  • Rick says:

    First of all, for those who are judging Catholic Church nobody put you in the position of judging. GOD is the judge.The only judge ! Stop pointing fingers at Catholics and Muslims and other religions. Lets pray and spread love like Jesus did and like Jesus wanted from St Peter. Lets be like St Peter ! Lets pray that the Holy Spirit will come into us and fill us with love and compassion. When Jesus came to earth He came to show people how big the Love of GOD is ! He came for the poor in soul to open their eyes to the truth without judging them ! Saying nasty words to the Catholic Church and Pope and muslims is not going to make you a better person. If GOD sees that the Christians or Muslims or Buddhist etc, are false religions and a waste of time do you really think HE wouldn’t take care of that. Lets be like Jesus and love one another without opinions, thoughts or judgments . I pray for all of you brothers and sisters and may GOD bless you and may Holy Spirit come into you to set you free from evil. Love you all
    sincerely from a Roman Catholic

  • Eleno Joyas jr. says:

    I believe that Islam and the Catholic church have the same One, True and Only God and we don’t have any other gods besides Him. Proof is ; test the spirit and discern for yourselves if there is contradiction.

  • Ugo says:

    The teaching is perfectly true.
    However, it does not mean that Islam actually understands the true nature of God and what he expects of us and nowhere does the Catholic Church and any of her Popes teach this.
    In other words, while Islam does claim worship of the same God of Abraham that we do (can anybody here deny that?), their teachings about the God of Abraham are false.
    And we can say something similar about other Christian denominations. For instance, we can say that the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons worship the same God as Catholics (the God of Abraham who sent his only Son to die for our sins), yet they reject the dogma of the Trinity.
    We can say that of all other denominations who, like us, worship the God of Abraham who sent his only So to die for our sins, yet deny the relevance of works, the authority of the Pope, etc.
    The person who answered this question should have spent some more time clarifying this, instead of leaving it open to misunderstanding.

  • Ugo says:

    The answer to this question provided on this website should have given more information, instead of leaving it open to misunderstanding as it is.
    Yes, Muslims do worship the same God as we Christians do. Except that their idea of this same God is erroneous, and their way of worshiping him wrong.
    Judaism, Christianity and Islam are called the ‘Abrahimic Religions’, because they all profess belief in the God of Abraham.
    So Moslems believe that they worship the same God as we do. It’s their misconceptions of him that differentiate them from us e.g., they have the same story about Abraham being called to sacrifice his son. But in their account, Sarah refused to surrender Isaac while Hagar willingly offered Ishmael. Again, in their accounts, Jesus is a mere man and prophet.
    Can you say that the Jews do not worship the same God as us Christians because they reject the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus and his sacrificial atonement?
    Remember the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman: you worship what you do not know. The Samaritans also worshipped the God of Abraham, yet Jesus told the woman that they worshipped what they did not know. That too applies to Moslems.
    Even among Christians, we have differing understandings of God. Unitarians, like Jews and Moslems, reject the Trinity. Notable denominations of this mould are the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons. Yet they worship the same God as we do, even if in error.
    None of this means that the Catholic Church equates Islam and Christianity, or considers Islam to be founded on true divine revelation. The Catholic Church teaches no such thing. The Church’s purpose is to foster respectful coexistence.
    In spite of its errors, the fact that it shares some similarity with the Christian faith (through our common ancestry in Abraham) should spur members of the two faiths to treat each other with greater respect rather than antagonism. We should be guided by what unites us rather than what separates us. Given what we share in common, members of the two faiths, especially Islam, need not see members of the other as enemies, but rather should all try to work together towards peaceful coexistence.

  • schufford says:

    We must educate ourselves relative to Islam, if we are to fully defend our Faith. I’m not saying that we have to agree with the religion, but we have to take strides to at least understand it. It is ignorance that breeds contempt. Muslims worship the _same_ God that Christians and Jews worship. This is the God of Abram. Islam comes from the house of Ishmael, Abram’s first son, with Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian slave girl (Genesis 16). When Sarai bore Abram Isaac, she demanded that Abram send Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness (Genesis 21). God reassured Abram he would make a great nation of Ishmael (Gen 16:10-12; 21:13). From Isaac, of course, we get the house of Israel. Muhammed is not a Muslim “deity.” He is a Muslim prophet. And, while Jews see Jesus merely as a prophet, Muslims actually recognize Jesus as the Son of God. However, they believe that the Father sent His Son to Redeem the Jews, only, that the Christ was only Savior to the Jews, but when the Jews murdered Him, God gave the Kingdom of Heaven to the nation of Islam. They (Muslims) point to Jesus’ parable of the Wicked Tenants in the Gospels of Matthew (21:33-45), Mark (12:1-9), and Luke (20:9-18), as the foundation of their belief in this concept.

