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                        "THE RELIGION OF ISLAM"

                 A Comparison Of Islam And Christianity

INTRODUCTION

1. In previous studies, we have directed our focus on Islam...
   a. The beginnings and early history of Islam
   b. The origin, importance and content of the Qur'an
   c. The faith and practices of Islam
   d. The issue as to whether Islam is a religion of peace

2. It may be beneficial to look at Islam in comparison with
   Christianity...
   a. What might they have in common?
   b. How do they differ on fundamental issues?

[In this study, we shall consider what the two religions believe on
various issues as we seek to gain a better understanding of Islam.  We
begin with...]

I. GOD

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Teaches there is one God - Qur'an 3:64
      2. Rejects the concept of the Trinity

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Teaches there is one God - 1Co 8:6
      2. Reveals that the Godhead is composed of three distinct
         personalities - Father, Son, Holy Spirit; one in essence and
         substance - cf. Jn 1:1-5; Php 2:5-8; 2Jn 9; Mt 28:19

[Closely related to any concept of God is one's view regarding...]

II. JESUS

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Considers Jesus a prophet, like Noah, Abraham, Moses (and
         Muhammad)
      2. Rejects the divinity of Jesus, denies his preexistence - Qur'an
         4:171
      3. Believes in the virgin birth, however
      4. Does not believe Jesus died on the cross nor was raised from
         the dead - Qur'an 4:157

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Declares that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God - Mt 16:13-18
      2. Teaches the preexistence of Christ - Jn 1:1-5; Col 1:16-17
      3. Proclaims that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and was
         raised from the dead

[What one believes regarding Jesus certainly has a bearing on one's
understanding of...]

III. SALVATION

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Salvation comes by works
      2. Personal righteousness is weighed against personal sin, which
         ever is greater determines salvation - Qur'an 23:101-103
      3. A Muslim can be forgiven by repenting of sin - Qur'an 39:53-54
      4. Paradise is assured for one who dies as a martyr for Islam
      5. One becomes a Muslim by confessing "There is no other god but
         God; and Muhammad is the Prophet of God" (la ilaha ill'Allah,
         Muhammad rasul Allah) from the heart

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Salvation is by grace through an obedient faith - Ep 2:8-9; Ti
         3:4-7
      2. Jesus died on the cross as atonement for our sins - Ro 3:21-26
      3. He is the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him - He
         5:9
      4. Those whose names are in the Lamb's book of life will be spared
         condemnation - Re 20:11-15
      5. One becomes a Christian by:
         a. Believing that Christ died for your sins - Jn 8:24; Ro 10:
            9-10
         b. Repenting of your sins - Ac 2:38; 17:30-31
         c. Confessing your faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God
            - Mt 10:32,33; Ro 10:9-10
         d. Being baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins
            - Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 6:3-6; Ga 3:27;
              Col 2:11-13; Tit 3:5; 1Pe 3:21

[Doctrines pertaining to salvation are naturally related to views
pertaining to...]

IV. ETERNAL JUDGMENT

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Believes in a resurrection of the dead and judgment at the Last
         Day
      2. Paradise for the faithful, served by beautiful virgins - Qur'an
         56:1-38
      3. Hell for unbelievers, with eternal torment - Qur'an 56:39-56

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Believes in a resurrection of the dead and judgment at the Last
         Day
      2. The eternal City, New Jerusalem, in the new heavens and new
         earth for those whose name is in the Lamb's book of life
         - Re 21:1-7,9-27; 22:1-5
      3. The lake of fire for the unbelieving and wicked - Re 20:15;
         21:8

[What one believes about God, Jesus, salvation and the judgment depends
heavily upon what one considers to be...]

V. THE WORD OF GOD

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Believes in 4 inspired books - the Torah (5 books of Moses),
         Zabur (the Psalms), lnjil (the Gospel), and Qur'an
      2. The first three have been corrupted; the Qur'an provides the
         final revelation of God's Word

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Believes Old and New Testaments contains the revelation of
         God's Word - 2Ti 3:16-17
      2. Believes that God's Word cannot be corrupted, but is preserved
         - 1Pe 1:23-25; Mt 24:35; Isa 40:8
      3. Believes that revelation of God's Word is fully and finally
         revealed - 2Pe 1:3; Jude 3

[It is of interest to note some of the differences in the two religion
regarding...]

VI. PRAYER, FASTING, AND WORSHIP

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Has set times to offer prayers (five times per day)
      2. Has set periods and procedures in which to fast (the month of
         Ramadan)
      3. Places emphasis on ceremonial rituals such as washings, posture
         in prayer

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Calls for fervent and steadfast prayer, with no set times
         proscribed - 1Th 5:17; Col 4:2
      2. Has a place for fasting, but left up to the individual - Mt 6:
         16-18; Ac 13:2-3; 14:23
      3. Places emphasis upon the spiritual aspect of worship - Jn 4:
         23-24; Ep 5:19; Col 3:16

[A major difference between Islam and Christianity in spreading their
faiths involve the issues of...]

VII. WAR AND VENGEANCE

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Allows war and vengeance for self-defense against persecution
      2. Allows use of war in promoting the faith against unbelievers
         and idolaters

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Forbids war and vengeance when persecuted for righteousness'
         sake - Mt 5:10-12,38-48
      2. Forbids use of war to promote the cause of Christ and the
         gospel - 2Co 10:3-5

[Some other differences between the two faiths relate to...]

VIII. MORALS

   A.  ISLAM...
      1. Forbids alcohol, gambling - Qur'an 5:93-94
      2. Forbids eating pork
      3. Allows up to four wives, may divorce and remarry them twice
         - Qur'an 2:229

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Forbids drunkenness, covetousness, and other "works of the
         flesh" - Ga 5:19-21
      2. Allows all foods, if received with thanksgiving and prayer
         - 1Ti 4:4-5 (with the exception of drinking blood and eating
         animals that were strangled, Ac 15:20,29; 21:25)
      3. Teaches monogamy, divorce only for fornication - Mt 19:9; 1Co 
         7:2

[Both religions distinguish between the role of men and women, though
with important differences...]

IX. TREATMENT OF WOMEN

   A. ISLAM...
      1. Men have more rights than women - Qur'an 2:228
      2. Women do not attend public prayers at the Mosque
      3. A husband may punish a wife by withholding what is due, and
         then beat her if necessary - Qur'an 4:34

   B. CHRISTIANITY...
      1. Men and women are fellow heirs of the grace of life - 1Pe 3:7;
         Ga 3:28-29
      2. Women do not have leadership roles in the church - 1Co 11:3;
         14:34-37; 2Ti 2:11-12
      3. Forbids withholding what is due, and requires treating the wife
         with tenderness and understanding - 1Co 7:3-5; 1Pe 3:7

CONCLUSION

1. This has not been an exhaustive comparison between Islam and
   Christianity...
   a. It has been a simple examination at some of the more notable
      features of comparison
   b. Undoubtedly, many other similarities and differences could be
      noted

2. In considering such comparisons, one should note the following
   caveat...
   a. Islam contains many different sects; not all professing Muslims
      might agree with some of the representations of Islamic beliefs
      made in this comparison
   b. In a similar vein, not all professing Christians may agree with
      what has been offered as that which Christianity teaches

But perhaps this comparison can serve as a starting point in identifying
key issues for discussions between Muslims and Christians who seek to
better understand one another's faiths....
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