Someone explain Islam to me?

I don’t know anything about Islam that I can hold as fact. Maybe people would like to help me out with some questions?

1.)Did Muhammed (I’m sure not spelled right) take the Bible (Catholic Bible?) and change it as he saw fit? Why?

2.)Do Muslims really consider themselves the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s first son)?

3.)Did Islam ever have a reformation of any sort? Either from without or within. (i.e. Schisms or a re-defining of their theology)?

Thank you for your patience!

I will answer to the best of my knowledge - but if any Muslims on the board, or others note any mistakes, please correct them

1.)Did Muhammed (I’m sure not spelled right) take the Bible (Catholic Bible?) and change it as he saw fit? Why?

ok Muhammad (you were close :slight_smile: ) did not rewrite the Bible, but rather according to Islam, receieved a seperate set of instructions from the Archangel Gabriel (you can see similiarties with Christianity) to write the purified instructions of Allah (or God) as they believe the Bible had become corrupted when humans began to pick and choose what belonged in the Bible

2.)Do Muslims really consider themselves the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s first son)?

yes they do - they believe he went to live in the area around Mecca

3.)Did Islam ever have a reformation of any sort? Either from without or within. (i.e. Schisms or a re-defining of their theology)?

yes there are two main groups, the Sunni Muslims (the majority of the Islamic population) and the Shi’ites. they divide mostly on the issue of the leaders in Islam (an Imman - sp?). Around 660 (I believe) there came into a question of the successor of leader of the Muslim people, who until then had been of the lineage of Muhammad. The Sunnis believe this leader does not HAVE to be a descendent, while the Shi’ites believe he does. Thus, this division occured rather quickly, about the the fourth successor. there are slight differences in doctrine between the two, but they essentailly believe the same thing. They both, obviously, however consider themselves correct and had created their own ‘books’ and believe only their group to be saved. This is why, although the sects are similar, there are problems in countries such as Iraq when there are different sects, and one is in the minority.

there are an interesting similarities between Islam and Christianity, when taken in the purest text, and when the Koran is not being interpreted by extremists (i.e. the Koran actually states, I don’t know the exact wording, but something along the lines of, when fighting a jihad and you come to a Christian civilization, leave it alone because they already follow Allah) maybe someone should remind Osama of this passage.

True (non extremist) Muslims are very religious people who practice a very admirable religion, including praying five times a day, fasting for a month (Raamadan), paying monthly alms, memorizing the Koran, and the hajjab is actually supposed to be worn to protect women from the unsightful, unneccessary attention of men. but, I have found my genuine peace and faith in Catholicism, but if you have any more questions feel free to ask!

For 1, please correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Mohammad contact with the Christians was with the Aryians who taught that Jesus was just human. So to Islam Jesus was just a prophet. Then Mohammad was the final prophet. His message was that we should worship God, but he was not going to manifest himself as a man, (or anything of this world too?)

Also I think, it does not teach that there was any thing like a church set up that can teach with authority, like us Catholics say Jesus did. Because of that what what gets taught is mostly up to what is coming up to places where they teach the religious leaders, like our seminaries.

I not an expert or anything, but I would like to be corrected if there is anything wrong with what I said.

2.)Do Muslims really consider themselves the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s first son)?

Just to clarify, it would be Arabs, not Muslims. There are Muslims of all peoples and nations. It would be more correct to say that Muslims consider Arabs to be descendents of Ishmael, and I believe this was also the belief of ancient Jews as well.

Actually, Muhammad’s knowledge of Christianity comes from a Christian sect called the Ebionites.

When Muhammad was 25, his first wife Khadija proposed to him (she was 40, and was his boss). Her cousin, Waraqua bin Neufal, was one of the most important religious leaders in Mecca because he was a pastor of the largest church. At that time, Christianity was well estblished in Arabia, with many tribes embracing it.
However, this form of Christianity was very different than what we believe based on New Testament. Two biggest branches were the Ebionites and the Nestorians. Both of these groups denied the divinity of Jesus or the teaching that He was the Son of God.

When Khadija and Muhammad wanted to get married, their families opposed them. But Khadija’s cousin Waraqua convinced both families to let them get married, and he personally performed the ceremony.

