The religious beliefs of Islam include the concept of God, their creed, the prophethood of Hazrat Mohammed, the uniqueness of the Quran and the worldview aspects of Islam. These and a few more topics are discussed briefly in this post.
In Islam, God is called Allah. The word Allah means God. It is derived from Arabic. Islam is a monotheistic religion in the absolute sense. Allah is God, and there is no other God but Allah. Allah is absolute unity as opposed to the Christian Trinitarian God. Allah is a person as opposed to the impersonal God of Pantheism. The most repeated attribute of Allah in the Quran is that he is merciful. Every Chapter (Surah) of the Quran, except the ninth, starts with the phrase, “Bismillah Ar- Rahman Ar-Rahim,” meaning “In the name of Allah, the merciful and bestower of mercy.”
The God of Islam is described with ninety-nine attributes. First Category describes the absolute being and unity of Allah. It is described with seven names. The second category describes him as the creator of all and contains five names. The third category presents his moral attributes with four names. Fourth category describes his general attributes with eighteen names. The fifth category presents his beautiful attributes with twenty-four names. The sixth category describes his awe-inspiring attributes such as his absolute power and sovereignty with forty-one names.
The first important difference between Allah and the God of the Bible is that the God of the Bible is Trinitarian as opposed to the absolute unity of Allah. The Quran emphatically states as opposed to the Bible that God is neither begotten nor does he beget. Allah does not love everyone. He loves only the faithful believers. He does not love sinners. Though there is lot of similarities with the God of the Bible, Allah is merciful, but not loving. In the New Testament, God is described as “Love.” “God is love,” states the Apostle John. No such character is attributed to Allah.
Allah is also described in the Quran as a deceiver, not just deceiver but the best of all deceivers. The God of the Bible does not deceive and is described in Jesus as the truth. It is Satan who is described in the Bible as the deceiver.
Allah, as opposed to the God of the Bible, does not want all people to be saved. He has created jinns and some men for hell. God is absolutely sovereign and decrees the destiny of all men. The Christian version of it is believed by a small group of Calvinists called supralapsarians, who believe in a double-predestination. Nevertheless, the topic of God’s sovereignity and human freedom is a debated issue in all forms of monotheism. It is even seen in Hindu monotheism, where the human nature is debated to be either like a monkey, who has inherent capacity to hold onto its mother, or like a kitten, who has no capacity to hold onto its mother in which the mother does all the lifting without the participation of the newborn kitten. The clearest picture of the absolute sovereignty of God is found in the Quran where God does not love everyone and has created some men for hell.
“All is from God, God made jin and men for hell.” – Quran 4: 80.
God can be known from the revelation of the Quran. The word for revelation is Wahi in Arabic, meaning a word-for-word reception of the Word of God and pertaining to the Quran. This is also different from the biblical idea of inspiration which is verbal-plenary but not word-for-word reception. The word ilham in Arabic, meaning inspiration, is reserved for the traditions called Ahadis, which are based on the sayings and actions which constitute the Sunnat of Prophet Mohammed. Revelation gave rise to the Quran and inspiration pertains to the Sunnat. These two are the standard for the religious, social, judicial and personal laws of Islam. The Ahadis were collected and written by six men, and these six collections are called ‘Six True Sayings’ (saha-e-sittah).
The word Quran is derived from the word Qara meaning to read, but is understood as to recite or to proclaim. The Quran contains 114 chapters and verses amounting to 6,000 in the Madina edition, 6,219 in the Meccah edition and 6,236 in the Kufa edition. This equates to 77,639 verses and 3,23,015 letters. This is important in light of the fact that the Quran was received word-for-word. The variations in the number of chapters in the various editions constitutes a problem to the claim that the Quran has been preserved word-for-word. This plainly indicates it has not and therefore is corrupted.
The Quran was not collected and composed into a book until the time of Uthman, the second caliph of the Islamic civilization. Uthman collected the Quran as remembered by those who have memorized it from various places of the Islamic empire, then composed the existing version from them, and then destroyed the other collection from which it was composed.
