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Islam

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Countries with more than 5% Muslim population from the CIA World Factbook. Green represents a Sunni majority and red represents a Shi`a majority.

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام, al-’islām) is a religion founded by Muhammad (Mohammed) in AD 622 during the Umayyad aristocracy (a golden age for the Islamic Ummah in which it was specifically Arab). Islam practices a theology based in the teachings of the Qur'an. An individual who follows Islam is called a Muslim. According to Islamic belief, Isa or Jesus was but one prophet sent by Allah to pave the road for the ultimate revelation of God founded in Islam and revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.[1][2] Gabriel revealed Allah's last message, found in the Qur'an to the final prophet, Muhammad. The word Allah (الله‎) is the name of God predominately used by Muslims and the word Islam means "submission" or total surrender to the will of Allah.

An Israeli flag burning, a practice in Shiite countries.
Islam currently dominates the Middle East due to the variety of Islamic nations with Sharia-based laws and constitutions. Among these include Iran and Saudi Arabia. While some states are experiencing a recession from radical Islam (such as Egypt), Islam continues to expand in Europe, most notably France and England. Also, Islam is slowly but steadily increasing in the United States. Islamic political caliphates of history have shown a general Islamic desire to establish a global empire, which poses a threat to Christians in both Europe and the United States. Also, radical Sharia Islamists in Iran pose a threat to Israel with their development of nuclear weapons.

Contents

Fundamentals of Islam

The Muslim religion is characterized by outward expression of five forms of worship. Muslims must practice Islam's five pillars of faith, which are;[3]

  1. Profession of Faith in the oneness of Allah and Muhammad being the last prophet (شهادة, Shahāda).
  2. Ritual prayers (صلاة‎, Salāh).
  3. Alms giving (زكاة‎, Zakāt).
  4. Fasting (صوم, Sawm).
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca for those who are able (حج, Ḥajj).

The Qur’an

Main Article: Qur'an

According to Islamic teaching, the Qur'an (Arabic: القرآن‎, al-qur’ān) came down as a series of revelations from Allah by way of the Archangel Gabriel. Gabriel gave this message from Allah to the Prophet Muhammad who then later dictated it to his followers. The length is about that of the New Testament and these dictations from Gabriel began in 610 AD and according to Islamic tradition continued for twelve years in a cave near Mecca (Modern day southwest Saudi Arabia).

Translations of the Qur'an are generally not accepted by Islam because Arabic is considered the original and purest form. It is through this hermeneutic assumption that Islamic apologists often use as a way to deflect criticism based in an English translation of the text, stating that only those who are fluent in Arabic may understand their beloved holy book.

The way of Muhammad

Main Article: Muhammad

Muhammad was the son of a merchant and orphaned at age six eventually marrying a rich widow Khadijah and having six children. Born in 570 AD, today Muhammad (Arabic: محمد, Muḥammad) is considered an ideal man, al-Insān al-Kāmil (الإنسان الكامل) in Arabic. By 630 AD all of Arabia was under his control. He is not considered divine nor is he to be worshiped by Muslims. He is a messenger of Allah and a model of how a Muslim should live their life. This is a fundamental teaching of the Qur'an that declares Muhammad is a; "... beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah." [4]

The way of Muhammad is captured within the Arabic term "sunnah". Muslims discern the sunnah (سنة) of the prophet Muhammad by reading and studying the non-Quranic texts. These are called the hadiths of Muhammad and contain utterances to detail about personal habits and lifestyle choices of the prophet Muhammad. The hadiths[5] being reports of Muhammad's life were passed down orally until finally written down in the eighth century AD. The oral history of Muhammad found within the hadiths is considered to originate from contemporaries and eyewitnesses to Muhammad. There are thousands of hadiths with some very lengthy while others are only a few sentences. Many were considered fakes, not what they claimed to be. There are six major Hadith collections and through Islamic scholars during the time (from about 870 to 920 AD) those that were not real were found out.[6]

