What is the Catholic view of the religion of Islam…? Doing a report on this religion for our study club and am not sure about this.
First you have to understand how Catholicism sees itself. We understand there to be only one true God, that he became incarnate as man in Jesus Christ and freely accepted the consequences of our sins (death) so as to save mankind by establishing a means of salvation, sanctification and reconciliation between God and man. We understand Jesus to have established the Church to preach this gospel faithfully and to make the Grace of Christ supernaturally present in the world via the sacraments. We believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to salvation.
However, we also recognize that God is not petty, nor interested in shallow tribalism. What He asks of man is acknowledgement of sin, repentance and the desire to be healed of the damage of our sins. There are some aspects of Islamic teaching that help to facilitate this. The idea that there is one God who is perfect and all powerful is an understanding we share. The fact that God has moral expectations of us is as well. There are lots more in that list.
In these modern days, the catholic church tries to establish common ground with all mankind first before discussing differences. This is, arguably, a lesson learned from history in which differences were looked at first and a trail of war and blood resulted. But the fact remains that there are clear and stark differences between Catholicism and the Islam as described in the Koran and experienced in history. There are Islamic principles (such as the “inscrutability” of Allah) that Catholicism considers not just wrong, but downright harmful (look up Benedict 16’s Regensburg Address regarding Islam).
So the view is cautiously optimistic with an open hand, but also with a guarded sense of real and difficult differences.
Unam Sanctam - no salvation outside the communion of the Pope of Rome.
Vatican II - Muslims worship the true God.
Francis - “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”
Essentially, it seems to me that Rome is edging towards a form of inclusivism, whereby although we must still be saved by Christ, we don’t have to explicitly come to faith in Christ to be saved, and may be saved apart from this by other means (invincible ignorance, for example, exempts us from having to trust Christ for salvation).
I would refer to any books by Robert Spencer who is Catholic, has been interviewed on Catholic Answers radio and his books are sold on CA. I think you will have enough to do a report on Islam from him. Remember that the Catholic Church does not view Mohammed as a genuine prophet. Islam does teach the virgin birth, yet denies that Christ was crucified, it was someone else in his place and also denies the trinitarian view of God. Islam teaches that the Bible has been corrupted and Mohammed’s Koran is the authentic version. People too often want to equal Islam and Christianity and they are not at all.
Hi shemac. Welcome to the forums. This article was posted recently and I think is a very solid read:
Hope it helps.
The Demon Wolves of ISIS: Ancient Assyria Reborn
August 10, 2014 by Fr. Dwight Longenecker
Lord Byron’s poem The Destruction of Sennacherib begins with the line, “The Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold.”
My friend Paul Thigpen makes the link between the warlords of the Islamic State (IS) and their historic predecessors, the warlike Assyrians.
Two ancient civilizations jockeyed for power in what is now the nation of Iraq: Babylon to the south and Assyria to the North.
The Assyrian Empire was centered on the exact geographical territory that Islamic State now claims–Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq.
Assyria emerged as a territorial state in the 14th century B.C. Its territory covered approximately the northern part of modern Iraq. The first capital of Assyria was Assur, located about 150 miles north of modern Baghdad on the west bank of the Tigris River. The city was named for its national god, Assur, from which the name Assyria is also derived.
While the Babylonian Empire was known for its accomplishments in learning, architecture, and the arts, the Assyrians were known as experts in warfare. Cruel, bloodthirsty and proud, they bragged about their military victories and heartless oppression of their victims.
One early Assyrian king, Assurnarsipal wrote,
I built a pillar over against his gate, and I flayed all the chief men … and I covered the pillar with their skins … some I impaled upon the pillar on stakes. Many captives … I burned with fire … From some I cut off their hands and their fingers, and from others I cut off their noses, their ears … of many I put out the eyes.
Another historical account reads:
In strife and conflict I besieged [and] conquered the city. I felled 3,000 of their fighting men with the sword … I captured many troops alive: I cut off of some their arms [and] hands; I cut off of others their noses, ears, [and] extremities. I gouged out the eyes of many troops. I made one pile of the living [and] one of heads. I hung their heads on trees around the city.”