The Quran claims to confirm the teachings of the Tauret (Pentateuch), Zabur (Psalms), Sahaif – Ambiah (Prophets) and Injil (Gospels). It does not claim that the earlier scriptures are corrupted, but only that the Jews and Christians have distorted its meaning. It teaches that these earlier revelations are valid and true. In spite of the repeated proclamations of the Islamic theologians and apologists, the Quran in no place claims that the earlier revelations have been corrupted. In fact, it teaches that the revelations of Allah cannot be corrupted. (A)
The Quran is believed to be the final, full and perfect revelation of God. It is authoritative but its interpretation is dependent on the Ahadis, where the words and actions of the Prophet Mohammed are recorded. There is no equivalent of sola scriptura (only Quran with tradition). The Quran and the Ahadis (tradition) go together.
The Quran describes the Trinity as including Allah, Mary and Jesus. Muslims explain it as Mohammed addressing a group of heretic Christians who believed in such a Trinity. Muslims also believe that Christians worship three Gods. They fail to understand the Trinity and see it as tri-theism, involving the worship of Mary, Jesus and Allah. The Trinity understood in the Bible denotes one God, revealed in three persons, which is unity in essence but diversity in persons. Thus, Trinity describes both unity of God and diversity within the context of that unity.
The Quran teaches that Jesus was not crucified and did not die but was taken up by Allah and will return as a Muslim, get married, have children, die and be buried next to Prophet Mohammed. These things are yet to happen. Muslims are also expecting the second coming of Jesus. Jesus, according to the Quran is a mere human, but a great Prophet who was the virgin-born son of Mary, performed miracles, including raising the dead, but he himself did not die or rise again from the dead as Christians believe. The biblical and extra-biblical evidence for the death and the empty tomb of Jesus, early rapid spread of Christianity and the early sources (extra-biblical, Roman and Jewish) depicting Christians as worshipping Jesus in the first century contradict the Quran which came six centuries later with its counter claims. (B)
From (A) and (B), it can be seen that it is the Quran that is corrupted and contradictory to the historical records of first century.
Islam, as a worldview, fits well with the Judeo-Christian worldview of Monotheism. It can well be called Judeo-Christian–Islamic worldview. God is infinite and personal, as opposed to Pantheism where God is infinite and impersonal. Man is finite and contingent. Time is linear. Absolute morality exists, and God will judge humanity for everything done during his lifetime on the judgment day. The faithful, according to the Quran, go to Heaven (Jennet) and the infidels end up in hell. Sin is real and exacts punishment that can be avoided by receiving forgiveness from God. God is all-merciful.
“Ya ilah illa allah Mohammed ur rasul allah,” meaning “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” Anyone who confesses this is a Muslim. So Islam is all about the exclusivity of Allah as the only God and the prophethood of Mohammed.
The sin of joining other gods to Allah is called shirk. Muslims believe that Christians are committing shirk when they uphold Jesus as divine and worship him along with God the Father. Unbelievers are called infidels (kefirs).
SALVATION IN ISLAM:
Salvation in Islam is for those who believe in the Islamic creed and those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Some believe that ultimately all who believe in the creed of Islam will be saved by the intercession of Mohammad. Others, who hold to the absolute sovereignty of God, believe that whomever God wills to be in heaven will be in heaven and those whom he created for hell will be in hell.
Prophet Mohammed is the greatest and final prophet of Islam. His recitation of the Quran in beautiful language is itself considered a miracle and his only alleged miracle. All true Muslims believe in the prophethood of Mohammed. He is the model man, whom they try to imitate. Even the beards of Muslims and the pants that remain above the ankle are all styled from Prophet Mohammed.
Although Prophet Mohammed is considered a prophet of God, it is clear that he is not. To start with, when the revelations started coming to him, he experienced choking and seizure attacks that he attributed to Satan. He did not initially believe he was to be a messenger. It was his wife Khadija’s uncle, a Christian monk, who interpreted these revelations as messages from God and convinced him that he was a messenger of God. Secondly, the controversial Satanic verses, based on the novel ‘Satanic Verses’ was written as proof against his prophethood. The ‘Satanic Verses’ pertain to a passage where Mohammed accepts the gods of the Qureshi tribe as the chief intercessors to Allah. He later recants that by stating that Satan put those words in his mouth in order to relieve himself of the blame of compromising the exclusivity and uniqueness of Allah as the only true God. In this regard, Prophet Mohammed commits the sin of shirk by enjoining associates to Allah. This incident happened, and it shows how Mohammed, fearing his life, tried to compromise the message revealed to him about the exclusivity of Allah as the only true God to win the favour of the Qureshi tribe. It was not Satan who put those words in his mouth. It was his own compromise, and he used Satan’s name to give an excuse for the compromise.
