What do they believe?
Why spend time studying about Islam?
We study what Baptists, Methodists, Mormons, and Jehovah Witnesses believe.
We should not rely on false information, prejudiced sources.
Our purpose is NOT to defend Islam.
It is to understand what they believe and learn how to teach and convert Muslims to Christ.
There are now about 8 million Muslims in the USA.
In 37 nations Islam is the majority religion.
There are over 1 Billion Muslims in the world. (1 out of 5 are Muslim, 20% of the world.)
Saudi Arabia is spending $50 million in the USA to promote Islam in America. The money is coming from USA oil purchases.
Saudi Arabia controls 2/3 of the oil reserves in the world.
OPEC receives over $200 billion from oil sales.
They buy over $60 billion in investments in the USA.
Not all Muslins are radical, violent, or terrorists.
Millions are gentle, kind, friendly, and outraged at the terrorists.
Practically all Arabs are united in the opposition to Israel.
They are strong on morals (adultery, theft, strong drink, pornography, smoking, abortions, etc.).
It is not necessary for you to be a student of the Qur’an to teach a Muslim.
Remember, they believe that Jesus is a prophet equal to Muhammad.
Just keep bringing them back to Jesus.
History – We will look at the background of Muhammad and the origin of Islam. Why did this religion grow so rapidly in the 7th Century?
Qur’an – What is the origin of this book? What does it teach?
Islam – What do they believe? 5 pillars of Islam, worship, Holy places
Divisions – What are the various factions of Islam?
Words – Learn many new terms and what they mean.
Biblical – What does the Bible teach about Ishmael and the Arab nations?
Radicals – Where do radical views come from?
Convert – How do you reach Muslims? What are the differences and areas of agreement with Christianity?
Before the time of Muhammad, most Arabs were nature worshippers. They worshipped the sun, moon, stars, and other parts of our natural world (birds, trees, rivers, etc.) They had 360 idols (one for each day in the Arab year).
Muhammad was born in Mecca, in 570 AD. His parents died when he was six. He lived with foster parents and became a camel driver. He soon gained a reputation as a caravan leader.
Khadija, a widow, 15 years older than Muhammad, hired him. They later married.
Muhammad was distressed by the idolatry, drunkenness and gambling of the Arab people. He tried to improve the moral conditions.
He had no formal schooling. He could not read or write. (Remember this when we study the origin of the Qur’an.) His wife’s cousin spent many hours reading the Bible to him. He became convinced that Arabia needed a prophet like Jesus to lead them from their evil ways.
While meditating one day, an angel, Gabriel, is supposed to have visited him with some golden tablets in his hand. (Sounds very similar to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.) Muhammad told his wife and she urged him to return to the same place and wait for Gabriel to return with new revelations from heaven.
Slowly the idea possessed Muhammad that he was the prophet chosen by God. He began to gather followers.
The message of Muhammad was really the message of Judaism, Christianity and his own ideas of reform combined. His small group of followers called their religion Islam (submission) and the followers of this new religion were called Muslims (true believers).
By 750 AD Islam had expanded to China, India, along the Mediterranean and into Spain. By 1550 they had reached Vienna. Wars resulted, expelling Muslims from Spain and Europe.
Their trading routes were mostly over land. They did not develop a sea trade. Therefore, Islam did not get a strong hold in the settling of America.
Muslims are currently concentrated from the West coast of Africa to the Philippines. In Africa, in particular, they are increasing in numbers, largely at the expense of Christianity.
Beginning in 1099 and lasting into the thirteenth century, “Christian” armies under the orders of the popes and European leaders launched wars known as the “Crusades” to retake Jerusalem and Palestine from the Muslims.
In 1998 Osama bin Laden declared that his work was a continuation of the struggle against the “infidel” Crusaders of the Middle Ages.
The Life of Muhammad
Muhammad married the wealthy widow Khadija, who provided him economic security, became one of his first converts to Islam, and gave him a daughter, Fatima.
He experienced in a cave visions from Allah through the angel Gabriel. He later codified these revelations, at the urging of his wife, into the Qur’an. (Koran – see the word section for more on the spelling variation.) He called the Qur’an a perfect book from God.
