Islam

The ultimate value in Islam is submission, a Muslim, “one who submits,” will do whatever he or she thinks that Allah (God) wants. Almost 20% of the world’s population adheres to Islam, second only to Christianity.

Muhammad’s religion began with his teachings in the seventh century. When he was forty he suffered convulsions, during which he claimed to receive visions from the angel Gabriel. He first thought these visions came from demons, but his wife convinced him they were divine. Their content, including monotheistic teaching, was eventually recorded as the Qur’an (aka Koran).

Muhammad died without appointing a successor. His followers differed over how to pick one: some wanted to elect his replacement; others favoured one from his bloodline. The dispute led to two groups: Shi’ites and Sunnis. The Sunnis won the debate and now make up over 80% of Islam.

Muslims believe that God revealed Himself in some of the Jewish Scriptures and in the Christian Gospels, but they think the Christian Bible is now corrupted.

The five pillars of Islamic belief are:

  • God is one, Allah.
  • God has sent many prophets, including Abraham, Moses, and Jesus; of these, Muhammad is the last and greatest.
  • The gap between God and man is filled with angels, some good, some evil.
  • The Qur’an is the highest book, above writings of other prophets.
  • We will all stand before Allah on judgment day, when our eternal destiny will be determined by our deeds.
  • Faithful Muslims do the following:

  • They repeat their central belief that “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger”
  • pray five times a day while facing Mecca
  • fast during daylight hours in the ninth lunar month (Ramadan)
  • give at least 2.5% of their wealth to the poor
  • make pilgrimage to Mecca once in their lifetime
  • The God of Islam is not the Christian God. They are both sovereign, omnipotent Creators and Judges of the world. But the Christian concept of tri-unity is the ultimate blasphemy to Muslims. Furthermore, unlike the Christian God, Allah is distant and acts arbitrarily if he wants to.

    By showing Muslims love and respect, we can talk with them about Jesus, whom they consider to be a prophet. God’s grace reaches them too. Our gentle portrayal of a personal relationship with a loving God offers a life Muslims don’t have.

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