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Understanding Islam. Why spend time studying Islam?  Islam is the second largest religion in the world  Islam is the fastest growing religion both in.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Islam. Why spend time studying Islam?  Islam is the second largest religion in the world  Islam is the fastest growing religion both in."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Islam

2 Why spend time studying Islam?  Islam is the second largest religion in the world  Islam is the fastest growing religion both in the world and the USA  Many terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden & those associated with Al Qaeda are Muslims, who claim the teachings of Islam as the main reason behind their acts of terrorism  There is a world of confusion about Islam today, especially in the media, in our government, and in the church

3 What is Islam?  Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world  The word Islam comes from an Arabic word which means “submission”  Followers of Islam are called Muslims

4 Facts about Islam:  There are over 1.3 billion Muslims in the world  Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the world (2.9%)  Islam is also the fastest growing religion in America  It is the second largest religion practiced in the world, next to “Christianity”

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6 Facts about Islam:  Countries with significant Muslim population: –Indonesia – 88% - 210 million –Pakistan – 97% - 154 million –India – 12% - 128 million –Bangladesh – 83% - 117 million  There are approximately 7 million Muslims living in the United States today According to the CIA Handbook, 2004

7 Roots of Islam:  At the time, the Arabian tribes living in that area practiced polytheism, with some 360 known deities  In 610 AD, Muhammad claims to have received the first of several visions from the angel Gabriel  He continued to receive visions for the next 22 years until his sudden death in 632 AD  These visions comprise the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an  Islam began in Saudi Arabia by an Arab man named Muhammad (570-632 AD)

8 Roots of Islam:  Muhammad’s visions led him to believe that there was only one god, Allah – and he began to preach against the polytheism of his day  In 622, persecution eventually led to Muhammad and about 100 families fleeing from Mecca (his home town) to Yathrib (which is now called Medina)  This event is now referred to as “Hijrah,” and marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar

9 Roots of Islam:  Muhammad and his army led several sieges against Mecca  After forming a treaty with his own tribe, the Quraysh, he and his army took control of Mecca without a fight in 630  He personally destroyed the idols in the Ka’bah, and was able to unify all of the Arab tribes under Islam within year  Muhammad died suddenly on June 8, 632

10 Types of Islam:  After his death, much confusion and disagreement among Muslims led to the forming of different sects of Islam:  Although there are more than 72 different sects (denominations) of Islam practiced today, there are two main types that make up the majority of Islam

11 Major sects of Islam:  Sunni –Believe the successor to Muhammad should be elected –Believe religious authority comes from the Qur’an, the Hadith, and the counsel of the elders (ulama) –Believe there should be a separation between religiuos and civil authority  Shi’ite –Believe the successor to Muhammad should be from his bloodline –Believe that authority comes from the Iman, and later the ulama –Believe there should be no separation between religious and civil authority

12 Sources of authority:  Muslims view Islam as the final revelation, superseding the Law of Moses (Taurat), the Psalms of David (Jabur), and the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Injil)  While the holy book of Islam, the Qur’an, indicates that the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are both authoritative and uncorrupted (5:68), modern Muslim belief is that the Bible has been corrupted and is no longer authoritative Say: "O People of the Book! you have no ground to stand upon unless you stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.“ (Qur’an 5:68)

13 Sources of authority:  The Qur’an  Hadith – the traditions of the prophet  Qiyas – analogies taught by Muslim scholars based upon the Qur’an and the Hadith  Ijma – the consensus of the community & especially of Islamic scholars

14 What is the Qur’an?  The Qur’an (also spelled Koran) is the holy book of Islam  The word Qur’an means “recitations”  The Qur’an contains the visions which Muhammad received from the angel Gabriel  The Qur’an is made up of 114 surahs or chapters  The Qur’an is written in Arabic, an ancient Semitic language similar to Hebrew & Aramaic

15 One of the earliest manuscripts of the Qur’an, dated to the 7 th century AD (or the 1 st Islamic century)

16 Two early manuscripts, dated to the 8 th century AD or the 2 nd Islamic century

17 The earliest complete manuscript of the Qur’an, dated to 1002 AD (393 AH – “After the Hijrah)

18 “Alif Laam Raa, A Book which We have revealed unto thee, in order that thou mightest lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into light - by the leave of their Lord - to the Way of (Him) the Exalted in power, worthy of all praise!” – Qur’an 14:1