Muhammad preached monotheism and attacked the polytheism and animism of tribal worship at the Kaba in the center of Mecca. This preaching resulted in both notoriety and persecution.
He won as a convert Ali, who later married his daughter Fatima. From this union two sons were born, Hasan and Husain. Ali became the first imam of the Shiites. (Imam and Shiites are discussed in the word section of this study.)
Muhammad escaped to Medina 622 AD. This event, called the “hegira” marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Warring Arab and Jewish tribes inhabited Medina. Seeking to appease the Jews, Muhammad proposed Friday as the Sabbath and praying to Jerusalem 5 times a day. When the Jews refused, he chose to pray facing Mecca and adopted Friday as the day of worship.
In Medina he established a community of Islam, called the Umma. He built the first mosque here, organized an army, and played the roles of prophet, ruler, judge, commander-in-chief, and prayer leader.
Muhammad set out on a conquest of the Arabian Peninsula, subduing tribes (including Jewish tribes), killing thousands, collecting booty (including concubines), and consolidating his power.
Muhammad engaged in numerous battles and the Jewish tribes were expelled or executed. In a battle with the last Jewish tribe around Medina, 700 to 800 men were slaughtered and their wives and children taken as booty.
He gained many wives and concubines, his favorite being Aisha, with whom he consummated marriage when she was nine years old.
When Muhammad gained control of Mecca in 630 AD, he purged the Kaba of idols and established it as the place of pilgrimage to worship Allah.
Muhammad died in 632 AD leaving behind no official successor.
The life of Muhammad is pivotal to understanding Islam today.
Dr. Everett Huffard, did mission work in Jerusalem for many years. He gives this 5-part answer.
IT FILLED A MORAL AND POLITICAL VACUUM IN
THE SEVENTH CENTURY.
The superpowers of the day, the Byzantine and Persian empires, had become corrupt and soon collapsed. Islam was able to fill the void.
ISLAM CLAIMED A UNIVERSAL ALLEGIANCE TO AN ALMIGHTY GOD. It was a contrast to the idolatry of Arabia and the icons of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The God of Islam is preeminently a God of power.
IT OFFERED A SIMPLE RELIGION. The traditions of Judaism and the Eastern Orthodox Church had become complex and cumbersome. Islam asked only that its adherents accept the “5 pillars.” It promoted a firm monotheism and a strict moral code.
IT CREATED A POWERFUL, ALL-ENCOMPASING THEOCRACY. Arab armies employed the sword against their enemies, political or religious. For example, only 21 of 59 Greek Orthodox patriarchs died a natural death from the 15th to the 20th century.
THERE WERE CULTURAL AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS TO ISLAM. Conversion brought relief from minority taxes. Arabs were slave traders. Africans who converted were less likely to be sold. Muhammad received 1/5 of the spoils of war; his fighters received 4/5.
Muhammad was envious of the fact that the Jews and Christians were “people of the book.” By contrast, the Arab people were divided, warring, and idolatrous. They had no “book” of their own.
Muhammad thought that Jews and Christians would be impressed with his book, but they were not. His own countrymen initially accused him of disseminating Christian and Jewish information. It would be difficult to over-exaggerate the importance of the Qur’an to Islam today. To Muslims it is the incarnate Word of God in Arabic. Remember that Muhammad could not read or write. Therefore, to Muslims, the very existence of the Qur’an is a miracle from Allah. Muhammad could not have produced it himself. (The fact is, similar to Joseph Smith; the words were dictated to others who recorded them.)
Since Muhammad is revered as the greatest of the prophets, his life is considered to provide the perfect example for Muslims. Second to the Qur’an in authority is the Hadith. Soon after his death, a follower compiled a reverential biography of his life.
July 16, 633 AD is the decisive event in Islamic history. The people of Mecca were on the verge of killing Muhammad when delegates from the various tribes of Medina came to Muhammad to request his leadership and pledged to fight for him.
The Qur’an is one book with 114 chapters (called surah) and verses. You can find any quotation similar to passages in the Bible. A passage might be referenced as Surah 9:29. Each chapter also has a name, (The Sheep, The Dinner Table, The Cow, Women, The Cave, etc.) You may find a reference written as “The Cow 2:178”.
