Foundational Approach - Muslims


#1

Hey all,

A subject like this may have been addressed. Please forgive me (and direct me to the thread) if I’m rehashing old discussion - I’m more familiar with other forums here.

I do talks about a “foundational” approach to apologetics, which is examining the foundation of the belief systems of other faiths to measure them against ours. I’m trying to get more familiar with using this method with the Islam faith. Here’s what I’ve thought of so far in my initial brainstorming before I start researching:

  • The Koran has the same circular approach to proving inspiration that the Bible does for Protestants in that it’s claims of inspiration, without a teaching church (see tract in CA library), are self-supporting.

  • The Muslim faith started in the 7th century, dating it at a rather strange place in salvation history, as opposed to the Catholic faith, which can trace its beginning back through several thousand years as the fullfillment of Judaism.

  • The claims of Muhammed are nearly impossible to substantiate as he supposedly wrote the Koran in isolation in a cave (right), as opposed to the publich ministry of Christ and his resurrection. In other words, Islam has martyrs to the “ideology”, but Christianity has martyrs to the “witness” of the actual facts spoken about in Scripture.

Lastly, this wasn’t a foundational issue, but Muslims, as I know has been discussed in here, seem to have a fondness for Mary, to this is an avenue for approach in discussions.

Any comments on the above or insight to add to my list as I prepare a small talk on the subject for a class in a few weeks? Incidentally, I’d be interested to hear from any Muslims on board these forums if I’ve misrepresented what you believe or if you have an answer to the above - I don’t want to be intentionally ignorant when I discuss these things and value hearing the other side (am currently reading Muslim literature online for that perspective).

Thanks in advance.


#2

Now I am not a Muslim but I have studied Islam and its history.

You have two things that are incorrect or not quite right with the statements you made but they are related. I’m just here to provide correct information, at least at this time.

-Muslims believe and so comes down through history that the Koran(Qu’ran) was dictated to Muhammad by the Angel Jibreel(Gabriel). Muhammad was illiterate so he could not read or write. He dictated what he was told to male relatives that could read and write and they wrote what became the Koran. It is arranged in order from the longest Surah(chapter) to the shortest.


#3

Correction: from the Muslim perspective, “submission to God” (which is what “Islam” means) perfectly describes Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Adam, to name a few. Thus, Muslims claim that “islam” (not necessarily in the version currently practiced today) is the original faith of mankind, since faith in God would also be submission to God. (Muslims also claim that every people have had a prophet come to then, so “islam” stretches both back in time, and across geographical boundaries.)


#4

Jesus is God. There is the key difference. They miss the boat entirely.


#5

Now Islam could be a religion of peace if it wasn’t for the fact that there are many different schools of thought and anyone can choose to follow any imam(teacher) they want.

Islam is divided into two different groups: Sunnis, who are the majority; and Shia or Shiite who hae relgious leaders beyond imams such as mullahs and ayatollahs. There is more to the differences but it would involve quite a bit of history.

After Muhammad died in 632, there was a question of who was to succeed him in leading. Some thought his Uncle/Father in law and others felt it should be his son-in-law Ali. Well, his Uncle/Father-in-law took over. There wasn’t a split till later but it does come down to succession and who should lead.

The problem with is Islam isn’t so much Islam itself but rather particular schools of thought and clerics. Most if not all fundamentalist Islamists subscribe to the schools or movement called Wahabism which developed in the 18th century (as a reaction to the colonization of the Middle East, I think. Google.) The Middle East had been well organized, developed, had infastructure, and was wealthy until the invasion of the Monguls in the 1300s and they never recovered because the devastion was such that there was no infastructure to rebuild on. It had all collapsed when the Monguls wiped out everything in their path.

A lot of the problems of the Middle East and Islam is not so much Islam but cultural and societal in nature and impacts everything. Fundamentalists give those without hope of a better future something to hope for even if it is a lie and propaganda and twisted truth. they give them something to control when they have nothing in their control at all. The economy of Islamic countries is so bad that there are no opportunities for jobs or a future.

