Religion is considered a system that conglomerates behaviors as well as diverse practices that result in a unique set of cultural norms and activities related to a form of worship. In this case, views that are unique to that system will include sacred texts and holy places associated with worship. In most cases, ethics and social regulations or organization that unites human integration form part of the culture of religion and interaction. Other religion may include the existence of a supernatural deity that will control and define life. The non-human but powerful beings are sometimes associated with routine practices such as rituals, supplications, sermons, feasts, and worship services. Each religion can be associated with several individuals called followers who believe in the norms and cultural teachings. The history and emblems of a particular religion are mostly preserved through scripture, famous symbols, and the artwork within the holy places (Swatos and McClenon 543). The major five religions across the world include Folk Religions, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In this paper, we examine the Christian worldview of the Islamic faith by highlighting the historical background of the religion, the doctrinal beliefs, and critical evaluation significant aspects from the Christian perspective.
Overview of Christianity Religion
Christianity is among the major religions in the world with followers cumulating to about 33% of the entire worlds population, which makes it the largest internationally. Christians believe in Jesus as the Son of God and work together in the union of the Holy Spirit as the Trinity (McMartin 363). The Christian Bible is divided into the first account called the Old Testament, which gives prophecies centered at the coming of Jesus the Son of God as the Savior of the world Messiah. The second account is called the New Testament that outlines the life and mission of Jesus on earth within the first four books called the gospel. The other books elaborate on the teachings of Jesus with the last book called Revelation predicting giving the details of the second coming of Jesus as the King to judge sinners and reward the faithful.
Moreover, Christianity is based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, which sets the foundation of the faith among followers. In this case, members who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and embrace a holy life are entitled to eternal life; however, the forgiveness of sin is chance offered to every believer seeking to change their evil ways. Furthermore, Christianity is founded on the hope of the second coming of Jesus, which forms the end to sin and suffering. Therefore, every believer looks to this day with high hopes and supplication as preparation to receive the Messiah. However, other religious groups such as Islam among others subscribe to diverse beliefs relating to salvation and deity supremacy and existence, which are contrary to the teachings and beliefs of Christians.
Historical Background of the Islamic Religion
The origin of Islamic Religion can be traced to the Late Antiquity timeline during the sixth century. At this time, the Arabian region was experiencing political transformation and changes within the social system were affected by the distortion experienced within the economic dimension. The onset of religious realignment started with Christianity advancing popularity within the Persian region. On the other hand, the Judaism became a common phenomenon in the Himyarite Empire. The historical account of the Islamic Religion reveals that the nature of the multidimensional view regarding religious activity and political strife prompted Prophet Muhammad to start preaching about the will of God, also called Allah, to the people. The inspiration that Muhammad received on the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), while he was on personal retreat in a cave close to Mecca, formed the foundation of Islamism (Fieser 375; Rahman 7). The other visions and thoughts that he shared with other believers and family were later recorded in the form of writings that formed the Quran. However, most people in the 622 CE did not believe in him, and it took the help of his wife and 50 other close associates to encourage him to continue being the messenger of Allah.
The resistance to the Muhammad teachings continued, and when he was 52 years old, he left Mecca and moved to Yathrib, which he later named Medina (Fieser 376). Today, the fleeing to Yathrib also called the Hijrah forms the onset of the Lunar Calendar. In 630 CE, Muhammad went back to Mecca where he declared the teachings of the Islamic Religion and later died and was buried. The death of the prophet ignited the formation of sects within the religion where two main divisions emanated. Sunni followed the revelations of Muhammad and adhered to his teachings. The Sunnis continued their faith in the four Caliphs who were with the prophet during his troubles and journey. On the other hand, Shiite included the faithful of the philosophies of Ali who was Muhammads cousin. The Shiites considered themselves more superior than the Sunnis. Other sects such as the Twelvers and the Fivers also came out of the major denominations because of the disagreement in the teachings. Nevertheless, a high number of Islam followers still esteems the Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (Rahman 10).
Today, Quran is the holy book of Islamism containing all the instructions for the believers defining the way one should live as well as managing relationships with others. The book contains the revelations Muhammad had received before he died, which the Islamic Religion believes were directions from Allah regarding the way of life. The teachings of Quran are based on the supremacy of holy living. In this case, goodness forms the fundamental aspect of life. Each follower is expected to show mercy and kindness to people regardless of their position. The sentiment draws back to the goodness of Allah. The book also emphasizes on the omnipotence and unity of Allah, which requires the total submissiveness to the will of God through sole worship. Moreover, the teachings of Islamic religion stresses on the need for generosity towards people and justice for all humans (Rahman 13). Such a case explains why Islamic Religion values the human relationship as a core aspect of living. Currently, Islam is considered as a civilization as well as a religion based on the historical evaluation of over 14 centuries. The religion stretches to most of the global regions such as Africa, Asia, and Europe, which contributes to over 1.2 billion believers across the world. The composition of the followers draws from multiple cultural and racial backgrounds (Hossein 7).
