The aspect of the Trinity goes far beyond the mere definition. Christians claim to believe in the oneness of God but also claim that their one God can manifest Himself through three divergent aspects – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The concept of the Trinity is the foundation for the religion of Christianity, in which it is believed that God reveals Himself as the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each point is an extension of God’s power and divine hand as the Father – the sustainer of life on Earth, the Son – the physical manifestation of God on Earth, and the Holy Spirit – the power that lures hearts toward divine salvation.
The concept of the Trinity dates back to the time of the Hebrews and Torah, when the idea of God as a duality or trinity was heretical. The Torah rules out a trinitarian God, stating
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One” (1).
Christianity is a religion that was birthed out of the Jewish faith, and thus adopted the Jewish concept of belief in one God. Believers claim Christianity to be a monotheistic religion, however God is believed to be one being that can manifest or coexist in the three divergent entities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All three of these entities, although the same manifestation of the same one and only God, play different roles and cannot overtake the other, as their uniqueness makes them independent.
A common phrase many Christians say unto one another is
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2).
This greeting embodies the concept of the Trinity because it mentions all three aspects that comprise the triangle. This prayer is said with the intention of bringing glad tidings upon the person receiving the prayer by God, who will manifest blessings through the three entities.
The concept of the Trinity is complicated because there is no objective evidence of it. The contradiction between the claim that Christianity is a monotheistic religion and that Jesus Christ is, in fact, a manifestation of God himself is prevalent. It rejects the precedent of the existence of one God and Jesus Christ being appointed by God as a prophet and not a God-like manifestation of divinity. The Holy Qur’an says:
“Indeed they are disbelievers who say, ‘Surely, Allah is none but the Messiah, son of Mary,’ whereas the Messiah himself said, ‘O children of Israel, worship Allah Who is my Lord and your Lord.’ Surely, whoso associates partners with Allah, him has Allah forbidden Heaven, and the Fire will be his resort. And the wrongdoers shall have no helpers” (3).
The Holy Qur’an continues to address the concept of the Trinity directly by saying:
“They are surely disbelievers who say, ‘Allah is the one of three;’ there is no God but the One God. And if they do not desist from what they say, a grievous punishment shall surely befall those of them that disbelieve” (4).
Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih IV (rh), in a discussion on March 20, 1994, elaborated on this subject:
“Nowadays I have about finished a small book on the issue of gradual decay of Christianity. The title of that book is Christianity: A Journey from Fact to Fiction. There I have dealt with this particular issue from all possible angles…In brief I tell you the Holy Qur’an makes a claim that the Trinity is not the teaching of the Christ. Trinity is an imitation of the legendary religions and mythical religions of the past; these two claims are made by the Qur’an. The first claim has now been fully endorsed by the modern Christian scholars. Even in the modern biblical dictionaries, under Trinity you’ll find mentioned that Trinity is not a concept found in the New Testament; nowhere. You may read into lines, but you can’t find Trinity mentioned at all. And when I read this, one of the statements, I was fairly intrigued by the efforts that which the author was making to make the people see how that could be read into the lines, behind the lines and underneath the surface; it is nothing which is found there in fact. The question is if a doctrine is fundamental to your religion, then it should not be read between the lines. A testament pronounced so clearly, loud and clear as they say, that there is no ambiguity left about it. So, when the Christians call and won’t at times admit that Trinity is not so clearly or even mildly clearly mentioned, then the Qur’an is proved right. And secondly as far as the second claim of the Qur’an goes, now it is an accepted fact. And many an honest Christian scholars have openly declared that St. Paul imitated the prevailing mythical religions of Rome. And it was with the help of those ideas prevailing in Rome that he gave Christianity this form, that has been inherited by the modern Christians today. And it was an effort, a conscious effort on his part to make it popular in Rome, because in their backgrounds they had an idea of Christianity, three gods, and you know God heads – so he thought they would accept it as their own… And in this book, I have mentioned it in depth – in detail I meant – and also, I think I have mentioned that unfortunately Christ who sacrificed all he had for the sake of Unity of God was ultimately sacrificed at the altar of Trinity – Roman Trinity” (5).
The Reverend A.V. Harnack, in his essay on “The Evolution of the Doctrine of Trinity,” has this to say on the same subject:
“We naturally turn to the writers of that period to discover what grounds they have for their belief. To our surprise, we are forced to admit that they have none. The question as it presented itself to them was not, why three persons? But rather, ‘Why not?’” (6).
As Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul-Masih IV (rh) mentioned above, it is an interesting point to note that the concept of the Trinity, although part of Christianity, is not a topic that is discussed or preached prevalently by Christians because of its complexity and confusing design. Many Christians themselves do not understand this ideology because of its baffling arrangement of beliefs that is supposedly meant to represent the fundamental core of Christianity.
The religion of Islam makes the oneness of God absolute and prioritizes this concept above all other teachings. In fact, one of the five pillars of Islam, the fundamental concepts that construct the religion of Islam includes the Shahada or the belief that God is One and the Prophet Muhammad (sa) is His Messenger. It is important to understand that, in essence, Islam believes that there is indeed one God and no other entity besides Him. God is the only being in the universe to reign supreme over all things, and nothing can match His divinity. Additionally, Islam teaches that Jesus Christ (as) on Earth, who had been blessed with a divine intervention, is known as a prophet and is simply a messenger of the one and only God, and not His physical manifestation. In fact, all individuals throughout history blessed with divine interventions are known as messengers and have never introduced themselves as persons equal to God Almighty. It is important to remember that the true concept of monotheism can only be true when a religion emphasizes the importance of there being absolutely nothing equal to the one and only Creator.
- Deuteronomy 6:4
- Corinthians 13:14
- The Holy Qur’an (5:73)
- The Holy Qur’an (5:74)
- Transcribed from: https://www.askislam.org/mp4/EMQ_19940320_06.mp4
- Harnack, A. V., (1910) “The constitution and law of the church in the first two centuries,” p. 264
Last modified: January 2023