Being that the Qur'an and hadiths cover the life of Muhammad there are attempts made by Islamic scholars to find biographical themes of his life. What has been pulled out of the text by scholars is that Muhammad's life as a prophet has a natural progression. It can be separated into two epochs although not necessarily completely unique. First is his time in Mecca, where he received revelation for twelve years from the angel Gabriel and painstakingly tried to convert others, of the Quraish (Quraysh) tribe of the region of Mecca from which he grew up in, for fourteen. The Quraish being a branch of the Arab Banu Kinanah tribe, after Muhammad's death, lead the Ummayad Caliphate, Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate. Frequent ghazi (plural ghazawāt) or raids however upon the Quraish by Muhammad and his followers over the years erupted into the Battle of Badr (624 AD), one of the few directly participated in by Muhammad and mentioned in the Qur'an.[7][8] A tentative Hudaybiyya (or peace agreement) in 628 is enforced only to be broken by Muhammad at the slightest provocation in 629 AD.[9][10] The second epoch division, after Mecca, takes place primarily within the city of Medina, The City of the Prophet. This time can be defined as, not a new peaceful life trajectory, but continuation and indeed maturity within the infantile actions of war he entertained in Mecca. The time in Medina gains mass converts to Islam, then through further leadership by Muhammad a strong national (or regional) political and military foundation is constructed to further the religion of Islam.

According to Gregory M. Davis, author of "Islam 101"[11] published on Jihad Watch,[12] Muhammad during his life can be characterized as:

... a quasi-Biblical figure, preaching repentance and charity, harassed and rejected by those around him; later, in Medina, we see an able commander and strategist who systematically conquered and killed those who opposed him. It is the later years of Muhammad's life, from 622 AD to his death in 632, that are rarely broached in polite company. In 622, when the Prophet was better than fifty years old, he and his followers made the Hijra (emigration or flight), from Mecca to the oasis of Yathrib—later renamed Medina—some 200 miles to the north. Muhammad's new monotheism had angered the pagan leaders of Mecca, and the flight to Medina was precipitated by a probable attempt on Muhammad's life. Muhammad had sent emissaries to Medina to ensure his welcome. He was accepted by the Medinan tribes as the leader of the Muslims and as arbiter of inter-tribal disputes.

...
Along with the reliable hadiths, a further source of accepted knowledge about Muhammad comes from the Sira (life) of the Prophet, composed by one of Islam's great scholars, Muhammad bin Ishaq, in the eighth century AD.

Shortly before Muhammad fled the hostility of Mecca, a new batch of Muslim converts pledged their loyalty to him on a hill outside Mecca called Aqaba. Ishaq here conveys in the Sira the significance of this event:

Sira, p208: When God gave permission to his Apostle to fight, the second [oath of allegiance at] Aqaba contained conditions involving war which were not in the first act of fealty. Now they [Muhammad's followers] bound themselves to war against all and sundry for God and his Apostle, while he promised them for faithful service thus the reward of paradise.


That Muhammad's nascent religion underwent a significant change at this point is plain. The scholarly Ishaq clearly intends to impress on his (Muslim) readers that, while in its early years, Islam was a relatively tolerant creed that would "endure insult and forgive the ignorant," Allah soon required Muslims "to war against all and sundry for God and his Apostle." The Islamic calendar testifies to the paramouncy of the Hijra by setting year one from the date of its occurrence. The year of the Hijra, 622 AD, is considered more significant than the year of Muhammad's birth or death or that of the first Quranic revelation because Islam is first and foremost a political-military enterprise. It was only when Muhammad left Mecca with his paramilitary band that Islam achieved its proper political-military articulation. The years of the Islamic calendar (which employs lunar months) are designated in English "AH" or "After Hijra." [11]

Or in Latin, Anno Hegiræ.

