Worthy Christian News » US News » Teachings of Islam based on Koran as revealed to the prophet Muhammad
By James Dotson
April 20, 2001
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--The teachings of Islam are based on the Koran, a book the Muslim prophet Muhammad claimed to have received verbatim through the angel Gabriel in his hometown of Medina, Arabia, around 600 A.D.
While Islam respects the biblical five books of Moses, the psalms of David and the four gospels, Muslims believe they were corrupted over time. To Muslims, the Koran stands alone in its authority. It is believed to be most perfectly understood in Arabic and it is a religious obligation to seek to read and quote it in the original language.
Key teachings of Islam include the following:
-- There is only one God. The Trinity is specifically refuted in the Koran. Jesus is revered as a prophet of God who never claimed to be divine, the last in a line of prophets that also included Abraham and Moses.
-- There is no concept of original sin. Humankind is considered weak and forgetful but not as fallen.
-- Muslims believe someone else was crucified by mistake instead of Jesus, and that Jesus was taken up directly into paradise. The concept of the atonement is rejected on the grounds that each person is responsible for his or her own sin before God.
-- Because there is no guaranteed forgiveness of sin, Muslims are dependent on God's mercy in determining whether they go to heaven or hell based on their deeds and obedience to God.
Faithful Muslims are obligated to fulfill five "pillars" of Islam:
-- The confession of faith, or "Shahada:" "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.
-- The prayer, or "Salat," which must be performed five times a day facing Mecca.
-- Almsgiving or "Zakat," in which at least two and one-half percent of one's wealth must be given at the end of each year.
-- The fast or "Sawm," which must be performed from dawn to dusk during Muslims' holy month of Ramadan.
-- The pilgrimage to Mecca, or "hajj." Each Muslim physically and financially able to do so is expected to travel to Mecca to perform certain rites. Muslims also are expected to fulfill the laws and teachings of Islam as set forth in the Koran.
Based on the North American Mission Board video "The Cross or The Crescent: Understanding Islam" and NAMB's "Belief Bulletin: Islam" pamphlet.
Baptist Press. Used with Permission.