19 What is the Qur’an?  The revelation of Allah in His own words – the eternal, uncreated speech of Allah  Delivered by the Angel Gabriel  Given to the prophet Muhammad  Which supercedes all previous revelation (ie, the Bible)

20 What is the Qur’an?  The Qur’an was not written by Muhammad  The Qur’an was written shortly after Muhammad’s death by his followers over a period of about 30 years  Muhammad was said to have recited to his followers the contents of his visions, which his followers memorized  His followers then wrote down the contents of the Qur’an from memory  There are no original manuscripts of the Qur’an

21 5 Pillars of Islam 1. Faith (Confession of the Faith) – Shahadah –La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammad rasul Allah –“There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” –Spoken with sincerity, this confession is all that one must do to become a Muslim

22 5 Pillars of Islam 2.Prayer – Salat –Pray 5 times a day (early morning, noon, mid- afternoon, sunset, evening) –A Friday afternoon service is also required –Pray facing Mecca –Salat is also required at funerals and during the two eclipses (sun & moon)

23 5 Pillars of Islam 3.Almsgiving – Zakat –A tax of 2.5% due once annually –Some Muslim governments collect the tax –Every man 16 years and older pays the tax

24 5 Pillars of Islam 4.Fasting – Sawm –A 30 day fast that occurs from sunrise to sunset during the 9 th month of Ramadan (Sept/Oct) –During the last 10 days, Muslim men observe the “night of power” (a vigil-type retreat) –Muslims must fast from food, drink, smoking, and sexual relations –However, they can partake of any of those activities after sunset –The fast is a commemoration of Muhammad’s receiving of the Qur’an during the 9 th month

25 5 Pillars of Islam 5.Pilgrimage - Hajj –The pilgrimage to Mecca is required once in each Muslim’s life –They must be able to afford the trip – no loans are allowed –Before entering Mecca, the male Muslim must put on special clothes, and observe several complicated rites during the trip –Guides are offered to help Muslims through the obscure and difficult rituals

26 What Muslims Believe:

27 The Muslim Creed: “I believe in Allah; and in His Angels; and in His Scriptures; and in His Messengers; and in The Final Day; and in Fate, that Good and Evil are from Allah, and Resurrection after death be Truth. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship but Allah; and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger.”

28 Six Articles of Belief

29 1. Belief in Allah  The word “Allah” in Arabic means “the deity, or the god.”  Allah is the general word in Arabic for god, and thus is not a proper name (i.e., like the name Yahweh or Jesus)  This is why missionaries to Arabic-speaking countries often use the word “Allah” to translate the Hebrew word Elohim or the Greek word Theos from the Old & New Testaments into Arabic.

30 1. Belief in Allah  However, in many parts of the world, the word Allah has come to mean “the god of Muslims” or the “god of the Qur’an.”  Therefore it can function almost as a proper name for the Muslim god, depending upon the context  But because Allah is just the general word for god in Arabic, English-speaking Muslims will often just use the word “God” to refer to the god of the Qur’an – which creates a lot of confusion.

31 1. Belief in Allah  The Oneness of Allah – absolute monotheism –“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful. Proclaim: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.” - (Qur’an 112:1-5) –Allah has no partners or associates (son, spirit, etc.)

32 1. Belief in Allah  Allah is Transcendent – the Creator Allah is He beside Whom there is no god, Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful. Allah is He beside Whom there is no god, the Sovereign, the Most Holy, the Source of Peace, the Bestower of Security, the Protector, the Mighty, the Subduer, the Exalted. Holy is Allah, far above that which they associate with Him. Allah is He, the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner; His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. He is the Mighty, the Wise. (Qur’an 59:22-24)

33 1. Belief in Allah  Allah is Merciful –Every chapter in the Qur’an except one begins with the phrase: In the name of Allah, the gracious, the merciful –But the Muslim concept of mercy is more about benevolence and providential care (for example, sending rain) – It is not his gracious mercy in not punishing people as they deserve

34 1. Belief in Allah  Allah is Holy  Allah is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent  Allah is the judge

35 2. Belief in Angels  Angels fill the gap as mediators between god and man  Most angels are good messengers and helpers of Allah. One, however, is evil: Iblis (Satan), who was thrown out of heaven for refusing to bow down to Adam (Qur’an 7:11-18).  Each person has 2 angels assigned to him: one to record a person’s good deeds and the second to record his bad deeds  Other supernatural beings of fire are the jinn. They are lower than angels, limited in life-span, male or female, good or evil.