  • Joe Marine says:

    Where are you people getting your
    info?? ALLAH is the moon god Mohammad worshiped as a child, and he wrote the koran, to fit his religion. Nothing sacred about that!!

    • Shira Kan says:

      No, Joe. Allah is the the title to the deity, we Christians call God. The Christian inhabitants of the middle east, those who were Christians long before Europe ever new the one true God have always called the Almighty Allah. This is what the Indonesian government were denying the Christians of Indonesia, the right to call God Allah. We all worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The question is in the consciousness of the character of God, the awareness of His nature and interest n our humanity. If there is one thing that Catholic church has always been exceptional about, it is truth, including truth about others, and an aspiration to rightness.

      • Joe Marine says:

        No, your info is wrong. Also, I was raised strict Catholic, 12 years of Catholic schools in the 50s and 60s. I saw Catholic laws change constantly. Man made religion and it’s laws,
        not God

        • Ugo says:

          Hi Joe Marine,
          I was also raised a strict Catholic. I’ve been Catholic for over 30 years, and I wasn’t even privileged to attend Catholic school.
          So what are these laws you’re talking about that change constantly? I’m curious to know.
          While you list them for me, please let’s rellect on the constant Protestant changes, such as divorce, contraception, homosexuality, etc.

  • The Lord,only one and the true way to Him also only one. Where is it ? Jesus who died on The Cross.

    • Joe Marine says:

      I am so thankful I am no longer a member of the Catholic religion. I am a follower of Christ, a Christian, not a catholic.

  • Rick says:

    Muslims mean to worship the same GOD Catholics do, but they don’t really know who their GOD is or the exact name of the GOD is ( thats why when they pray they chant thousands of GOD names in their prayers). Catholics and some Christians know who their GOD is which is Holy Trinity. Its like, for Muslims they don’t know whats their fathers name is, or who their father is ,but they know they have a father. Catholics and some other Christian denominations know exactly who their father is, or the name of the father, which is Holy Trinity.

  • Angelito Sechong says:

    It is a False teaching. The God of the Christians and Jews are the same, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Who loves Israel and called them apple of my eye. Christians who do not love Israel are not of God. How can a catholic not love Israel, everyday in the mass, Israel is lovingly mentioned. The muslim Allah does not recognize Christ as saviour and God, and even commands christians and jews to be slain, if they will not convert. The jews also do not recognize Christ, but in due time, after the time of the gentiles, they will to their senses and “look up to the one they pierced”. The muslims are adamant that those who do not follow their faith, will have to die

  • Marta says:

    I’m Catholic and i believe in Trinity. They’re Islam and believe their one God. So what?? just hold your faith and respect others.

    • Hansel says:

      Saying muslims believe in one God is right but to say they believe in the same God as the Christians do is totally wrong. If u read the book orlf revelation ud realise the so called prophet is the anti christ. If they worship the sake God the teachings would b all the same. God wouldn’t give one teaching to Christians ñ one to them

      • Ugo says:

        The Moslems believe in the same God as Christians do in the same way that the Samaritans believe in the same God as the Jews.
        They believe in the same God does not mean that their worship of that God is what God wants.
        What we keep confusing is that their claim to worship the same God as Christians means that that worship is acceptable to God. It is not.
        Any argument about the contents of their Koran only proves that they worship the one true God WRONGLY, not that it’s not him they attempt to worship.
        What Moslems do is akin to offering human sacrifice to God. The worship is directed at God, but it is not acceptable to him.

  • Roel says:

    The only problem for muslims is, they twisted the scripture that ismael is the son who was abraham to sacrifice requested by Got but in the bible it is Isaac who was abraham’s sacrifice to God. I think they just jealous to the jews. Read the bible please before you made a harsh comment. In the bible muslims and jews are in one blood line.

Leave a Reply Brethren !