Through the months, I’ve received occasional emails arguing, with surprising intensity, for or against the different “Names” assigned to God by Jews, Christians and Muslims. It finally dawned on me that some believers are missing an elementary point.
Through the Prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, we are warned against praying in the name of any of the more than 2,000 “gods,” worshiped by mankind in ancient times. Each manmade idol was given its own name by the people who concocted it! So, every monotheistic Prophet, beginning with Abraham, has advised us to pray to the unseen, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent “Lord God.” And all Jews, Christians and Muslims pray to Him, regardless of the precise Name their language assigns Him.
Granted, Jesus gave us permission to pray in his name, not because he was representing himself as God incarnate, but because he was sent by the Father as mankind’s Messiah. History proves that most human beings need a “human form” to envision and pray to — an invisible God is just too hard for many to mentally and emotionally embrace. So “the Messiah Jesus,” as Muhammad always identified him, helps all who need a human manifestation of Divine Power.
Of course, the Christians also began to pray to saints, but that’s part of their “mix-up” over God’s Identity. We can know the Lord God understands human weaknesses and confusion, since even humans can usually come to understand what causes their “mistakes!” But the intense persecution and suffering that Christians and Muslims have deliberately inflicted on persons who worship the same God, but differ in their religious practices -- beginning with as simple a subject as His Name -- is another story! Our merciful God might not wholly excuse hateful actions committed in any one of His Names!