Islam is a religion of 1.3 billion adherents (compared to Christianity's 2 billion). Islam means "submission" and Moslem means one who surrenders to God. Its founder was Muhammad who was born in 570AD. He claims to have had encounters with the angel Gabriel who commanded him to recite. This recitation became the Koran. His followers were few at first but steadily grew with their center in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Qur'an (Koran, Quran) is the Holy Book of Islam. Muslims consider it the actual word of Allah and not the word of Muhammad to whom it was given. The work is roughly the same size as the New Testament. The Koran is divided into 114 chapters, called Surah's. The major sects are Sunnites (85%), and Shiites (15%).
THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM - These core beliefs faithfully fulfilled will assure paradise. 1) Statement of Belief (shahada): "There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger." 2) Prayer (salat): Prayer is performed five times a day. The first prayer is at dawn and the last at sunset. 3) Fasting (saum): The month of Ramadan is the month of fasting in Islam. Usually, this fasting entails no drinking, eating, or sexual relations during the daylight hours for the entire month. 4) Alms-giving or charity (zakat). 5) Pilgrimage (hajj): This is the pilgrimage to Mecca. All Muslims, if they are able, are to make a pilgrimage.
THE SIX DOCTRINES OF ISLAM - 1) Allah: Allah is the supreme being of all. Everything that occurs, does so by his permission. 2) His Angels: Angels reside in the unseen world and carry out the commands of Allah. 3) His Messengers: Some of them are Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, and, of course, Muhammad. 4) His Books: They include the Koran, The Torah (first five books of Moses), The Injil (the gospel message of Jesus in the New Testament), and The Psalms (the sacred writings given to David). 5) The Last Day: Muslims go to paradise and non-Muslims go to hell. Divine Preordainments good or bad: Allah is completely in control of all things and ordains all things that occur.
THE KORAN AND JESUS - The Koran says that Christ never really died on the cross. According to Islam, Allah took Jesus to heaven just before the crucifixion. So who died on the cross? It was Judas made up so cleverly to resemble Jesus that even Mary and the disciples were fooled! (Rom 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
ISLAM IS SALVATION BY WORKS - In Islam, forgiveness is based on a combination of Allah's grace and the Muslim's works. Christianity is a religion of salvation by grace alone: "For by grace through faith you have been saved . . . not of works . . . " (Eph. 2:8-9). The work that Jesus did on the cross is sufficient for one's redemption. One who places their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ will be saved.
CONCLUDING THOUGHTS - Has Allah performed the greatest act of love? The answer is no. Allah has not sacrificed himself at all. Allah has not died for another. Allah has not loved us to the point of death. (And Mohammed took lives!) In Christianity, Jesus, who is God in flesh laid His life down for us. Jesus performed the greatest act of love. (John 15:13) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. (John 3:16) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Muslims represent about 22% of the world's population and Islam is growing rapidly. Knowing your Bible and a little about Islam . . . will you pray for the salvation of these Jesus died for and seek to win them to Christ?