His life, attitude and actions in Madina where he acquired political power were very different from those in Mecca where he was a minority and where he was persecuted for his message. He started looting, pillaging the Meccan caravans and made war on his enemies. He was more of a political leader using religion and his status as a prophet to control people and gain more power. He said Allah promised Heaven for those who fight in the name of Islam and thus mustered up an army of death- loyal followers, willing to die for him and go to heaven, where he promised that God would give virgins to enjoy and wine to drink.
His marriages, especially after the death of his first wife Khadija, were numerous and included one five year old girl called Aisha and another to his daughter-in law, wife of his adopted son Zaid, who was told, based on a revelation from Allah, to divorce his wife so that Mohammed could marry her.
Moreover, Mohammed was a man of war, who was associated with much bloodshed, and following his pattern, has led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, becoming a global threat to the peace and security of the nations of the free world.
Biblically speaking, Prophet Mohammed fits well with the description of the Anti-Christ who will deny Christ as revealed in the New Testament. The teaching of Islam is another gospel and the Jesus of Islam is another Jesus, a fabricated one. This message from an angel who denied Jesus as Lord is the Spirit of the Anti-Christ, persecuting Christians and deceiving millions of Muslims and causing terror, unrest, confusion and misunderstandings among men. Prophet Mohammed did not bring any good news. He was using religion to control people and gain political power, religious power and sensual pleasure. The fruits of the life of Mohammed show that he is a false prophet and deceiver, who was himself deceived by deceiving Spirit, the angel of light, Satan himself, masquerading as angel Gabriel and deceiving millions.
Islam is one of the strong last day delusions prophesied in the Bible.
The final judgment is an important and repeated theme of the teaching of the Quran. Surprisingly, it is Jesus who will come as a Judge and not Mohammed. It is on that fateful day that the life of all men will be weighed and the eternal destinies will be decided.
HEAVEN AND HELL:
Islam teaches that believers will inherit Jennet or Heaven, where there is a beautiful garden with tropical fruits and voluptuous virgins and wine for the enjoyment of the faithful. This picture of heaven is so worldly and sinful from the point of view of the Bible, which describes heaven as the place where man can have perfect fellowship and communion with God. The only way one can be sure of reaching heaven is by dying as a martyr in the Holy War (Jihad). Theses alone can have assurance of Salvation.
Islam also teaches that all the unbelievers, atheists, polytheists, Christians and Jews will be doomed to hell.
The Quran also talks about supernatural beings like angels (Gabriel), Satan, and also Jins.
RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:
In Islam God is fully transcendent and does not relate to men directly but only through angels. In direct opposition to Christian teaching, he does not enter into a personal relationship with people and he cannot be called Father. He does not love all people either. He is to be believed, feared and obeyed. He loves only those who obey him. He does not love sinners.
In conclusion, Islam, although it has a lot of similarities to the Christian faith, is a counterfeit religion which masquerades as the truth and has, is, and will deceive millions into believing a lie. It gives an alternate Jesus who did not die for the sins of the world on the cross. It is an efficient tool of the devil to fool ordinary men and prevent humans from having a right relationship with God.
WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?
The next post in this series will deal with the religious practices of Muslims.
For Allah :
Ahmed Shah, “Theology Muslim and Christian”, Lucknow Publishing House
Holy Quran: quran.com
For Satanic Verses:
Al- Tabari, “Tarique” , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanic_Verses#Tabar.C4.AB.27s_account
For First Revelation of Mohammed:
Richard Cranda, “Islam: The Enemy”, Google Book Preview: http://tinyurl.com/owehjao