Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Overview of Islam

Much has been said by this President pertaining to Islam… Muslims… and so on.  With over 1.5 billion followers, Islam is the 2nd largest religion in the world and one of the fastest growing religions in the world.

Some so-called Christian Pastors have even blurred the lines by praying to the Christian Jesus and Muslim Jesus in the same prayer as if they were the same person (I'll show in this post that they are not).  In 2008, Rick Warren made this damning error in his inaugural prayer for the incoming President Barak Obama.  To skip to the place in question, you can skip forward to time index 3:58.  He prays in the name of ISA!  That's the Muslim designation for Jesus and that is NOT the Jesus we learn of in Scripture.

What I want to do with this post is 2 fold.  I want to (A) show you the reality of their beliefs so that we see just how they differ from the teachings of Christianity… (B) show you how we need to engage them with the Gospel.

I. The origin of the Name:

Starting with its very name.  Some Muslims contend that Islam is Arabic for “peace”.  The reality is that the Arabic word for Islam is “al-Silm”, which means ‘submission’ or ‘surrender’.

Peace and submission are not the same concepts.  Islam teaches that the devastation and acts of Jihad, which we call terrorism, is in fact NOT inhumane, but rather its violence and bloodshed is necessary because its ultimate goal is to bring peace that is protected by the rule of law.

What law you might ask?  Shar’ia Law, which we will get into a little later on.

The truth is that the Quran not only calls Muslims to submit to Allah, it also commands them to subdue people of other religions until they are in a full state of submission to Islamic rule.

This taken straight from the Quran.  Surah 9:5 – And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists where you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.

Polytheists… that’s us because we believe in a Triune God and they don’t understand that He is one God in three persons.

It goes on to say that if they will convert, then let them go, but then in Surah 9:14 says that if a convert to Islam breaks their oath to Allah, “Fight them: Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people.”

Surah 9:29 – Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given scripture, - fight until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

The jizyah is a tax levied against unbelievers who convert as a signifier of their acceptance of the Islamic rule over them.

Surah 9:30 – The Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before them.  May Allah destroy them.

II. Where did this religion come from?

Well, approximately 1,500 years ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, a man name Muhammad was sitting inside a cave and he was contemplating and meditating on life… so on and so forth.  During his time of contemplation he claims that an angel named Gabriel visited him.

The angel delivered certain messages to him there and continued to visit him and reveal things to him across the next 23 years.

He used these angelic revelations to form the basis of what is known today as Islam.  Although Muhammad really began the religion, he claimed that Abraham was also a Muslim and he that he wasn’t creating a religion but rather he was just calling people back to the truth.

The Abraham that we know about from the Bible book of Genesis is actually mentioned in the Koran although the details of his life and beliefs are obviously distorted.  Surah 33:67 – Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah].  And he was not of the polytheists.

They actually go so far as to teach that Adam was a Muslim and he was the 1st prophet of Allah.  In addition to that, according to Islam, Noah, Moses, David, John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ were all prophets of Allah and Muhammad is the last and greatest of all the prophets.

After Muhammad died, his followers disagreed on who should be his successor, and so they divided into 2 main groups: The Sunnis and the Shi’ites.  About 85% of the Muslims in the world are Sunni Muslims and the other 15% Shi’ite.

Their aren’t just loads of differences… both hold to the teachings of the Koran and believe Islam should rule the world by any means necessary.  The major difference in views comes to their belief about a person named Mahdi (which means ‘the rightly guided one) who will appear in the end times with Jesus and Jesus will follow him.

The Shi’ites believe him to be the son of an Imam named Hasan al-Ashair and so he has come already but is hiding.  The Sunnis believe that he has not yet come because he is someone else.

The Shi’tes believe he is here not but hidden and is waiting for the proper time to spear.  Because of their differeing beliefs on who is the rightful ruler of Islam and which family lineage of Muhammad should be in rule, they sometimes have inner turmoil over recognizing and submitting to certain rulers.

The Sunnis lost controlling power at the end of WWII and saw this loss as devastating!  They were disgusted by the influence of Europe and the West (which includes America) after this loss because it began to have sway over some of their people.

The Sunni Muslims have been angered by this ever since the removal of their “dominion” style government and have been at war with the West and Europe ever since… Osama bin Laden was a Sunni Muslim.  To him, the end of “dominion” reign in the 1920’s was so devastating that in a post 9/11 video he said… “What America is tasting now is only a copy of what we have endured…”

Shi’ites are no more peaceful… they have allied with the Sunnis against the West for more than 80 years now.

III.) Who was Muhammad

So, who was Muhammad?  Is Muhammad a great peace-loving humanitarian like many try to portray him today?  Well, let’s see…

Muhammad lost both of his parents in childhood.  His father died before he was born and his mother died when he was around 3 years old.  He was raised, primarily, by his grandfather.  He was married at age 25 to his then boss, Khadija, who was a wealthy widow and who was 15 years older than he was.  She died at age 65, well after the conception of Islam having used her money to help finance the begninnign of Islam and converting to Islam herself.

Around 35 Muhammad started going outside of Mecca to Mt. Hira for meditation and contemplation.  The first time he was “visited” he was scared because he believed it to be an evil Jinn which is an evil being created by fire and that are invisible but dwell on the earth.

