World Religions - Islam - JR. Forasteros


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What do Muslims believe? What do they have in common with Christianity? What are the important differences? Let's cut through the stereotypes and find the Truth.

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  • Break into groups. Discuss!
  • First, let’s dispel some myths about IslamCrescent is perfect example of #2. It’s really a holdover form the Ottoman Empire. It’s about Arab and Persian culture, not Muslim faith. But the two are intertwined.
  • Mecca was a center of peace among all the warring Arabic tribes. It became a center of culture, trade and religion. Its primary shrine was the Kabah, built around a black meteorite. The Kabah was filled with idols of the various Arabic gods.In addition to the indigenous tribal religions, Mecca was frequented by Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians (Persian). All of these religions influenced the culture of Mecca.The chief god of the Arabic pantheon was Allah, a distant rain god whose divine consorts were more frequently worshiped. Mohammed was born in 570. His parents died early, and he ended up living with an uncle. He began working for a caravan company, and at 25 married Khadijah, the widow who ran the caravan.
  • In 610, at age 40, Mohammed received his first revelation while fasting in a cave. Gabriel visited a fasting Mohammed in a cave.Many, including Mohammed himself feared he was demon-possessed. Eventually, partially under the guidance of a Christian relative, Mohammed became convinced the God of Abraham was speaking to him.
  • Mohammed’s teachings began to disrupt life in Mecca. After his wife and uncle die, Mohammed decides he should flee Mecca.
  • Flight: Several key persons in Mohammed’s life die, including his first wife and uncle. Fearing for his safty, he flees Mecca.Night of Ascent:Mohammed ascends into Heaven from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He meets Abraham, Jesus and finally God. God confirms Mohammed’s status as a prophet.Hijra – Mohammed and his followers are welcomed in Yathrib, 300 mi North of Mecca. Islam is adopted. This is year 1 in the Muslim calendar. Yathrib is eventually renamed Medina, the “City of the Prophet”.
  • Islam means “submission.
  • God is all-powerful & transcendent. God created the world and determines all (sort of).Allah is the Arabic word for God. Allah has 99 names like “Merciful” and “Just” and “Compassionate”
  • God made a covenant with Abraham (Ibrahim). Ishmael, his first born, is the fulfillment of that covenant. Ishmael is the son Abraham nearly sacrificed, and Abraham build the Kabah with Ishmael. It’s the world’s first mosque, dedicated to worshiping Allah.Muse and Dawud are prophets. They are revered in Islam as well as Judaism and Christianity.Isa is the second most important person in Islam after Mohammed. Muslims love Jesus. A lot.
  • Virgin BirthLife, teachings and disciplesPseudo-crucifixion and ascension
  • Titles of Jesus in Islam blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: "Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all every - one that is on the earth? For to Allah belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between. He createth what He pleaseth. For Allah hath power over all things."—Qur’an sura 5 (Al-Ma'ida), ayah17
  • Second Coming in Islam: Jesus will return to defeat the enemies of God (including an Antichrist), then establish God’s eternal kingdom. The dead will be raised and judged.
  • Islam values both practice and belief. The five pillars are practices, but the most heinous Muslim sins are those of belief.
  • Qur’an means “recitation”. Only the Arabic is fully authoritative because it’s what Mohammed heard from God.The Qur’an contains the records of Mohammed’s teachings written down by his followers in the first three years after his death. 114 chaters/suras organized longest to shortest. The last are therefore the earliest.
  • Hadiths are other traditions about Mohammad. They are also considered authoritative, though not on the level of the Qur’anThe largest and most influential collection is al-Bukhari’s Hadiths.Hadiths are sometimes contradictory, which has created the scholastic tone of Islam.