Waraqua, who was an Ebionite, became Muhammad’s mentor, teaching him about Christianity. However, if he himself did not believe the truth, he could not have taught Muhammad what Christianity was (and is) all about: Son of God coming down from Heaven to take upon Himself the punishment we deserved.

[quote=IsaacSheen]I don’t know anything about Islam that I can hold as fact. Maybe people would like to help me out with some questions?

1.)Did Muhammed (I’m sure not spelled right) take the Bible (Catholic Bible?) and change it as he saw fit? Why?

2.)Do Muslims really consider themselves the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s first son)?

3.)Did Islam ever have a reformation of any sort? Either from without or within. (i.e. Schisms or a re-defining of their theology)?

Thank you for your patience!
[/quote]

  1. The “historical” parts of the Koran are based on Arabic oral traditions and poetry. Not the Bible.

  2. Yes

  3. There are several branches…none are pretentious enough to call themselves reformed however.

Bottomline: Islam is the religion of Satan on Earth. Satan enjoys it when humans obey him by giving in to temptation…but he really loves it when humans worship him as Islam does. The “revelation” of Mohomed is contadictory to the True revelation of God in the Bible and Church traditions.

[quote=Ghosty]Just to clarify, it would be Arabs, not Muslims. There are Muslims of all peoples and nations. It would be more correct to say that Muslims consider Arabs to be descendents of Ishmael, and I believe this was also the belief of ancient Jews as well.
[/quote]

the question is --are they considered his spiritual descendant…yes

The only other reported encounters of the Prophet Mohammed with Christian sources were on two occasions. At the early age of twelve, during a trip with his uncle Abu Talib among a trade caravan to Ash-Sham, they casually met Baheerah, a Syrian monk who reportedly could identify in the boy Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) signs of expected prophethood foretold in the old scriptures.

Similarly, when the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) received the first few verses of the revelation, his worried wife Khadijah brought him to her relative Waraqah ibn Nawfal. Being a Christian convert with some knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures, he assured the Prophet that the revelation he received was genuinely divine. Waraqah passed away shortly thereafter; the revelation continued for 23 years

Hi,

Briefly, Mohammed retired to a cave to meditate when he claimed that the Lord commanded him to ‘read’. Being completely illiterate, Mohammed said ‘but I cannot read’. Upon an alledgedly second command by the Lord to read, Mohammed then began reading. This is the alledged prime miracle according to Islam.

The KORAN means “the reading”.

The concurrent development of Islam in the following centuries by Arab scholars was heavily influenced by Neo-Platonism, demonstrated by Islam’s inherent world views of fatalism, determinism, and pan-theism; and also the teaching that Christ did not perish on the cross, and that Jesus was a prophet in a long line of prophets leading to Mohammed - all of which are against the teachings of the Catholic Church.

For more detailed information, please study:

newadvent.org/cathen/10424a.htm

In fact, in Arabic, the entire KORAN is written as a pnuemonc device for the ease of learning. Mullahs are required to memorize the entire Koran word-for-word, but this is not as difficult as it sounds since the Koran is relatively simple and in Arabic, it rhymes.

[quote=Kevin Walker]Hi,

Briefly, Mohammed retired to a cave to meditate when he claimed that the Lord commanded him to ‘read’. Being completely illiterate, Mohammed said ‘but I cannot read’. Upon an alledgedly second command by the Lord to read, Mohammed then began reading. This is the alledged prime miracle according to Islam.

The KORAN means “the reading”.

[/quote]

In Arabic the Koran means “the recitation”, and the accent is on memorizing it by all Muslims, because verses of it are used for their 5 times a day prayers.

Regarding the begining encounter of Muhammad in the cave, it was not the Lord (meaning God) that commanded Muhammad to read, it was Gabriel, which we know as an Angel. He pressed him to read, and indeed, Muhammad said that he could not read.
However, Muhammad never learned to read, therefore it is not his ability to read that was perceived as a miracle. Muslims believe that the fact that he was illiterate proves that Koran could have only come from God, because Muhammad could not have read it anywhere. The Koran in itself is regarded as a miracle, not Muhammad’s instantenous ability to read. According to Islam, Muhammad never learned to read.

the question is --are they considered his spiritual descendant…yes

I’ve certainly never heard this from Muslims or non-Muslims until now. What do you base this belief upon? There’s nothing spiritually significant about Ishmael to my knowledge.