Jihad

The word jihad (Arabic: جهاد‎, jihād) or literally "struggle" has carried two mutually inclusive meanings over the centuries. Within one realm of meaning jihad is the rejection of worldly ways to achieve spiritual depth. A Muslim struggle to attain righteousness in the eyes of Allah. This rejection of the world inevitably reflects and encourages, what is found in the history of Islam as the alternative meaning of jihad. That being that the duty of all Muslims is to aid their local and global communities through armed struggle and conflict. Muslim clerics (imams), tribal chiefs (sheiks), and political leaders have portrayed jihad as a natural progression of a Muslim's life for the sake of the global Ummah (community or nation). The ummat al-mu'minin (community of believers) under a type of theological-political (Wahhabi Islam-Shari'a law) structure is used to bring the world under one Islamic banner transforming it into truly Ummah Wahida (One Community). It is carried out by Muslims to expand territory into non-Muslim territory, because Islam is seen, to them, as a global religion and all those who do not follow Sharia (Islamic law) are unjust regimes.[13] Within the realm of jihadist thought anyone who is not a Muslim is called kuffar, or "foreigner."[14]

This striking juxtaposition of jihadist ideology is a reflection of the historical development of the life of Muhammad.

Shari’a

Islam has mandatory highly specific legal and political principles for political governance of an Islamic society,[15] called Shari'a (Arabic: شريعة, Sharīʿa) which means "way" or "path." Shari'a is the vital component that enables successful jihad within the cultural context, attempting to transform a secular based country from within by setting up a dueling legal system. The specifics of Shari'a law are understood by way of the Qu'ran, the Sunnah and Sira of the Prophet Muhammad as well as the major schools of jurisprudence over the centuries that have developed law precedent.[16] There is no separation between the religious and political within Islam; Shari'a law effectively becomes the legal code, or what can be called the constitution of the worldwide Islamic caliphate, ordained by Allah for all mankind. To deviate from, to not of ever had, or to be in support for government reform against Shari'a law is to blatantly dismiss Allah, which causes adherents to attain this change not only through politics but combat.

Abrogation

Abrogation is followed by the majority of Muslims through four schools of thought of Islamic jurisprudence called the Hanafi, the Maliki, the Shafi'i and the Hanbali.[17] The jurisprudence of Shari'a law reaches a conclusion based upon Muhammad's life and interaction with Allah as all Islamic teachings should. Essentially laying out a principle that allows harmony through chronology among contradictory verses within the Qur'an.

106. None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?[18]

Imran Ahsam Khan Nyazee explains abrogation as follows;

The Law was laid down in the period of the Prophet (peace be unto him) gradually and in stages. The aim was to bring a society steeped in immorality to observe the highest standards of morality. This could not be done abruptly. It was done in stages, and doing so necessitated repeal and abrogation of certain laws.[19][20]

In other words, later more violent Qur'anic verses annul earlier contradictory peaceful verses. It is this that gives rise to an overall radical tone in interpretation of the Qur'an, and via application an individuals actions, that is of special concern to many Western commentators.

The first wave

The first major jihad was by the Arabs in 622-750 AD. The culmination, after many years of ghazi infiltration into France the Muslims mounted a large force and headed toward the French city of Tours.[21] The Battle of Tours in October of 732 AD in modern north-central France follows a history of the Umayyad Dynasty's expansive victories in Europe beginning with the Visigoth Christian Kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula, modern day Spain and Portugal, in 711 AD. Charles Martel (of the Franks) ultimately defeated the Muslim army that had invaded France.

Counter-Jihad: the Crusades

Main Article: Crusades

The Crusades for the Holy Land by Christian kings, knights, and soldiers was to reverse Muslim empire expansion and lasted 200 years (1095-1291 AD).[13]

The second wave

The second major wave of jihad was by the Turks from 1071-1683 AD. It ended at the Battle of Vienna (September 1683) against the Ottoman Empire when once again a Christian army stopped Muslim expansion.

A third wave?

Multiple Western commentators allege that a third wave of jihad is now under way. If so, it does not involve mass armies. Instead, individuals or groups are perpetrating acts of sabotage and/or murder. Roots can be seen even in this "third wave" as far back as Muhammad's time in Medina. A modern understanding of the United States being targeted for the support of Israel can be attributed to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, United States Senator and candidate for the Presidency of the United States. This event took place on June 5, 1968, one year to the day following the Six-day War between Israel and various members of the Arab League. The perpetrator of this act, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, is now serving a sentence of life imprisonment in the State Prison at San Quentin, California.