  • Shahada The only Muslim creed is “There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.” This creed is recited in prayer and sworn as an oath when converting to Islam. It’s comparable to the Shema in Judaism. Salat Muslims pray 5 times a day, facing the Kabah in Mecca. Prayers are recited in Arabic and focus on gratitude toward and worship of God.Zakat Alms-giving is a cornerstone of Islam. Some countries today collect this as an income tax. In Muslim countries that welcomed Jews and Christians during the Middle Ages, the tax on religion was meant to fulfill this requirement.Sawm Ramadan is the month Mohammed received his first revelation. Muslims fast wholly from sun-up to sun-down to commemorate the receiving of the Qur’an. (There’s some flexibility here, as for the Muslims who competed in the Olympics last year, which were held during Ramadan.)Hajj Done during a specific month of the Muslim calendar. Every able-bodied and able-means Muslim must make this pilgrimage once in his or her lifetime.
  • ‘Jihad’ means ‘struggle’. It is so important to Islam, it’s often called the “6th Pillar”. Unfortunately, it’s also the most misunderstood thanks to its appropriation by extremist groups.The Qur’an teaches two kinds of jihad. What we think of as “Holy War” is one incarnation of the Lesser Jihad, which is the outward struggle to bring all the world into Islam – submission to God. The Greater Jihad is the struggle against one’s own sinful self. This is the jihad that requires the most attention.
  • So what do we do about violent Muslims? GOLDEN RULE of EVANGELISMViolent persons who happen to be Muslims do not represent Muslims.Violence in the Qur’an is always a response to injustice. It specifically excludes targeting civilians, women and children. Unless we want to agree that the crazies at the fringes of our movement are representative of us, we cannot do that to Muslims in the name of Jesus. Mohammed commanded his followers to live at peace with Jews and Christians among them because he was convinced that they would be won over to Islam through “lifestyle evangelism” (for lack of a better word).Golden Rule of Politics? Jihad might look like an American Muslim supporting legislation in accord with Muslim values. American Muslims have the right to engage in the American legal process the same as any other person. This is “Sharia Law”, which is a holistic, theocratic legal system. As with Christian Law, the degree to which Muslims want Sharia Law, and what that even looks like, varies from person to person and country to country.Christians and Muslims should work together for Common Good, even as we both continue to proselytize each other.Pic - brains
  • Orthodox CaliphateImmediately following Mohammed’s death, his followers disagreed about who should succeed him. Within a span of three years, three friends and Mohammed’s cousin Ali were named Caliphs. The latter three were all assassinated. Islam was taken over by Syrians.Damascus CaliphatePersian and Byzantine (Roman) Empires were very weak, which allowed the burgeoning Syrian Empire to conquer much of their territory. By 710, they controlled all of North Africa and were coming into Spain. They were stopped at the Battle of Tours in 732 by Charles Martel (grandfather to Charlemagne). This halted the Muslim expansion into Europe. Muslims remained in Spain until the rule of Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 1400s.During this period, Muslim culture was influenced by Rome.Golden Age (Baghdad Caliphate)This period witnessed a heavy Persian (Greek) influence. While Europe was entering the Dark Ages, Islamic culture was flourishing, making massive leaps forward in Science, Mathematics and Education. This is why today we use Arabic Numerals, and the only reason we still have the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, among others.When the Mongols conquered Baghdad in 1258, the center of the Islamic world moved to Egypt, but not for long!Ottoman EmpireThe Ottoman Empire conquered Constantinople in 1453, marking the end of the Roman Empire in the East. The Ottomans ruled much of the Middle East until 1921, when it was carved up by European powers after World War I. The carelessness with which this was done causes much of the strive in the Muslim world to this day.Present DayToday, Islam isn’t led by a single person or nation. It’s practiced to different degrees depending on where and who you are.
