[quote=Jerusha]The Muslims here can probably add some light as to their perceptions of the origins of Islam as it relates to Christianity. A debate has sparked on this thread forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=794821#post794821 My contention is that it arose in opposition to Christian heresies, particularly Gnostic heresies. Mormonism has taught (may deny it now ) that God willed it to punish Christianity. Another says that it is a heresy of Christianity.
You may answer here, or there, whichever.
Islam did not arise in opposition to any Christian heresy, nor Christianity itself. As a Muslim, I would claim that Islam rose in opposition to nothing: it was spontaneous.
However, even if I were to humor the idea that my faith arose in response to something, it wouldn’t have risen in response to anything Christian.
When Muhammad (PBUH) began preaching Islam in Mecca, he was surrounded by an almost entirely pure environment of polytheism and pagan idolatry. This was the Qur’an preached against. The Meccans’ old religion was no longer sustaining them. They were a corrupt people, comitting all sorts of abominations like adultery, drunkeness, gambling and infanticide, among many others. Scholars who think Muhammad (PBUH) was motivated by anything, all say he was motivated by this…not Christianity.
You really have to understand the environment of Muhammad’s Arabia to understand this. Had Muhammad (PBUH) been born in Jerusalem, or Constantinople, I’m sure scholars would have considered this issue. But as one scholar writes: “Arabia was a land virtually untouched by the Gospel”. And this is true. While there was a sparse Christian here or there, they weren’t particularly religious or influential. And Arabia had no schools or religious institutions, nor any churches. Idolatry was the order of the day, and defined the culture of the land. All the centers of Christianity were way to the north, far removed Muhammad’s world and sphere of influence. To put it simply: Christianity wasn’t on the radar at all.
I hope this helps.