Summary: What is Islam and where did it come from? If it is a religion of peace, how does that compare with what we see in the news? Is Allah simply God by a different name?
Is Allah God?
I’ve been wanting to address the issue of Islam for a while now, but simply never had a chance to get around to it. It’s not exactly a priority in our corner of the world. Chances are slim that you’re going to run into a Muslim in Greenfield. However, we should have some idea of what is happening around the world as we see more and more Muslims becoming active.
As Christians, we should have some general knowledge of this religion that we have been compared to. President Obama, in February of this year called ISIS a “brutal, vicious death cult” but then also compared that to the Inquisition and the Crusades saying, “…people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
There are too many inaccuracies to deal with here today. Suffice it to say that he was factually inaccurate.
a. The Inquisition and the Crusades had to do with the Catholic Church. Catholicism does not
represent all of Christianity.
b. The events he mentions were both over 1,000 years ago. These statements were made 48
hours after ISIS burned alive a Jordanian pilot. Making this comparison is like saying that
Catholicism was the ISIS of the day.
b. The Crusades were not murders in the name of Christ, they were an attempt to stop the
murderous actions of Islam back then.
People have a difficult time understanding where these faiths divide. (Comments like those of Pres. O don’t help the matter.)
Here are some of the facts:
Islam has about 1.2 billion followers as compared to all denominations of Christianity has 1.9 billion.
The name means “submission/surrender”. (Basically, “submit or surrender to god”.)
It teaches monotheism. ONE God. Allah is the name they give their god.
He is supreme and all knowing.
He is not a trinity.
Their holy scripture is called the Koran, which means “the reading.”
This is divided into 114 chapters called Suras.
The Koran covers every detail of living including how to dress, what to eat, etc.
It was supposedly delivered by the angel Gabriel which is also called the holy spirit, but not god.
It was delivered to Muhammed over a 23 year period.
They have a saying that “There is one god and Mohammed is his prophet.”
Several other prophets preceded him, but with Mohammed being the most recent, his words take
priority over any other prophet. (Contrary to scripture.)
Noah, Abraham, David and Jesus were former prophets.
They are considered great prophets, but only for people at that time.
There is also the Hadith. This is the story of Muhammed’s life, written by people who knew him.
Regardless of their stand that all Muslims must be united, there are several divisions within Islam.
There are Sunnis, Shiites and several others. (http://video.foxnews.com/v/4035307057001/why-president-obama-compared-christianity-to-isis/?#sp=show-clips )
Mecca is a holy site for them because it was supposedly the birthplace of Muhammed.
Where did this all come from?
Don’t think of Islam that gave rise to all of the people groups in the middle east.
Consider that these groups were around long before Muhammed had his visions and wrote the Koran.
Go back in time to Genesis.
After the Noah’s flood.
After the tower of Babel.
Genesis 12, God promises Abraham that if he leaves his family and homeland, that God will make a great nation out of him. (Unfortunately, Abraham takes his nephew Lot with him.)
Eventually, their combined households are too large to stay together, so Lot leaves and goes to
God renews His promises with Abraham.
In Chapter 15, Abraham tries to convince God to accept Eliezer as a suitable heir. God says no.
Abraham and Sarah leap ahead of God’s plan and Abraham takes Hagar for a wife and she has
Ishmael. Abraham and Ishamel are both circumcised in Ch. 17, but God is still going to give
Abraham an heir through Sarah.
In chapter 18 God tells Abraham that He’s going to destroy Sodom and Abraham pleads for Lot’s sake.
In chapter 19, Lot and his two daughters have escaped the destruction, but so tainted were his daughters
by the evil of Sodom that they conspired to get their father drunk so they could commit incest
with him to preserve the family name. They each did thing without his knowledge and as a
result they gave birth to a boy named Moab (Moabites) and BenAmmi (Ammonites). Each will
build his own people group and they will fight with each other and everyone else around them.
Israel will be plagued by these groups more than once.
When the family of Israel is in Egypt for 400 years, becoming the nation of Israel, these groups
will grow and possess the Promised Land in the absence of Abraham’s children.
Getting back to Abraham.
Ishmael will also become a thorn in Israel’s side.