The two main texts studied by Muslims are the Qur’an and the Hadith. Islam teaches that the Qur’an is the inspired Word of God. This was originally in oral form and later written down and assembled into a single book. The name in English (Koran) is not recommended because it is offensive to some Muslims.
To combat the many rules and regulations of Judaism and the many imposed regulations of the Christians of that time, Muhammad developed 5 simple requirements. The simplicity appealed to many who were discouraged at trying to keep all the requirements.
Shahadah – “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” This statement is made several times each day (at times of prayer) and is required for one to convert to Islam.
Salah – There are five times each day when one must face Mecca and pray. There are certain prayers that are prescribed for each time of prayer. Prayers are to be said morning, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and just before sleeping. Calls go out from the Minaret for each time of prayer.
Swam – Fasting during daylight hours through the month of Ramadan. Since the Arab calendar is only 360 days, this month gradually moves earlier by our calendar. In 2001, Ramadan began in the middle of November.
Zakat – Setting aside 2.5% of your income to help the needy in the Muslim community is a requirement. This is called the “Jizyah” (protection money) for non-converts to live in a Moslem community.
Hajj – Everyone who can afford the trip is urged to make one pilgrimage to Mecca in his or her lifetime.
In summary - it is required of every Muslim to 1) declare loyalty to Allah and Muhammad; 2) pray 5 times a day; 3) fast during the daylight hours of Ramadan; 4) give 2.5% of their income for the poor; and 5) make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
The major place of meditation and prayer is the mosque. The mosque is a large open building with room for each person to place a prayer rug on the floor for their prayers. Outside there is a fountain for washing and purification of hands, face, and feet before entering the mosque.
In the mosque on Friday, the Qur’an will be chanted in Arabic, sermons preached, and classes taught.
Larger mosques will also house schools for
children and training religious teachers.
Saudi Arabia considers itself to be the caretaker of Mecca, the most holy place in Islam.
It allows no Christian missionaries to enter it and no Christian churches to be built on its soil.
Osama bin Ladin is furious that Saudi Arabia allows “infidel” American military forces to be stationed within its borders.
It is the sacred duty of every Muslim to make a haij (pilgrimage) to Mecca once on their lifetime.
A triumphant Muhammad purged the Kaba of idols. Today pilgrims circle it 7 times, reciting the prayers of the Qur’an.
The third most holy place in Islam is the “Dome of the Rock” in Jerusalem. According to Muslim legend, Muhammad was supernaturally transported from Mecca to this spot and taken up to heaven, where he met Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, whom he led in prayer.
According to Jewish tradition, this same place marks the location where Abraham attempted to offer his son Isaac in response to God’s command.
And, it is only a stone’s throw from Calvary, where Jesus died. You can see why this is one of the most fiercely contested pieces of real estate on earth. The fact that Jews control Jerusalem is a source of bitter grievance to Muslims.
Islam teaches the unity of God’s essence and personality. They reject the concept of a trinity. They are strong in the view that God is one.
They place emphasis on an impersonal God. Islam separates God from His creation. He is so unified with himself that he cannot be associated with creation. His transcendence is so great that He acts impersonally.
They believe in predestination. They teach that both good and evil came from Allah. This view makes God very capricious. Whatever Allah chooses becomes right. This view makes any true standard of righteousness or ethics hard to discern if not impossible to establish.
The God of the Bible is righteous. The word means “a standard.”
In addition, while calling God “Father” is to evoke thoughts of love, compassion, tenderness and protectiveness to Christians, is not so to the Muslim mind. To him, a father is strict, show no emotion, never expresses love, and is bound to his family by duty and for what his family can provide him, not by devotion.
Allah is very deficient in such attributes as
love, holiness, and grace.
The Qur’an mentions Moses, the prophets, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. However, all of the previous sayings have been lost or corrupted.
They believe only the Qur’an, the words of Muhammad; have been preserved free from error.
The Qur’an replaces the previous revelations. Remember, the holy books mentioned in Islam are not exactly like our Biblical scriptures.
While God was the exclusive source of the revelation to Muhammad, God himself is not the content of the revelation. Revelation in Islamic theology does not mean God disclosing himself. It is a revelation from God, not a revelation of God. He is inscrutable and utterly inaccessible to human knowledge.
Even though we are his creatures whose every breath is dependent upon him, it is not an inter-personal relationship with him that we receive guidance from him.