36 3. Belief in the books (sent by Allah)  The Qur’an - the uncreated, perfect word of Allah  The Bible – Muslims acknowledge the Bible as real revelation, but believe it has become corrupt and is therefore no longer authoritative

37 4. Belief in all prophets and Messengers (sent by Allah)  A messenger (rasul) is sent with the Word of God (Scripture) to guide and reform the recipients: Moses (the Taurat), David (the Zabur), Jesus (the Injil), and Muhammad (the Qur’an).  A prophet carries information or declares the word of Allah, but does not necessarily receive a divine book  The Qur’an mentions 25 prophets, the Hadith mentions 124,000 prophets  Adam, Abel, Abraham, Lot, Moses, Jonah, Jesus, John, etc.  Muhammad (the “last messenger” or “seal of the prophets”)

38 5. Belief in fate (Qadar)  Muslims believe in Qadar or “fate”  While believing also in a certain amount of free will, Muslims believe that Allah has sovereignty predestined all that will happen  Qadar also includes the belief in Allah as the creator of all things

39 6. Belief in the day of judgment and the resurrection  Islam teaches a day of judgment, bodily resurrection, the immortality of the soul, and a literal heaven and hell  The living and the dead shall be gathered in the presence of Allah and judged by the book placed in their hands. The book will be handed to each in either the left hand or the right hand.  Those men that enter heaven will also have their wives and children with them  Islam even teaches that Jesus will be involved in some end-time events

40 Salvation in Islam  Islam calls all people to repentance The messengers of God, whose proud lives were never penetrated by any element of sin, would always invite sinners to seek God’s forgiveness and encourage them to place their hopes in His mercy, for His kindness and compassion toward His believing servants are such that He would never abandon them in the dark pit of disobedience and sin. On the contrary, He invites all men to return to Him, and it is up to us to answer His call and thus act to attain our salvation. God’s acceptance of repentance indicates a particular worthiness in man to receive God’s mercy, a worthiness which causes the gates of forgiveness to remain open before sinners. They have the opportunity to express contrition and shame before God over their dark past and to abandon and attempt to make up for the evil they have committed. If they do this, all their misfortune will be turned to good fortune, and all their darkness to light. —Sayyid Mujtaba Musavi Lari, Resurrection Judgement and the Hereafter: Lessons on Islamic Doctrine (Book Three), trans. By Hamid Algar (N.p.: Foundation of Islamic Cultural Propagation in the World, 1992), 163

41 Salvation in Islam  Islam does not allow “fox-hole” conversions The one who continues to sin until he witnesses death and then begins to experience regret, saying, “Now I repent”— the repentance of such a one will not be accepted. (Qur’an 4:18)

42 Salvation in Islam  Islam teaches salvation by works It is only those gifted with understanding who take heed; those who fulfill Allah’s pact and break not the covenant; who join together the ties of kinship that Allah has bidden to be joined, and fear their Lord, and dread the evil reckoning; those who are steadfast in seeking the favour of their Lord, and observe Prayer, and spend secretly and openly out of that with which We have provided them, and overcome evil with good. For them is the best reward of the Hereafter: Gardens of Eternity, which they shall enter and also those who are righteous from among their ancestors, and their consorts and their progeny. (Qur’an 13:20-23)

43 Salvation in Islam  Islam teaches a different concept of forgiveness than the Bible –Allah forgives whom he will –No one can be sure of their forgiveness – the Day of judgment will reveal it –There is no forgiveness for certain sins (for example, shirk – associating god with a created thing) –The Qur’an gives no personal confessions of sin (Psalm 51) or developed analogies of forgiveness (Hosea, Prodigal Son)