[quote=Ghosty]I’ve certainly never heard this from Muslims or non-Muslims until now. What do you base this belief upon? There’s nothing spiritually significant about Ishmael to my knowledge.
[/quote]

The significance of Ishmael comes from him being the son of Abraham, and God blessing Ishmael as Abraham descendant. The promise of God to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars includes descendants of Ishmael. In fact the Koran retells the story of Abraham trying to sacrifize his son at God’s request, but with a twist. In the koranic story, Abraham tries to sacrifize Ishmael, not Isaac. Arabs believe that since God requested the first born son to be sacrifized, it had to be Ishmael. However, they forget that it was supposed to be the rightful son of Abraham and Sarah that was the receiver of the divine promise, and a long awaited heir of Abraham, conceived not by human intervenion (as Ishmael), but by God’s will.

Arabs indeed trace their roots to Ishmael by bloodline (not just spiritually). Therefore they call Islam “the religion of Abraham”, for they believe that Abraham practised Islam before Jews and Christians distorted the religion.

Thanks for all the input. It has lead me to other questions.

1.) Muhammad not being able to read…wasn’t there an oral tradition? People really used to know their Bible, it seems like he would.

2.) If he couldn’t read, then he couldn’t write. Did God then grant him the ability to write then?

3.) I am not familiar with the Koran so excuse my ignorance as to what is in it. I only know what I’ve heard. I realize the Bible has violent parts but, the violence is eventually changed to love and peace. Doesn’t the Koran call for violence and bloodshed only? Would a messenger (Angel) from God bring forth the “best” way to usher in God’s kingdom? (notice I am assuming a good God that would want His children to love him through free will and not fear of death)

Oh yeah…forgot…

Last question for now…
So, since Muhammad, have there been any Angels appearing to Muslims or any help from above speaking to, appearing to or anything like that since Muhammad had Gabriel “visit” him? Or do they not have that going on? Sorry so many questions.

[quote=IsaacSheen]Thanks for all the input. It has lead me to other questions.

1.) Muhammad not being able to read…wasn’t there an oral tradition? People really used to know their Bible, it seems like he would.

2.) If he couldn’t read, then he couldn’t write. Did God then grant him the ability to write then?

3.) I am not familiar with the Koran so excuse my ignorance as to what is in it. I only know what I’ve heard. I realize the Bible has violent parts but, the violence is eventually changed to love and peace. Doesn’t the Koran call for violence and bloodshed only? Would a messenger (Angel) from God bring forth the “best” way to usher in God’s kingdom? (notice I am assuming a good God that would want His children to love him through free will and not fear of death)
[/quote]

Actually, as I recall, I believe it was Mohammed’s step-father who did all the writing for the prophet.

I’ve read the KORAN twice. It was fairly straightforward with a lot of personal opinions about life and politics from the prophet. I got the distinct impression that the prophet had a sense of humor. The opening words to each verse are still a mystery as to their meaning. I also got the impression that Mohammed was a common working man with little, if any, higher education. A lot of the philosophical reasoning was coarse and unsophisticated and the KORAN seemed to me to be a simple manual for everyday life rather than a profound theological tome.

[quote=IsaacSheen]I don’t know anything about Islam that I can hold as fact. Maybe people would like to help me out with some questions?
[/quote]

Always glad to mouth-off…err I mean …help

[quote=IsaacSheen] 1.)Did Muhammed (I’m sure not spelled right) take the Bible (Catholic Bible?) and change it as he saw fit? Why?
[/quote]

Moslem tradition has it the Angel Gabriel visited Mohamed and commanded him to “recite!”

The Koran is the transcripts of his recitals.

Some more jaded persons could say it was part of a power grab to unite the various clans and get his revenge on the folks of Mecca who chased him out of town

A more charitable person might say that he had a genuine midlife spiritual crisis and awakening when found his native paganism unfulfilling

Regardless of how or what inspired him he was obviously familiar with both Christian and Jewish writings since a lot of the material in the Bible appears in the Koran to (although) the stories are slightly different

[quote=IsaacSheen]2.)Do Muslims really consider themselves the descendents of Ishmael (Abraham’s first son)?
[/quote]

The Arabs consider themselves the decedents of Abraham

Non-Arab Moslems consider themselves only to be his spiritual descendants, as Christians do

[quote=IsaacSheen]3.)Did Islam ever have a reformation of any sort? Either from without or within. (i.e. Schisms or a re-defining of their theology)?

