Islam is one of the three great monotheistic religions – the others being Judaism and Christianity

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Islam is one of the three great monotheistic religions – the others being Judaism and Christianity.

  • Islam is one of the three great monotheistic religions – the others being Judaism and Christianity.

  • Monotheists believe in a single God (Allah) – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  • Islam is possibly the most misunderstood of all the world religions – and yet it is one of the fastest growing world religions.

  • In England, within ten years, more Muslims may attend Mosques each week than Christians attend Church, although the Islamic growth rate is now slowing.



Islam accepts Allah’s relationship to Abraham and also that Allah sent his prophets (including Jesus) but it considers that the message of the prophets and of Jesus was distorted by their followers.

  • Islam accepts Allah’s relationship to Abraham and also that Allah sent his prophets (including Jesus) but it considers that the message of the prophets and of Jesus was distorted by their followers.

  • Islam considers that Submission to God was the goal of all creation – this was the goal of which all the prophets speak. Service of God is the same as Submission and devotion to God.

  • The Qur’an has a unique status as it represents the final revelation of Allah. It is held to be divinely dictated directly to Muhammad who he held to have been illiterate.

  • The Qur’an is held to complement or corrects the distorted versions of God’s revelation found in Jewish and Christian scriptures.



“Tell the people, O Muhammad!



Abraham is the father of Islam through Ishmael his first born son.

  • Abraham is the father of Islam through Ishmael his first born son.

  • Abraham is the father of Judaism through his second son, Isaac and

  • Abraham is the father of Christianity through his faith.

  • The status of Abraham cannot be over-estimated to all three religions. Islam maintains that Ishmael, Abraham’s first born son, lived in the desert and his followers became the ‘hanif’ – believers in a single God who were not Jews or Christians. They wandered through the desert living very simply and valuing solitude and the search for God above everything.

  • Muhammad may have met some of these when he was younger and they could have influenced him – but this is disputed.



ISLAM

  • ISLAM



The Qur'an does not see Islam as a historical religion, moving from creation, through the prophets, culminating in Muhammad and then on to a final Judgement. There is no idea of a Fall, no idea of original sin and no redemption.

  • The Qur'an does not see Islam as a historical religion, moving from creation, through the prophets, culminating in Muhammad and then on to a final Judgement. There is no idea of a Fall, no idea of original sin and no redemption.

  • Salvation lies only in submission to God and there is no developing idea of God’s revelation through history. In that sense, it does not matter in what order the Holy Qur'an or the Hebrew scriptures are read – as they all contain a single message: Submission to God.

  • The nearest Islamic equivalent to salvation is ‘falah’ – fulfilment of the Divine will in time. This is the aim of all creation. There is a strong pre-destination element in Islam – as there is in Calvinist Christianity.



Two seemingly opposed but compatible positions need to be taken into account in understanding Islam:

  • Two seemingly opposed but compatible positions need to be taken into account in understanding Islam:

    • At one level, Muhammad is a man, not in any sense distinct from other men – although Muhammad is considered to be sinless.
    • At another level, Muhammad is the prophet of God and is absolutely central to Islam. The greatest offence non-Muslims can give to Muslims, is to misunderstand the unique place of the Prophet.
    • To understand Muhammad, one also needs to understand the world in which he was born and lived.


The land which is now Saudi Arabia was and is desert with fertile land on the coast & prominent oases inland. It was populated by many tribes (and within tribes there were clans) – particularly the roving Bedouin and the settled city tribes. One could not survive alone in this environment and loyalty to the tribe was fierce. Often the tribes were at war.

  • The land which is now Saudi Arabia was and is desert with fertile land on the coast & prominent oases inland. It was populated by many tribes (and within tribes there were clans) – particularly the roving Bedouin and the settled city tribes. One could not survive alone in this environment and loyalty to the tribe was fierce. Often the tribes were at war.



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