Fundamentalists blame the West, turn depression and despair into tools for their wars and we get terrorists. I know there is more than that but we can’t point the finger at Islam and say it all it does is create terrorists. It’s a complex social, cultural, religious, and pyschological problem that will not be solved by creating hate or misunderstanding of Islam. I do believe some twist what truth there is in Islam to benefit their own twisted reality. The same could be said of Christians, fundamentalist or not.

Rhetoric is one thing. The truth is another. Concern yourself with the truth and all will be better for it.

Sorry this was so long.


#6

Thanks for the responses. I appreciate the clarification on my points and I intend to do research before the talk, including reading much of the Koran and reading Muslim literature. While I believe Catholicism to be the true faith, I believe its merits speak for itself and see no purpose for distorting another religion just to belittle it. I hate it when anti-Catholics do the same with my faith, so I try not to do it with theirs. If there are any more posts on this subject, I really desire to hear. God bless.


#7

I didn’t know you were doing a talk. That’s fascinating. If there is anything else you need clarified or more info, I’d be more than happy to help. I have studied Islam, its history, and its impact on certain regions of the world. I studied this all in university and was a member of Model Arab League (now I sound like I’m giving you my resume.)

-Do you have the Five Pillars?
-Do you have a basic outline of the history of Islam?
-Do you know who the important people are and what their roles were?
-Do you know how fast and how far Islam spread in the centuries following Muhammad?
-Do you know what the “seal of the prophets” means and how that relates to Muhammed?
-Do you know about the caliphates? (part of history but relevant to the spread of Islam plus the impact on the rest of the world and its history)
-Do you know how Islam treates men, women, and children?
-Do you know what ‘jihad’ means and that there is lesser and greater ‘jihad’?

Some basic questions to tease out the info you have and what you may or may not need. Hope this helps some more.


#8

[quote=Ahimsa]Correction: from the Muslim perspective, “submission to God” (which is what “Islam” means) perfectly describes Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Adam, to name a few. Thus, Muslims claim that “islam” (not necessarily in the version currently practiced today) is the original faith of mankind, since faith in God would also be submission to God. (Muslims also claim that every people have had a prophet come to then, so “islam” stretches both back in time, and across geographical boundaries.)
[/quote]

The problem is, they can’t historically validate these claims in any way. In fact a lot of times they have to deny any historical evidence that exists regarding certain people and events. All because Mohammed and the Quran say otherwise, so they must believe it.


#9

[quote=Pacbox]I didn’t know you were doing a talk. That’s fascinating. If there is anything else you need clarified or more info, I’d be more than happy to help. I have studied Islam, its history, and its impact on certain regions of the world. I studied this all in university and was a member of Model Arab League (now I sound like I’m giving you my resume.)

-Do you have the Five Pillars?
-Do you have a basic outline of the history of Islam?
-Do you know who the important people are and what their roles were?
-Do you know how fast and how far Islam spread in the centuries following Muhammad?
-Do you know what the “seal of the prophets” means and how that relates to Muhammed?
-Do you know about the caliphates? (part of history but relevant to the spread of Islam plus the impact on the rest of the world and its history)
-Do you know how Islam treates men, women, and children?
-Do you know what ‘jihad’ means and that there is lesser and greater ‘jihad’?

Some basic questions to tease out the info you have and what you may or may not need. Hope this helps some more.
[/quote]

Well, I’m not doing a talk on Islam per se. I’m actually doing a Lenten series on apologetics and the last night is a Q&A session. In addition to letting people ask questions on the spot, I’ve allowed questions to be given in advance and someone asked about Islam. I won’t spend the entire talk on it - very little in fact - but want to be able to point people in the right direction for further study.

I’ve done extensive study on Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witness, among others because they are common in our area, but there are few Muslims, so I’ve not researched as much. I am, however, interested in learning more and will send you a pm with my e-mail - if you don’t mind, I’d like to dialogue a little about the above topics and maybe get some resources. Thanks.


#10

Sure, not a problem. You never know what you are going to be asked and it always helps to be prepared.

I listed the questions because those tend to be the most common questions people ask. Well, there are more but those are pretty basic.

When I get home from the library (don’t have access at home) I’ll look through my old notes and all the books I have and see what you would most likely need. Asking me specific questions will help.


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