Christianity Face to Face with Islam

We talked about the essay on Islam. The following link from the www. firstthings.com website will let you see the article. http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/01/001-christianity-face-to-face-with-islam This source tries to be politically neutral with respect to  Islam, it is a good work if you avoid committing a sin. Can Islam continue to grow despite the limits on personal freedoms? Will that rise up to bite them. A friend of John’s said Islam is the perfect religion with its five pillars. The five pillars are included below. Briefly, they are
1. Profession of faith.
2. Prayer
3. Almsgiving
4. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan
5.  the pilgrimage to Makkah

Tom’s test on the article:

1. Name the Biblical figure/person who forms the common basis of Christianity and Islam.
2. Rank these religions in terms of their age of existence.
A. Islam
B. Judaism
C. Christianity
3. What to Muslims believe is wrong with Christianity
4. Complete the following phrase which Muslims regularly recite.
“There is no god but God and ________ is his messenger.”
5. What is geographically remarkable about the parts of the world that are today majority Muslim, as compared to the parts of the world that are majority Christian?
6. There are more Muslims than Christians in the world today.
A. True
B. False
7. Which prophet is most frequently named in the Quoran (Koran)?

Bonus Questions (from John)

8. According to Islam, what age was the prophet Noah when he was called to prophecy?
9. Adam is a prophet of Islam.
A. True
B. False
10. What do puritanism and Islam have in common?
11. Multiple choice. Which of the following beliefs are not shared by Christianity?
A. the Oneness of God
B. Original Sin
C. Te day of resurrection
D. Life after death
E. The virgin birth of Jesus

(key to quiz below)

5 pillars of Islam

Shahadah, profession of faith, is the first pillar of Islam. Muslims bear witness to the oneness of God by reciting the creed “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” This simple yet profound statement expresses a Muslim’s complete acceptance of and total commitment to Islam.

Salah, prayer, is the second pillar. The Islamic faith is based on the belief that individuals have a direct relationship with God. The world’s Muslims turn individually and collectively to Makkah, Islam’s holiest city, to offer five daily prayers at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and evening. In addition, Friday congregational service is also required. Although salah can he performed alone, it is meritorious to perform it with another or with a group. It is permissible to pray at home, at work, or even outdoors; however it is recommended that Muslims perform salah in a mosque.

Zakat, almsgiving, is the third pillar. Social responsibility is considered part of one’s service to God; the obligatory act of zakat enshrines this duty. Zakat prescribes payment of fixed proportions of a Muslim’s possessions for the welfare of the entire community and in particular for its neediest members. It is equal to 2.5 percent of an individual’s total net worth, excluding obligations and family expenses.

Sawm, fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, is the fourth pillar of Islam. Ordained in the Holy Qur’an, the fast is an act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a richer perception of God. Fasting is also an exercise in self-control whereby one’s sensitivity is heightened to the sufferings of the poor. Ramadan, the month during which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, begins with the sighting of the new moon, after which abstention from eating, drinking and other sensual pleasures is obligatory from dawn to sunset. Ramadanis also a joyful month. Muslims break their fast at sunset with a special meal, iftar, perform additional nocturnal worship, tarawih, after evening prayer; and throng the streets in moods that are festive and communal. The end of Ramadan is observed by three days of celebration called Eid Al-Fitr, the feast of the breaking of the fast. Customarily, it is a time for family reunion and the favored holiday for children who receive new clothing and gifts.

Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah, is the fifth pillar and the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith and unity in the world. For those Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the journey to Makkah, the Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty that is the peak of their religious life. The Hajj is a remarkable spiritual gathering of over two million Muslims from all over the world to the holy city. In performing the Hajj, a pilgrim follows the order of ritual that the Prophet Muhammad performed during his last pilgrimage.

 

Key to quiz: 1. Abraham; 2. B, C, A; 3. the Trinity, not just one god; 4. Mohammad; 5. Islam is clustered around the equator in African and Asia and the middle east, Christianity is in north and south America, and Europe as well as southern Africa; 6. False; 7. Mohammad.; 8. 480; 9. true; 10. strict moral code; 11. b, they believe man is tainted but don’t subscribe to the idea of original sin as in Judaism and Christianity.

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