44 Salvation in Islam  Islam offers some a second chance after death Those who have wronged themselves in this world will be asked by the angels when they die what they have done. They will say, “We were weak and oppressed and unable to move.” Then the angels will ask, “Was God’s earth not wide enough for you to travel in it (so that you might hasten from the land of ignorance to that of faith and knowledge)?” The abode of these evildoers shall be hellfire; how evil and terrible an abode! Excepted from this shall be those men, women and children who were indeed unable to act or to move; they could not flee and they had no path of escape. It may be that God will forgive and show mercy to them, for He is Merciful and Pardoning. (Qur’an 4:97-98)

45 Salvation in Islam  Islam also offers hope to unfaithful Muslims who do not go to heaven through a “purgatory” type temporary stay in Hell Those Muslims who do not inherit heaven will be punished with a temporary stay in hell, and will go to heaven later as long as there is "one atom of faith in their hearts" as stated by the Prophet Muhammed. (Islam, Wikipedia Encyclopedia, 2004)

46 Islam vs. Christianity ISLAM:CHRISTIANITY: GODSingular unity – no partners One in essence, three in person HUMANITYGood by nature Sinful by nature SINSin = rejecting good guidance – no atonement need for forgiveness Moral rebellion against God – causes spiritual death – atonement essential for forgiveness

47 Islam vs. Christianity ISLAM:CHRISTIANITY: SALVATIONGood deeds outweigh bad deeds By grace, through faith, in Christ alone JESUSOne of major prophets, but not Son of God – affirm virgin birth and miracles One and only Son of God, the only mediator between God and man

48 Islam vs. Christianity ISLAM:CHRISTIANITY: DEATH OF JESUS Did not die on the cross, but ascended to heaven – Judas died on the cross Died a physical death, and was raised bodily 3 days later – essential for salvation (1 Cor 15) THE BIBLECorrupt, superseded by Qur’an Authentic, divinely inspired, final authority

49 Understanding Muslims

50 A Muslim’s Worldview  Muslim’s are theocentric – god is very much what their world revolves around –Inshallah – “if Allah wills” –In contrast, Americans and Europeans represent a very materialist orientation

51 A Muslim’s Worldview  To Muslims, Christians represent a lascivious lifestyle –Muslim parents mourn when their children become Christians because they believe they have abandoned any sort of moral restraint –Muslim nations are threatened by modern cultural influences, such as TV, movies, and music. The Hindus of India are responsible for much of the material in South Asia

52 A Muslim’s Worldview  To Muslims, Christians represent a lascivious lifestyle –Muslim young men treat and regard Western women almost as prostitutes – just look at how they dress!

53 A Muslim’s Worldview  To Muslims, Christians (Americans) are in- consistent regarding the treatment of “terrorists” –America's support of “terrorist” acts of Israel against Palestinians – the “Israel can do no wrong” mentality –More on Israel in a moment

54 A Muslim’s Worldview Concept:Muslim:“Christian”: UnityEmphasizedOnly if pragmatic TimeRespect the pastFuture orientation FamilySolidarityIndividualistic Adapted from Bill Barrick, Understanding Muslims

55 A Muslim’s Worldview Concept:Muslim:“Christian”: PeaceIntegration, external Contentment, internal HonorAll importantNot priority StatusFamily, name, age Wealth, accomplishment Adapted from Bill Barrick, Understanding Muslims

56 A Muslim’s Worldview Concept:Muslim:“Christian”: IndividualismSubordinate to group Independence a priority SecularismTotally unacceptable Largely acceptable ChangeUndesirableDesirable Adapted from Bill Barrick, Understanding Muslims

57 A Muslim’s Worldview Concept:Muslim:“Christian”: EfficiencyLittle or no concern Imperative Adapted from Bill Barrick, Understanding Muslims

58 A Muslim’s view of Israel  Israel & Muslims have historically been enemies  Why? – Genesis 16  Muslims believe Ishmael was the “special son” of Abraham, and that Ishmael was the son offered to God as a sacrifice, not Isaac  Therefore, all of the promises of the Old Testament to the Jews really belong to the Arabs

59 A Muslim’s view of Israel  Ishmael is the ancient ancestor of most, if not all Arabs (Gen. 25:13-16) –Northern Arabs – descendants of Ishmael –Southern Arabs – descendants of Joktan (Gen. 10:26)  Muhammad claimed to be a descendant of Ishmael

