I just read something on a christian muslim forum. It said simply that to qualify to be called muslim:
One must believe in Moses (Musa)
One must believe in Jesus (Isa)
One must believe in all the biblical prophets
One must believe in the Torah (Tawrat)
One must believe in the Psalms (Zabur)
One must believe in the Gospel (Injil)
I’m at a loss. where does it say you have to believe in Mohammed.
I mainly bring this up because to go to Mecca one must be a muslim. So does that mean a christian can go there?
Most Muslim scholars (remember, Islam is in many ways just as diverse as Christianity) consider the requirement to be a Muslim to be saying with conviction that “there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger.” The above things you listed are generally considered implicit in this, as Muhammad’s revelation mentions pretty much all those prophets and texts. Nonetheless, every Muslim must (by the mainstream definition) believe in Muhammad’s prophethood.
Edit- it should be noted that when Muslims refer to the Gospel they are NOT referring to Matthew Mark Luke and John. I can explain this in greater detail if there is interest.
Anyone born into Islam is automatically a believer of Mohamad. And if a non-muslim wants to convert to Islam, they must recite the shahada proclaiming that there is no god but Allah and Mohamad is his messenger.
All other prophets and books you mentioned is just secondary.
Also, I agree with the new poster, IbnFiktur, that when they mention the Injil, they are not talking about the New Testament as we know it.
They believe the Injil was a book that Jesus, whom they call Isa, had written and the book is lost or destroyed.
And they also believe our Bible is corrupt, but they have no problem using verses from to it just to say… “hey… this verse talks about our prophet mohamad”…
I am not sure that the muslim definition of “believe in” corresponds with that of Christians…in fact I am positive. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet. Christians embrace Jesus as the Messiah…the Christ…God from God. Muslims are not even close to grasping this so “believe in” is totally incorrect.
I have nothing whatever in common with islam…muslims are creations of God and my brothers in that regard.
I believe it was one of the Syriac writers of the middle ages (Bar Salibi?) who wrote concerning the Muslims that “they demand an apology from us (for our religion) not from our scriptures, but from those they recognize”. I find this an incredibly astute comment, which also shows how long the Muslims have been talking out of two sides of their mouths about the prophets we supposedly share, their own prophet, and our Holy Bible. As such, I find nothing commendable in the supposed recognition of Jesus Christ, the Biblical prophets, and certain other Christian figures (e.g., St. George/“Al Khidr”) in Islam. And I can’t understand why any Christian ever would want to go to Mecca. I personally would not even wonder about going there until there is a suitable church there in which I may pray. Until then, no, you can’t go – and you should be glad in that fact.
Jakasaki mentioned it a little bit. Essentially, Muslims believe that Jesus was given the Gospel (note that this is singular), which they refer to as the Injil (انجيل). The Injil is understood to be a revelation that was given to Jesus in the same way that God (via the angel Gabriel) gave the revelation to Muhammad.
In other words, in Islamic thought it’s not clear whether the Gospel was a physical book or simply the message Jesus was given to preach about. What is clear to Muslim scholars is that Christians lost it and erroneously refer to the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the “Gospels.”
A good way to think about this is to consider what the revelation of the word of God means to Muslims. Whereas the books of the Bible are not written directly by God, but rather are considered “divinely inspired,” the Qur’an literally contains the word of God transmitted via Gabriel to Muhammad. God speaks in the first person throughout much of the Qur’an (using the royal “we”). A Muslim looking at the Christian Gospels, then, is naturally going to wonder how these could be considered “scripture.” Here we have four separate accounts written by mortal men several decades after the fact with often conflicting timelines. Calling such a writing the “word of God” is laughable in the Muslim understanding of what revelation actually is. Thus, the typical Muslim understanding is that revelation similar to the Qur’an was granted to the Jewish prophets and Jesus, but it was lost and/or corrupted, and the books we have today are merely the works of men that are erroneously referred to as “Gospel” and “scripture.”
Such claims are now and must always be (at least unintentionally) disingenuous. Muslims don’t believe in the same Jesus and accept the same Bible as Christians do–the former are required to hold that the latter are working with corrupted theology and scripture. Muslims and Christians don’t share as much in common as some in the two camps might like to think (out of a misplaced sense of ecumenism) or to say (out of a desire to fool the misinformed and gullible), respectively.
Well that’s the thing; it wasn’t necessarily a book. Remember, the Qur’an was an orally transmitted body for some time. That’s why it’s truly a work of poetry. In the desert, nomadic and largely illiterate Arabs committed things to memory in the form of poems. The Prophet’s revelations were committed to memory in much the same way and, again, are understood as the direct word of God speaking straight to Muhammad. In fact, reading the Qur’an, you can see places where God specifically says (paraphrasing): “Say this.” A more literal translation of the command would be “Recite.”
