BASIC OVERVIEW OF ISLAM
- An open door:
- Pendulum is swinging with increasing evidence that Islam's time may have come.
- Effective approach to Muslims has already been done by Christian missionaries.
- Apologetical material already exists in abundance, and is being made available.
- Historical Criticism on both the authority of Muhammad and the Qur'an is available.
- Disillusionment: Educated Muslims are losing their faith due to reading this material.
- Muslims worldwide being converted to Christ through supernatural dreams and visions.
- Access to Muslims is better than ever before: satellite, Internet, literature, radio
- and (most importantly) through ethnic minorities living and studying in the West.
- Muslims have come to us; they are living in our country and speak our language!
- Still one in five of the world's 5 billion population
- while even today there is only one Protestant missionary for every 500,000 Muslims.
It is clear that the harvest fields are ready but the labourers are few (Matt. 9:37-38). There is an urgent need to raise up and train British students and graduates to take on the challenge.
- History of Islam:
- 570-646 A.D. Islam's birth (Islamic Traditional account vs. Orientalist account)
- [Muhammad the Prophet - Mecca]
- 570 A.D.= Muhammad was born to Abdullah and Amina (Quraishi family)
- 610 A.D.= received revelations after meditating for 6 months in Hira cave.
- 622 A.D.= Hijra-the migration with 200 to Medina, beginning of political power.
- [Muhammad the Statesman - Medina]
- 622-630 A.D.= Battles Badr, Uhud, the Ditch, and 700 Jews (3 families) killed.
- 630 A.D.= Mecca conquered, bringing control of Arabian peninsula.
- 632 A.D.= Death of Muhammad.
- 646 A.D.= writing down of Qur'an by Zaid Ibn Thabit, under Uthman's auspice.
- 632-800 A.D. Islam's Conquest (Byzantium/Persian, Umayyad, Abbasid)
- with weakened Byzantium and Persian empires, a vacuum was left which Islam quickly filled, dominating Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, Egypt, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula, and as far as India in the west; a major blow to Christian Church.
- 661 A.D. SHI'ITES split over Muhammad's successor.
- 732 A.D. Charles Martel stops Islam at TOURS, France.
- 750-1300 A.D. Stagnation (Mongols in east and Christians in west: 5th Crusade (1220)
- Abbasid Caliphate: Stagnation and Decline; Mongols in east and Christians in west: 5th Crusade (1220).
- 1300-1500 A.D. Expansion (Ottoman Empire, Moghuls in India)
- Ottoman Empire: Turkey and Mongol converts. Islam predominant in world. Moghuls in India. Push to Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, the Balkan states).
- 1500-1988 A.D. Decline and Resurgence (1923-Ataturk, 1960 independence, oil)
- Decline of Ottoman and Mongol empires, and European expansion.
- 1923-Ataturk dismantles Caliphate (end of the Khalifah).
- 1960 independence, oil, Khomeini brings about Islamic pride...
- The Scriptures
-Torah, Zabur, Injil, QUR'AN (from eternal tablet in heaven = Sura 85:22).
Qur'an:114 chapters = suras, and 6,666 verses = ayas, superceding all other revelations.
- Three periods of Qur'anic revelation:
(Note: chapters are named after the place where they were revealed - Meccan and Medina)
600 verses deal with Law in the Qur'an
- 1st Meccan (610-615):
- WARNINGS and leading ideas. Mostly in poetical style and short (i.e. 96, 74, 81, 83, 87, 111, 112).
- 2nd Meccan (616-622):
- longer suras, doctrines with Biblical material. Claims one true religion (i.e. 53,43,38,39,17,23,46,72).
- Medinan (623-632):
- Long suras as well, zeroing in on divine approval of Muhammad's leadership. Historical events noted. Change from preacher to prince, more political and social (i.e. Sura 33:2, 23, 33,3 7 = approval of Zaid)
- Collation of Qur'an:
Zayd-ibn-Thabit collected Qur'an from other's memory, parchment, papyrus, stones, palm leaves, shoulder blades, animal's ribs, leather, boards. Final copy (Uthmanic recension) using Hafsa's copy, 4 copies made, and sent to Basra, Baghdad, Damascus, and Medina. All other codices (Ibn Musa, Ibn Masud, Ubayy Ibn Ka'ab) were burned.
- Authority of the Qur'an:
It claims to be from God, perfect linguistically, scientifically, historically, and with no human authorship. It is a miracle, as the prophet was illiterate. Problems with Sources, Hafsa, Errors, Abrogations and only for Arabs. (* See paper on "the Qur'an, An Apologetic")
- Teachings of Islam: (Islam means submission, Muslim = one who submits)
Six Muslim Beliefs = Iman (*=See paper on Christian Response to Iman)
- Belief in One God Allah: god is unique, all powerful and merciful to Muslims.
- Belief in the Prophets: (126,000) including: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad the greatest.
- Belief in the Holy Books: (5) Suhuf (scrolls of Ibrahim), Taurut (Moses), Zabur (David), Injil (Jesus), Qur'an (Muhammad); [Also, Sunnah (Hadith), Ijma (unanimous agreement), Qias (analogical reasoning, measured with the above)]
- Belief in Angels (and Evil Spirits): Iblis, Jibra'il, Mika'il, Izra'il, Israfil.
- Belief in the Day of Judgment: good/bad deeds balanced by "book of destiny" predestined by Allah, puts the book in right hand=saved & will cross razor-sharp bridge, unsaved beaten & falls into Jahenna.
-Paradise="Garden of delight" with virgins, fruits and springs of water.
-Hell= (Jahenna) roasted, boiling water, pus, and torments.
- Belief in Decrees and Predestination of Allah: Everything, including good and evil is preordained by Allah, thus man resigned to fate (Kismet); and calls for In-sh'allah (thus fanaticism in war, and resigned to defeat and catastrophes)
- Practices of Islam "5 Pillars" (Deen)
(Shi'ites would add Jihad = striving in the cause of God)
- There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.
- Prayer five times a day, facing Mecca.
- Alms of 1/40 or 2.5% (plus Sadaqah = voluntary offerings).
- fast of Ramadan (9th month) begins and ends with distinguishing between threads.
- The pilgrimage to the Ka'ba in Mecca once in one's lifetime.
- The Divisions of Islam
- Sunni (4 Caliphs)
- Shi'a (Ali only)
- Shi'ites (Twelvers) - Iran, India, Iraq; Isma'ilis (Seveners) - India, Syria, East Africa (Aga Khan); Zaydis - Yemen; Druzes - Lebanon
- Sufis and Ahmadiyya