Since 1987, I have had the privilege of visiting and living in many countries in the Middle East for more than a decade. During this time, I was married to a Palestinian Muslim for nine years, spent nearly as long in gaining a Doctoral degree in Islamic Studies and have worked the majority of my professional life in the midst of Islamic society overseas. I also have always been a very active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (known as the LDS or Mormon church), have served as a Mormon missionary and have come from strong Mormon pioneer ancestry and upbringing. For me, the two worlds co-exist peacefully in the harmony of shared divinely revealed principles and beliefs.

I have a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon as the Word of God and have a firm belief that it is “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”[1] I have also read the Quran many times and have been able to increase the scope of my understanding of LDS gospel truths through its teachings. I delight in hearing and reading the words of our modern apostles and prophets and seek to follow their inspired counsel in leading me back into the presence of God. I also enjoy reading the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith[2] and applying their inspired truths to my life. For me, there is only submission to God’s will, whether this makes me a Muslim (by definition, one who submits to God) or a committed faithful Mormon. My path is only one- that of abiding by righteous precepts, obedience to God’s commandments, living up to covenants, loving, accepting and serving those around me and seeking to increase peace among us all as children of God.

The intent, therefore, in writing this book is to do the same- to help both Mormons and Muslims to increase in their knowledge of the divine truths we both share, to promote tolerance, understanding and peace between us all as offspring of our Heavenly Father, and to help further us along on our path to return to His presence. It is a difficult thing to write a book to a dual audience, neither of which who knows much, if anything about the other. In all my years overseas, I can count on my one hand the number of Muslims who have had any previous knowledge or dealings with a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or who have ever even heard of the name “Mormon”. Similarly, whenever I have returned home to the States and tried to share my knowledge of Islam with family and friends, I get the same blank looks when I mention facets of Islamic teachings or lifestyles.

Yet, there is so much we have in common with each other if only we could spend some time together to gain an awareness of it. Hopefully the pages of this book will allow some beginning acquaintance toward that end. I do not authoritatively speak for either side in the explanation of doctrine or parallels that I draw between the two faiths. What I see as commonalities are based only on my academic and personal studies of both beliefs and more importantly, the experiences I have had while living among both cultures that have allowed me to see these similarities in a very personal way.

I sincerely hope that any who read this will do so with the attitude of curiosity and open-mindedness rather than seeking to criticize and find points of dispute or reasons for rejection based on individual beliefs or biases. Yes, there are many things that we do not share in common and much that we can bring up that will permanently divide us into our two very separate religions. But as with the glass of water that is either half full or half empty, it depends on how you want to look at it as to how much you will be able to gain from it. I hope that Mormons will see the beauty and simplicity in many of the teachings of Islam, to consider the possibility of Muhammad in the role of a prophet to his people and how he was able to raise them to a much higher level of truth than they had previously and to recognize the many familiar gospel precepts that the Quran espouses.

I equally hope that Muslims will learn that there is a religion among the myriad of Christian faiths that does indeed know that there is One God who is a distinct and separate being from Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost, that the teachings of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon (as revealed also by angelic visitation) contain many of the same Quranic doctrines that they hold dear and that the Mormon lifestyle also requires total submission to God’s laws. 

Both faithful Mormons and Muslims are commanded to fast, pray, pay alms (tithing), be chaste in thought and action and modest in dress, follow similar dietary laws, read scriptures, worship God and submit to His will, serve and love their families and others, bear testimony, follow prophets and live pure lives. There is much that we can share and discuss with each other, rejoicing in what God has revealed to us through His messengers and words.

May we seek to grow in our respect of each other’s beliefs, increase in our awareness of the truths we share, inspire in each other a further desire to lead righteous lives in submission to God’s will and cultivate the spirit of unity as ahla al-kitabi[3] and children of God is my prayer.

Debra Richardson

Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

May 2002

Revised April 2015

Preston, Idaho, USA

Arabic Translation 2015

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Spelling and Reference Notes

Arabic spellings in English have been simplified by trying to use the most common notations without adhering to any particular phonetic system.

Quranic references are taken from the Penguin paperback edition, The Koran, as translated by N.J. Dawood (1974) unless otherwise noted. Exact references are given by Surah (chapter) and ayat (verse), for example Surah 20: 32 refers to the twentieth chapter in the Quran and the 32nd verse. While each Surah in the Quran also has an Arabic name, they are not referred to in this text.

Latter-Day Saint scriptural references are also quoted by chapter and verse. There are four main books that constitute the LDS canon of scripture. They are the Bible (King James Version, 1611), Book of Mormon (1830), Doctrine and Covenants (1835) and the Pearl of Great Price (1851). References in the text give the book followed by the exact chapter and verse. For example, “BM 1 Nephi 4:6” refers to the Book of Mormon, the first book of Nephi, fourth chapter and sixth verse. “D & C 88:125” refers to the Doctrine and Covenants, the 88th section, 125th verse. “PGP Moses 1:39” refers to the Pearl of Great Price, book of Moses, first chapter, 39th verse. “KJV I Corinthians 1:10” refers to the King James Version Bible, the first Book of Corinthians, the first chapter and tenth verse.

Arabic translations are available of all four of these books. For information on ordering them, please see and use site search with keyword ‘Arabic’ (although please note that in respect of governmental import restrictions, it may not be possible to ship these books to some international destinations at present). Arabic online versions of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants (which includes The Pearl of Great Price) are available in PDF downloadable format for free at The online Arabic translation of the Bible used for this 2015 revision is the 1865 Van Dyke translation and available in multiple places on the internet.


Many sincere and heartfelt thanks to all those who offered comments, insights, editing and technical help and much needed moral support from both sides of the fence, namely Dr. Bilal Phillips, Ph.D. from Dar Al Fatah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Cory Maxwell and Matt Mc Bride at Deseret Book, Salt Lake City, Utah; David Sandberg, Saudi Arabian Peninsula Stake; Muslim colleagues from UGRU, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE; KRJ, my friend in the UAE for the Arabic translation; several faculty members of the Department of Religion at Brigham Young University; and my family.

[1] The Book of Mormon is one of the books of scripture used in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It contains accounts of prophets living on the American continent from 600 BCE to 400 CE. The quote comes from the Prophet Joseph Smith’s statement found in the Introduction to current editions of the book and is referred to as the “Keystone Statement”. See or

Please also see B. H. Roberts, History of the Church, Vol 4, p.461.

[2] Hadith are the narrated and recorded sayings and traditions of the Prophet Muhammed which are considered an authoritative teaching in Islam.

[3] In English, “people of the book” refers to those of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions prior to Islam who follow God’s revealed scriptures. It is used in the Quran to describe righteous Christians who have not altered God’s teachings.