If you’re an Arabic speaker, it’s actually remarkably easy to memorize chunks of the Qur’an because almost everything rhymes quite beautifully.
So it’s not a matter of losing a book or making a few mistakes. It’s a matter of revelation that people, in their sin, ignored, misunderstood, or allowed to be forgotten. Instead some legends were recorded in these books that we Christians call scripture, and they contain shreds of truth, but are not divinely inspired and are not themselves “revelation” in the Muslim understanding of the word.
Indeed. The Arabic verb “to say” is qaala; the language’s equivalent of “to recite” is qara’a; and, interestingly, another meaning of the latter is “to read”. When the angel Gabriel purportedly appeared to Muhammad and cried “Iqra’!”, the order was ambiguous–or at least is so for us today: “Recite!” or “Read!”
Islam has some good roots in it true, but the core is bad and rotten. Mohammad taught the marriage is not always about love but about the protection of females. While Christ taught that we should marry one and marry out of love. Mohammad also taught against the Israeli Prophetic tradition. If Muhammad was a prophet then it broke the chain of Israeli Prophets.
Yes, I recall the poetry of the Quran recited originally by word as believed.
Regarding the last paragraph, Muslim fail to realize that The Bible in particular the New Testament is a collection of experiences by the inspired writers who witnessed or were taught by the Apostles in their trials and tribulations bringing the teachings of Jesus. Without these experiences and witnesses the Bible would mean really nothing.
I wonder whether Islamists (of the pre- millennia era) or even Mohammad ever spoke about talk about the Councils that finalized the Bible due to heretics?
That’s the truly interesting historical question. The fact is that there were significant amounts of Christians living in the Muslim world throughout the middle ages. However, virtually none of them were Roman Catholic, and most of them would have been regarded as heretics by contemporary Catholics (the Copts, for instance, were/are monophysites). There was certainly interaction between Muslims and Christians throughout this period, but the interaction was not with Western Christianity.
Nonetheless, the Bible was more or less consistent in the Mediterranean by the 7th century, so it is likely that Muslim scholars were aware of the process of how books were added to the canon via interaction with Christian leaders of various sects in their lands.
I don’t know all the details of it, so I hope someone can fill me in. From what I understand,to a Muslim, religious identity does not come solely from a personal decision to adhere to a certain set of beliefs, and consideration of tradition being handed down doesn’t quite cover it either. There’s also the idea that everyone is born into a natural state of Islam, and everyone at least starts out a Muslim. I’m not entirely clear on exactly what it means for a newborn to be a Muslim, though, and I’m not sure about all the if/thens like if certain people are seen as having retained some aspect of Islamic identity even if they don’t practice as far as the five pillars, prayers, and attending a mosque.
So I’m rather curious about that. Anyone know more specific things about natural-state Islam? It kind of seems like the opposite of original sin.
Etymologically, “Muslim” (مسلم) comes from the Arabic root s-l-m (سلم), which has a variety of meanings that essentially boil down to wholeness, safety, and surrender. The word “Muslim” is derived from the verb “aslama” (اسلم), which means “to resign oneself to the will of God.” Adding the “m” changes the meaning to “one who resigns himself to the will of God.”
Theologically it’s a bit more complicated, again because there are so many different schools of thought within Islam (as there are within Christianity). It’s fair to say that the Qur’an rejects the notion of Original Sin, or at least it is rejected insofar as Muhammad understood the orthodox (little “o”) Christian concept of it. For instance, the Qur’an states that one man does not bear the burden of any other man’s sin (6:164).
Does that mean that we are all born Muslims? Well, that has probably been a debate among Muslim theologians. On the one hand, a newborn hasn’t yet sinned (though St. Augustine would argue that newborns sin within their first few breaths!), but on the other the newborn doesn’t have the capacity to “resign to the will of God,” so to speak. I’m sure this has been debated. Is an infant in a natural state of resignation to the will of God, given its helplessness?
There’s no single answer to this question. What IS clear, however, is this: there is no Muslim “sacrament of initiation” as we Christians understand it. Muslims do not practice baptism or anything like it. One is simply a Muslim if one resigns oneself to the will of God… and according to Muslims this is only truly possible by accepting that “there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger.”
Sorry for all the long posts, but Muslim theology is just as complicated as Christian theology, and we would be doing ourselves and our Muslim brothers a disservice by oversimplifying the issues.