Muslims do not see the work of Christ the way we do. To Christians, the resurrection of Christ as the Son of God is the vital cornerstone of our faith. To Muslims, Jesus is neither the Son of God nor was he resurrected from the dead.
In fact, Muslims do not even believe Jesus was crucified; rather many believe Judas was crucified in His place. Some however, believe it was Jesus on the cross, but that He did not die.
Islam does believe Jesus was a sinless prophet but not as great as Muhammad. While the Qur’an does speak of the birth of Christ, it rejects the virgin birth. (3:45-47)
The idea that Allah had a son is repugnant to them. In Islam, Jesus was only a messenger of Allah. God would not stoop so low as to have a Son. (4:171)
The Qur’an states, “They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them.” (4:157)
Islam teaches that his birth was miraculous.
They teach he was the Messiah and cured people of illness and restored people to life.
They reject the crucifixion of Jesus and that he was resurrected from the dead.
Forgiveness of sins is often mentioned in the Qur’an. In the Qur’an, there are some conditions for forgiveness.
Following the prophet (3:29; 57:28; 46:30; 71:4)
Conversion to Islam (9:5; 49:14; 9:12)
Forsaking polytheism (5:78; 33:73; 4:51)
Follow the 5 pillars of Islam.
Making an expiation of braking the ceremonial law (5:96-98; 58:3)
A reward of good actions (64:17; 9:100; 30:27)
While all these conditions are fulfilled, even then forgiveness remains a hope. All major sins can be forgiven only in the hereafter. The forgiveness of God depends entirely on His arbitrary will. It is not rooted in His nature nor in the condition of the sinner.
Strict monotheism. They teach that all must show respect for the prophets (Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad) but not worship any of them.
Islam teaches that Muhammad is the last of the prophets.
They believe in Hell where unbelievers and sinners spend eternity.
They teach a total rejection of racism.
Avoid use of alcohol, other drugs, eating of pork, etc.
They teach that Jesus is a prophet of God but the idea of the deity of Jesus is considered blasphemous.
They teach that Jesus was not crucified on the cross.
There are no “official” denominations in Islam. All Muslims are welcome at any mosque in any nation, at any time.
There are two major factions of Islam. During his lifetime Muhammad had established a “theocracy” with himself as the head. When Muhammad died, he did not leave any instructions about who should succeed him as leader of Islam. There developed two major ideas.
Sunni – 90% of all Muslims are Sunni. They are the mainstream traditionalists. They believed that the successor to Muhammad should be from the Quraish tribe and chosen by consensus. Abu Bakr, was the first leader to follow Muhammad. He is called the caliph (leader) of Islam. The early period of the caliphs was the golden age of Islamic conquest. In this period of history the caliphs subjugated Damascus, Iraq, Jerusalem, Egypt, and Persia. Osama bin Laden believes that he can restore the golden age of the caliphs. Many Sunni Muslims are comfortable living in a secular society, while following their faith.
Shiite – A small minority of more radical and strict interpretation of the Qur’an are the Shiites. They believe in 12 heavenly Imams (perfect teachers) what the 12th did not die but is in hiding and waiting for the right time to reappear and lead the religion. The Shiite factions believed the leader should be a descendent of Muhammad. They choose, Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad. After the 12th Imam, they recognized the authority of the “Ayatollah” as the leader until the 12th Imam returns. Iraq is the leading Shiite nation.
Sufism – is a mystic branch that believes in receiving an inner knowledge from God by meditation and ritual dancing. They are not generally recognized as a part of Islam, but more like Buddhism with some African tribal customs included. They are found more in North and sub-Saharan Africa.
Bahai World Faith – Bahai is an attempt to integrate all of the world religions. It started as a break away from Islam. Now it is a separate religion.
Ahmadis – Followers of Ahmadiyya Movement believe that God sent Ahmad as a Messiah, “a messenger of His in this age who has claimed to have come in the spirit and power of Jesus Christ.” He lived from 1835-1908. The movement began in India. There are now more than 10 million members. They are very heavily persecuted in Pakistan.
