Allah is not one of three _____?

The Qur'an states:

5:72. They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." 
      But said Christ: "O children of Israel! 
                        Worship Allah my Lord and your Lord." 
      Whoever joins other gods with Allah 
      Allah will forbid him the garden 
      and the Fire will be his abode. 
      There will for the wrong-doers be no one to help.

5:73. They do blaspheme who say: 
      Allah is one of three [in a Trinity]: 
      for there is no god except One Allah. 
      If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy) 
      verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.

First remark: "in a Trinity" is seemingly not in the Arabic original and it sure does strike me as "not exactly honest" if Muslims accuse the Christians of changing their scriptures and then a rather prominent Muslim deliberately changes his own scripture so that it is easier to use against the Christians. I don't have access so easily to other translations, the above is the translation by Yusuf Ali as I found it in my own copy of the Qur'an and also pulled it from an Islamic Web site.

So, if the original does just say that "Allah is not one of three", then the immediate question would be: Three "What"?

Allah exists, so he is a "being", therefore

Allah is a/the divine being,
Gabriel is an angelic being,
Muhammad was/is a human being.

So, Allah is one of three (and many more) "beings".

And "Allah" is not only one of three, it is one of 99 "names". So, it would be fully appropriate to say: Allah is one of the ninety-nine (names of God).

The Qur'an is claiming about itself to be a "clear guidance", so it should be possible to give a clear answer to this question of what these two verses mean, i.e. what exactly is denounced in it. [this is the only passage I found. Are there more, which make it clearer?]

To me it "seems" that it is against "joining OTHER gods" with Allah (verse 72), which would mean in my understanding that the vers opposes Tri-theism. But I will await your illumination on it.

Most Muslims, without having a clue of what the Christian doctrine of the Trinity actually means, are quick to throw at us "Allah is not one of three" and think that is enough.

But it should be clear to everyone, that something that is not defined, can not be used legitimately to denounce anything. So, I would like Muslims to carefully explain the meaning of these Qur'anic verses, so that we have a basis of a reasonable discussion, instead of the Muslim side arguing with a verse whose meaning they have not defined against something they have made no effort to understand. [Some Muslims _have_ made this effort, this clarification is about a 'general majority'. No offense or belittling intended to those who _have_ put effort into understanding Christianity.]

I would like you to define for my [and others'] benefit, what exactly the Qur'an means by "three ...", i.e. what exactly is it that the Qur'an says "is blasphemous". After that I might have the ability to tell you if your definition fits the Christian Trinity as revealed in the Bible, or not.

As I tried to show above, it can not mean "any sort of multiplicity" because then it becomes obviously false. So you will have to explain the exact Islamic view of _that_threeness_ which is denouced.

After this is done, I might or might not decide that you are right in denouncing that (according to the Christian view). But that will have to wait until you have given a definition of your terms.

Best regards,

Jochen Katz

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