A Look at Islam's Teachings
By David R. Barnhart
Volume 30 Midsummer 2014 Issue 4
THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, 85 percent are Sunni Muslims, while Shi’ites and several smaller sects comprise the rest. Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims have been at odds with each other throughout much of their history over who is the rightful heir or the proper person to become the caliph and lead the whole of Islam.
The word Islam means “submission to God” or “it is peace.” The word Muslim means “those who submit” or “those who have peace.” Islam is not just a religion; it is both a spiritual and a legal system, controlling nearly every aspect of life for those who practice the teachings of Muhammad. Thus followers of Islam make little or no distinction between the political and spiritual aspects of their lives.
Moderate or secular Muslims do not embrace all the teachings of the Qur’an in matters of attire and conduct, nor do they interpret the Qur’an literally on other matters.
A few moderate Muslims, such as Zuhdi Jasser, promote reform within the Muslim world, but their voices are largely drowned out by militant organiza- tions such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a terrorist-supporting offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Militant Muslims insist that the teachings of Islam found in the Qur’an and the Hadith should be followed to the letter. The Hadith contains the traditions and teachings of Muhammad.
While Muslims proclaim Islam as a “religion of peace,” they believe peace will only be achieved when Islam dominates all peoples in the world through the rule and structure of a caliphate. Radical Muslims do not know the meaning of compromise when it comes to promoting these goals. The last caliphate to dominate the Islamic world was the Ottoman Caliphate. It went out of existence in 1924 when the Turk’s were defeated in World War I.
Numerous Islamic countries today, such as Saudi Arabia, operate under Islamic law, with no toleration for dissent. There are no Christian churches in Saudi Arabia. Even the country’s moderate Muslims are required to conform to strict sharia law or face penalties such as imprisonment, public beatings, having their hands and feet cut off, and even beheadings.
ISLAM’S FIVE PILLARS
The foundational teachings and practices of Islam are contained in its five pillars
- The Creed (Shahada). “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”
- Prayers (Salah). Muslims pray five times each day—sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and late evening.
- Almsgiving (Zakat). Muslims are required to give 2.5 percent of their means to the poor.
- Fasting (Swam). During Ramadan Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.
- Pilgrimage (Hajj). Muslims who are physically and financially able must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during their lifetime.
Literally hundreds of other laws, rules and regulations have been added to these pillars. However, for a person to be converted to Islam, they need only recite the creed and believe it from their hearts. Salvation in Islam is based entirely on good works, and no one knows until they die whether or not they will make it to heaven, unless, of course, they die as martyrs for Allah— then salvation is automatic. Islam further teaches that martyrs will receive 70 virgins to enjoy throughout eternity. This is a major motivation of suicide bombers.
Six hundred years after Jesus Christ, a man named Muhammad claimed to have had visions from the angel Gabriel, in which the words of Islam’s holy book, the Qur’an, were delivered to him personally. The visions, which lasted for nearly 23 years, included a word for word rendering of the Qur’an. However, because Muhammad could neither read nor write, others had to transcribe the messages for him. The Qur’an itself was not compiled until after Muhammad’s death in 632.
Muhammed used people and concepts from the Bible in the Qur’an, yet much of its teachings are a total contra- diction of biblical accounts. According to Islam, the teachings of the Qur’an are intended to complete previous revelations and to correct the false teachings and errors contained in the Jewish-Christian Scriptures.
The Qur’an often contradicts its own teachings. But Islam has an answer for that problem through their “doctrine of abrogation,” which maintains if one passage of the Qur’an contradicts another, the most recent passage Muhammad received from Gabriel abrogates or repeals the earlier passage in question.
If Allah is indeed the one who inspired the Qur’an, how could it contain contradictions? If Allah is the one who inspired the Old and New Testaments, as Islam teaches, how could the Qur’an and the Bible possibly contradict each other? It is an affront to God for anyone to equate the Qur’an with the Bible.
