Articles and Outlines - World Religions - The Religion of Islam

The Religion of Islam

Author: Christian Information Ministries
Date: 6/6/2003 11:02:50 AM

C.I.M. Outline #21

I. Introduction

A. "Islam" means "submission". A follower of the religion
of Islam is called a "muslim" which means "one who is in
submission to the divine will".

B. Islam is the youngest of the 5 major religions of the
world. According to the best estimates, there are
800,000,000 to 1 billion muslims world-wide. At
present, over 20 million muslims reside in Europe.
There are now over 2000 mosques in England! The
U.S.S.R., the 4th largest muslim nation in the world,
has 53 million adherents representing 1/5 of the total
population. After ethnic Russians, muslims are the
largest population group but are growing 4 times as
fast, and may out-number them in less than 20 years.
Currently, there are 48 nations where adherents of Islam
are in the majority.

C. The current resurgence of Islam began with the oil
cartel following the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Millions
of dollars from enormous foundations are being spend to
fuel the worldwide expansion of Islam. There are now
more adherents of Islam in the U.S. than Episcopalians!

D. Nota bene: The greatest threat to world peace and
stability in the next decade or two, may be the result
of the religion of Islam. Almost every controversy in
the Middle East can be traced to this religion, either
through intra-party squabbles, or Islam verses non-

II. Historical Background

A. The religion was founded by Muhammad who was born in 570
A.D. in a small village (Mecca) along a caravan route
in what is today known as Saudi Arabia.

B. The young Muhammad, an orphan at an early age, had an
inquiring mind and an intense interest in religion.
The prevailing religion at this time in Arabia was one
of polytheism and animism. He inquired of both
Judaism and Christianity. The Christianity that he
came into contact was of a very heretical sort.
Christianity at this time was losing its vitality and
was about to enter the Dark Ages.

C. At about 25 years of age Muhammad married a wealthy
widow 15 years his senior. Due to the ensuing economic
security, Muhammad turned the more to religious
contemplation often retiring to caves in the wilderness
for long periods of time. He practiced fasting and was
prone to dreams. He had a profound dissatisfaction
with the polytheism and superstition of his day. He
received his first of many "revelations" at 40 years of
age, and thought at first he was possessed of a demon.
Later he claims he was visited by the angel Gabriel who
informed him to warn the people. This marked the
beginning of his prophetic office.

D. The response in Mecca to his claims was small and
limited mainly to family members. Soon he and his
followers (around 200) were forced to flee. This
flight to Medina occurred in 622 A.D. and is known as
"The Hegira". In Medina, Muhammad became a leader and
theocratic head of the town. Muslims reckon time from
the Hegira. 622 A.D. = the year 1 A.H.

E. In less than a 100 years Islam spread from the Atlantic
Ocean across central Asia deep into India. This empire
lasted over a 1000 years. Only a handful of countries
have ever reversed themselves after becoming an Islamic
nation in 14 centuries of history!

III. The Belief System of Islam

A. Islam is a religion of rigid monotheism and an all-
encompassing law. It is a belief system, i.e a world
and life view. Everything is seen from an Islamic

B. Islam's five fundamental articles of faith:

1. There is no God but God. "Allah" is the Arabic
word for "God". This god is the sovereign Lord of
the universe. Everything that occurs is according
to his will. He is also the source of both good
and evil. The Koran assigns 99 names to Allah.
The 100th name is secret and is known only to the

2. God gave prophets (the Koran mentions 28) to every
age from Adam to Muhammad. Muhammad, the last and
greatest prophet, was sinless as were all the other
prophets. Jesus was the prophet of the previous
age. They affirm that Jesus was born of a virgin
and performed many miracles, but they vehemently
deny that he was God, was crucified, or rose from
the dead.

3. Islam believes that each age was given a book
through its prophet, but all have been lost except
portions of the Old Testament and the Gospel of
Jesus which was corrupted by Christians. The Koran
("Quran") was given to Muhammad and supercedes all
other revelations. The Koran is divided into 114
Suras (chapters) and was given directly to
Muhammad. To the Muslim, every word of the Koran
is the Word of God and is of an eternal nature. In
otherwords, it existed in heaven prior to being
dictated by the angel Gabriel. The Koran governs
every area of the life of a Muslim, from how to
prevent crime to the proper use of a toothpick! It
is often the only constitution of some Muslim

4. There are good and bad angels. The chief good
angel is Gabriel. The chief fallen angel is
Shaitan (Satan).

5. There will be a day of judgement in which all the
dead will be resurrected. Allah will be the judge
and each person will be sent either to heaven, a
place of sensual pleasure, or hell, a place of
torment. Hell is for those who opposed Allah and
his prophet, Muhammad. Salvation is attained by
the quality of a person's obedience to the law as
determined by Allah. Muhammad is seen as a
mediator who helps a person attain salvation. The
bridge to paradise is likened to a razor-sharp
sword; Muhammad awaits to assist in crossing.