After that he later said that the first visit was from the angel Gabriel and not a Jinn.  That happened around 610 AD.  Sometimes he saw Gabriel and other angels, sometimes he only heard him and other times he only heart the sound of bells that he could understand as a divine language.

Muhammad was illiterate and so he was told to memorize these things told to him.  The things told to him began in 610 and lasted 23 years until his death in 632AD.

The Jews in Medina disagreed with Muhammad’s teachings and Muhammad said that the Jews and Christians had misread the Scriptures.  One day, while praying with the Jews facing Jerusalem he turned towards Mecca saying that Mecca was the true place of worship because it was built by Abraham.

After about 2 years in Medina the Muslims were not growing very quickly and financially they were strapped.  Well wasn’t it convenient for them then that Muhammad soon after had a “revelation” which directed Muslims to attack and raid passing caravans.

After that Muhammad was relatively unchallenged in any quests having up to as many as 10,000 men at one point early on.

IV.) What did Muhammad believe:

Well, we’ve already seen how he feels about other religions… so they are not the tolerant religion of peace that they claim to be…

Incidentally, the issue of the Muslim Mosques… anyone know the reason they should NOT be built in America?  Well, it is because they are more than a place of worship!    Islam is more than a religion, it is a religion and a political ideology.  They believe their religion should reign the world.  Their mosques are erected after they feel they’ve infiltrated or conquered a nation.

They worship their and they exact Shar’ia Law from there as well.  They enforce Islamic law from there… Muslims in America are already pushing to have court cases involving Muslims tried in a court of Shar’ia Law rather than in the courts of this Nation.  ***SHOW SLIDE***

V.) What else does Islam teach?

1.) Pertaining to Women:

    Women are war prizes and objects used to fulfill the sexual desire of men.  Muhammad wrote that     women are to “lower their gaze around men”. (Surah 24:31) and that you “should marry the     women of your choice, two or three or four” (Surah 4:3)

    Surah 4:24 & 33:50 teach that a man can take women who are not his wife as their sex slave and     this is encouraged for the wives in nations that they have conquered to disgrace their husbands.

    1/5 of all the spoils of war (which included women) were to be given to Muhammad.  The same     applies today only it is given to his descendants.

Among his 12 total wives, Muhammad had a bride who was 6 years old at the time that he married her named Ayesha.  Now he may have married her at 6 but he waited till she was older to have relations with her… she was the ripe old age of 9 when he consummated the marriage relationship…

12 wives plus all his slave women who were mostly Jewish women captured during his military conquests.  Muhammad said that a girl can be taken in marriage at ant age, by any age man, and that women could be married for religion (meaning to advance the spread of Islam to a foreign nation), wealth, or beauty.

There are fives basic tenets that inform the practice of Islam and these 5 tenets are to be practiced by all Muslims… they are known as the 5 Pillars of Islam.

Pillar #1 – Shahada

You must confess that there is no true god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.  Incidentally, all other

Pillar #2 – Salat

This is a prayer ritual that involves purification of the body and soul.  Prayer must be done 5 times a day.  The first is at dawn, the last at sunset.

Pillar #3 – Saum

Saum is the time of fasting that is observed during the month of Ramadan, which they are currently in right now.  It begins with a large feast where they eat their fill and then it is followed by a fast from all good and drink (except water), and absolutely no sexual activity.

Pillar #4 – Zakat

A charity given to the poor.  It benefits the poor and it helps the giver by moving him towards holiness and submission to Allah, further helping him earn Paradise.

Pillar #5 – Hajj

Hajj means ‘pilgrimage’.  All Muslims must make a pilgrimage to Mecca, if they are able, sometime in their lifetime.

Of course in the media you hear lots about how only some Muslims are terrorists… that only the “radical” Muslims who have “hijacked” the religion are the killers… and I will be the first to tell you that obviously not every Muslim is a terrorist… however, it isn’t “radical” Muslims who are committing terror acts, it is obedient ones.

Obedient Muslims that are blowing things up and killing people are obedient Muslims.  The “peaceful” Muslims are really just backslidden Muslims because they aren’t following with their own lives, the teachings they claim to believe.

On top of that, there is one more aspect to Islam that is very scary indeed.  The practice of Taqiyya.  The word "al-Taqiyya" literally means: "Concealing or disguising one's beliefs, convictions, ideas, feelings, opinions, and/or strategies at a time of imminent danger, whether now or later in time, to save oneself from physical and/or mental injury."

Taqiyya teaches Muslims that at any time they may lie and it is not sinful.  They can lie if it protects their lives or if it helps to deceive the non-believers and advance the rule and power of Islam.  So the danger is, how do we know which Muslims are backslidden Muslims who aren’t being obedient by killing people, and which ones ARE terrorists who are practicing Taqiyya?

Finally, VI.) Salvation - For the Muslim to be saved they must depend on their own works to please Allah.  When they die and are judged by Allah, if they have done enough good deeds to outweigh their bad deeds and sins then they have hope that Allah MIGHT let them into paradise.  But there is no way for them to be sure.  Even if they pray for forgiveness they may or may not be forgiven.

If we are going to reach Muslims with the Gospel, we must remember to define our terms.  Jesus to them (Isa) is not the Jesus of the Bible.  We need to explain who Jesus is.  We need to use the Law to reveal their sin and show them that the Bible says that salvation is NOT of works lest no man should boast… and that the Bible says that if we confess our sin to God He is faithful to forgive us!

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