As a Christian, it is important to be aware that Islam is one of the world’s fastest growing religions. 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) states “ But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”. In order to do this, if you are speaking to a Muslim, not only will you need to be aware of the major doctrines of Christianity but you will need to have a working knowledge of Islam. This will involve setting aside a considerable amount of time to become conversant with the Islam religion and of course prayer.
This post will provide a basic overview of important information with links at the bottom of this post to more thorough resources.
Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allāh), and, for the vast majority of adherents, by the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad . An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim (sometimes spelled “Moslem”). Muslims believe that God is one and that the purpose of existence is to worship God. Nearly all Muslims consider Muhammad to be the last prophet of God.
Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. As for the Qur’an, Muslims consider it to be both the unaltered and the final revelation of God. Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from topics ranging from banking and welfare, to family life and the environment.
Islam began in the early-7th century. Originating in Mecca, it quickly spread in the Arabian peninsula and by the 8th century the Islamic empire was extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus river in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century when much of the historically Islamic world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates and empires, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities.
A caliphate is an area containing an Islamic steward known as a caliph —a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, and a leader of the entire Muslim community. Even though caliphs were thought to go back to Muhammad, they were not thought of as having the same prophetic power as he did.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Sunni Muslims compose approximately 87-90% of today’s Muslims.
NOTE : ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is a Salafi jihadist militant group that follows a fundamentalist, Wahhabi doctrine. Wahhabism ( or Wahhabi mission) is a religious movement or branch of Sunni Islam. Many Sunni and Shia Muslims disagree with the Wahhabi movement. Wahhabism has been accused of being “a source of global terrorism”, inspiring the ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labelling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates, thus paving the way for their execution for apostasy. Hence, a significant number of deaths attributed to ISIS have been Muslims (muslim fatalities-source:us-government)
Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the “Family of the House”, Muhammad’s direct descendants). Similar to what the Roman Catholic church does today with the election of the Pope. Shia Muslims compose approximately 10-13% of today’s Muslims.
An imam is an Islamic leadership position. It is most commonly in the context of a worship leader of a mosque and Muslim community by Sunni Muslims. In this context, imams may lead Islamic worship services, serve as community leaders, and provide religious guidance.
With about 1.7 billion followers or 23% of the global population, Islam is the second-largest religion by number of adherents and, according to many sources, and the fastest-growing major religion in the world.
Doctrines of Islam (source: https://carm.org)
Regarding Islam (source: https://carm.org)
- Muhammad video 1, 2
- The Qur’an
- Notes from dialogues with Muslims
- Chronology of Early Islam
- Divisions within Islam
- Islamic Statistics on violence, rape, terror, sharia, isis, and welfare
Islam By Topic (source: https://carm.org)
- ALL TOPICS
- Animal Sacrifice
- Holy Spirit
- Partners with Alalh
- Son of God
Answering Objections (source: https:carm.org)
Objections Answered about the Trinity (source: https://carm.org)
Objections Answered about Jesus (source: https://carm.org)
- Did Jesus ever say the exact words “I am God?”
- If Jesus is called the Son of God, do you think that makes him God?
- Jesus cannot be the son of God.
- If Jesus is God, who did He pray to?
- God cannot be tempted. Jesus was tempted. Jesus cannot be God.
- God is infinite. Matter is finite. God could not become a man.
- Why is it necessary for God to die for our sins?
- Questions from a Muslim about Jesus being God
- The Bible is false (and Jesus is not God) because Jesus obeyed Satan
- If Jesus is God, then why did not know the time of His return?
- If Jesus is God, why did He say the Father was greater than He?
Objections Answered about Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection (source: https://carm.org)
Dialogues With Muslims (source: https://carm.org)
Additional Resources on the Net
- http://www.answering-islam.org/ – an excellent Christian resource
- https://carm.org/islam – excellent detailed resource
- https://carm.org/methods-muslims-use-attack-christianity – excellent resource
- http://christianityinview.com/xncomparison.html – excellent comparison
- http://www.faithfacts.org/world-religions-and-theology/christianity-vs.-islam – additional information
- http://www.equip.org/article/examining-muslim-apologetics/ – excellent resource
- http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=8&article=254 – excellent resource
- http://answering-islam.org/Christians/schlorff2.html – different approach
- http://www.alwaysbeready.com/islam – excellent resource
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKJVHb_sw_M Ravi Zacharias – Islam – excellent
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNseMjQkxvI Nabeel Qureshi – Islam – excellent
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P10rHuAb4MU Nabeel Qureshi – Islam – excellent
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvBM64gDLnY Seeking Allah Finding Jesus Nabeel Qureshi – excellent