Violent Jihad

The next three decades saw more acts of this kind. The targets of these acts have been either citizens or soldiers of the Republic of Israel, or citizens and lawful residents of other Western countries, especially the United States.

At present, Islam has no speaker-for-all who is universally respected and acknowledged as the most authoritative interpreter of the Qu'ran, or commander-in-chief of any "army of Allah." Yet at least two men now pretend to be that speaker-for-all. One, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is, to be sure, a head of state. Some military analysts have alleged that he is conducting jihad by proxy, against forces of the United States and its allies within Iraq and providing technical support for Al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan.

The other, Osama bin Laden, is the founder and presumably still the head of a secret network of irregular combatants, or "terrorists," known by its Arabic name of Al-Qa'ida (literally, "The Base"). He was trained specifically during his involvement with the combatants Mujahideen of Afghanistan that managed to repel a Soviet military lacking guerrilla training for 10 years (1979-1989).[22] Through tribal lines Tajiks (from Tajikistan), Uzbek's (from Uzbekistan) and Pashtun's (from Eastern Iran) formed the Northern Alliance with a capital being Mazar-i Sharif (north-west) while the Taliban, a mostly Pashtun Sunni Islamist political movement based on Shari'a Law concentrated power in Kabul with its capture in 1996.[23] Later recruiting and more financing by Bin Laden developed Al-Qa'ida, in which found safe haven in Afghanistan, enabling it to perpetrate a number of acts of sabotage and mass-murder in the last decade of the twentieth century. It then opened the twenty-first century with a spectacular and shocking incident of hijacking multiple American airplanes, four in total and crashing them into specific targets killing mostly civilians. This happened on September 11, 2001 in New York at the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and in a field near Shanksville rural Pennsylvania where passengers fought back crashing the plane in the aftermath.

What shocked the world was that it occurred in American territory. Western forces, mostly American, have sought to hunt Bin Laden and frustrate his operations throughout the world ever since. Rumors have Bin Laden ill or dead of end-stage kidney disease.

Cultural Jihad and Shari'a

A cultural jihad is the act of disseminating propaganda and Qur'anic support for a specific, violent type of Islamic theological and legal or political domination. It has created a need for a type of reformation within the global Muslim community.

They ensure jihad by molding the education of young Muslims with Wahhabism, originating and propagating from the funds of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through primarily oil.[24] The Tawhid, a major tenet of Wahhabi defines all that a man should believe such that Allah is a unique and singular God. Secondly there is Shari’a, which is a legal framework to dictate all he or she should do in their public and/or private life.[25] Also chief among radical modern Wahhabists is the encouraging of infiltration and destruction of the Jews, specifically of the present Republic of Israel, or "Palestine" as they insist on calling it today. The other objective is the destruction of the United States and other countries that embrace freedom and a representative republic rather then a totalitarian Islamic rule.[26][27] Those for which Islam is a religious and political system superior to that of, and should replace already established, legal systems in non-Muslim majority countries have been termed Islamists. [28][29][30]

Brave reformers of Islam try to make themselves heard to denounce the acts and objectives of specific terrorist organizations and the extreme version of Islam they propagate. The Western civilization rights of human freedom, specifically religious freedom and woman's rights within Muslim majority countries are routinely violated in which reformers often speak out against as well.[31][32]

History

IslamSymbol.png

Islam as a religion began in 622 AD and continues today. Its immediate and overall history is marked with significant battles among and against peoples living in lands that became the targets of the Caliphate or the overall Dar al-Islam (House of Islam). The theological beliefs of Islam that support the desire to establish a worldwide Caliphate ruled by Shari'a law are still a potent force within Islam today, and some suggest that it has become as dominant as it was in the days of the first and second waves of jihad.

After the time of Muhammad, the Umma (Muslim community) leadership came from four Rightly Guided Caliphs for about 30 years: Abu Bakr from 632-634, Umar from 634-644, Uthman from 644-656 and Ali from 656 to 661 AD who was the closest blood relative of Muhammad. By 650 AD Islam and its military campaigns had brought most of Syria, Palestine, Egypt (642) and the Persian Empire (643) under their control, capturing Jerusalem in 638, North Africa in 647 and Cyprus in 649. Some of the nations invaded and now controlled were considered the richest nations in the world at the time and were guarded to the teeth by powerful militarism, yet they all fell into Islamic hands.

