Summary: This two-week series was given two weeks after 9-11, to inform about the nature of Islam.
[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]
The Roots of Islam
Learning About Islam, pt. 1
Well, there’s a lot of seeking-of-God these days, and a lot of question-asking around our country as a result of the Sept. 11 tragedy. And one question we’ve all been wondering about is, “Who are these people, the Muslims? Where did they come from? What do they believe?”
Before we dive into the material, I want to say something about the nature of this series. My purpose in these two messages is to help us to be as wise as serpents and yet as gentle as doves about the happenings around us these days.
One time in the O.T. King David was assessing the strengths of the people he had with him. And in I Chronicles 12:32 it says this. It says he had with him, “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do…” - I Chronicles 12:32
That’s what we want to be. People who understand the times we’re living in so we can be responsive and productive members of God’s kingdom.
Another time, in the N.T., the Apostle Paul told first century Christ-followers that they too should be very clear and mature in their thinking and understanding of the events happening around them. He said, “Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” – 1 Corinthians 14:20
In other words, like Jesus, he’s saying, “Be informed. Don’t stick your head in the sand and think circumstances will go away. Do become ugly or hate-filled, be innocent of evil. But be informed.”
So that’s our purpose. To be informed so that we can respond gently, but wisely to our world and its present horrors.
Are we all clear on that?
So let’s talk about Islam.
The name “Islam” means “submission,” or “surrender.” in Arabic.
People who are surrendered are called “Muslims,” because in Arabic, “Muslim,” means “one who is submitted.”
Specifically, Muslims are submitted to Allah, the name that has come to stand for the one true God in Islamic understanding.
You’ll notice by the map on the wall that Islam is a wide-spread religion. Currently there are 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide, and their numbers are growing rapidly. Because of their practice of polygamy (every man can have up to 4 wives, as long as he loves them all equally), and the encouragement they receive to sire large families, where the world’s population doubles every 40 years, Islam’s population doubles every 26 years.
Because of the number of recent immigrants to this country, Islam is now overtaking Judaism as the second largest religion in America.
The Founder = Mohammed, who is believed to be the last and great prophet of Allah.
No one knows the exact date of Mohammed’s birth, but we can narrow it down to within a few years of 570 A.D. [Born 570A.D. in Mecca].
Mohammed was born in the city of Mecca along the Arabian peninsula. It was an oasis town of about 3000 inhabitants, not far from the coast of the Red Sea [show map]. Mecca is in modern day Saudi Arabia. As a result of Mohammed’s birth there, and a meteorite I’ll mention in a minute, it has become the holiest city of the Islamic peoples.
But for Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike, The Roots of Islam actually go back farther than that.
According to the Bible, it all started in Genesis 16 (p. 13).
Let me read the account for you. (Gen. 16:1-10; 16. Although having children that way was an acceptable cultural practice back then, Abraham didn’t exercise faith in God’s promise, so He took matters into His own hands.
So Ishmael was the first son of Abraham. Muslims are descendants of Abraham, through Ishmael.
But God’s plan for Abraham was to have a son through his wife, not his concubine. So 13 years later, when Isaac was born to his wife, she did what many protective mothers might do, she insisted that Abraham through the older son, who might threaten her son’s life and inheritance out.
Abraham didn’t want to do that, because he loved Ishmael. But we all know that if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So God comes to Abraham while he’s thinking about this and promises that he will take care of Ishmael. God says, “I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” – Genesis 21:13
[God promised that Ishmael would become the father of a great nation.]