Thank you for your patience!
[/quote]

There are many sects and movements within Islam. The main Shia/Sunni break occurred over the succession to the Caliph. That is about as close as they’ve gotten to to a reformation/30 years war kind of thing

for more detail see

[quote=IsaacSheen]Thanks for all the input. It has lead me to other questions.

1.) Muhammad not being able to read…wasn’t there an oral tradition? People really used to know their Bible, it seems like he would.

2.) If he couldn’t read, then he couldn’t write. Did God then grant him the ability to write then?
[/quote]

Muhammad’s role was to learn message by heart and to preach it word for word. According to Islamic history he was illiterate, and never learned to write. Memorization played a vital part in preservaton of the Koran among first Muslims, however many of those who memorized it were dying in battles. Therefore it became clear that messages had to be preserved, or they would be lost forever.

Parts of it were written down on bones, camel hide, palm leaves. It was not written by Muhammad, he had a personal scribe whose name was Zayd bin Thabit. In one of the hadith stories (a body of Islamic literature compiled by Muhammad’s wives, servants, and friends) we learn how the first attempt to compile the Koran was made. It was done after Muhammad’s death by his scribe and was overseen by Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s friend and father-in-law. After Koran was put together, the manuscript stayed with Abu Bakr till he died.

There were several other stages of putting Koran together. At some point there were five different collections in circulation, and there were discrepancies between them. The commision was called to decide which version was authentic.That version was chosen, but the original text did not survive. The earliest fragments of Koran come from second century of Islamic era.

Muhammad was receiving “revelations” for 23 years. The revelation was progressive over time, and was an answer to many historical events. For the first 13 years, when he lived in Mecca, his revelation was peaceful, talked about tolerance and praised People of the Book (Jews and Christians) for following one God.
He managed to convert some pagans, but almost no Christians or Jews. At that point Muhammad still believed that most Jews and Christians would embrace Islam, because of its faith in one God.

When he immigrated to Medina, for about a year he tried converting with words. He again failed at converting Jews and Christians. Then he reported “verses of the sword” that called for a spread of Islam with force. These revelations contradicted what was revealed earlier. Verses of the sword was the last ones given to Muhammad. These inconsistencies in Koran were resolved by revelation that earlier verses were cancelled by later ones. Therefore, since the verses about fighting came last, they nullified the earlier verses that spoke of tolerance. The final revelation from Gabriel was to fight those who refuse to submit to Islamic authority.

The fruits of this teaching we are reaping today all over the world with violent persecution of Jews and Christians…

[quote=Kevin Walker]Actually, as I recall, I believe it was Mohammed’s step-father who did all the writing for the prophet.

[/quote]

Muhammad never had a step-father. His biological father died before Muhammad was even born. His mother moved in with her family but died when Muhammad was 6 years old. His grandfather assumed his care. However, he too died 2 years later. Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib, took care of him from then on.

[quote=Ghosty]I’ve certainly never heard this from Muslims or non-Muslims until now. What do you base this belief upon? There’s nothing spiritually significant about Ishmael to my knowledge.
[/quote]

Muslims consider Ishmael to be one of their prophets (although I have not heard of any of his teachings because there are none).

He is said to be the one who helped Abraham built the temple where Al-Kaaba is housed (in Mecca). This is the most sacred place in Islam. Muslims believe that the black stone (Al-Kaaba) is one of the stones of paradise. They circle it many times when they are on their pilgrimage in Mecca.

The most interesting to note between the Koranic texts and the Bible is that the latter is prophetic. The Old Testament was written long before Mohammed was born. It is a prophetic set of Books pointing to the coming of the Messiah. If one ought to read it typologically, the coming of Jesus fulfills the prophetic writings of the Old Testament.

Most important of all, the Bible points to the way of salvation–thru Jesus Christ. You can see Jesus in every pages of the Old Testament–simply because it “speaks” of Jesus coming.

Mohammed (may his soul rest in peace), simply gotten the idea of Christianity from heretics of his time, most particularly the Arian heretics which was prevalent during that time and was scattered in the Arab nations. Also, he might as well gotten the idea that Jesus wasn’t really crucified from the Gnostics.

Pio

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