Are Mormonism and Islam Similar?

Question
I enjoyed your comments concerning Islam and Mormonism. It was great information, but I have a question. Are Mormonism and Islam in any way similar to one another?
Answer

Thanks for your comments.

Most cults have similarities. Although Mormonism and Islam have their foundations in two different millenniums (7th and 19th centuries) in two different hemispheres, while advocating two different belief systems, they also have some similarities. A book entitled, Mormonism, America's Islam by Bruce Kinney gives us a list of some of the similarities between Muhammad and Joseph Smith: 



Visited by an angel.

Given visions.
Told that no true religion existed on the earth.

Was sent to restore the long lost faith as the one true religion.

A book produced from their teachings claimed to be "inspired by God."

Each claimed to be illiterate or uneducated and used this as proof the book was inspired.

Each claimed the Bible was lost, altered, corrupted and unreliable. 

Each claimed his new holy book was the most correct and perfect book on earth.
Each claimed to be a final prophet of God.

Each claimed he was persecuted because of his pure faith.
Each was a polygamist who had many wives. 

Upon their deaths a fight broke out from among the "faithful converts" as to who would succeed them.

Both religions have those who follow the "original doctrine" of the founding leaders and like these founding leaders, have been violent, polygamists, and have revelations justifying their evil actions. 

Each has progressive revelation.

Former Mormon, Ed Decker, Founder and International Director of Saints Alive in Jesus, complied his own list (see his book entitled My Kingdom Come: The Mormon Quest for Godhood, Xulon Press, 2007 for more commentary): 


Both belief systems teach that they have the only true and complete religion on face of the earth. 

Both reject Christianity as corrupted. 

Both taught the plurality of wives, both on earth and in here-after.

Both teach that the Bible is corrupt and mistranslated.

Both revealed God's true scripture.

Both reject original sin and the doctrine of the trinity.

Both teach a salvation by good works.

Both use a lay clergy.

Both founded by a holy uneducated prophet.

Both founding prophets had angelic visitations that they were to restore Adamic religion.

Both prophets' words were above scripture or earlier prophets.

Both teach a theocratic form of government.

Both teach a here-after with graded rewards for works.

Both claim to be the world's fastest growing religion.

Dr. Michael Youssef, the Founder and President of Leading The Way, states the following in his blog "Common threads between Islam and Mormonism":

It's hard to believe that two religions that are worlds apart geographically have so many things in common. Here are some examples:

1. Both believe that Christianity was corrupt and incomplete until their respective founders came on the scene. For Islam, it was Muhammad; for Mormons, it was Joseph Smith.

2. They both have their own book of "sacred scripture." While both tip their hats to the Bible, each see God's Word as insufficient by itself. Both Islam and Mormonism use many biblical themes, narratives and personalities. But the Qur'an draws heavily from the apocryphal books rather than the authoritative cannon of the Bible.

3. In both cases, Islam and Mormonism see their religion as complete within itself. Above all, both repudiate biblical Christianity and identify orthodox Christianity as a false faith.

4. Both religions reject the doctrine of the Trinity. The Mormon's concept of god includes many gods, not just one. Muslims view god as one, but as an aloof, remote god who could never become a man or relate to humanity. Allah can have mercy if he wants to, but he is also a cunning god.

5. Both religions reject the Bible as the sole and sufficient authority of faith. For Mormons, the Book of Mormon and other writings of the Latter-day Saints represent God's final revelation. For Muslims, the Qur'an and the Sunnah (traditions of Muhammad) constitute God's final authoritative word.

6. They both reject the biblical teaching of original sin. Muslims believe Adam did not become completely depraved after disobeying God; he merely slipped but quickly recovered. Therefore to Muslims, humanity does not need redemption. Salvation in Islam is very uncertain, even when keeping the Five Tenants of Islam; although some teach that jihad will help in that quest for salvation. Mormons believe that they are not condemned by what many call "original sin." In other words, they are not accountable for Adam's transgression in the Garden of Eden.

There is another similarity implied in the lists above: both are cults disproven by the Bible.

Reference

Kinney, Bruce. Mormonism, America's Islam Fleming H. Revel Company, 1912.

Decker, Ed. My Kingdom Come: The Mormon Quest for Godhood," Xulon Press, 2007. (

Youssef, Michael. "Common Threads Between Islam and Mormonism." Posted October 28, 2011. www.michaelyoussef.com.

Related Topics

What is Mormonism?
The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon
The Fictitious Mormon Jesus
Mormonism and Celestial Marriage
The Mormon Plan of Salvation
The Mormon View of their god

Audio Seminar

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, by John McWilliams

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).