ALLAH IS NOT THE GOD OF THE BIBLE
According to the teachings of Islam, the prime message from Gabriel to Muhammad was: “There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.” Allah was the chief god among the 360 gods that were housed in the Ka’aba, a building erected in the center of Mecca. When Muhammad and 10,000 of his followers captured Mecca, they cleansed the Ka’aba of its gods, save for Allah. The pre-existing pagan ritual of circling the Ka’aba seven times and kissing the stone inside it were made part of Islam’s rituals by Muhammad.
While Muhammad invoked the name of Abraham, he claimed the true son that God instructed the patriarch to sacrifice was not Isaac but Ishmael. Other such biblical accounts were also adopted and distorted by Muhammad, such as his ascension to heaven “from the farthest mosque” on the winged-horse Baraq. The Muslims later claimed the “farthest mosque” was the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. However, the word Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Qur’an.
Muhammad asserted that during his ascension into heaven he met Jesus in the second heaven, while he himself was allowed to ascend to the seventh heaven where Allah and Abraham reside. According to Muhammad, while in heaven, Allah permitted him to marry the wife of an Egyptian Pharaoh, Miriam the sister of Moses, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. Upon his return to earth, Muhammad married several wives, including a 6-year old girl with whom he consummated the marriage when she was just 9 years old.
THE JESUS (ISA) OF THE QUR’AN
Even the most cursory examination of the Qur’an should cause anyone to conclude that the god of Islam (Allah) is not the God of the Bible. The Allah of the Qur’an is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Jesus Christ of the Bible and the Jesus (Isa) of the Qur’an are not one and the same. Islam denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross and His resurrection. Islam’s Jesus is merely a prophet. He is not the Son of God, nor is He part of the Godhead. The statement that “God has no son” is repeatedly contained in the Qur’an and inscribed in Arabic on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem as an affront to Christianity.
Shi’ites believe in a coming messiah who is called the Mahdi. He is not, of course, the promised Messiah of the Bible, but rather an ancient imam who disappeared as a child in the year 941. They believe the Mahdi, a direct descendent of Muhammad, will return to establish peace, justice and brotherhood on the earth. When that day comes, he will place the whole world under sharia law. The prophet Jesus will return with him to convince Christians that they should believe and follow the Mahdi in all things. In order for the Mahdi to come, the world must first fall into to a chaotic condition. They further believe it is their responsibility to create such chaos in the world.
There are, of course, dozens of other false teachings and evil practices that have become part of Islamic life, such as honor killings and suicide bombings. Dr. Franklin Graham was right when he said: “Islam is evil, and moderate Muslims are those who choose not to follow the teachings of the Qur’an.”
Omar Ahmad, founder of CAIR, stated in 1998: “Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on earth.”
British Prime Minister William Gladstone once called the Qur’an an “accursed book” as he held it up during a Parlia- ment session, declaring: “So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.” If Gladstone were some- how to be miraculously transported to the House of Commons in 2014, he would be excoriated for “hate speech” should he dare to repeat his view about the Qur’an.
ISLAM IS A FALSE RELIGION
The satanic influences of Islam are seen in its hatred of Jews and Christians, in its efforts to mock the cross of Christ, mimic His ascension and distort His glorious return. The satanic influences of Islam are seen also in suicide bombings, wanton acts of violence, including beheadings, all committed in the name of Allah.
Today church leaders take special delight in gathering with Muslims for worship and prayer, all the while declaring that we all worship the same God. These are the days of Elijah when the people of Israel sought to blend paganism with the worship of the one true God.
In my book Living in the Times of the Signs, I document statements of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) that declared Muslims “worship the same God, revere the same prophets, and obey the same spiritual commandments that we do.” Such statements are patently absurd as well as untrue.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) believed and stated that Muhammad possessed the spirit of the antichrist. Such was on Luther’s mind when he penned the words to his immortal hymn:
Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word: Curb those who fain by craft or sword Would wrest the kingdom from Thy Son, And set at naught all He hath done.