Black Muslim Movement (BMM) – This is a largely black urban movement in the USA. It started in Detroit by Wallace Fard. A second temple built in Chicago by Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole). The driving force was a rejection of Christianity as the religion of the historically oppressing white race. They began to teach that blacks were superior to whites and that a racial war was inevitable. The most famous spokesperson was Malcolm X. Today Louis Farrakan is the most familiar spokesman of this view. Most Muslims reject the BMM because of its stand supporting one race as superior.
Glossary of Words and Terms
Ali – His full name is Ali ibn Abi Talib. He is Muhammad’s first cousin and adopted son. He married Muhammad’s daughter, Fatima. He was Muhammad’s second convert.
Allah – Allah and God (Jehovah) are the same Supreme Being. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all claim a connection to the same Supreme Being.
Allahu Akbar – This is the Arabic phrase, “God is the Greatest.” This is the Islamic call to faith and battle. This phrase is called from the loud speakers at the mosque to call them to prayer.
Al-Shariah – The law of Islam. The Shariah is not just considered a spiritual guide but a physical law as well. In Islamic countries there is no separation of politics and religion.
Amir – The “commander of the faithful.”
Arab – Arab is a vague term that sometimes refers to an ethnic group (descendants of Ishmael); at times to the common Arabic language; and at times to the religion of Islam. The later is not proper. All who speak Arabic or are of Arab descent are not Muslims. Not all Muslims are in nations that speak Arabic. About 20% of Muslims live in the Arabic speaking world. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia. There are about 8 million Muslims in the USA.
Ayatollah – Used as a title, the word means, “reflection of Allah.”
Bin – The word means “son of”. The word is used to show relationship. In Hebrew the word is “bar” as in Simon bar Jonah. Bin Laden means the son of Laden. Many last names developed from this use – Peterson, Smithson, Johnson, etc.
Caliph – This title means “successor of the messenger of God.” The Sunnis use it for the leader of Islam.
Fatima – the daughter of Muhammad by Khadija. She married Ali.
Hadith – “Tradition.” The Hadith is the second source of authority in Islam. These are the sayings and things that Muhammad did. There are more than 20,000 sayings passed down by word of mouth and eventually recorded.
Hijra – More often seen in its Anglicized form “Hegira”. This is the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.
Ijma – The principle of consensus used by the Sunnis. Many statements in the Hadith are not Ijma. That is, there is no consensus that the statement is correct or authority.
Islam – Submission to Allah. Islam is the name of the religion. Muslims are members of this religion.
Imam – Spiritual leader
Jihad – The word means, “Struggle”. Many think that this word means “holy war.” It can, and is used in this sense. It is also used to describe some personal struggle with temptation to sin. Most Muslims insist that the only war included in jihad is a defense and was never used as on offensive act.
When a country is conquered the inhabitants are offered three choices:
Convert to Islam and become a citizen of the new nation.
Pay the poll-tax (Jizyah) as a protection.
Death by the sword to those who will not pay the tax.
The Qur’an has many “Jihad” passages that trouble non-Muslims.
Kaba – A square building in the great Mosque in Mecca. Pilgrims march around it 7 times and kiss the sacred stone, which is supposed to have been placed there by Muhammad himself.
Kafiyeh – Men’s headdress. It is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Minaret – A tall steeple that is part of every mosque. Loud speakers are attached which call out the time of prayer.
Monotheism – The belief in one God. It rejects the pagan view of many gods.
Muslim – Also spelled Moslem. One who submits to Allah.
Muhammad – Also spelled Mohammed. Islam claims him to be the last prophet of God. Born in Mecca in 570 Ad and died in 632 AD.
Mosque – A place of worship for Muslims.
(pbuh) – Written after the name of a prophet of God. It is the abbreviation for “peace be upon him” and is written to show the name was written with respect.
Prayer Police –These special police exist in Saudi Arabia to herd people into the mosque, if they fail to enter of their own free will.
Qiyas – Case studies based on earlier decisions of Muhammad.
Qur’an – Also spelled Koran. The word mean “recitation.” It is the supreme authority in Islam.
Ramadan – The month of fasting. It marks the anniversary of the first month of the Muslim calendar year, which was established in 622, the year that Muhammad fled to Medina from Mecca. During this month Muslims are not allowed to eat food or drink during daylight hours. They are permitted to eat and drink after sundown. It is claimed that this is the month that Gabriel met with Muhammad and revealed the Qur’an to him.
