History, Understanding the Historic Relationship between Christianity and Islam
The present form of Islam began in
Muslims hold that
the message of Islam – submission to the will of the one God,
Allah – is the same as the message preached by all the messengers
sent by God to humanity since Adam. From an Islamic point of view,
Islam is the oldest of the monotheistic religions because it
represents both the original, and the final revelation of God to
Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed.
depict Judaism and Christianity as prophetic successor traditions to
the teachings of Abraham. The Qur'an calls Jews and Christians
"people of the Book," and distinguishes them from
polytheists. In order to reconcile discrepancies between the earlier
prophets and the Qur'an, Muslims claim that Jews and Christians
forgot or distorted the word of God after it was revealed to them.
Most early Muslim scholars, and some modern ones, believe it was
just distortion in interpretation of the Bible. However, others
believe that there was also textual distortion, that Jews changed
the Old Testament (Torah) and the Christians the Injil
(gospels) by altering the meaning, form, and placement of words in
their respective holy texts.
By the year 750, Islam had expanded to
Mohammed died in
632 without appointing a successor or creating a system to choose
one. As a result, the caliphate was established. Caliph
is the title for the leader of the Ummah,
or community of Islam. Early caliphs believed themselves to be both
the spiritual and temporal leaders of Islam, and insisted that
obedience to the caliph in all things was the hallmark of the good
Muslim. Arguments over whether the caliphs should be elected or of
Mohammed’s bloodline started the rift between what is now known as
its two main branches of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims.
Besides these two main groups, other sects include Sufis (mysticism, self-denial), Wahhabis
(radical Sunnism, mostly in
Table 32- 2 : Sunnis and Shia
Read on about: (6)
Islam - the Qur'an - the writings
 Ergun Mehmet Caner, Emir Fethi Caner, Unveiling Islam (2002), chapter 11.
Ministries - Christian Apologetics - Evidences for Christianity
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