By Nathan Jones
How does a Muslim view Christianity?
In this study series on Islam, we will seek an answer to the question above. We will also explore Islam's background, belief system, goals, growth strategies and end time views. How Islam fits into the biblical description of the last days will be explored. And finally in the last segment, we'll look at the best methods for sharing the Gospel with Muslims.
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What is the Islamic belief system? To start, they have five main areas of doctrine in Islam. The first concerns Allah, which we've talked about.
The second area involves angels. There's a hierarchy of angels. Each person is assigned an angel. In a number of cartoons there's depicted a good angel on one shoulder and a bad angel on the other. That's actually from Islam. One is recording all the good stuff you do, and the other is recording all the bad stuff you do.
The third area of doctrine involves the holy books which we've also covered — the Koran and the Hadith. But, Islam does also consider the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus along with the Koran as all holy books, though of course the Koran supersedes them.
The fourth area involves the prophets. Islam identifies over 100,000 prophets. They even include Adam, Noah and Jesus in that list, but they consider Mohammad the greatest of them all.
The fifth area of doctrine concerns a belief in a future judgment, which we'll cover in much greater detail a little later.
There are what's called the Five Pillars of Islam that a Muslim must work on in their attempt to attain Paradise.
The first pillar is called The Creed or the Shahadah, which means "to bear witness." This creed is what a person must say when they first accept Islam: "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet." Like at a Christian church when a new believer gives their heart to the Lord and makes a profession of faith in Jesus as Savior, in Islam they would have gone up and said the Shahadah. It's the Islamic version of the believers prayer.
The second pillar involves prayers, called the Salat. A Muslim will pray five times a day at dawn, noon, afternoon, evening and night. They pray kneeling face down towards Mecca.
The third pillar involves giving alms to the poor, which is called Zakat. One-twentieth of the income of a Muslim goes to benefit orphans and widows and in building mosques.
The fourth pillar involves fasting, called the Sawm. During Ramadan, which is the ninth month of their lunar year, the Muslim will abstain from all food and drink and sex during the daylight hours, but when night time comes they can do whatever they want.
The fifth pillar is called The Pilgrimage or the Hajj to Mecca. Every Muslim must go to Mecca and walk around the meteor there — the Kaaba Stone — that they worship. They walk around that. If the Muslim is too infirmed, they can send a representative to take their place. Muslims must go to Mecca in order to attain entry into Paradise.
Many Muslims would also argue that there's an unspoken sixth pillar, which is Jihad, which means "the struggle" or "to strive." It's the will of Allah that the Muslim take up the armed struggle for Islam against what they call the infidels and apostates, which to them are unbelievers.
Islamic Views of Christianity
How does a Muslim view Christianity?
The first view you'll hear from a Muslim is that they'll say the Bible was corrupted by the Jews and Christians (Sura 2:75,78-79). Actually, Muslims are fine with the Bible. In fact, Mohammad endorsed it in Surah 5:50 and 68. A Muslim is allowed to read the Bible, but they consider it corrupted so not worth it. When you talk to Muslims they will always say, "You are quoting the Bible, but that's been corrupted."
And yet, doesn't the Bible say that it is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21)? Doesn't history show us there are 5,300 copies of New Testament manuscripts, archaeological evidence and 86,000 references by early Church Fathers that corroborates its authenticity? The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Bible we have today is not corrupted whatsoever.
A second view a Muslim holds is that God is one and that there is no Trinity, which is a idolatrous Christian view. And yet, the Bible says that God is three in one, yet co-equal (Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
A third view Mohammad taught is that humanity and everything else was created by a blood clot (Sura 23:14). And yet, the Bible say that by the dust and breath of God mankind was made in God's image (Gen. 1:26-27; 2:6-7).
A fourth view a Muslim holds is that people are born good. Islam denies that there's a sin nature whatsoever. And ytet, Romans 3:23 tells us that we are born in sin.
A fifth view involves the belief that salvation comes through submission and works. Islam is a works-based salvation. There is no faith and there is no grace in Islam.
Interestingly, a sixth view involves a belief in Jesus, whom they call Isa al'Masih. Muslims claim that Jesus is sinless, even though ironically Mohammad had to confess his sins. There's a lot of argument over that among Muslims though.
Those are some of the views of Christianity you'll hear when you talk to a Muslim and say you are a Christian. That's the lens that they see you in. Those are the colored glasses by which they interpret Christianity.
In the fifth segment of this study on the fall of Islam, we'll look at the goals of Islam to realize what they're trying to achieve.