  • Since just after the death of MohammedSunni IslamVast majority of Muslims are SunniGoal is a public life shaped by IslamBecause it’s so popular and wide-spread, it has produced both ‘cultural Muslims’ and reactionary fundamentalist groups.Sunni Islam often gets synchronized with indigenous beliefs (Hinduism, tribal religions, etc.)Shia Islam10-15% of Muslims today are Shi’iteShi’ite Muslims believe the caliphate should be hereditary. They see Ali (Mohammed’s cousin) as the first rightful heir. His son Husayn (Hussein) was caliph after him, and was also assassinated. Shia Muslims consider him a martyr to be revered and imitated.God’s spiritual power – the Light of Mohammed – was passed to 12 Imams, the last of whom disappeared around AD 900. He guides the Imams today and will return to usher in the Messianic age.Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini claimed to be the 12th Imam.Lots of disagreement over who the 12 are.Invests Imams with more power and authority than other branches of IslamPopular with non-Arab Muslims. Iran and Iraq are both major Shi’ite centers (Iraq is over ½ Shia). This causes lots of problems.Sufism Grew out of interactions with Christian mysticsLooks to Mohammed’s mystical experiences as what we should emulateOther Muslims tend to be suspicious. It can look like pantheism or transcendence (being like God).
  • Hallal refers to foods that are allowed. Other foods are Herem – forbidden. This is very similar to kosher (no pork, shellfish, scavengers). Alcohol is also herem.Marriage and gender roles tend to be more conservative, though this is changing as Islam encounters more cultures.
  • Islam has the reputation today for being very oppressive towards women. And certainly some countries have laws and customs that seem very oppressive to us. But Islam itself is historically very liberating for women. Mohammed in particular passed several laws very progressive for his time. In general, this is the same problem Christianity faces. We hold texts sacred that were written in a different time and culture. And we have to figure out what making those texts relevant to modern culture looks like without compromising the authority of those texts.In general, the degree to which a woman covers herself is typically cultural (examples from Egypt and Jerusalem).
  • This is much more about culture than it is about religion.
  • To confess any God but God is the worst heresy in Islam. It’s the only unpardonable sin. This is the divisive issue for Christians and Muslims.To Muslim theologians, the doctrine of the Trinity seems like polytheism dressed up as monotheism. Muslims teach there is only one God and no one like God. No one is on God’s level.One way Muslims often express this is “God creates. God does not have children”Christians actually agree with Muslims on this point. We affirm that to put anyone else on God’s level is heresy, that there is no God but God, and that God does not have children.So… what about Jesus?
  • The Nicene creed, which expresses clear Trinitarian theology, claims that Jesus is the Son of God, “Begotten, not Made”. This is a very important distinction for the Church. When we talk about Father and Sonship within the Trinity, we are not talking about actual biological relationships. We do not believe that at some point the Father was all alone, then decided to have a son. Rather, Father/Son is a metaphor describing how these two members of the Trinity relate to each other. Christians affirm that all three persons of the Trinity are co-equal, co-eternal. None are superior, there’s no hierarchy and none created the others. And most importantly they are one God, one substance.
  • In Islam, one of God’s 99 names is “al-Wadud” (The Loving). But that is one aspect of God, held in tension with all the others. In Islam, God is fundamentally transcendent. Detached from humanity, In Christianity, God is fundamentally Love. All other aspects of God’s character – God’s wrath, justice, mercy, grace, etc. – must be understood through the lens of self-giving Love. Everything God does is a reflection of and outgrowth from God’s triune, self-giving (loving) nature.
  • This is kenosis – divine Self-emptying. The Person of Jesus is the most important confession for a Christian. It’s what distinguishes us from both Jewish and Muslim people. We believe that God came to us, to rescue and redeem us. We believe that we are insufficient in and of ourselves, that the good we do isn’t sufficient to rescue us from sin and death. So God did not stay distant, but came near.
  • World Religions - Islam - JR. Forasteros

    1. 1. World ReligionsThe Gospel and Friendship in a Pluralistic Suburb
    2. 2. What Do You Know? 1. What forms of Christianity are you ashamed or angry to be associated with? 2. Do you have any personal experience with Islam? 3. What do you know about American Islam? 4. What questions do you have about Islam?
