A Concise Introduction to Islam

A Concise Introduction to Islam - A Concise Introduction to...

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A Concise Introduction to Islam: by Richard T. Nolan "ISLAM" is derived from the Arabic root salaama meaning peace, purity, submission and obedience. Islam stands for making peace by submitting to the will of God and obeying His law. Jews and Christians view Islam as the latest of the world's great religions. However, worldwide Muslims (sometimes written "Moslems") understand their universal religion as the "final religion" and the "primal religion." As "final," Islam is God's final revelation of prophetic religion, in fulfillment of all that had preceded. Moses was given the Law; David was given the Psalms; Jesus was given the Gospel. Judaism offers God's message of justice, and Christianity proclaims the love of God. To Mohammed (570-632 A.D.; spelled in a variety of ways) the God of Abraham and Jesus revealed the Qur'an (Arabic for "recital," sometimes written Koran). The Qur'an, written in Arabic, is the Sacred Scripture of Islam, the perfection of all previous divine revelations, and is to be understood literally as the direct words of God. In this sense of scriptural literalism, all Muslims may be called "fundamentalists." However, when referring to the aggressive behaviors of a few, "militants" and "extremists" are better categories. Muslims believe in all prophets of the Bible. The Qur'an itself mentions the Torah and the Gospel as scriptures revealed by God to Moses and Jesus. However, the Qur'an indicates that over time, changes were made to the actual biblical texts, because of commentary blended with the original text, as well as losses to the texts through transmission and other causes. For these reasons, Muslims cannot rely absolutely on the Torah and Gospels as sources of revelation, unless they confirm what is in the Qur'an or at least are in harmony with it. As "Seal of the Prophets" and apostle of Allah (which means "the God" in Arabic), Mohammed is neither divine nor the focal point of Islam; therefore, the religion should not be called Mohammadanism. For the one billion or more Muslims (about 6 million in the United States), who are of many racial and ethnic
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course HUM 119B at San Jose State University .

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A Concise Introduction to Islam - A Concise Introduction to...

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