During the time of Ali, the last Rightly Guided Caliph in 656 AD, he moved the Arab capital from Medina to Kufa in southern Iraq. As the closest blood relative to Muhammad he was extremely revered and followers were given a special name called the Shia or, "party" of Ali. During this time Arab exclusiveness within Islam was broken and all were considered equal when converted to Islam to become Muslim.

Ali was later assassinated in 661 by Muawiyah, the founder of the Umayyad Caliphate, who took his place as leader of the Umma. This triggered a split in loyalty from Muslims. Today almost 1500 years later these loyal groups still rule the majority of Islam. After the assassination two paths of loyalty within Islam became prominent: the Shia which follow Ali and the Sunni which pledged loyalty to Muhammad. During this time however Muslims continued to dominate the middle-east, eastern and southern Europe, as well as north African and Asian regions. From 650 to 732 AD massive expansion was taking place that ended up with eastern Turkey, India and China adding to the Umma's influence.

The Umayyad Caliphate (661-750) was ousted from Damascus and replaced by the Abbasid Caliphate with its capital in modern day Baghdad, Iraq in 755 AD. A different Umayyad line continued in Spain, beginning with the Umayyad prince Abd Ar-Rahman, until 1492 and the Battle of Andalusia. In the 730's Charles Martel and Charlemagne fought back Muslim expansion into France. The Battle of Tours is still seen today as an important historical event that stopped Islamization of Western Europe. The lack of ability by the Muslims to scout Europe accurately and set up defensive positions is known to have been a vital component in their ultimate defeat.[33] During the time of the Empire in Cordoba in Spain there were two capitals of rival caliphates, the Abbasid Baghdad and Umayyad Cordoba. Cordoba was probably the greater influence because of its geographical location.[34]

There is also another dynasty or caliphate called the the Fatimid Caliphate which started in Tunisia in 909 AD. Later the army of the Fatimid Caliphate conquered Egypt, Cairo in 969 becoming their capital. The caliphate lasted until its fall in 1171 AD because of a few reasons. The Zirids, or collection of governors declared independence inevitably declaring loyalty to the Baghdad, Abbasid Caliphate in the 1040's. Also the Fatimid empire was seriously challenged by Turkic invaders as well as Crusaders in the Levant.

The spread of Islam beyond its traditional boundaries in the Great Arid Zone was enabled by the actions of regional rulers; the Fatimids and Berbers in North Africa made inroads into sub-Saharan Africa, just as the Ghaznavids did in India, with the sultan Mahmud (r. 997–1030) launching no fewer than 17 raids into the subcontinent. Africa, India, and Southeast Asia were thus softened up for the large-scale conversion of their populations to Islam that would take place in subsequent centuries.[9]

Ottoman Empire

Main Article: Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, founded by Osthman or Osman I (born within the dominate tribe Oguz, forefathers of the Osmanli or Ottoman Turks) was born in 1258 and died in 1326, lasted from 1299 AD until November 1, 1922 being succeeded by the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923 until present day. Mongols stretched from Eastern Europe across Asia dominate from the unification of the Mongol and Turkic tribes in modern day Mongolia. The Genghis Khan invasions make him ruler of all Mongols in 1206 but with the breakup of the Yuan Dynasty in 1368 AD dissolution of the entirety was inevitable. Following the defeat of the Seljuk tribes (a branch of the Oguz [35]) from the Sunni Seljuk Empire, which stretched from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, by the Mongols in 1293 Osman I took lead of the Turks in an already fractured Mongol Empire. This gave way to the Ottoman Empire as influence spread and Muslims continue their fight against an ever-weakening Byzantine Empire.[36][37]

Tripolitan War (1801-1805)

[38]

Demographics

Distribution of Islam, Sunni (green) and Shi'a (blue).

