Understanding islam?

Hey there guys!

So my new roommate is Islamic and tends to lean our conversations back to islam and sort of throws out stuff as to why islam is more true that other religions, and any time I make a statement about Catholicism he refutes with something saying that his faith is superior. If this is going to continue, I want to be able to argue apologetics on a strong foundation, which is something I am absolutely awful at. As of late, I’ve been trying to read up on Islam to get a bit of an understanding about the differences between islamic and Catholic theology, but so far what I’ve found is more or less people making labels at each other rather than actually giving sound arguments as to why their religion is the true one. Do you guys have any suggestions for articles or research regarding this kind of stuff? What are your opinions on the matter?

You could change your roommate :slight_smile:

Oh, moro, you clever, you :slight_smile:

On a serious note, I have to wait a year. Dorm policies.


Go into their search - seek and you shall find the answers

You can point out to him that his Prophet Mohammad claims something contrary to what the writers within living memory of the life of Jesus claimed Jesus to have said and done. We would therefore have no reason to trust his narrative of Jesus 600 years later.

Prophet Mohammad even contradicts the Jewish accounts of events when it is the Jews that are more likely to know how Solomon wasn’t impeccable by any means in his character than Mohammad about 1000 years later (Muslims believe that Solomon was impeccable and so was David because they were prophets. Jews clearly say that there were prophets who actually warned and guided David and Solomon rather than them being Prophets themselves. You mention the case of Bathsheba and David and they will get pretty upset).

So only reason to trust Mohammad is if there was any indication that he is a prophet. Only way to really say someone is a Prophet is by Miracles. If they insist that it should be by teaching, then say that you have to disqualify him immediately because of him getting history wrong.

On the subject of miracles, by his own admittance, he refused to do miracles except his only miracle THE QURAN. The Muslims claim that the style of writing, its poetical nature and its advanced nature compared to its time is a Miracle.

Now quiet honestly, you can take a very low blow by saying it looks pretty garbage compared to other works of Literature we know. Then they will insist that is because you read a translation and you have to read the Arabic or, here is the good one, you need to hear it being recited to appreciate the musical beauty of it. You can start going even lower at this point but I find it better to just point out the following.

William Shakespeare’s writing was ahead of his time and timeless. No one believes his works are a miracle or that he was a prophet. All his works just imply that Shakespeare was a very skilled writer who understood the art better than any of his surrounding peers. Nothing more.

So to say that Mohammad is a Prophet can be known by his greatest miracle: the Quran, is a pretty sorry excuse of a reason.

At this point, some Muslims may try to say Mohammad did do miracles. They will say he ripped the moon in two and put it back together. The problem here is that such a fiat should be witnessed globally (not to mention feeling the effects). But there are no records of such a sighting among any ancient writings. So this makes the miracle doubtful. At best it would become an optical illusion that Mohammad pulled on his followers that were close to him (considering others around the same area never saw it which they should if it truly happened).

There is another “water” miracle they bring up but that one is honestly not even worth talking about. You can just dismiss it on the basis of no reliable historical proof for it and that many Muslims themselves reject these sort of miracles.

Afterward, he/she might try saying “we can’t just decide on a religion on that sole basis right?”. Just say “No we can and that is how any reasonable person should decide. There is no point talking about it unless you got anything to make me realize Prophet Mohammad is legitimately a Prophet of God. I am starting to doubt it on the basis that he messed up many historical facts including the narrative of Christ and doesn’t have any miracles to justify his prophet-hood.” and I am sure they won’t bug you much after that.

If they do, rinse and repeat.

I once made a list of my favorite topics to discuss with Muslims:


There’s some strong ones in there. The best evidence however is the crucifixion of Jesus and all scholars accepting that Jesus did in fact die on that cross.

I’m adding here a post on Islam I wrote in 2008:
I found tucked away in my Bible a page I wrote down and meant to transcribe it to the computer. I heard this preacher on the radio on my way home and memorized his four principles of Islam. When I came across this thread, I thought I would jump in with my own two cents.

Four Principles of Islam
Remember: Christianity 33 A.D., Islam 600 A.D., Mormonism 1829 A.D.

ABSOLUTES NULLIFY PREVIOUS ABSOLUTES The revelation to Mohammed by Gabriel the Archangel declares all previous revelations to be false or corrupt and that this is the final and true revelation by God to the world. First there was A and only A; then comes B which is better than A. The fallacy is, there is nothing to prevent C from occurring. This happened with Joseph Smith receiving the golden plates from the angel Moroni. Charles Taze Russell repeated this error in 1879 when he founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, launching the Jehovah Witnesses sect.

EXCLUSIVE LANGUAGE REQUIRED The Qur’an is originally written in Arabic. Translations into non-Arabic languages are faulty and thus, Moslem scholars say the only true Qur’an is preserved in Arabic. This makes the scriptures of Islam inaccessible to the masses. To practice Islam and receive the promises of salvation requires the adoption of the Arabic language and its culture. While Mohammed is not known to have performed a miracle like Moses or Jesus Christ, Moslems say the Qur’an is the greatest miracle for all mankind. If it is truly a revelation from God, then why must Moslems learn Arabic to read the Qur’an?

