Summary: The Islam religion and there differences to Christianity
“Allah is One, and Christ was just a Prophet”
The Islam religion is the fastest growing cult in the world. It has claimed nearly 1 billion followers in countries throughout the world. It originated in Saudi Arabia, and from there it expanded along trade routes to Africa and Asia. The country with the most Muslims is Indonesia, with 120 million. In addition, there are millions more in parts of Eastern and Western Europe and in the Americas. 1 out of 6 human beings on the face of the earth subscribes to the faith of Islam.
The word “Islam: means “Submission” (to Allah the God of Mohammed, the man who founded this religion). A believer in Mohammed’s religion is a Muslim, meaning “one who lives life according to God’s will.” So who is this Mohammed?
a. Born in Arabia in the city of Mecca in A.D. 570
i. He was the member of a highly respected, prominent family.
ii. His mother died when he was 6 and his grandfather who was raising him, died when he was 9.
iii. So he was then raised by his uncle Abu Talid and worked herding flocks.
b. As a adult Mohammed got into the caravan trade and went on trips to Syria and Persia.
i. Scholars believe that, in his travels, Mohammed developed his concepts of monotheism from several sources, including the Monophysites, who believed that Christ had only a divine nature, and Nestorians, who divided the Incarnate Christ into two separate natures, divine and human, in one person (denying that the man Jesus was both fully God and fully man.
ii. They also believe that he absorbed a great deal of teaching from Jews who exposed him to the Talmud.
iii. As a result, it is unlikely that Mohammed’s opportunities to learn about “the one true God” came in great part from anyone who really understood the Bible.
iv. Even the Muslim writer Caesar Farah admits that Mohammed’s narration of scriptural events shows he “could not have…had an educated knowledge of the sacred texts.”
1. It is no wonder that Mohammed developed theologically flawed ideas, which he later expressed when developing the Qur’an.
c. In the caravan trade, Mohammed gained the attention of a wealthy widow named Khadija.
i. When they married, he was 25 and she was 40.
ii. During their marriage, Mohammed spent most of his time in solitary meditation.
iii. It was age 40, when he received his first revelation while contemplating in a cave on Mount Hira, near Mecca.
iv. Mohammed says that the archangel Gabriel came to him during a dream and brought the following command of God.
Read in the name of thy Lord who created, who created man of blood coagulated. Read! Thy Lord is the most beneficent, who taught by the pen, taught that what they knew not unto men.
1. From this command to “read” comes the name for the Qur’an, meaning “the reciting” or “the reading”. Since Mohammed could not read or write, the Qur’an is his reciting of revelations given to him.
2. Mohammed was deeply disturbed from this and told his wife, who thought he might be possessed by jinns, supernatural beings in Arabia folklore.
3. But she also assured him that his words were true, as did other family members.
d. Upon the urging of his wife and family, Mohammed began to preach in the streets and marketplaces in Mecca.
i. He never claimed to be divine, but insisted that Allah had called him to be a prophet.
e. His preaching of the lifestyle and beliefs of the people brought him much opposition, but his influential uncle was able to protect him.
i. Once his uncle dies in A.D. 620, plots were made to kill Mohammed and his followers.
ii. So Mohammed was forced to flee to Yathrib.
iii. This departure is called the hegira and marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
iv. In Yathrib, Mohammed become the religious and political leader of the city.
v. The people of Mecca organized an army to destroy Mohammed and his followers, but the Islamic forces were triumphant.
vi. Mohammed entered Mecca and destroyed every idol in the Kaaba, the main temple, except for the black stone, a sacred meteorite enshrined there.
vii. Mohammed then declared the Kaaba to be the most holy shrine of Islam.
viii. Since that time it has been the spot toward which all devout Muslims direct their prayers.
ix. From there he would strengthen his position as the leading prophet and ruler of Arabia.
1. He united the tribes into a vast army to conquer the world for Allah.
f. Mohammed dies in A.D. 632, which just sparked the spreading of Islam across the world.
II. The Teachings of Islam
a. The Qur’an is the sacred scripture of Islam