An Objective Look. At Islam with a Comparison to Christianity th Ave Church of Christ Portland, OR 97230

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1 An Objective Look At Islam with a Comparison to Christianity th Ave Church of Christ Portland, OR 97230

2 1 A Study of Islam The Kaaba and the Al-Hararn Mosque in Mecca Material arranged by Jeff Carr

3 2 Islam (Part 1 of 4) Background Information Why Study Islam? It is a major religion. Muslims make up about 20% of the world. In the U.S. are over 2 million Muslims and over 1,000 mosques. There are probably more Muslims living in the U.S. today than there are people affiliated with conservative churches of Christ. Islam affects Christianity and conflicts with the western world Most Islamic countries outlaw other religions and are particularly hostile to Christianity. Islam is misunderstood by many Most Muslims in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are illiterate, hence, they believe whatever their governments tell them. Most Muslim women do NOT feel oppressed. Most Muslims agree that Jesus is a prophet of God, but, is NOT the Son of God. Some Basics to Remember about Islam: Islam ("submission") is the religion and a Muslim ("one who submits") is a follower of Islam. The Arabic designation for God is "Allah" and Muslims would argue this is the same God in the Bible. Muhammad is Allah's prophet. One statement of faith for Muslims is, "There is one God, Allah, and His prophet is Muhammad". Muhammad was born about 600 years after Jesus lived and lived in modern day Saudi Arabia (see the cities of Mecca and Medina). The Qur'an is their holy book and contains the teachings of Muhammad and God's revelations to Muhammad as given to him by the angel Gabriel (the same one mentioned in the Bible). Muslims believe in the Bible; but believe the Qur'an is newer and thus superior. If there are any conflicts, the Qur'an is always believed. For example, the Bible teaches in Genesis 22 Abraham was sacrificing his son Isaac and was stopped by God (Abraham had proven his faith) and the promises to all nations were given through Isaac. The Qur'an teaches this same exact story EXCEPT that Ishmael (the first born of Abraham) was the person to whom these same promises were given. Muslims vehemently deny that Jesus is the Son of God and He is not a manifestation of God.

4 3 Islam (Part 2 of 4) Muhammad and Beliefs Life of Muhammad (569/ AD): He is a man: but, also a prophet. Born in Mecca. He, after frustration with polytheism, went to a cave to meditate where the angel Gabrielle gave him revelations from Allah. He eventually fled to Medina after being persecuted. He was illiterate and spoke to scribes these revelations, which eventually became the Qur'an. 3 Important Cities to Islam: Mecca (City of Muhammad's birth. See the Ka'bah where they believe Abraham stopped on his journey from Ur to Canaan.) Medina (Where Muhammad fled persecution and made a name for himself raiding caravans and taking money.) Jerusalem (See Mt. Moriah and the Dome of the Rock, where they believe Abraham sacrificed Ishmael) 6 Core Beliefs: 1. God (Allah) 2. Angels (There are many angels, or messengers, even today) 3. Prophets (Some believe in over 120,000) 4. Muhammad is the last prophet 5. Predestination 6. Day of judgment 5 Pillars of Faith: 1. The creed: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet" 2. Prayer (5 times a day facing Mecca) 3. Ramadan (one month of fasting every thirteen months) 4. Almsgiving 5. Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during lifetime 6.?? (Jihad, or Holy War)??

5 4 Islam (Part 3 of 4) Islam and the World Ishmael; Commonalities with the Bible Islam and Its Relationship with the World at Large: Is Western Culture, and American Culture, the same as Christianity? Isaac and Ishmael (Gen 16:7-12): Ishmael is the founder of the Arab people. The Arab people are the progenitors of the Islamic faith. Attempting to Understand the Qur an: No pork nor alcohol. Modesty is enforced (imagine what they think about American culture). Qur'an's idea of paradise vs, Bible's concept of heaven Interpreting Passages in the Qur'an: Some difficult passages to be sure! (Review selected passages.) Yet, consider Psa 137:8-9; Matt 10:34; Mark 9:47. Commonalities Between the Bible and the Qur'an: Both have high standards of marital fidelity, moral standards (such as no lying), and h~rd work is enforced. Both are against gambling and drugs. Both teach that faith is to be practiced daily (the typical Christian today attends public service on occasion) Both shun the use of images. Both teach a final judgment for humanity with two results.

6 I 5 Islam (Part 4 of 4) Differences with the Bible; How to Reach Muslims Introduction: I believe that the Muslim, like anybody else, is lost without Jesus Christ! Fundamental Differences between the Qur1an and the Bible: Did Jesus prophecy about Muhammad? (John 14:16-17) Muslims deny that Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 14:60ff, Matt 16:16ff, John 10:30ff, john 8:58ff, John 20:25ff) Muslims deny the Godhead (Gen 1:26, John 1:1, 14, Matt 28:18) Muslims deny that Jesus died for our sins and that it was judas who died on the cross which was a fitting end for the betrayer. (John 1:29, 10:11, 15-18, 1 john 1:7,2:2) Muslims claim that the Bible, even though handed down from God, has been corrupted and that the Qur'an is not corrupted. What Can We Do to Touch Muslims with the Gospel of Christ? Show them that their understanding of Christianity is wrong Show that our culture doesn't always reflect Christianity. What do Muslims think about us? Consider these questions by Muslims: Why do Christians hate their parents? It is a blessing to raise children in Islamic countries more than in America. Why do American women put with oppression? Let them see our families and homes (invite them into our homes) We can show them that God is love. There are 99 words for Allah in the Qur'an, none of them is the word "love" (John 3:16, 1 John 4:14-17)

7 6 The Qur'an. (Easy to find an English translation.) Bibliography "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), II by Robert Spencer. (This can be a bit scathing of Islam but does reveal some basic truths about Islam, the Qur'an, and the Crusades.) ''A Resource for the Study of Islam," by Ney Rieber. (Basic introduction to this topic) "Son of Hamas, " by Mosab Hassan Yousef. (EXCELLENT book about a young man whose father is a leading figure in Hamas, who was converted to Christianity and now lives in the U.S. in hiding due to his conversion.) r ''A History of the Modern Middle East, " by William L. Cleveland. (Overview of modern Middle Eastern history.) ''A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Is/am," by I.A. Ibrahim. (Written by a Muslim scholar and is a positive look at Islam.) "The Life of Muhammad, II by Michael Edwards. (Excellent biography of the main prophet, and founder of Islam.) Also, there are some debates worth reading and/or listening to on the internet. Do a search for "debates Islam" and then type the name or names of "Mark Roberts" and "Hiram Hutto" (E.g., "debates Mark Roberts Islam".)

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