There is a distinct difference in the Islamic and Christian view of what sin is and what to do about it. This distinction is so broad that it is entirely unlikely it can be resolved, since both sides are adamant that their source of belief is the only one. Islam holds that the Qur’an is the final revelation from the creator of the universe, whom they refer to as Allah. Christianity holds that the son of God, whom they refer to as Jesus is the final revelation from God, as expressed by the Holy Spirit.
The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies list ten things relative to the Islamic view of sin. Today, I want to mention a few of them and how they compare to the Christian worldview of sin.
One, Muslims believe that Adam and Eve stumbled in the Garden and reject the idea that it was what Christians call “the fall.” Further they believe that God never intended the pair to stay in the garden but to use it as a training ground. According to their teaching God planned all along for them to dwell on the earth and take care of it. They deny that Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. The doctrine of “tawhid” would prevent this. Tawhid is the concept that there is no other God but Allah and nothing can be like him.
Christians believe that Adam and Eve did fall from grace and as a result of their sin were put out of the garden because the presence of a holy God was there. At the same time they were banned from the garden and the earth was cursed, God instituted his plan to rescue mankind from their sin. Christians also believe that mankind was created in the likeness of God. There are various ideas about what that means but it is an accepted truth that mankind is in some way like God.
Two, Muslims reject the doctrine of original sin and cannot accept that death is a result of man’s first stumble. They believe death is a natural process and was built into creation from the beginning.
Some Christians do believe in the doctrine of original sin and some do not. All Christians agree that death is a result of sin and sin began in the garden. Adam brought death into the world and death has passed to all men as a result of his transgression.
Three, Muslims believe that every human is born in a state of goodness (fitrah) and a Muslim. All humans are born in a saved condition but staying in that condition is up to them and is based on how they live on the earth. Mainly, it means keeping the five pillars of Islam.
Many Christians believe that every human is born in a state of sinlessness but at some point when they can understand God’s covenant they will sin. Christians do not believe how they live will erase the penalty of sin. They believe that a perfect sacrifice for that sin must be made to God.
The Muslims have no savior but themselves, Christians believe they cannot save themselves and need a savior.
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.