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Beliefs of Islam

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  • 1. The Beliefs of Islam The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs Sunni and Shi’a Islam Tawhid The One God A Belief in Angels The Books of Allah Rusul Akhira Predestination © Karen Devine 2008
  • 2. The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs
    • Muhammad’s death meant a successor had to be found to keep Islam alive.
    • Successors to Muhammad were called caliphs and were leaders of the Muslim world.
    • Abu Bakr was elected as Muhammad’s successor, followed by Umar , thirdly Uthman and lastly was Muhammad’s cousin Ali.
    • Yet, the Umayya family claimed succession instead of Ali and their armies met in battle. Ali was assassinated.
    • After Ali’s death the caliphate passed to Mu’awiya who founded the Ummayad Sunni dynasty of caliphs.
    • Shi’a Muslims consider Ali to be the first Imam of Islam.
  • 3. Sunni and Shi’a Muslims
    • Islam is essentially divided into 2 key groups:
    • a) Sunni
    • b) Shi’a
    • The reason for the division dates back to the question of succession to the caliphate.
    • Sunni’s see that no one could succeed Muhammad and the Qur’an is the final form of God’s revelation. Therefore, the Caliph was a guardian of the faith.
  • 4. Sunni Muslims
    • Sunni’s believe the first Caliphs were chosen via consensus because they had led an outstanding Muslim life. They were the best qualified Muslims.
    • Sunni’s developed Shari’a Law which is based on the application of the Qur’an.
  • 5. Shi’a Muslims
    • The Shi’a’s are followers of Ali and they believe it is the caliph’s role to continue Muhammad’s revelation.
    • Shi’a’s see that all caliphs should be blood relatives of Muhammad.
    • Yet, even though there is a difference between Sunni’s and Shi’a’s, Islam is essentially a faith with a united belief system.
  • 6. Tawhid
    • The first article of faith of Islam is that Allah is the one God ( Tawhid ).
    • This belief is uttered daily in the Shahada “there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”
    • The first duty of a Muslim is to declare faith in Allah.
    • The worshipping of idols is forbidden.
    • Muslims believe the only sin not to be forgiven by God is polytheism.
  • 7. The One God
    • Allah:
    • is unchanging
    • will pass sentence at judgement day
    • is eternal
    • has 99 beautiful names
    • is omnipotent
    • declared that worshipping idols is banned
    • has a oneness that is a unifying force
    • is compassionate
    • is merciful
    • is given a historical location at Mecca.
    • was not created
    • is supreme
    • is the sustainer of the universe
  • 8. A Belief in Angels
    • Belief in angels is central to Islam.
    • In Islam there is a belief that the Qur’an was dictated to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.
    • Angels are said to be created from light and are obedient spirits to God.
    • There are said to be 4 great angels: Jibrael,Mika’il, Israfil and Izra’il.
    • Muslims also believe that each person has 2 guardian angels who record their good and bad deeds.
  • 9. The Books of Allah
    • The Qur’an is a focal point of the Islamic faith.
    • Muslims see that it is the word of God revealed to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel over a 22 year period.
    • The Qur’an contains:
    • teachings
    • stories of prophets
    • consequences of good and bad behaviour.
    • Details of the afterlife
    • 114 chapters or suras.
    • The Qur’an is recited and chanted during prayers.
  • 10. Rusul
    • The Qur’an states that God revealed himself to 25 prophets who became God’s messengers.
    • 6 of these prophets received special revelations. They are: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
    • If the prophets deliver a holy book they are known as Rusul.
    • Muhammad is the last great prophet who brought Allah’s revelation to the people.
    • Yet, Muslims see that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are also holy books.
  • 11. Akhira
    • Muslims believe in an afterlife. Life on earth is preparation for it.
    • On the day of reckoning:
    • Izrail will sound the trumpet
    • All people will be raised from the dead.
    • The books of the recording angels will be opened.
    • Allah will weigh up all person’s good and evil deeds
    • The good will go to heaven and the evil will go to hell.
    • In Islam, God is described as compassionate and merciful, not vengeful.
    • Muslims see that only those who believe in the revelation of the prophet will go to heaven.
    • Death begins a person’s eternal life.
  • 12. Predestination
    • Muslims believe that nothing happens unless it is the will of God.
    • Islamic scholars identify the mystery of faith as:
    • Humans are predestined to enter heaven or hell (divine control) yet,
    • Humans are also responsible for the choices they make.
    • With free will comes accountability to Allah.
    • If we choose evil, Allah will impose an appropriate punishment.
  • 13. Question Time
    • In what ways is Islam different in its belief structure to Judaism and Christianity?

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