ISLAM: AN INTRODUCTORY OUTLINE
Over 1 billion Muslims worldwide (only Christianity statistically outnumbers Islam);
many countries under Islamic rule. Indonesia is the country with the largest number of
Muslims. Fifty countries worldwide are more than 50% Muslim.
Growth of Islam in the United States doubled in the last ten years -- mostly through
immigration and births in Muslim families. Many western women are "converted" to
Islam by marrying Muslims who live in the West.
Muhammed (AD 570-632)
Born in Mecca; early became monotheistic, in distinction to most people in his
area; 610 received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel; 622 Muhammed
and his few followers escaped to Medina (the flight is called the hijrah), from
which the Islamic calendar is dated; first establishment of a community based on
faith rather than clan; later conquered Mecca and cleansed the ka'ba of all idols.
Buried in Medina in 632. Declared to be the holy prophet of God, the bearer of
the only perfect word of God.
Rise of Islamic Empire
Following Muhammed's example, Islam spread through military might and war.
Caliphs soon united, producing a standard Koran text by destroying all other
copies; eventually controlled most of the Mediterranean and far into the East.
In the Middle East, tensions continue not only because of the clash between Arab
and Jew, Muslim and Jewish faiths; but also because of continued strong clan
affiliation and nationalism. Saddam Hussein, for example, is a nationalist, not
religious leader and is prominent in the Bahth Party, an anti-religious nationalist
movement asserting clan and/or national rights over religious obligation. The
two main sects of Islam are the Sunnites (80+% of worldwide Muslims) and
Shi'ites (10% worldwide, but 90% in Iran and certain other countries), represent
two different lines of descent from Muhammed, the Sunnites through the Caliph
who was Muhammed's official successor, and the Shi'ites through the Caliph
related to Muhammed by blood.
3. Islamic Worldview
Definition of terms
Islam -- submission
Muslim -- one who submits
Koran -- literally "to recite;" collection of revelations given to Moses
Surah -- individual revelation or chapter in Koran
Shahadah -- profession of Islamic faith, the first pillar of faith
Shirk -- associating "partners" or idols with the only God, Allah (Christians
Kismet -- fate, Allah's will
Hanif -- Arabic monotheist before Islam
Hijrah -- the flight by Muhammed and his few followers to Medina (622)
Jihad -- "holy war" or "struggle" to preserve or propogate the faith
Sin and salvation
4. Five pillars of faith
1. Confession ("Shahadah")
"There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is the prophet of
5 times each day, kneel and bow toward Mecca
1/40th of income
fasting during daylight hours (remembering Hijrah--"flight")
pilgrimage to Mecca (or by proxy)
5. Six tenets of belief
2. Angels (and jinn)
5. Judgment (future event)
6. God's determination of good and evil
6. Sharing your faith with a Muslim
1. Share the gospel, not your culture.
2. Respect and honor the Muslim, his family, his culture, and his history.
3. Remember the difference between "high" Islam and "low" Islam.
4. Remember to define vocabulary.
7. Use 2 Timothy 2:24-26 as your pattern for evangelism.