I guess the first thing to say here is that the word “Allah” in Arabic is the word for God. A little bit like in Greek, “theos” is the word for God in Greek. So if you go to Greek authors, such as Epictetus, you see that he talks about God all over the place, and he uses the word Theos.The god of Islam is an impersonal god. The god of Islam is an unknowable god.
On the one hand people could argue that Allah, the name, is simply an Arabic name for God. They are correct in that. What we are really talking about here, when we are talking about this controversy, is if the god of Islam the same as the God of Christianity. The answer to that must clearly be “no” because the god of Islam is an impersonal god. The god of Islam is an unknowable god. He is so distant and so distant from us that it is impossible for us to know God.
If you listen to documentaries and you listen to Muslims, apart from Sufi Muslims, who are a marginalized group within Islam, Muslims on the whole believe that God is distant and unknowable. I was talking to a Muslim just recently, and I actually explained this to him that their god is distant. I said, “Would you like to know this God?” This guy said, “No, actually. I’d rather God be distant.” So the god of Islam is a distant god.God longs to bring us back into relationship. He reconciles us to himself and to one another.
How does that compare to the God of Christianity? Well, the God of Christianity is the God that we read about in Genesis who walked with the man and the woman in the cool of the day. Then in Revelation, at the end, it says, “Now the dwelling of God is with man, and he will live with them.” And of course with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, God sent his one and only Son to be with us and to walk among us. Then as Jesus ascended into heaven after his death and resurrection, he poured out his Holy Spirit upon us. He did that so that we could have the mind of Christ, so together we could become the body of Christ.
God is a God who longs to bring us back into relationship. He reconciles us to himself and he reconciles us to one another. The god of Islam, unfortunately, does not bring true relational reconciliation between God and humans, and neither does it bring full reconciliation between humans.