Shahadah or Declaration of faith: There is no god but the god  and Muhammad is his prophet.                                                                                                      This is the declaration that they live by, everyday with every prayer this is murmured.

Salat or Prayer: Five times daily facing Mecca. These prayers are often rote but can be added to for personal requests. They are done in posturing of several positions preferably on a rug and always done after ritual cleansing.


Zakat or Giving of Alms: Percentage of income given. They have certain holidays that these are a big requirement of sacrifice.


Fasting:  a month long period called Ramadan. They fast from everything from dawn until dusk for an entire month. This holiday follows lunar phases.


Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca. This is an optional one for those that are physically and financially able. Those who do this are thus named “Hajj” in the community as a special honor.


Jihad: To struggle in the cause of Islam. While not a formal tenant to some, many Muslims recognize this as a requirement of faith

Allah: literally translated means The God. This entity in Islam is the creator, the God of the prophets and the ruler of the universe. However, his similarities with our Lord end there, as he is never seen as a Father, a lover, or personally invested in us. The Allah of Islam is a distant one, often portrayed as angry and vengeful. It should be noted that Christians in the Middle East use the term Allah in reference to the God of the Bible.

Jesus: In Islam, Jesus is recognized as a prophet, born of a virgin Mary but they cannot see him as the son of God. Nor do they recognize the crucifixion of Christ. This is a subject that is somewhat vague in the Quran as to what exactly did occur on the day of crucifixion, but the death of Jesus is flatly denied as it was seen by Muhammad as a defeat. The Quran does teach that Jesus ascended into heaven and also refers to Jesus as a Word from God. This can be seen a key point to share the Gospel with Muslims.

The issue of the Trinity is one of the biggest controversial points with Muslims as Muhammad was very adamant in his refusal to believe in a trinity. This came partially from a sect in Arabia in Muhammad’s day who worshipped a triune God in God the Father, The Son (Jesus), and the Mother (Mary). His rejection of this sect was so strong he failed to see the orthodox belief in the trinity. His refusal was based on the idea of God having physical relations with Mary in order to conceive Jesus, because of the interpretation of the word Begotten. In Arabic it has a very physical interpretation, and thus was misunderstood by Muhammad. When sharing with Muslims we have to be very strong on how we see the trinity as a mystical unity. Jesus is known as Issa to the Muslim world and is a respected prophet, acknowledged as sinless, and mentioned in the Last Day prophecies. He is supposed to return to earth, marry four wives, and set up a kingdom.


The Holy Bible and the Quran: to the Muslim has been altered and corrupted by years of Jewish influence. Their Quran is considered a text directly from the hand of Allah. It is often memorized and read in a lyrical manner. They take great pride in the Quran, and consider it sacred above all things. It will always be placed in high honor in the home and never have anything on top of it. It is not always to be perfectly understood and never to be critically analyzed.


Women: The woman’s traditional place in Islam comes from the position that she held in traditional sixth century Arabia, and is also impacted by the relationship that Muhammad had with his own wives. A woman’s word in Islam is half of the value of that of a man’s, her inheritance is substantially smaller than that of her brother, and her touch is unclean before prayers. She may or may not ever attend the local mosque, if she does she will be separated from her male counterparts. She is seen as an object of seduction, and is therefore encouraged to cover herself completely in the presence of men. While the Quran is not explicit on the subject of how much to cover, Muhammad did ask his own wives to be hidden and thus a good Muslim woman will follow their good example. The Muslim woman gains value in the home by bearing sons, being modest and protecting her husband’s honor. While Muhammad never had a son of his own the customs of the culture prevail here. A Muslim husband is permitted up to four wives and is permitted to beat them if they are disobedient. His word is always law. If a Muslim woman wants a divorce she must go through an entanglement of courts, whereas a man can obtain a divorce by merely saying the words “I divorce you.” three times. Once divorced her children will only be hers until they reach seven years old where they will be exclusively belonging to their father. Muhammad also claimed that the majority of hell dwellers are women. While a Muslim woman can hope for paradise she sees herself as mostly inadequate and pleasing her husband is her only ticket to paradise. Most Muslim women do not see their position as being one of subjugation however, as they have been raised with these ideals. The veil is merely an article of proper clothing to her and her life in submission is merely obedience to God.



On Prayer:  The observant Muslim prays five times a day, answering the call that can be heard from the local Mosque. (Muslim place of worship) He/she will observe certain cleansing rituals prior to prayer, remove ones shoes, (she will cover her head if not already covered) spread a prayer rug in the direction of Mecca and begin. These prayers in no way have to be done in the Mosque, and while the women perform privately, the men prefer to pray publicly.  They practice rote prayers and positions (pictured here) and if one has a special prayer need or request one would continue in the praying for personal issues.

Islam:  A religion based on the teachings of one man, Muhammad, founded in the fifth century. It has five basic tenants or pillars that an obedient Muslim (follower of Islam) should follow. Muhammad produced the text called the Quran, their holy book.

FAQ

References

How To Understand Islam

By: Jacques Jomier


Called From Islam to Christ

By: Jean Marie Gaudeul


The Koran

Translated by JM Rodwell published by Everyman


Christian Reply to Muslim Objections

By: St. Clair Tisdall


www.Answering-Islam.org

FAQ                  Sharing the Gospel       Our Outreach          Our Family