Those that make up the majority of the worlds Muslim population (80-85%) strictly follow only Muhammad and are called Sunni, while those who also follow the teachings of Muhammad's son-in-law Ali, are called Shia and make up about 10-15%. There are few fringe minority groups or divisions which include Sufi, a mystical tradition.[39]

Sunni Islam is derived from the word Sunnah which means "example" or "way", from that of Muhammad. They maintain a huge majority overall but especially in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Turkey, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya and Egypt. The Shia being considered the minority within Islam can also be referred to as the Shiites maintain healthy majorities in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Syria and Bahrain.[40]

The Sunni and Shia follow the same holy book (Qur'an), they follow the teachings of Muhammad, offer prayers to Allah five times a day, fast in the month of Ramadan and both support visiting Mecca once in the follower's lifetime as an essential part of gaining salvation (the hajj). They differ however in adherence and loyalty because the Shia follow Ali and Muhammad.

Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam founded in 1930's Detroit, Michigan by W. D. Fard Muhammad (1877-1934) precedes contemporary black liberation theology and maintains a more explicit form within the many declarations of W. D. Fard Muhammad and his first disciple Elijah Muhammad (1897 to 1975). It is related to Christianity and Islam because the NOI teaches that W. D. Fard Muhammad is both the Messiah of Christianity and the Mahdi of Islam. It is based around white oppression and the NOI teaches that the Jewish history presented within the Biblical record, specifically within Genesis 15:13-14 as mere symbolism to describe and validate the black African struggle with slavery. It is the same eisegesis of the Jews from the Bible that run common between the NOI and the black liberation theology movement.

13God said to Abram, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14"But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. Genesis 15:13-14

Teachings of Creation

Islam teaches creation in a way that is at times similar to that of the account in Genesis. But detailed theological analysis reveals that Islamic teaching on creation differs in many critical ways.

Six-day creation

Main Article: Young earth creationism

Muslims believe that Allah created the heavens and the earth in "six periods of time," and continues to reign over His creation.

The Qur`an says:

"7.54": Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods of time, and He is firm in power; He throws the veil of night over the day, which it pursues incessantly; and (He created) the sun and the moon and the stars, made subservient by His command; surely His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

Although this seems similar to the creation account in the Bible, there are important differences. Muslims generally interpret the "six day" creation not as six days of 24 hours each, but as six separate periods of indefinite duration remaining consistent with internal wording. They do not precisely define how long a creation day is, but believe that life developed over a long period.

Life came from water

Although Muslims disagree with many ideas in the theory of evolution, especially human evolution, they accept much of it, such as life beginning in water, although not by unguided natural processes as evolution would purpose but rather by divine guidance by Allah.

As the Qur`an states:

"24:45": And Allah has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills for verily Allah has power over all things.

Adam and Eve

Muslims do not accept the evolutionary idea that humans came from ape-like animals. They believe human life began with God’s creation of Adam (Arabic: آدم, ’Ādam) and Eve (Arabic: حواء, Hawwa). The Qur`an says:

"15.26": We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape; 27. And the Jinn race, We had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind.

Chapter 15 of the Qur`an does not give the name of the first woman, but Islamic tradition knows her as "Hawwa". Muslims believe that Adam was a prophet who taught his children to worship Allah alone. His children continued to worship Allah alone for many generations. Then corruption seeped into their faith. So Allah sent prophets and messengers to call on them all to come back to the Unitarian faith.

Evolution

Main Article: Theory of evolution

Muslims will not accept any part of the theory of evolution that conflicts with the Qur`ans teachings. They believe there is a Creator (Allah) who has created everything, whether at once or through the process of growth and development. They reject the evolutionary teachings about the origin of humans from ape-like creatures.

Notable Creationists


Other Doctrines

Islam and its other doctrines actually show the major theological differences between it and Christianity far better than its creation doctrine.

Muslims and Jesus

Main Article: Jesus Christ

Muslims respect Jesus (Arabic: عيسى‎, `Īsā) as a prophet, but do not believe He was the Son of God. They accept that He performed great miracles, but do not believe He was crucified (from chapter Maryam in the Qur`an).

