This text is a part of the 10 Issues You Ought to Know collection.
Pondering Critically about Islam
I at all times educate my college students to differentiate between Islam and Muslims. Islam is a world faith with adherents composing about 20% of all the inhabitants on earth. They’re known as Muslims. As Christians, we’re known as to like everybody and preach the god information of Jesus Christ to each human being, together with Muslims. We’re not known as to just accept, observe, or love any ideology, however slightly, in discernment and knowledge and based mostly on biblical constancy, we should always check each thought and declare. Distinguishing Islam from Muslims is necessary, as we’re known as to like Muslims as Christ does, however it is very important assume critically and biblically in regards to the claims of Islam and topic them to the phrase of God and what it teaches. Right here I give you ten issues it’s best to find out about Islam.
1. Islam means submission and give up.
In lots of circles within the West, I hear folks say that the time period islam means peace. That is incorrect and both ignorant or deceptive. The phrase means give up and submission. Muslims perceive it to replicate complete devotion to the deity and the instructions of the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. As a faith, Islam is constructed on legal guidelines and guidelines that require complete submission (thus, islam). Throughout Muhammad’s time, he was identified within the latter a part of his life as a commander who launched raids towards his enemies. Once they submitted to him and to his rule, the Muslim sources described the motion as getting into Islam or changing to Islam. This notion displays the core which means of the time period—it’s giving oneself to a set of spiritual instructions, presumably revealed by the deity by way of his messenger to humankind.
In Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel, A. S. Ibrahim seeks to offer his readers with perception and sensible tricks to have interaction and share the gospel with Muslim mates and neighbors.
2. Islam has two main foundations.
As a religion system, Islam is constructed on two foundations: Allah’s phrase and Allah’s messenger, i.e., the Quran and Muhammad. These are two necessary foundations, with out which Islam collapses. The Quran is Islam’s scripture. It’s believed by Muslims to be inerrant and infallible. It doesn’t observe chronological order nor does it present clear context, at instances, to sure passages. Because of this it’s comparatively troublesome even for Muslims to grasp. They depend on later commentaries, with out which they don’t perceive the textual content. The second basis is Muhammad, identified in Islam as the ultimate and finest prophet despatched by Allah. For Muslims, Muhammad is the perfect man who ever lived. His life is the precedent which displays the perfect utility of the Quran. Because of this Muslims attempt to imitate the tales of Muhammad’s life as they search to use the Quran.
3. Islam’s deity is Allah.
The title of Islam’s deity is Allah. He was identified earlier than Islam as one of many deities in Muhammad’s birthplace, Mecca. Some Arabs thought that Allah had three daughters who acted as mediators and intercessors, taking requests to him. The traits and adjectives about Allah have many similarities to the God of the Bible, though Allah has particular distinctions explicitly given to him in Islam. Probably the most necessary distinctions is that he’s not a private deity. Whereas Christians at all times emphasize a private relationship with God, this notion is considerably overseas in Islam. Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews use the title Allah to confer with the God of the Bible, though arguably what they perceive about him deviates in some ways from Allah’s character and attributes.
4. Islam is greater than a non secular system.
Should you consider Islam as a non secular system with many rituals, guidelines, and legal guidelines, you wouldn’t be mistaken, however you wouldn’t be completely right both. Whereas Islam is certainly a faith, it goes past that. For Muslims, it’s a social id and a nationalism as nicely. Muslims really feel proud to observe Islam though they typically say they don’t perceive or know its fundamentals. It’s a part of their cultural id. It encompasses all features of their lives, which makes abandoning it very troublesome on the household construction. Muslims worry abandoning Islam will deliver disgrace to their households, so they could abandon the thought. Furthermore, it isn’t solely a cultural id however a nationalism. Muslims really feel pleasure for pondering of themselves because the umma (neighborhood) of Muhammad. They pleasure themselves on this, claiming no different faith connects its folks as Islam does. This rosy image isn’t at all times factual, particularly in case you see how Muslims take care of one another in majority-Muslim lands, the place social castes play a serious position within the each day life.
