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Core Muslim Beliefs. SCTR 19 – “Religions of the Book” Prepared by Matt Pham. Introduction. Six Articles of Islamic Faith (for the Sunni majority) In addition to Five Pillars of Islamic Practice Together, make up Aqidah (“creed”)

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core muslim beliefs

Core Muslim Beliefs

SCTR 19 – “Religions of the Book”

Prepared by Matt Pham

  • Six Articles of Islamic Faith (for the Sunni majority)
    • In addition to Five Pillars of Islamic Practice
    • Together, make up Aqidah (“creed”)
    • Sunni/Shi’a beliefs differ:
  • Having Iman (“to fully observe one’s faith”)
    • Belief in the heart
    • Profession by the tongue
    • Performance of the deeds
    • Caution / Similar words: Imam = leader vs. Iman = faith
  • Without the articles of faith, there is no context for the pillars of practice
to believe in god allah
To Believe in God (Allah)
  • Monotheism (tawhid = “divine unity”)
    • God is absolute, a single inseparable unity
    • One God  Same God for Jews, Christians, Muslims
    • Allah: not a proper name, but the Arabic word for “God”
    • “99 Names of God”: found throughout the Qur’an
  • God has “no associate or partner”
    • Muslims reject the Christian concept of “Trinity”
    • God cannot become human; humans cannot be God
    • Consider Jesus a great prophet, but not divine
to believe in the unseen
To Believe in the Unseen
  • Angels
    • God’s messengers; reveal messages to Prophets
      • Ex: Angel Gabriel revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad
    • No free will; sole purpose is serving God
    • Accompany, guide, and protect people at all times
  • Spirits (Jinn)
    • Spiritual beings, with free will
    • Thus can be good or evil
    • Root of English word/concept: “genie”
to believe in prophethood
To Believe in Prophethood
  • Prophets (nabi ) and Messengers (rasul )
    • Prophets speak God’s words to people orally.
    • Messengers record God’s words in book form.
    • So, not all prophets are messengers,but all messengers are also prophets.
  • Muslims believe in 1000’s of prophets
    • “Chain of Prophets”: Adam was first; Muhammad was last
      • Also incl. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Jesus, etc.
    • All transmit same basic message throughout history
      • Certain prophets were sent to specific groups/nations
to believe in revelation
To Believe in Revelation
  • Holy Books
    • Revealed scriptures; messages from God
    • Different languages, different cultures, different eras
    • But same basic message, culminating in the Qur’an
  • Progressive Revelation
    • Books of Moses, Psalms of David, Gospels of Jesus
    • Ultimately the Qur’an, revealed thru Muhammad
    • NOTE: Most Muslims do not read the present HB or NT,believing ancient Jews & Christians altered the messages God had revealed through Moses, David, and Jesus
to believe in the day of judgment
To Believe in the Day of Judgment
  • Resurrection of the Dead
    • At the end of time, all people will be raised
    • Everyone is held accountable for his/her own deeds
  • Judgment / Afterlife
    • Everyone is judged based on one’s life/actions on earth
    • If good deeds outweigh bad deeds:
      • Reward  eternal life with God in heaven/paradise/garden
    • If bad deeds outweigh good deeds:
      • Punishment  in everlasting fires of hell
to believe in the divine decree
To Believe in the Divine Decree
  • Human Nature / Free Will
    • Everyone has knowledge & ability to choose between right & wrong, and so is held responsible
    • Yet God has correct fore-knowledge of everyone’s path
  • Destiny / Fate / Predestination
    • God wrote down our destiny in the “Preserved Tablet”
    • God knows what our nature will cause us to do
      • A person’s actions are not caused by what God has written
      • But God is omniscient  God knows in advance
  • Six Articles of Faith (for Sunni Muslims)
    • Allah/God
    • Angels & Spirits
    • Holy Books
    • Prophets
    • Day of Judgment
    • Destiny or Fate
  • Variety of Beliefs
    • Most Muslims, esp. Sunnis, believe in all the above
    • Specific explanations may vary, even among Sunnis
    • Some similarities & differences for Shi’i Muslims