AUTHENTIC STANDARD OR REFERENCE MISSING It is claimed that Jesus Christ did proclaim the Good News, the Gospel of salvation but the Bible in its present form is corrupt and unfortunately, the original Gospel is hopelessly lost. Christians today do not have an accurate translation of the Bible and never will. The fallacy here is if the original translation is indeed lost, you do not have a unit of measure, a solid reference by which you can compare current translations. Thus, Moslems who refer to a so-called Gospel of Barnabas are in the same predicament. It is surprising that Moslems have no problem trumping Christian scriptures as corrupt but yet use the Gospel of Barnabas to authenticate Islam.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS The biggest obstacle to free dialogue between Moslems and non-believers is this principle: Moslem scholars reserve the right to impugn, detract, nullify or otherwise negate other religions, their leaders and practices. The same right is not extended to opponents of Islam.

Dear reader: I heard these principles outlined by a preacher on the radio. I do not recall his name but he had a strong Indian accent and spoke the Queen’s English. I was on the way home listening and was so impressed that I pulled over off the highway and wrote down these four principles back in December, 2004.

Pray for the conversion of our Moslem brethren and when speaking with them, remember *“always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence. . .” *(1 Peter 3:15-16). Study up on your own faith. The best way to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ is by your example. “For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit…The virginity of Mary, her giving birth, and also the death of the Lord, were hidden from the prince of this world–three mysteries loudly proclaimed, but wrought in the silence of God.”(Ignatius of Antioch in his epistle to the Ephesians (vv. 18-19), which he wrote while under arrest and heading to Rome for his martyrdom, A.D. 110.)

See Call of the Minaret by Terry L Frazier at catholic.com/thisrock/1992/9204fea1.asp

I hope this helps,

I would respectfully decline to discuss religion.

I wouldn’t take the argumentative / proving islam wrong approach. Don’t argue with him. Help him find which way toward mecca is, respect his prayer time. Be friendly.

No one is argued into the faith via apologetics unless they are already seeking.

Let him talk to you. Look for the commonality.

The old “You catch more flies with honey” approach.

Islam does not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and they reject a belief in the Trinity. That is a major difference with RC.

It was probably Ravi Zacharias. He’s a Christian, but not Catholic, apologist. I’ve heard some of his talks and he is very good.

Search for the document “Endless Jihad” by Catholic Answers. I think it does a good job of backing up its points with quotes from the Qur’an and Islamic history.

On the whole, I would avoid trying to counter his pro-Islamic statements. It’s pretty much a waste of time, since if he is automatically countering everything you say then he isn’t listening anyway.

You should simply tell him you’re a Catholic Christian and that if he wants to know what you believe you would be glad to tell him, but that you are not interested in debating the subject. If you’re awful at apologetics then you are going to have problems in any discussion with him.

Just avoid comparing/discussing religions. No one will EVER win that discussion.

I agree, arguing with a devout Muslim is a waste of your college study time! By the way, he would also come up with another “miracle”. Mohammed is said to have ridden a horse (sent by Allah) from the Temple Mount to Heaven, spent some time there talking to Allah, then returned. Do you know what is in Mecca? A large meteorite – sent by Allah, of course, but was “worshiped” as being from “heaven” by the pagans who lived in the Mecca area long years before Mohammed came along.

Be respectful when he is praying & quiet, but insist he do the same when you pray or say the Rosary. Otherwise, I’d refuse to discuss religion. Tell him you have no desire to convert to Islam, and you will refrain from trying to convert or discuss Catholicism with him. Period.

Never argue with a mug. Some people are intransigent to any rational argument. Such is the Muslim zealot. You may not be prepared to go the distance and it may well sour your companionship. I would just respect his beliefs and refuse to enter into any deeper discussion. Pearls before swine comes to mind but this would be rude. No, take him as he is and love his fervency for his God.

Maybe you should focus on your studies and not waste time.

Try telling him that your religion promises you 72 virgins for NOT detonating a suicide vest! It may not be true–but it will get his attention I guarantee you! LOL!:smiley:

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I’ll get to reading all of that information when I get the chance. I’m glad some of you guys said just avoid it, because quite honestly that’s what I’d like to do. Hopefully it will get to a point where he’s willing to actually discuss things instead of getting emotionally charged about all of it. Of course, as an old Boy Scout, I’ve got to be prepared for anything, right?

I have read this several times and I still not sure what point is trying to be made concerning Charles Taze Russell; is the thought that Russell presented what he believed the “absolute” truth?

At any rate, Russell, unlike Joseph Smith and Mohammed, did not claim to be prophet; indeed, he plainly stated several times that he was not a prophet, but rather he considered himself to be a student of Bible prophecy. He believed that there has been no prophet* since Jesus, and that only Jesus is the prophet through whom God is speaking in this age. – Hebrews 1:1,2.

*the word prophet is used in two different ways in the Bible, one as meaning a divinely-appointed person who receives messages directly from God, and another as meaning a public speaker.

Russell, being a non-sectarian, refused to launch any sect, believing that the only “sect” one should belong to was that established by Jesus, that is, to belong to Christ. There was no “Jehovah’s Witnesses” sect until after Russell died. The vast majority of those associated with the Bible Students Association rejected Rutherford’s “Jehovah’s visible organization” dogma, and they also rejected his teachings regarding the “second death”.

For my studies on Charles Taze Russell, see:

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