Summary: Islam is a religious, social and political force & every Christian should be aware of it. With so many millions embracing the Islamic faith & with entire countries ruled & dominated by Islamic teachings, practices & laws their world-view is becoming more
A SURVEY OF ISLAM
Islam is a religious, social and political force and every Christian should be aware of it. With so many millions (& soon to be billions) embracing the Islamic faith and with entire countries ruled and dominated by Islamic teachings, practices, and laws their world-view is becoming more and more prevalent, even in America. [The number of mosques has increased significantly in the U.S. in the last decade. There was a 74 % increase in the number of Islamic houses of worship rose from 1,209 in the year 2000 to 2,106 in 2010. USA Today, February 29,2012.]
Our world is dependent on Islamic nations for a major portions of its oil needs. Western towns, universities, and businesses are seeing a larger influx of Muslims than ever before in history. We need to equip ourselves to give a defense of biblical faith against the aggressive claims of Islam and be able to share effectively in love the Good News of Jesus Christ with the followers of Mohammad. With awareness of this challenge let us begin our survey of Islam.
To facilitate our study let’s use the following outline:
II. BRIEF HISTORY / BACKGROUND.
IV. CORE BELIEFS OF ISLAM.
V. THE 5 PILLARS OF ISLAM
VI. PRACTICES / SHARIA LAW
VIII. TERRORISM AND RADICAL ISLAM
IX. HOW THEN CAN WE REACH A MUSLIM WITH THE GOSPEL?
Islam, like many religions, has its own vocabulary to describe its beliefs. A quick look at some of the most important religious terms in Islam will help us as we discuss Islamic history and belief.
Islam, the Arabic term for "submission," is the name of the religion that came out of the revelations and teachings of Muhammad. [Present day emphasis is on the established system of religious beliefs and practices.]
Muslim is the name given to one who adheres to the religion of Islam. Muslim is a cognate of Islam, and means "one who submits." The Muslim submits to the will of Allah as revealed by Muhammad.
Allah is the Arabic term for God. Muslims feel strongly that the English word God does not convey the real meaning of the word Allah.
Muhammad was an Arab born in the city of Mecca in A.D. 570 (died A.D. 632). He claimed that he was the prophet to restore true religion and the praise of Allah throughout the world, just as Jesus Christ was a prophet in His time for His people. Muhammad means "the one who is praised."
Qur’an (Koran is the older spelling) is Arabic for "the recitation," and refers to the collection of revelations supposedly given by Allah through his archangel to Muhammad and preserved as the Islamic scripture. Muslims believe in the Law of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Injil, or Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, they believe that those Scriptures were superseded by the scripture given through Muhammad, and that the Bible used by Christians and Jews is a distorted version of those other scriptures. Wherever the Bible contradicts Islam, the Muslim says the Bible is incorrect. Sura refers to the divisions within the Qur’an, much like the "chapters" in the Bible. The Qur’an contains 114 revelations, each composing one sura or chapter. Apart from the famous first chapter of the Qur’an, the shortest revelations appear first, the longest ones last.