“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
i. It is 4/5 the length of the New Testament and includes 114 chapters.
ii. It is a mixture of Mohammed’s dictated words, he said he received from God and the writings of his disciples who remembered his oral teachings after he died.
iii. Much of the Qur’an jumps from one place to another and doesn’t follow any kind of narrative.
iv. Muslims claim that it is copied from an original Arabic, which is in heaven.
b. Besides the Qur’an, Mohammed developed teachings and sayings called Sunnah (literally meaning “path”).
i. The Sunnah became a base for tradition built on Mohammed’s conduct as a prophet and how he handled things while being guide, judge, and ruler of his Muslim followers
ii. They were gathered into one body of work called the Hadith
1. They use this as a supplement to the Qur’an the same way the Talmud supplements the Hebrew Bible in Judaism.
c. Another body of teaching in Islam is the Shariah
i. It is combination of legal interpretations of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
ii. Shariah means, law and it lays down a strict and comprehensive guide of life and conduct for Muslims.
iii. It contains prohibitions against eating pork, drinking alcoholic beverages, as well as punishments for stealing, adultery, apostasy, and blasphemy.
III. The Six Doctrines of Islam
*These doctrines are a requirement for every Muslim to believe.
i. There is only one true God and His name is Allah
ii. Allah is all seeing, all knowing, and all powerful
i. The chief angel is Gabriel, who is said to have appeared to Mohammed
ii. There is also a fallen angel named Shaitan, as well as his jinns (demons)
i. The believe in four inspired books
1. Torah of Moses
2. Zabur – Psalms of David
3. Injil – the gospel of Jesus
ii. Muslims believe though that Christians have corrupted their scriptures and the Qur’an is Allah’s final word to mankind and supersedes everything else.
i. The last of the great prophets
e. End Times
i. On the last day the dead will be resurrected.
ii. Allah will be the judge, and each person will be sent to heaven or hell.
i. God has determined what He pleases, and no one can change what He has decreed.
IV. The Five Pillars of the Faith
*Besides the six doctrines to be believed, there are five duties to be performed
a. Statement of belief
i. To become a Muslim, a person must publicly repeat the Shahadah, basically saying that there is only one God and Mohammed is His prophet.
i. Muslims pray five times a day
ii. They must kneel and bow in the prescribed manner in the direction of the holy city, Mecca.
i. Every Muslims must give 2.5% to the masque
ii. This is used for widows, orphans, the sick and other unfortunates
i. The ninth month of the lunar year
ii. Serves as the highest of Muslim holy seasons.
iii. They are required to fast for the entire month
e. Pilgrimage to Mecca
i. This is called the Hajj and must be performed at least once in a Muslim’s lifetime.
ii. But if it is too dangerous for the believer to go, can send someone in his place.
V. How the Qur’an contradicts the Bible
a. For Muslims, God is one, period.
i. They attack the Christian teaching on the Trinity and say we are committing blasphemy.
ii. They teach that Allah is all powerful and relatively impersonal
1. They omit the name of Father for God, to avoid the idea of the Father and Son.
iii. What the Bible teaches:
1. Ps. 77:10-15 & Isa. 43:13, speak of the greatness of God
2. Deut. 7:8; Jer. 31:3; Eph. 2:4; 1 John 3:1, 4:7 – God is a God of love
b. They deny that Jesus is the Son of God
i. The Qur’an calls Jesus a prophet, but far below Mohammed in ranking.
ii. What the Bible teaches:
1. Matt. 8:29, 17:5; John 1:1-5, 8:58, 10:30, 14:9, 20:28; Col. 1:15-17, 2:9 – speak of Jesus’ divinity
c. The Qur’an teaches that Christ never really died on the cross
i. According to them, Allah took Jesus to heaven just before the crucifixion
ii. What the Bible teaches:
1. All four gospels are filled with eye witness accounts of the crucifixion
2. 1 Cor. 1:23, 2:2, 15:3, 4; Gal. 2:20, 6:12, 6:14; Eph. 2:16 also speak of the crucifixion
3. Matt. 16:21, Jesus himself predicted His own death
4. Mark 10:45, Jesus tells us why he had to die
5. Matt. 26:28, Jesus promised that through his shed blood there would be “forgiveness of sins”
d. The Qur’an also teaches that each person must take care of his or her own sins.
i. They earn salvation by following the five pillars of the Muslim Faith.
ii. If they don’t make it, it’s their own fault.
iii. What the Bible teaches:
1. John 3:16, Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:23-26; Eph. 2:4-9 – all tell that the only way mankind can find forgiveness is through faith in Jesus Christ.
A key thing to remember when trying to witness to a Muslim is that you cannot bring the scripture out right away. They believe that the Bible has been contaminated by Christians and don’t believe it. Witnessing to Muslims requires a time and patience, along with a steadfast walk with God that displays that nature of God in all that we do. It is by our daily walk, that the Muslims will be drawn in.