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I once heard a Muslim argue against the Christian Trinity, claiming that God is not one God in three persons, but under the assumption that the Trinity involved the persons of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. If this is the Muslim understanding of Trinity then yes, I agree, God is not that Trinity.

This brings up the question, does Islam actually teach (or has it ever taught) that Jesus, Mary and Joseph make up the Christian Trinity?

  • Why would you even think that it does? – goldPseudo Dec 13 '14 at 19:50
  • @goldPseudo I remember a presentation where an Muslim was explaining that it is not Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and that God is One. So I wonder if that is how the trinity is taught to the Muslims? Does it offend you that I want to know what Muslims are being taught? – Decrypted Dec 13 '14 at 19:55
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    Who said anything about offense? All I'm asking you to do is show basic research effort, as is expected across the Stack Exchange network. "I heard a guy say a thing once" is a pretty weak source, but it should at least be mentioned in the question to show that this isn't just some off-the-cuff "I wonder if..." idea. – goldPseudo Dec 13 '14 at 19:59
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    @goldPseudo This is actually a pretty common (miss) understanding among several groups of Muslims. I've bumped into the idea a lot of times. I've always assumed it was hearsay, not teaching, but would be curious to know if it ever had a source in "official" teachings from any quarter or if it's just one of those word of mouth things that won't die because nobody bothers to actually look anything up. – Caleb Dec 14 '14 at 7:43
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    Well, been raised and living in a muslim country, but you're the first telling me about that assumption! So as @Caleb said I think it must be a hearsay refusing to die or perhaps refusing to keep circulating for nobody cares to look it up. – infatuated Dec 14 '14 at 9:00
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Surat Al-Mai'dah, Verses 72-75 say:

[5:72] They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.
[5:73] They have certainly disbelieved who say, " Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.
[5:74] So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
[5:75] The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded."

The Islamic concept of God does not subscribe to the Trinity concept, but to the absolute oneness of God. As such, the Qur'an does not teach a certain Trinity — the phrase "The Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit" is not mentioned anywhere in the Qur'an.

However, it is common knowledge that the Christian concept of Trinity involves The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Therefore, the "third of three" clearly references to the Christian concept of the Trinity and not Joseph, Mary and Jesus.

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