Symbol – The symbol of Islam is the crescent moon and a star.
Ulama – The learned doctors of Islam. They would correspond to the scribes in Judaism.
Umma – The ideal utopia state when all are converted to Islam.
Descended from Abraham's son, Ishmael Genesis 16:15; Genesis 16:16; 1 Chronicles 1:28
Divided into twelve tribes Genesis 25:16
Heads of tribes Genesis 25:13-15; 1 Chronicles 1:29-31
Hagarites 1Chronicles 5:10
Hagarenes Psalm 83:6
Arabians Isaiah 13:20
Original possessions of Genesis 25:18
Governed by kings Jeremiah 25:24
Dwelt in tents Isaiah 13:20
Rich in cattle 1 Chronicles 5:21
Wore ornaments of gold Judges 8:24
Were the merchants of the east Genesis 37:25; Ezekiel 27:20; Ezekiel 27:21
Traveled in large companies or caravans Genesis 37:25; Job 6:19
Waylaid and plundered travelers Jeremiah 3:2
Often confederate against Israel Psalm 83:6
Gideon Judges 8:10-24
Reubenites and Gadites 1 Chronicles 5:10; 1 Chronicles 5:18-20
Uzziah 2 Chronicles 26:7
Sent presents to Solomon 1Kings 10:15; 2 Chronicles 9:14
Sent flocks to Jehoshaphat 2 Chronicles 17:11
To be numerous Genesis 16:10; Genesis 17:20;
To be wild and savage Genesis 16:12
To be warlike and predatory Genesis 16:12
To continue independent Genesis 16:12
To be a great nation Genesis 21:13; Genesis 21:18
To be judged with the nations Jeremiah 25:23-25
Their glory to be diminished Isaiah 21:13-17
Their submission to Christ Psalm 72:10; Psalm 72:15
Probably preached to by Paul Galatians 1:17
Islam is not the only religion that has some wild radical believers.
There are those so opposed to abortion that they bomb clinics and kill doctors.
There are those so opposed to government intervention in gun control that they blow up federal buildings.
There are those so angry at non-Muslims (infidels) in Saudi Arabia that they would plan the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
There are radical Muslims like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
There are radical Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews.
Remember in the early days of Islam, there was great persecution from the Arab tribes who worshipped nature. There was also persecution from Christians and Jews who believed that the introduction of a new revelation was heresy. Also during the period of the Crusades, many Muslims were killed because they would not convert to the religion of the Crusaders. Even in the days of Muhammad there was such persecution that he had to flee from Mecca to Medina.
Muhammad offered incentives to fight back. When territory was gained in war, 20% belonged to Muhammad and the other 80% belonged to those who conquered the land. This included land, property and people.
In the Qur’an there are many references to kill the “people of the book” (Christians and Jews – those who follow some parts of the Bible). There are many quotes that are taken out of context. Some are clearly written to urge protection and self-defense.
“The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher recently visited a Muslim school in the District of Columbia suburb. What he found ought to send chills up every American spine. An eighth-grader told Fisher: “If I had to choose sides, I’d choose with being Muslim. Being an American means nothing to me. I’m not even proud of telling my cousins in Pakistan that I’m American.” (From Cal Thomas article – Chattanooga Free Press)
Islam has always been an aggressive religion.
The clash between modern nationalism and tribal loyalties.
The establishment of the modern nation of Israel.
The moral weakness of an increasingly secularized Western culture.
An increase in Arabic emigration to Western Europe and America.
“God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers.” (60:8) Muhammad often told soldiers not to kill women and children. He is quoted as saying, “Do not be excessive; do not kill a newborn child.” (There is another reason for this command. Women and children could be taken as wives or slaves.)
“When you meet the unbeliever in the battlefield strike off their heads and, when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly. Then grant them their freedom or take ransom from them, until war shall lay down her burdens.” (47:4)
“There is no nation but we shall destroy or sternly punish before the day of resurrection. This is decreed in the Eternal Book.” (17:58)
“As for those who are slain in the cause of God, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them.” (47:6)
“Some of us are Muslims and some are wrongdoers. Those that embrace Islam pursue the right path, but those that do wrong shall become the fuel of Hell.” (72:17)
“O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” (5:51)
“Fight against those who believe not in Allah nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which is forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah (protection money) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29-30)
“And fight until there is not more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, anyone worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion will all be for Allah Alone (in the whole world).” 8:39)
“Everything will it destroy by the command of its Lord. Then by the morning they – nothing was to be seen but (the ruins of) their houses! Thus do we recompense those given to sin.” (46:25)
“The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies – civilians and military – is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.”