This informative website, informs us that like the IS barbarians the Assyrians proudly recorded their brutality–not with cell phone cameras and video, but in obelisks of stone:
From the reign of Shalmaneser III, Ashurnasirpal II’s son, we also have some bronze bands that decorated a massive pair of wooden gates of a temple (and possibly a palace) at Balawat, near modern Mosul. These bronze bands display unusually fine examples of bronze repoussé (a relief created by hammering on the opposite side). In a detail, we see an Assyrian soldier grasping the hand and arm of a captured enemy whose other hand and both feet have already been cut off. Dismembered hands and feet fly through the scene. Severed enemy heads hang from the conquered city’s walls. Another captive is impaled on a stake, his hands and feet already having been cut off. In another detail, we see three stakes, each driven through eight severed heads, set up outside the conquered city. A third detail shows a row of impaled captives lined up on stakes set up on a hill outside the captured city. In an inscription from Shalmaneser III’s father, Ashurnasirpal II, the latter tells us, “I captured soldiers alive [and] erected [them] on stakes before their cities.”
They were like the wargs in Lord of the Rings–demon dogs–wolves possessed with demonic power
Is it possible that the violent spirits unleashed in Northern Iraq and Syria today are the same dark forces that infested that land thousands of years ago? Is the spirit of ancient Assyria demonic, and are those same demons surging forward today like wolves on the fold? Continue Reading
Iran is a rich and powerful country. The Saudi Arabian royal family have vast reserves of wealth. The Sultan of Brunei is a Muslim and one of the world’s wealthiest men. Pakistan is a wealthy and powerful country with an Islamic majority. Indonesia, Egypt and Libya are wealthy oil rich countries with significant armies. Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Somalia are 99% Muslim. Mali,Tunisia, Turkey, Tajikstan and Turkmenistan are all 99% Muslim.
If the majority of Muslims are peace loving people who are horrified by what is going on the name of their religion why is there not more outrage? Why the lack of action?
While Muslim extremists fire missiles at Israel, persecute and expel Christians and Yazidis from the ancient homes, slaughter their opponents in Syria and Iraq, slaughter Christians in Nigeria, kidnap schoolgirls, torch Christian churches, sentence to death and imprison a pregnant American citizen, persecute Coptic Christians in Egypt, oppress women and wage barbarian terror wherever they
Since you are Anglican there is no point in coming at it from a Catholic point of view as this is a Catholic Forum but rather I would be more interested in you telling us about what you think from an Anglican point of view and what the Queen of England thinks, as she is the Governor of the Church of England.
Your thoughts from a Protestant point of view . Thanks.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 841 states “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess the faith of Abraham, and together with us adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
I just came back from the Middle East where the king has deeded land for a Cathedral to be built. The cathedral will be near two mosques. During the annual family day celebration, out of respect for local custom, quiet is maintained during the afternoon prayer time. In order to encourage prayer, one priest pointed to the Muslim tradition of praying five times a day.
This is Truth
There is no place in Catholic teaching that states that Muhammad is a false Prophet.
Stating such things is not being aligned correctly with Catholic teaching…
I think proplem is that some have prejudices about İslam. Just assume Quran is a Holy Scripture and then comment verses in that way. You will see Quran is totaly correct and faithful. Just a sample that is mentioned as a defect.
Women are inferior to men (Sura 4:34) Men can, and even should, ‘beat’ their wives in some circumstances (Sura 4:34).
Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great (above you all). Quran: sura 4:34
Here Allah declare that man is more superior to protect the woman, family and Allah teach man and woman how to protect family. Otherwise that is not general. By some points man is superior but by some points woman can be superior. Forexample woman affection is more than man. İf man and woman respect Allah’s advises they will be more happy. Violence in family is not allowed and Allah warn man to not torture woman and must be careful and fair.
Quran verses is speech of Allah. When one interprets verses he must be very careful because he can comment in an absurd way if he does not be careful. Then he must look at Tafsir(inclusive comments of verses).
Other issues is so long to treat. Maybe in an other thread.
From a positivist sense, this may be true in that there is no dogma declaring Muhammed to be a false prophet. But if that’s your reasoning then one can’t even declare the Moonies to be a false religion!
By reason and implication, there is no other alternative if Muhammed denied the divinity of Jesus and declared that he did not die on a cross and rise from the dead. If Muhammed claimed this, then he is a false prophet by definition.
