A recent survey of world religions states that Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion with over one billion followers. In others words, Islam is the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population. We’ve developed a new resource that answers all types of questions on Islam such as: Is the Islam that we hear about and their God Allah, the same God you find in the Bible? Is the Qur’an Credible? Who are the Shia? What about the Sufis? What connection does Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have with regular Islam? What is Sikhism? How do you witness to Muslims?
Have you ever heard the words, “There is no deity except God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” “These are the first words that every Muslim baby hears and they are often the last words that a Muslim utters upon his death bed.” For over 1 billion “this is not merely a doctrinal creed––it is the foundation for every facet of their lives. The Islamic faith is not simply an exotic Arabic religion…over the last 100 years it has awakened and is spreading worldwide at an almost unprecedented rate. If the Lord’s “Great Commission” is to be fulfilled, it is essential that we, as active, concerned Christians, understand what Islam is. We must both know how to relate to the Muslim, and how to ‘contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’ (Jude 3), ‘with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15).”
Some quick fast facts for you about Islam:
· Muhammad was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) in AD 570
· At age 25, he married a rich 40 year-old widow. This gave him “rank among the notables of Mecca” but perhaps more importantly gave him the time he needed to devote to spiritual matters.
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· Allegedly one night during the month of Ramadan (which incidentally started on August 22, 2009) he heard a voice which said, “Thou Art the messenger of God, and I am Gabriel.” It was at this point that Muhammad said “he realized his calling and prophetic mission.”
· “In AD 630 Muhammad marched on Mecca with a force of 10,000 men…the inhabitants of Mecca swore allegiance to the prophet and for the first time the ‘Muslim call to prayer’ was heard…two years later Muhammad died.”
· “The Qur’an is believed to be God’s final and complete revelation to man.”
· “The Qur’an has much to say about Jesus, but the one thing that it emphasizes more than anything else is that He was only a man, a messenger of God, not the Son of God, or God in human flesh.”
· Orthodox Muslims maintain that Jesus did not die on a cross; they maintain that God made someone look like Jesus and the look-a-like was crucified in place of Jesus.
· Most Muslims believe that Jesus “was bodily taken up into Heaven by God. Most Muslims also believe that He will ‘come again at the last day, slay anti-Christ, kill all the swine, break the cross… He will then reign as a just King for 45 years, marry and leave children, then die and be buried near Mohammad at Medina.’ ”
· “All Muslims believe that Muhammad was the greatest apostle and prophet of all.”
· All Orthodox Muslims believe in a heaven, where true believers will exist forever in a garden of beauty and joy. In this Garden the Qur’an in Sura 55:56-57 and 52:20 says “In them will be (Maidens), Chaste, restraining their glances, Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched” and they will have “beautiful, Big and Lustrous eyes.”
· Salvation is based on good works, “there is no need for a Savior, and in any case God Most High alone can save.”
Islam then has the universally know “five pillars.” This is I think one of the charms of Islam. They are easy to remember and very easily implemented. It starts out, “There is no deity except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. The second pray five times a day facing Mecca, the third fast, the fourth give alms, and the final pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca.
For all this information and much, much more I encourage you check out this great new resource on Islam, entitled Islam: What You Must Know. You can get this at our Website of www.equip.org or by calling us at 1-888-700-0274.
 The List, The World’s Fastest Growing Religions, Foreign Policy (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3835)
 From Joseph Gudel’s article “Islam’s Worldwide Revival” in Islam: What You Must Know The Best of the Christian Research Journal (Published by CRI, Charlotte, NC, 2009), p. 30-31.
 Ibid., 32-43