5. Islam has two main sects or denominations.
The most important two sects of Islam are Sunni and Shiite (or Shia). Sunnis make up about 85% of Islam and Shiites 13%. The disagreements between the 2 sects are sometimes diluted in media shops, however the actuality is that the disputes are deep theologically and politically. It’s even a widely known truth that the majority adherents of every sect imagine the opposite sect usually are not true Muslims.
6. Islam is a works-based system.
In Islam, acceptance earlier than the deity depends on good works with good intentions. If Muslims need to please Allah, they need to intend nicely and do good works, exactly following the prescribed duties given by Allah by way of his messenger, Muhammad. For the overwhelming majority of Muslims, the prescribed duties are many, however an important are labeled the 5 Pillars of Islam. They’re the confession of religion (shahada), the each day ritual prayer (salat), almsgiving (zakat), fasting throughout Ramadan (sawm), and performing the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) a minimum of as soon as in a lifetime. These deeds deliver man nearer to Allah, however there isn’t a assure in Islam for everlasting bliss, aside from martyrs who gave their lives within the path of Allah.
7. Islam is a powerful worldview with exact anti-Christian claims.
The Islamic worldview is constructed on the Quran and Muhammad’s sayings. The worldview controls how Muslims view the world and reply to people. There are numerous parts within the Islamic worldview, however we should always word that the view that stems from Islamic texts has sturdy anti-Christian parts in it, equivalent to (1) Jesus isn’t God, (2) God isn’t triune, (3) the Bible is altered and corrupted. Once we discuss with Muslims, we have to acknowledge these parts of the worldview in order that we are able to clarify our biblical worldview and refute misconceptions.
It’s a marvelous time to proclaim the gospel to Muslims round us.
8. Islam preaches a special Jesus.
Islam has a selected view of the Jesus of Christians, calling him Isa. Muslims at all times declare that they imagine in “Jesus” and so they complain to Christians, If we imagine in your Jesus, why don’t you imagine in our Muhammad? The Islamic Isa may be very completely different from the biblical Jesus. Isa in Islam isn’t God, nor the Son of God. Isa is merely one of many prophets despatched by Allah to humankind. The portrayal of Isa within the Quran and Muslim sources demonstrates a distorted image of what Christians really imagine in regards to the Lord and Savior.
9. Islam doesn’t allow apostasy.
One of many gravest sins in Islam is associating companions with the deity, i.e., polytheism. Nevertheless, abandoning Islam can also be one of many main sins. All classical Muslim faculties of regulation insist that the penalty of abandoning Islam is a loss of life sentence. Because of this many Muslims keep away from declaring their apostasy. Some progressive Muslims argue that the claims of classical Muslims usually are not appropriate for immediately, and we should always adhere to human reasoning and permit each individual to observe the faith of his or her selection.
10. Islam isn’t the quickest rising faith.
Many are beneath the misunderstanding that Islam is the quickest rising faith on the planet. This assumption typically depends on the truth that the variety of Muslims is rising worldwide, in keeping with some statistics. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply Islam is rising, nor does it imply that really the variety of Muslims is rising. In lots of circles, Muslims have been rising in quantity in previous generations, as a result of first, Muslim households are inclined to have extra youngsters, and second, Muslim ladies typically keep at dwelling which ends up in extra youngsters. This doesn’t imply “Islam” is rising, nor does it imply that these developments are nonetheless persevering with immediately. In reality, some statistics present that the speedy progress in Muslim households is now fading and most Muslims—as a result of financial pressures—are starting to have much less youngsters. No, Islam as a faith isn’t rising in attracting adherents—it’s really the precise reverse. Many current statistics present that Muslims are abandoning Islam in droves, particularly because the Web has given entry to Muslims to learn for themselves what the first sources of Islam reveal. Many Muslims have begun to query the Quran and Muhammad—the 2 parts which was the untouchables of Islam. Extra Muslims are abandoning Islam immediately, we are able to argue, than in previous centuries all collectively. It’s a marvelous time to proclaim the gospel to Muslims round us.
A. S. Ibrahim is the writer of Reaching Your Muslim Neighbors with the Gospel.