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Core Muslim Beliefs

Core Muslim Beliefs

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Core Muslim Beliefs

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  1. Core Muslim Beliefs SCTR 19 – “Religions of the Book” Prepared by Matt Pham

  2. Introduction • Six Articles of Islamic Faith (for the Sunni majority) • In addition to Five Pillars of Islamic Practice • Together, make up Aqidah (“creed”) • Sunni/Shi’a beliefs differ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqidah • Having Iman (“to fully observe one’s faith”) • Belief in the heart • Profession by the tongue • Performance of the deeds • Caution / Similar words: Imam = leader vs. Iman = faith • Without the articles of faith, there is no context for the pillars of practice

  3. To Believe in God (Allah) • Monotheism (tawhid = “divine unity”) • God is absolute, a single inseparable unity • One God  Same God for Jews, Christians, Muslims • Allah: not a proper name, but the Arabic word for “God” • “99 Names of God”: found throughout the Qur’an • God has “no associate or partner” • Muslims reject the Christian concept of “Trinity” • God cannot become human; humans cannot be God • Consider Jesus a great prophet, but not divine

  4. To Believe in the Unseen • Angels • God’s messengers; reveal messages to Prophets • Ex: Angel Gabriel revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad • No free will; sole purpose is serving God • Accompany, guide, and protect people at all times • Spirits (Jinn) • Spiritual beings, with free will • Thus can be good or evil • Root of English word/concept: “genie”

  5. To Believe in Prophethood • Prophets (nabi ) and Messengers (rasul ) • Prophets speak God’s words to people orally. • Messengers record God’s words in book form. • So, not all prophets are messengers,but all messengers are also prophets. • Muslims believe in 1000’s of prophets • “Chain of Prophets”: Adam was first; Muhammad was last • Also incl. Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Jesus, etc. • All transmit same basic message throughout history • Certain prophets were sent to specific groups/nations

  6. To Believe in Revelation • Holy Books • Revealed scriptures; messages from God • Different languages, different cultures, different eras • But same basic message, culminating in the Qur’an • Progressive Revelation • Books of Moses, Psalms of David, Gospels of Jesus • Ultimately the Qur’an, revealed thru Muhammad • NOTE: Most Muslims do not read the present HB or NT,believing ancient Jews & Christians altered the messages God had revealed through Moses, David, and Jesus

  7. To Believe in the Day of Judgment • Resurrection of the Dead • At the end of time, all people will be raised • Everyone is held accountable for his/her own deeds • Judgment / Afterlife • Everyone is judged based on one’s life/actions on earth • If good deeds outweigh bad deeds: • Reward  eternal life with God in heaven/paradise/garden • If bad deeds outweigh good deeds: • Punishment  in everlasting fires of hell

  8. To Believe in the Divine Decree • Human Nature / Free Will • Everyone has knowledge & ability to choose between right & wrong, and so is held responsible • Yet God has correct fore-knowledge of everyone’s path • Destiny / Fate / Predestination • God wrote down our destiny in the “Preserved Tablet” • God knows what our nature will cause us to do • A person’s actions are not caused by what God has written • But God is omniscient  God knows in advance

  9. Review • Six Articles of Faith (for Sunni Muslims) • Allah/God • Angels & Spirits • Holy Books • Prophets • Day of Judgment • Destiny or Fate • Variety of Beliefs • Most Muslims, esp. Sunnis, believe in all the above • Specific explanations may vary, even among Sunnis • Some similarities & differences for Shi’i Muslims