They believe that the Bible of the Christians is corrupt, unreliable, and inferior to the Qur’an.
They believe that Christians follow untruthful doctrines: the doctrine of the trinity is especially considered to be blasphemous and sinful.
They do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, because God is too exalted to have a son.
They reject the teaching that Jesus was crucified and resurrected.
Muslims do not believe Jesus is a savior or mediator and reject the idea that he could atone for the sins of the world.
The “radical” part comes in when one is so convinced that they have the truth and want to force others to accept their views. I, too, believe that my views are right. The difference is that I seek to convince men to accept my view with reason, logic, study and discussion. The Muslim seeks to convince men to their view by force and threat.
The ultimate aim of Islam is to make one religion (Umma) of the people of the world. They seek to make the entire world an Islamic state where all people are in submission to Allah. This idea is seen in the fact that Muslim leaders believe and preach the concept of jihad, or holy war, in which those who die become martyrs and go immediately to heaven.
The spread of Islam was phenomenal. In one century Islam conquered Saudi Arabia, the entire Middle East, Central Asia and large parts of India. Islam spread through Egypt and North Africa to Spain and Portugal. During the 7th century Islam spread to Europe – Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and to Vienna. They were defeated in Vienna or would have taken all of Western Europe.
In the Western world, we are familiar with the concept of separation of church and state. We are aware of the dangers when the church controls the state or the state seeks to control religion. However, in Islamic states, Islam is not just a faith, religion for the head, heart and soul. It also controls all parts of life – education, economy, politics and family life.
For Islam, the idea of mission is not to seek to bring about the mere intellectual and religious conversion of people; instead, it is much more concerned with the territorial expansion of Allah’s kingdom.
NOTE: The above section is taken from an article in the Gospel Advocate, November 2001.
There are more than 1 billion Muslims on earth. About 20% of the population is Muslim.
Muslims have targeted the USA as a ripe mission field. Saudi Arabia has given millions of dollars to Harvard and the University of Arkansas to fund Islamic study centers.
Today, Islam is the 3rd largest religious group in America. Only the Catholics and Baptists are larger.
Between 1989 and 1998 the Islamic population in this country grew by 25%; there are now an estimated 8 million Muslims in the USA.
Muslims have aggressive missionary efforts in the USA.
There are Muslim chaplains in all branches of the military; most prisons have a Muslim chaplain and Islamic services.
There are weekly Muslim prayer services on Capitol Hill.
The issue before us, as Christians, is not just what Islam teaches. The real purpose for this study is to learn how can this 20% of the world be reached with the Gospel of Christ? There are four questions to discuss here.
On what issues do Christians and Muslims agree?
On what issues is there great contrast?
How does one become a Muslim?
What approach should we use in teaching a Muslim?
While we disagree about the nature of God – we both believe in one God. He is supreme. He is the creator. He will judge men. Strict monotheism is a teaching on which we agree.
We agree on the teachings about heaven and hell. We agree about resurrection and judgment day.
We agree that God revealed his commands to men in written form.
We agree that Jesus was a prophet of God. The Qur’an confirms his virgin birth. (3:45-47) Jesus is given titles of honor – prophet, messiah, messenger, word, and spirit and mercy of God. Jesus is mentioned 93 times in the Qur’an. He is called the son of Mary 23 times.
We agree with a need for a high moral code.
Islam began with a brief period of
persecution and became powerful with armies and war.
Christianity began with persecution and grew in spite of continued persecution.
Muhammad claimed to be a prophet of the one
Jesus claimed to be the Son of the one true God.
Muhammad amassed political power and created
an earthly kingdom.
Jesus resisted the temptation of Satan to reign over an earthly kingdom.
Muhammad put his enemies to the sword,
confiscated their property and wives; commanded his followers to fight for
their faith; taught that those who died in battle would enter paradise; and
died a natural death after consolidating his power and wealth.