    3. 3. Our “Mars Hill” Methodology • A basic introduction to the faith’s worldview 1. • Areas of agreement between that faith and 2. Orthodox Christian theology and practice • Areas of disagreement between that faith 3. and Orthodox Christian theology and practiceGOAL: To equip you to build a truth-seekingrelationship with someone of another faith.
    4. 4. IslamA Life Submitted to God
    5. 5. Defusing Some Myths Islam isn’t irredeemably violent Culture vs. Religion Islam’s “Moon God of Mecca”
    6. 6. The Birth of Islam: Mecca Mecca: Mohammed: Allah: Center of Marries into a Tribal GodPeace & Trade Caravan
    7. 7. The Birth of Islam: Revelations
    8. 8. The Birth of Islam: Troubles Monotheism • Allah is the only god Iconoclasm • The idols of the Kabah are sinful • Disrupted Meccan business Anti-usury practice
    9. 9. The Birth of Islam: On the RunAD 619: AD 622: Flight Hijra AD 620: Night of Ascent
    10. 10. Islam: The Path of Submission Islam •Submission Muslim •One who Submits Salaam •Shalom/Peace
    11. 11. God (Allah) in Islam Allah means ‘God’ in Arabic.
    12. 12. Same Story, Different Players Abraham (Ibrahim) Moses (Muse) David (Dawud)Allah Jesus (Isa)
    13. 13. Jesus (Isa) in Islam Born of a Virgin Taught disciples Did miracles through God’s power Seemed to have been crucified Ascended/Assumed into Heaven
    14. 14. Jesus (Isa) in Islam Son of Mary Messiah Prophet Word of God
    15. 15. Jesus (Isa) in IslamMuslims believe in theSecond Coming of Jesus.
    16. 16. Orthopraxy vs. Orthodoxy Orthodoxy Orthopraxy
    17. 17. Muslim Scripture: The Qur’an (Koran)
    18. 18. Muslim Scripture: Hadiths Conservative Liberal Reason=Pride Reason is GoodAllah determines all We have free will
    19. 19. Muslim Practice: The 5 Pillars Fasting 5 Daily Giving to Pilgrimage Testimony during Prayers the Poor to Mecca Ramadan
    20. 20. Jihad: The 6th Pillar Greater Lesser Jihad Jihad
    21. 21. Jihad: The 6th Pillar
    22. 22. Historical Development of Islam 1921- Present632-635 750-1258 ModernOrthodox Baghdad IslamCaliphate Caliphate 635-750 1453-1921 Damascus Ottoman Caliphate Empire
    23. 23. Branches of Islam Today • Most Muslims • Emphasis on Public Sunni Life • Broad spectrum • Heredity • Light of Mohammed Shi’ite • 12th Imam • Popular with non- Arabs • Interactions with Sufi Christian monastics • Is it Muslim heresy?
    24. 24. Other Muslim Practices Eating Hallal Prohibition of usury and gambling Circumcision Prohibition against making images Marriage and Gender Roles
    25. 25. Women in Islam Burkah Hijab
    26. 26. Building Bridges to Islam We worship the same GodWe both value a relationship with God We both love Jesus! We both value Family and Tradition We both value spiritual practices
    27. 27. Where Islam and Christianity Disagree Son Father Spirit Polytheism?
    28. 28. Making vs. Begetting Father SonGod/Father God Spirit Son Spirit
    29. 29. Where Islam and Christianity Disagree Islam: God is Transcendent Christianity: God is Love
    30. 30. Father GodSpirit Son •Jesus is God Incarnation in flesh.
    31. 31. Where Islam and Christianity Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God? Different views of the Bible. Our sacred histories diverge. Islam is less social. Assurance of Salvation
    32. 32. How Not to Build a Friendship Don’t denigrate Allah (God) Don’t assume Muslims are violentDon’t assume Muslims hate Americans Don’t confuse culture and religion
    33. 33. How to Be a Perfect Stranger Worship is on Fridays Men and women separate Women wear a headscarf Worship is prayer and a sermon Be respectful during Ramadan
    34. 34. Got Questions? • • @jrforasteros • Submit Questions