60 A Muslim’s view of Israel  Muslims have historically controlled Palestine…  Until Israel announced statehood in 1948 –Footnote:  Muslims view that event as infidels (Jews) turning a house of peace (place where Allah rules) into a house of war (where people are not in submission to Allah)

61 A Muslim’s view of Israel  Since that time, many Muslims believe that the only answer is to remove or destroy Israel “Peace for us means the destruction of Israel” - YasserArafat “When Israel won the first military conflicts with the Arabs it was a tremendous defeat for Allah. Finally, Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran explained that Israel is a judgment from Allah for the backslidden condition of the Muslims. The defeat of Israel, therefore, has become the primary sign of Allah’s pleasure with the faithful Muslims. When Israel pulled out form Lebanon... It was heralded as the first Arab victory in more than fifty years of conflict. It was a confirmation that Allah finally is pleased with the violent path of the Iranian backed fanatical Muslim guerilla Hezb’Allah (meaning “Allah’s party”)” – Barbara Richmond (Christian writer)

62 A Muslim’s view of Israel  They have declared jihad on Israel AND the United States, since we are the main support superpower behind Israel “We declared jihah against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal, and tyrannical. It ahs committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal wheter directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation. For this and other acts of aggression and injustice, we have declared jihad against the U.S., because in our religion it is our duty to make jihad so that god’s word is the one exalted to the heights and so that we drive the Americans away from Muslim countries.” – Osama bin Laden

63 A Muslim’s view of Israel  On February 22, 1998, bin Laden called on all Muslims to declare jihad on the U.S.

64 A Muslim’s view of Israel “For over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rules, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples…. We-with God’s help-call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they fine it. WE also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and solider to launch the raid on Satan’s U.S. troops and the devil’s supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson. The ruling to kill the American and their allies-civilians and military-is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.” – Osama bin Laden (World Islamic Front Statement, Feb. 23, 1998)

65 Understanding Jihad  Jihad is an Arabic word that literally means “struggle” or “striving.”  Contrary to popular opinion, Jihad does not mean “holy war,” although in certain contexts in can essentially mean “fighting for religious reasons.”

66 Understanding Jihad  There are two main types of Jihad –Greater (inner) jihad – This is the internal struggle a Muslim has trying to do what Allah wants him to do –Lesser (outer) jihad – This is an external struggle, a military or armed struggle against the enemies of Islam

67 Understanding Jihad  Those Muslim organizations involved in suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism specifically refer to their activities as acts of jihad  In fact, many of their organizations include the name, Jihad in the title. For example, the “World Islamic Front for Jihad against Jews and Crusaders”

68 Understanding Jihad  Disagreement over Jihad –Many Muslims believe that killing any “innocent” people (non-military personnel) in the name of jihad is wrong –Other Muslims believe that killing certain enemies of Islam in “self-defense” is allowed under jihad, but nothing more –Still other Muslims believe that killing of any one (directly or indirectly) who is against Islam and not in submission to Allah is not only allowed under jihad, but is commanded by the Qur’an

69 Understanding Jihad  Why the disagreement? – There are two reasons why Muslims disagree on the meaning and extent of jihad –First, the Qur’an contradicts itself in regard to how Muslims should treat and deal with “infidels” (non-Muslims) and specifically Jews and Christians –The earlier Surahs of the Qur’an teach more peaceful relations between Muslims and non- Muslims

70 Understanding Jihad Fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits. Lo! Allah loves not aggressors....And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist [stop], then let there be no hostility except against transgressors." (2:190, 193) To “not transgress limits”- is understood by scholars to not harm innocent people, such as women and children There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower. (2:256)

71 Understanding Jihad –But later Surahs advocate more militant activities, including specific and cruel instructions on how to kill “infidels” who refuse to submit to Allah

72 Understanding Jihad O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (5:51) The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; (5:33) In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. (4:101) Relent not in pursuit of the enemy (4:104) O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. (9:73)

73 Understanding Jihad Tell those who disbelieve that if they cease (from persecution of believers) that which is past will be forgiven them; but if they return (thereto) then the example of the men of old hath already gone (before them, for a warning). And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do. (8:38-39) Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low (9:29) O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him). (9:123)