Making implications denies our soul of correct relationship with God, and puts us in the potential category of error.
Why take that risk?
Stick to what the Church clearly states, especially in relation to admiring the truth found in all religions and restrain yourself (just as the Church has) from making implications
This is a sure sign of spiritual discipline and fortitude. Godly characteristics indeed
Google Robert Spencer Catholic guide to Islam. I just got done reading the book and it will open your eyes. In fact here is a link to the book on Amazon: amazon.com/Inside-Islam-Catholics-Questions-Answers/dp/0965922855
I’m unfamiliar with Baha’i worldview, but Catholicism understands God to be the source of order and reason in the universe. We have a long tradition of using reason to discern truth from error. We’re not going to abandon that because you don’t like it.
Mutually incompatible claims simply cannot both be true. At least one must be false.
Well may I ask why doesn’t the Church do that then and categorically state that Muhammad was a false prophet?
There are more teachings in Catholicism praising Islam than in any other religion other than the Baha’i Faith. Why do you think that is?
Because charity demands that we acknowledge that Muhammed genuinely believed himself to have received prophetic visions. Furthermore, as noted above, we’ve been working rather hard in recent centuries to find common ground first rather than divisions first. There is quite a lot of common ground with Islam and since Christ is interested in repentance, humility and openness to Grace far more than He is interested in any sort of identity label, we believe that muslims can find salvation in Christ through Grace even if they never learn the name of who it is they come to love and submit to. This is true even though we also believe there are untrue aspects of Muhammed’s teaching. Mental adherence to correct doctrine doesn’t save souls. Grace given through faith does. But real faith is a lot easier to choose when the doctrine is correct.
We do try to find common ground first. But when push comes to shove, either Jesus was God incarnate who died for us or he wasn’t. The fact that Muhammed insists that he wasn’t means he’s not a true prophet. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t earnestly seek God within the limits of his fallen human nature. Only God can judge that. So unless pushed, there’s no need to get non-Christians riled up and defensive unnecessarily.
Catholic teaching does not speak of Muhammad, because Muhammad is not mentioned in Scripture. He does not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Saints, whom the Catholic Church venerates all point to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Here is where there is a departure in the teachings of Islam and Christianity.
Now, back to the commonality of Catholics and Muslims as descendents of Abraham. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. Muslims are the descendents of Ishmael, the son of the concubine Hagar. They are not the descendents of the covenant that God made with the Hebrews. They are not the descendents of Isaac and Jacob.
Jewish and Christians teach that Abraham took his son Isaac to be sacrificed. Muslims on the other hand teach that it was Ishmael that Abraham was willing to sacrifice in obedience to God.
Ismael does fall under the Covenant of Circumcision (Genesis 17:20).
As for Ismael, I am heeding you: I hereby bless him…
Islam does mean “submission to God.” The Saints do teach that we are to submit our wills to the Will of God. We do so in freedom, as adopted sons and daughters of the Most High God. As Catholics and Christians, we see Abraham’s sacrifice, not only as willing submission on the part of Abraham to God’s will, but a foretelling of God’s Love for us when He sacrifices His only Son for our salvation.
St. Paul does talk about the difference between submission to God under the Law versus submission out of obedience to the Law of Love, because we are no longer bound by the law. He uses Sarah and Hagar as examples. Isaac, the son of a free woman, and Ismael, the son of a slave.
A side story I heard from a Muslim friend regarding the well of Hagar. The story is that the well has never run dry. There have been occasions when rich men have tried to make their fortunes off this well. On those occasions only has the well not provided water, when it has been used to deprive others.
I really like this response. I often go back to Pope Benedict XVI’s definition of dialogue of “communication across differences” and the importance of finding common ground. I also like one of Fulton Sheen’s old shows in which he makes the same points.
I have actually read several testimonies of Muslims coming to faith in Jesus Christ through their reading of the Qur’an.
I am not prejudiced of Islam. I have taken a decent look at their history, teachings, and how it’s adherents have executed their faith over the centuries. My views are based on discernment about the circumstances surrounding this faith. This does not mean that I treat people of the Muslim faith unjustly nor am I hostile towards them. We are all creatures that the God of the universe has crafted after His own image and likeness, and as such, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew or Atheist, we all must treat each other with the human dignity given each of us by our Creator.