However, the Quran states that Jesus was bestowed and strengthened with the ruhallah, or spirit of God[41] and gives him the title of the Messiah.

The Bible

Main Article: Bible

Muslims believe that the Christian Bible (Old and New Testaments) is corrupt in many places. Islam therefore forbids Muslims to read the Bible to others (such as to a dying relative who is a Christian).

Heaven and Hell

Christians, Jews who are specifically viewed as deviating from the true path of Islam, and essentially all who deny Allah and Muhammad as his last prophet will go to a place of "disgraceful chastisement," according to the Qur`an. Only those who end up believing in and worshipping Allah will go to what is referred to as Paradise.

The Qur`an says:

"4.150": Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His apostles and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His apostles and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between (this and) that. "4.151": These it is that are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.

At least one Muslim questions the applicability of that statement. This person cites this verse, also from the Qur`an:

"2:62": Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

And:

"5:69": Surely, those who believe, those who are the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians – whosoever believed in Allah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

These verses seem to say that a Christian and a Jew is not necessarily doomed.[42]

The Qu`ran is known to have contradictory passages. The chief principle that Muslims apply when trying to reconcile a contradiction is the Abrogation Principle, which states that the verse most recently written takes precedence. But the inconsistent application of this principle makes the resolution of this question unclear.

Noah's flood and the Ark

Main Article: Global flood

Muslims regard Noah as one of the six great prophets of Islam; the others are: Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. They also believe Noah went on an ark with two of each kind of animal. Unlike the Bible, the Qur`an does not give the dimensions or the geography of the land that the flood covered, nor that God had a hand in actually sending the animals to Noah. Because of this absence of information, most Muslims accept a local flood rather than a worldwide flood.

Fundamentalism

Main Article: Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism is strictly a concept applied to Christian belief. The name originated in 1920 from a series of pamphlets issued between 1910 and 1915 titled The Fundamentals: A Testimony to the Truth. Leading evangelical churchmen of the time wrote these booklets for clergymen and theology students to give them the basics of the Christian faith.[43]

The media today use the word fundamentalism in a negative sense to mean "fanaticism". Muslims say there is no concept of "fundamentalism" in Islam. One Muslim website says, "The Western media has coined this term to brand those Muslims who wish to return to the basic fundamental principles of Islam and mould their lives accordingly. Islam is a religion of moderation and a practicing God-fearing Muslim can neither be a fanatic nor an extremist."[44] However, a religious duty associated with the five pillars of Islam is Jihad, sometimes defined as Holy War.

This duty requires that if the situation warrants, men are required to go to war to defend or spread Islam. If they are killed, they are guaranteed eternal life in Paradise.[25]

The Trinity

Main Article: Trinity

The word trinity itself is from the Latin trinitas, meaning "threeness." It is used to describe a fundamental Christian belief based on the biblical theological doctrine that one God is manifested to the world as a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit.

However Muslims deny the Trinity.[45]

Jinn (genie)

Muslims believe in jinns (Arabic: جني, jinnī), or genies. A jinn is a spirit that inhabits the Earth and influences mankind by appearing in the form of humans or animals. The Qur`an teaches that Allah made the jinns subservient to Solomon, they were essentially helpmates for him.[46]

"55.14": He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery, 15. And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke:
"34.12": And to Solomon (We made) the Wind (obedient): Its early morning (stride) was a month's (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month's (journey); and We made a Font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from our command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.

See Also

References

  1. Volume 4, Book 55, Number 652: Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 55: Prophets Narrated Abu Huraira
  2. Volume 4, Book 55, Number 658: Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 55: Prophets Narrated Abu Huraira
  3. Five Pillars of Islam by Ishaq Zahid
  4. Surah 33, verse 21. The Clans, The Coalition, The Combined Forces
  5. Hadith collections By University of Southern California. Center For Muslim-Jewish Engagement
  6. Six Major Hadith Collections By Wikipedia
  7. Surah 3, verses 123-125. The Family Of 'Imran, The House Of 'Imran
  8. Ghazi by Wikipedia
  9. 9.0 9.1 Adam Silverstein, Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press 2010), pg. 123-124
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