Major Doctrinal Beliefs in Islamic Religion
The Islamic Religion is based on seven major doctrines and beliefs that define the foundation of the Islamic faith. The Quran teachings can be cauterized based on the factors, which include the nature of God, prophecy and revelation, the spiritual world, the state of humans, the life of man and woman, the cosmos, and the eschatology (Hossein 59). Nevertheless, there exist other pure doctrines, which can be explained under the major categories. The evaluation of each doctrine will assist in understanding the core elements that distinguish the religion from the rest.
The Islamic Religion believes in the existence of God, who is considered perfect and right. The divinity nature of God forms the Supreme Reality, who is considered as the God Head. In Islamic Religion, God is not only pure but beyond being, which separates Him from the living creatures and other beings. Therefore, the proclamation La ilaha illa LLah forms the basis of the Islamism. Moreover, God is considered as beyond the current knowledge and ideas because He knows infinitely. The onset of the world emanates from the supreme nature of God, which makes Him the first and the last. The divine essence of Allah is beyond the duality nature and gender but considered feminine. On the other hand, the Islamic Religion also embraces prophecy and revelation. The doctrine is valued as the next Supreme pillar of the Islamic faith, which is called the Nubuwwah. The religion believes that God created prophecy to the part of the human history to enable them to understand His divinity. The historical journey of believers is considered to have started with Adam, and over 124,000 prophets have shared the will of Allah down to other generation (Hossein 62).
Moreover, the religion believes in the existence of angels (Al-malaikah), which the followers believe enhances faith to Allah. The angels are considered as messengers of God where they communicate with the humans on behalf of God. For example, angel Gabriel (Jibrail) delivered good tidings concerning the will of God for human while Izrail is responsible for taking the soul of men and women when they die. The religion also affirms the existence of ranks among angles such that those operating within the throne of Allah are superior that those who carry out the daily activities as assigned by Allah. Moreover, the Islamic faith also traces the origin of the devil as being a fallen angel called Al-Iblis who later presented himself to Adam (Hossein 69). The Islamic Religion recognizes the origin and state of man as a fundamental aspect of the faith and teachings. The Quran explains several dimension of human existence that culminates to the doctrine of Human State. Muslims believe in the creation of the first man from clay. Adam was formed from the soil, and God gave him the breath of life to become a living soul. Both the man and the woman were created as the servants of Allah. Eve was made to be Adams companion, and the two lived happily in Paradise until the Al-Iblis enticed them to disobey Allah. The Islamic Religion affirms that man still holds the chance of godly living; however, one must remove the tendency to passions. Therefore, human beings are bound by two factors: they should be passive towards heavenly matters and active towards stewardship on earth.
Moreover, regarding the life of a man and a woman, the Islamic Religion affirms that the teachings in Quran are meant for the two sexes that exist as distinct entities. Therefore, the life of each gender is subjected to the equal measure of reward and punishment for heaven and hell respectively without favor. The same sentiments also hold for the intermediate purgatory, which is open to any believer regardless of the gender. Therefore, the Islamic religion attests to the equality of gender regarding the divine laws as outlined in the Quran. Besides, the roles of men and women are regarded as complementary factors rather than opposing elements of economic and social engagements (Hossein 70). On the other hand, women are not secluded and no discrimination is advanced female followers in line with any economic, social, and political activity. Concerning the elements of sexuality, Islamism regards sexuality as sacred.
Furthermore, the religion affirms the existence of the cosmos, which include the nature of the world depicting the sacredness of God. The cosmos is regarded as the second source of the religious revelations. Therefore, nature forms part of the Islamic revelations by explaining the teachings existing in the holy book. In Islamism, there is no notable difference between natural and supernatural since the former is a masterpiece of the work of Allahs creation. In this case, humans remain as the vicegerents of God mandated with the custodians duties. Finally, the Islamic Religion also depicts the eschatological events that will culminate the end of the natural world. Based on Muhammads visions, the faith outlines the events that will characterize the end period as macro and microcosmic...
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