Jesus told his followers to put away the sword; healed the one wound inflicted by his followers; allowed enemies to take his life; and prayed for those who were executing him.
It is true that Muslims may be peaceful when
a minority in a strong democratic nation. When they hold the true reigns of
temporal power in an Islamic state, however, it is often a different reality
for non-Muslims. The “story” of Islam is an all-encompassing system of
religious, political, and military power.
Christianity makes a clear distinction between the temporal and the spiritual.
The founder of Islam became the civil
authority who put to death thousands who did not believe.
The founder of Christianity was put to death by the civil authorities.
The cry of Islam is, “God is great.” This
idea did not need a prophet to reveal it.
That God is little is the truth that Jesus taught men. This God is tender, loving, and compassionate.
Conversion to Islam is as simple as saying, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah.” This is Arabic for “There is no true god but God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (prophet) of God.”
The first part, “There is no true god but God,” means that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, and that God has neither partner nor son.
To be a faithful Muslim one must also:
Believe that the Holy Qur’an is the literal word of God, revealed by Him.
Believe that the Day of Judgment is true and will come, as God promised in the Qur’an.
Accept Islam as his or her religion.
Not worship anything or anyone except God.
Here are some suggestions if you are going to study with a Muslim.
Understand their religion and what they believe about OUR faith.
Understand the differences between worldviews that leads to misunderstandings.
Respect and friendship will break down the barriers the provide opportunities to share our faith.
Pray for and support mission efforts to the Muslim world.
Pry for support followers of Jesus who suffer under Islamic regimes.
Appreciate the uniqueness of the gospel story.
Without exception, every verse penned by the prophet of Islam demanded that the Bible be obeyed and believed. (4:150-151) NOTE: “Messengers” in this passage refers to the prophets of God – Moses and Jesus among them. You cannot accept Muhammad and reject Jesus.
Muhammad believed he was just providing the Bible in Arabic. (46:12)
In my search of the Qur’an, I found dozens of passages teaching: the Bible is a blessing (6:155); Jews should hold fast to their scripture (7:170); Qur’an confirms the Bible (10:38-39); gospels are of divine origin (19:29-30); Old and New Testament writers were inspired (21:7); and that Muslims should believe the Bible (29:46-47).
QUESTION: Why do Muslims attack the Bible when their own book demands that they accept it?
They reject the Bible on a claim that the text is corrupted, variant readings, etc. However, the same is true of the Qur’an. There were in the early days, many variant readings until the various texts were destroyed.
The Qur’an commands them to believe the Bible takes away their objections to Jesus being the Son of God, his death for our sins, and his resurrection. Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified. (4:157)
Even the Qur’an teaches that Jesus died and was raised again. (19:33)
This is evidence that the Qur’an contradicts itself and is therefore unreliable.
Using this information is the best approach to reaching a Muslim. Show them that their book of authority approves of the Bible as from God. If they reject the Bible, they are rejecting a message from God just as much as if they rejected the Qur’an.
Think with me for a minute. In World War II we bombed Japan and Germany until they surrendered. After the war, we went into both countries with money, materials and people to rebuild what we had destroyed. We built towns, roads, pipelines, factories, etc. We also sent in missionaries. We were most successful in our mission work in Japan and in Germany. There are Christian Colleges in Japan. There are more Christians and churches in Germany than in any other country in Europe.
After the Korean conflict we sent missionaries to Korea. There is not a Christian College in Korea.
At the fall of communism in Poland, and all the other former soviet bloc nations, including Russia, we now have strong mission works in place. There are 5 schools of preaching in Russia, three in the Ukraine and others in other former Communist nations.
We must prepare for the fall of Islamic radicalism. When the Osama bin Ladens of the world are exposed for their erroneous thinking, there are going to be millions of people looking for some stable truth on which to base their lives.
When the war in Afghanistan is over, when terrorists have met with justice, there will be a great opportunity to reach these people with the message of Christ.
Not all of our teaching and evangelism is to correct false views of Christianity. Yes, we must deal with the false teaching of denominations. But, we must also seek to convert the world from Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and all the other false teachings of our world.
We can begin right here at home among the 8 million Muslims in the USA.