Knowing about Islam and Muslims
September 27, 2018
KNOWING ABOUT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS
Some very good friends teach World Religions in a California Bible school. They wrote this concise article about Islam and Muslims to help all of us renew our knowledge about the Islam religion.
Since the tragedy of September 11, many people have been asking why the Muslim extremists hate us so much. I thought it would be valuable to you to answer this question by giving a briefing on the beliefs and practices of devotees of Islam. This won’t make you an expert, but will help you understand that we are in a spiritual war with Islam, which has nothing to do with politics.
The word “Islam” is the Arabic word for “submission to God”. A Muslim is one who commits himself to this surrender. The doctrine of Islam begins with the revelations of a 40- year old man named Muhammad in 610 AD. He came from the Hashimite clan of the Qu’raysh tribe, and lived in Mecca, Arabia. Before Muhammad came along, the people of Mecca worshiped 360 gods around a sacred black stone or meteorite housed in a 55 foot high cubical shrine called Ka’ba dedicated to the main god, Hubal. The Qu’raysh tribe mainly worshiped one of these many gods called Allah. Since the Sabean (Yemenite) religion of worshiping the heavenly bodies was very influential in Arabia at this time, the Qu’raysh tribe focused their attention upon Allah, the moon god.
Allah married the sun goddess, and they produced 3 daughters called “the daughters of Allah”. Their names were: Al-lat, another goddess of the sun Al-uzza, goddess of the morning star Al-manat goddess of fate.
Muhammad was born in 570 AD, orphaned at an early age, and was raised by an uncle. He never went to school, and remained illiterate all his life. He married Khadija, a wealthy widow, and at age 40, meditating as was his custom in a cave near Mecca, he fell into a trance, and said that the angel Gabriel spoke to him and said, “Recite” (Quran in Arabic). This was Muhammad’s prophetic call and these revelations continued for 20 years. He repeated them to others who wrote them down for him. He taught:
- There is only 1 god, Allah.
- There is a coming judgment.
- He was Allah’s final prophet and was to be obeyed.
- He rejected the customary tribal practices (sunna)
Mecca rejected these beliefs, and so persecuted Muhammad that he had to flee to Yathrib, later called Medina. This flight in 622 AD was called the Hijra. All Muslim dates begin with this year as year number 1. At Medina Muhammad persuaded many people to join his cause, and after raising an army, raided caravans to supply it. In 630 AD he returned to Mecca with his army, defeated the local troops, and imposed Islam upon
Mecca. He abolished the shrines to other gods, and consecrated the Ka’ba to the worship of Allah only. Muhammad married 4 wives, one of whom named Ayesha, was only 9 years old. After 2 years at Mecca, Muhammad died without naming a successor, and his father-in-law, Abu Bakr, was chosen by the Sunna (council) as his successor.
SPREAD OF ISLAM
The choice of Abu Bakr as successor (caliph)angered some of the Hashim clan, who thought that Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali should have been chosen. They formed a splinter group called Shi’a (partisans), which split Islam into two main sects unto this day. Abu Bakr spread Islam through the entire Arabian peninsula by the sword. Islam was spread by the sword into India from 711 AD onward. It was spread by the sword through North Africa in the late 600s, through Spain, and even into France until Charles Martel and the Franks defeated the Muslims at Poitiers in 732 AD. The Ottoman Empire spread Islam by the sword into the Balkan peninsula in the 1500s. That’s why Bosnia and Albania are Muslim today.
History tells us that in most cases, Islam was forced upon people on pain of death, and not by peaceful persuasion.
Since the Quran forbids forcible conversion to Islam, what justified the behavior mentioned above? The answer is jihad, or holy war.
Jihad has 5 basic principles, the first 3 of which we can agree with. But look at the last 2: 4.Jihad is permitted if a non-Islamic country suppresses the free exercise of Islam, including the propagation of Islam. Any hindering of Muslims for this reason is cause for jihad. Muslims in the minority won’t go on jihad unless they think they can win. 5. Jihad is permitted and encouraged to recover former Muslim lands that were lost to infidels (unbelievers). This clearly shows why there can never be peace between Israel and Muslim nations until Jesus returns.
SEEDS OF HATE
The Arabian people are the seed of Ishmael, as we can see from the Bible’s account in Gen 25:16. Ishmael was driven by the spirits of rejection and jealousy all his days, even though God had not rejected him, as Gen 21 :17-20 shows. These spirits opened the door to hatred for the promised seed(Jews), which Ishmael passed down to all his generations until today. Muhammad at first accepted the Jews at Medina until they refused Islam, and even tried to assassinate him. Then he turned against them with a vengeance and killed them in a rage. The Arabic followers of Islam have never accepted peaceful co-existence with Israel because of this old hatred.
Muslims say that their god (Allah) is the same as our God. This is false. These are some of the ways of Allah:
- Everything that happens is Allah’s will.
- Allah’s character and nature are unique, and not shared with mankind.
- Allah’s person cannot be known by man. Only his will can be known.
- Allah is not bound to act as he has in the past. He has no limitations.
- There is no forgiveness of sins with Allah. Men are judged according to the book of
What does the Quran say about Jesus (Isa)? It says the following:
- He is the greatest of all prophets except Muhammad.
- The miracles of Jesus are in the Quran.
- Jesus is not the son of God. Allah had no son.
- Jesus never died on the cross.
- If God had a son, He would never kill him for the sins of mankind.
- Men are judged according to the Book of Deeds. If the good outweighs the bad, he goes to paradise.
- Paradise is a place for the senses to be gratified. There is food, beauty, unlimited sex, comfort, wine, etc.
- Hell is a place where Jinni (evil spirits) torture people.
- Nobody knows the final outcome of their judgment until it happens.
What about final judgment?
The Quran says there are 5 duties which demonstrate one’s submission to Allah, and must be practiced:
- Shahada — This is the confession that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”. This must be correctly recited without error or it is useless.
- Salat— This ritual prayer must be done 5 times each day; sunrise, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night. It must be said perfectly in Arabic with the correct postures, or it must be done all over again.
- Zakat— This is almsgiving. It should be 2 ½ % annually to help the poor, sick, and to promote Islam.
- Sawm–This is fasting on the month of Ramadan. Fasting is done during daylight only. No food or drink is to be swallowed, even one’s saliva. After sundown, one may feast.
- Hajj–This is a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime. The last month of the year is pilgrimage time, and the rules are very strict. The entire pilgrimage is a ritual which each pilgrim must accomplish exactly as prescribed.
Thus far I have given the official Quran Islam. But the Islamic people have blended this religion with their animistic beliefs, resulting in many practices of occultism, appeasing or warding off demons, and engaging in curses and black magic. This is a result of fear that Allah may not protect them because he is offended at them. Remember, there is no forgiveness with Allah. In addition, Muslims have the hadith, or oral traditions from Muhammad which they must follow. These denigrate women in a shocking manner, forcing them to wear full-length veils over their bodies, and subjecting them to being “owned by their husbands”, who can beat them when they please and can divorce them by simply saying “I divorce thee” three times.
It is easy to see how seeds of hate sown centuries earlier have produced a full-blown crop in men like Osama bin Laden. He hates the US because our soldiers’ feet “have defiled the holy soil of Arabia” during the Gulf War of 1991. He also hates us for being a staunch ally of Israel, whom he has sworn to push into the sea. But most of all, he hates us for spreading the Christian gospel to all nations, which is having a big affect upon many Muslim lands. Osama and the devil want this spreading of the gospel to stop all over the world.
This is a very brief explanation of Islam. These are the main beliefs, but there are many deviations from them.
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