74 Understanding Jihad Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them." This because they contended against Allah and His Messenger. If any contend against Allah and His Messenger, Allah is strict in punishment. Thus (will it be said): "Taste ye then of the (punishment): for those who resist Allah, is the penalty of the Fire." O ye who believe! when ye meet the Unbelievers in hostile array, never turn your backs to them. If any do turn his back to them on such a day - unless it be in a stratagem of war, or to retreat to a troop (of his own)- he draws on himself the wrath of Allah, and his abode is Hell,- an evil refuge (indeed)! It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah. when thou threwest (a handful of dust), it was not thy act, but Allah.s: in order that He might test the Believers by a gracious trial from Himself: for Allah is He Who heareth and knoweth (all things). That, and also because Allah is He Who makes feeble the plans and struggles of the Unbelievers. (8:12- 18)

75 Understanding Jihad Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah.s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost. (47:4)

76 Understanding Jihad  Why the disagreement? – There are two reasons why Muslims disagree on the meaning and extent of jihad –Second, Muslims disagree on the interpretation of the Qur’an –Some Muslims, which we’ll call “fundamentalist Muslims,” take a literal interpretation to these texts

77 Understanding Jihad –Others, whom we’ll call “liberal Muslims,” take a symbolic or allegorical interpretation of passages of the Qur’an that command killing in the name of Allah –These “liberal Muslims” would also see later writings and the consensus of scholars (both of which downplay or re-define jihad) as more authoritative than a literal reading of the text

78 Understanding Jihad  These two points: contradictions in the Qur’an itself and the disagreement on how to understand or interpret texts, lead to the two very DIFFERENT opinions not only about jihad, but also regarding whether Islam is a “peaceful” religion or a “militant” religion

79 Understanding Jihad  The “third” jihad –The US government recently discovered a secret document which calls on Muslims in America to engage in a “grand jihad.” –“…their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

80 Fundamentalist Islam vs. “Liberal” Islam  While most Muslims would not classify the Islamic world under these headings, they are in fact indicative of the Muslim world (and helpful in understanding Muslims)  Mainstream or “liberal” Muslims (who probably make up the majority) will refer to more radical Muslims as “militant, fundamentalist, extremists,” etc.  Some would even say that these more radical Muslims are not Muslim at all, and that they give Islam a bad name

81 Fundamentalist Islam vs. “Liberal” Islam  However, Fundamentalist Muslims see Liberal Muslims as worldly and disobedient to Allah  Conclusion: These two main “types” of Muslims explain so much of the disagreement today over what Muslims believe, teach, and support – AND contribute to the overall disagreement on whether Islam is a tolerant, peaceful religion or a militant, violent religion  Hence, after 9/11 we saw both images of Muslims dancing in the streets in triumph around the world, and images of American Muslims denouncing the attacks and even helping with the clean-up in New York

82 Fundamentalist Islam vs. “Liberal” Islam  BUT – Whoever is correct in terms of what “true” Islam is, the fact remains that a significant portion of Muslims hold to the more militant, fundamentalist form Islam  AND – these Muslims continue to state that the motivation and reason for their jihad actions and acts of terrorism are religious – In fact, they are religious duty.

83 Fundamentalist Islam vs. “Liberal” Islam  HOWEVER – We must be careful not to assume that all Muslims believe or support the same things (in the same way that we would disagree with much of what goes on in the name of “Christianity”)  Based upon the Qur’an and the Hadith alone, it appears that “original Islam” was more in line with the fundamentalist view than with the liberal view

84 Fundamentalist Islam  Support of lesser jihad based upon the life of Muhammad –During the battle of Badr in 624, a prisoner was taken who formerly insulted Muhammad –“Muhammad ordered a follower to strike off Nadr’s head in his presence. Before killing Al Hadr Ibn al Harith cried, ‘O Prophet, who will look after my children if I should die?’ Mohammad spat out ‘Hellfire’ as the sword cut through his neck.” (“Muhammad,” in Wikipedia, 2004)

85 Fundamentalist Islam  Support of lesser jihad based upon the life of Muhammad –While many Muslims claim that Muhammad’s military activates were acts of “self defense” because of persecution, it is simply untrue that much of the killing and violence he performed or ordered to perform were not acts of self-defense –In addition, “self-defense” both then and today has been redefined to include: the creation of a Palestinian Muslim state, the annihilation of Israel, kicking out all Americans and other westerners from Islamic countries, etc.

