Introducing Islam – Week 1. CEC Focus Groups May 2011. Week 1 – Introducing Islam Week 2 – Similarities and differences between Christianity & Islam Week 3 – Responding to Political Islam Week 4 – Sharing the gospel with Muslims – obstacles & opportunities
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CEC Focus Groups
The task of this focus group is to apply “double listening” to Islam - we need to listen to what Muslims believe and understand their culture. Then we need to listen to Gods word and then use it to speak into their beliefs and practices
Answer: A.D. 570
Answer: A combination of the above
Islam was heavily influenced by Christianity and Judaism but evolved to oppose both Christianity and Judaism. There was a transition in early Islamic history reflected in the differences between the MeccanSuras and the MedinanSuras.
“Among the factors contributing to the rise of Islam was the failure of institutional Christianity in love, in purity, in fervour and in spirit. Islam therefore developed in an environment of imperfect Christianity… This is the tragedy of the rise of Islam, which claims to displace what it has never really known.”
Bishop Kenneth CraggIntroducing Islam - Origins of Islam:
Answer: “THE” - unique/only one
Islam has many similar beliefs about the character of God as Christians however there are two very divergent doctrines about God’s character
God! There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. Sura ii 255
Lo! Alahpardonethnot that partners should be ascribed unto him. He pardoneth all save that to whom He will. Whose who ascribeth partners unto Allah hath wandered far astray. Suraiv 116.
Allah is unique, transcendent and unseeable - consequently Allah is distant and shows mercy to who he wills. Allah is not a God who “cannot” or “must not” unlike the God of the Bible
His glory cannot be shared with another
" The God of Islam is not the same God of the Christian or Judeo - Christian faith. It\'s a different God.“
Answer: The Muslim mantra - “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God
Answer: Ritual prayer, including preparation (washing) and praying five times a day towards Mecca i.e. dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), afternoon (asr), sunset (maghrib) nightfall (isha\'a).
Answer: The giving of 2.5% of one\'s possessions (surplus wealth) to charity generally to the poor and needy.
Answer: To abstain from eating, drinking, having sex and anything against Islamic law . Fastingduring daylight hours during the Islamic holy monthof Ramadan is one example of sawm but is not just confined to that month.
Answer: The annual pilgrimage to Mecca Saudi Arabia is a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in thier lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so .
Salvation from judgement is Islam is based on fulfilling the five pillars but even then there is ultimately no assurance of salvation
O all you who believe, bow down and prostrate yourselves and worship your Lord, and do good deeds, so that you may be successful.”Sura 22:77
“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.”Sura 4:103
“Truly, those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, and perform Salat, and give Zakat, they will have their reward with their Lord, On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”Sura 2:277
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was for those before you, that you may attain piety.” Sura 2:183
“And Hajj to the House (Ka’bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allah, those who can afford the expenses.”Sura 3:9
Sunni Muslims (largest) follow or maintain only the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad i.e. the teachings and actions or examples of the prophet
Shia Muslims (2nd largest). Shi\'ites follow the teachings of the prophet but also hold that Muhammad\'s descandents, the Imams, have special spiritual and political authority over the community
Sufi Muslims focus on the more spiritual aspects of religion(mystical-ascetic) who strive to obtain direct experience of God by making use of "intuitive and emotional faculties" as a complement to orthodox Islam.
Whist the Qur\'an commands that Muslims should not be divided but rather be united under Allah. Failure to maintain this unity has been deemed a sin by God and thus is forbidden.
However, since the death of the prophet Muhammad , there have arisen distinctions into schools of thought, traditions and related faiths
Five times daily the Moslem muezzin calls out from the Mosque: "There is no god but Allah." The people repeat this and reiterate it far more than a hundred times during the day in their quarrels, feasts, fasts, rejoicings, and common conversation. But in my daily observations — and I have lived among them for more than twenty-five years — I find they have fetishes and superstitious customs which amount to as many gods as the heathen who bow down to wood and stone
Islam is not consistent so Muslims should be approached as individuals to understand were thet are coming trom