C. Each Muslim has six obligatory duties:

1. Reciting the creed. "There is no God but Allah".
The word "quran" in Arabic means "to recite".

2. Pray five times a day facing Mecca.

3. Tithe to the poor and for the furtherance of Islam.
It varies from 2 to 10 per cent.

4. Fast for one month each year during the 9th month,
the lunar month of Ramadan. This month of fasting
is during the day only. Feasting takes place after
5. Make a pilgrimage to Mecca a least once during a
lifetime. A male who makes a pilgrimage to Mecca
is called a "Haji" a title of honor similar to the
english "Sir".

D. The concept of "Jihad" ("holy war") is sometimes
referred to as a 6th pillar. Jihad is also a religious
duty of all adult males who must commit to any summons
of war against infidels. Any who die in such a war are
assured paradise. Today there is controversy as to who
in the Arab world can legally declare a Jihad. In the
past, this has been a most successful form of
"evangelism". Polytheistic cultures have been given
the option of submission or death. Historically, Jews
and Christians, since they were considered "people of
the Book" were given a choice of submission or paying
tribute (taxes).

IV. Other Muslim beliefs

A. The unforgivable sin to a Muslim is to attribute deity
to anything other that God himself. To claim that
Jesus is God or the Son of God is blasphemy to a
Muslim. They believe that God is unbegotten and begets

B. Most Muslims believe Jesus predicted the coming of
Muhammad when He said that He would sent "another
Comforter" in John 14:16. Muslims even refer to
Muhammad as the "Holy Spirit".

C. Muslims are very anti-trinitarian. The Koran teaches
that Christians believe in a Trinity of God, the
Father, Jesus, the Son, and Mary the Mother!

D. Most Muslims believe Judas died on the cross, not Jesus.
God caused Jesus to be ascended into heaven.

E. Most Muslims do not separate church and state, i.e.
politics and religion. There is no such thing as
secular and sacred. This is a cause of some of their
intra-mural conflicts. Occasionally a ruler attempts
to secularize the state. For this Sadat was
assassinated. Turkey gets away with it, but it is
resented in much of the Muslim world.

F. The Koran allows a man to have up to four wives if he
believes he can treat them equally!

G. The Koran teaches that if a Muslim soldier kills another
muslim soldier in an unjust war he will go to hell! In
the recent war, many Iraqi soldiers did not believe it
was just war, hence they deserted in large numbers
(and probably for other reasons as well!).

H. Muslim soldiers can declare a victory in battle even
though they were stomped by the enemy, because to a
Muslim, win or lose, it is the will of Allah. So if
you lose, you win, because it is the will of Allah.

I. The Koran teaches that Muslims should take up arms
against infidels. The following quote from the Koran
should give insight into Saddam's behavior:

"When ye encounter unbelievers, strike off their heads
until ye have made a great slaughter among them, and
bind them in bonds; and either give them free
demission afterwards or exact a ransom... Verily if
God please he could take vengeance on them, without
your assistance, but he commandeth you to fight his
battles... And to those who fight in defense of God's
true religion, God... will lead them into paradise..."

V. Reaching Muslims for Christ

There is no more needy field today than Muslim countries.
We need to pray fervently that the Lord of the harvest will
send forth laborers. Most specialists in Muslim evangelism
say to be successful in this field, one must be patient, be
loving, establish relationships, understand Islam, and be
given to much prayer.

Author's Comments:
Christian Information Ministries is a non-profit ministry and is
dependent on gifts from God's people in order to operate. If you
receive a benefit from our materials would you consider giving a
tax-deductible gift to CIM. We suggest $25. a year minimum.
Send to:
Christian Information Ministries
2050 N. Collins Blvd. #100
Richardson, TX 75080

Site Designed and Developed by Agency Creative