86 Jihad in Fundamentalist Islam  Several organizations exist today that promote jihad activates in the name of Islam –Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Chechnyan rebels, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyers Brigade, and many others –Fighting of this nature has gone on in Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Russia – and now in the United States

87 Suicide bombers & holy martyrs  The most common jihad activity today is the suicide bomb  While the Qur’an appears to reject suicide as sin, it wholeheartedly encourages and supports being a martyr  There are thousands of followers of these terrorist groups, who participate in training camps around the world

88 Suicide bombers & holy martyrs  USA Today Article – Jack Kelley, “Devotion, desire drive youths to ‘martyrdom’”

89 Suicide bombers & holy martyrs  Children are recruited as young as Kindergarten  The Children’s Club (the Palestinian version of Sesame Street) features the song, “When I wander into Jerusalem, I will become a suicide bomber.”  In Hamas run Kindergarten classes, signs on the wall read “The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds (holy martyrs) of tomorrow.”

90 Suicide bombers & holy martyrs  Dying in jihad is one of only two ways that a Muslim can be guaranteed of going to heaven  The family of one who has died in a suicide attack is typically compensated generously by Muslim “charity” organizations  Plus, martyrs are told they will be met in heaven by 72 virgins will become their wives

91 A Biblical response to Islam & terrorism

92 Reaffirm our belief in the Sovereignty of God  He is sovereignly in control –"For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate {it?} And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Is. 14:27)  He is good –For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. - (Ps. 100:5)  He is all-knowing –Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. - (Ps.147:5)  He is all-powerful –"For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate {it?} And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?“ - (Is. 14:27)

93 Reaffirm our belief in the Sovereignty of God  He works good in the midst of man’s wickedness and sin –And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose. - (Rom 8:28) –As for you, you meant evil against me, {but} God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. - (Gen. 50:20  We are completely dependent upon Him for life & our security

94 Remind ourselves of the depravity of man  “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” – (Jer. 17:9)  “there is none righteous, no not one” (Rom. 3:10)  “The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go astray from birth.” - (Ps 58:3)  "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. - (Matt 15:19)  “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” - (2 Cor 4:4)

95 Re-focus on the reality of spiritual battle  Satan is alive and well, introducing false ideas about God and Truth and working evil in the name of God –{We are} destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and {we are} taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, - (2 Cor 10:5) –For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. - (Rom. 1:21)

96 Re-establish a biblical understanding of government  Government is established by God –Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. - (Rom. 13:1)  Government exists to punish evildoers and restrain wickedness in the world –For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. - (Rom. 13:3-4)

97 Recognize God’s special blessing upon Israel  The Jews are currently in a state of unbelief, having been veiled to the truth –For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-- so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-- that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; - (Rom. 11:25)  However, there is no biblical reason to assume that the promise of the Abrahamic covenant in regard to the blessing and cursing of Israel has been made void –And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed. - (Gen 12:3)

98 Remember what Jesus said about following Him  “Remember the word that I said to you, "A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. - (John 15:20)  Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. - (2 Tim. 3:12)

99 Reform our attitudes: to be gracious, wise, and careful in our interactions with Muslims  He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him. - (Prov. 18:13)  Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such {a word} as is good for edification according to the need {of the moment} so that it will give grace to those who hear. - (Eph. 4:29)

100 Resolve to take the Gospel to Muslims  Government is not the answer, the Gospel is  Only the gospel of Jesus Christ – the Truth - has the power to expose error, convert the heart, and save the sinner (Rom. 1:16, Heb. 4:12) –For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. - (Rom. 1:16) –For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - (Heb. 4:12)

101 Resolve to take the Gospel to Muslims  AND – they will not hear the message unless we take it to them –How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? - (Rom. 10:14) –Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. - (2 Cor. 5:20)

102 Reminders for taking the Gospel to Muslims  Forgiveness – what they deeply desire  Assurance – what they lack completely  Compassion – what they need as evidence of Christian Faith  Time – it takes time to expose the errors of Islam and communicate the truth of the Gospel  Scripture – without the Bible, nothing will happen Dr. Bill Barrick, “Understanding Muslims,” 5.


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