Over the last several years, we have hearda great deal about the religion of Islam —a religion that has over 1 billion followers worldwide. Islamis the name of the religion begun by an Arabian man namedMuhammad about 1,400 years ago. Those who are be-lievers in Islam are called “Muslims.”
Muslims believe that Muhammad was the last great prophet, or messenger, of God. Born about A.D. 570 in Mecca, Muhammad believed he was a prophet chosen by God to warn his people (the Arabs) aboutidolatry. He taught the importance of worshipping one true god, whom he called Allah.
Arabiawas a wild land where fierce desert tribes continually fought with one another. Muhammad taught that Arabs should not fight against one another; in fact, he said violence was acceptable only for self-defense orto defend Islam. Muhammad preached for only 22 years, but the religion of Islam spread quickly. After his death in A.D.632, great armiesof his followers went to different parts of the world, conquered many nations, and encouragedthem to accept Islam. This great, bloody spread of Islam was called Jihad (gee-HAHD),which means “holy war.”
Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They believe that Jesus, Abraham, and Moses were merely special messengers, of equal importance, from God. Muslims do not follow the commands of the Bible. Instead, the “holy book” of Muslims is the Quran. Mus-lims believe that the Quran records the teachings that Muhammad received from God. Those of the Islamic religion be-lieve that the greatest accomplishment of a Muslim child’s life is to memorize the entire Quran!
We must all realize that the Muslim faith is based upon teachings that are not found in the Bible. Because the Quran is not from God, the religion which is based upon its teachings is false (see Galatians 1:6-9). People should follow what the Bible teaches, and not what the Quran says. It is wrong to think that Jesus was just a prophet. Jesus is God’s Son, Who was raised from the dead (see Romans 1:4; Acts 2:32,36). He is the Savior of the world (Acts 4:12; John 1:29). Mu-hammad was a false prophet who taught things that are not true, nor in the Bible. Many of his followers spread their false religion by horrible and bloody wars. Christianity, the true religion of God, is not forced on people. It is spread by Christians who share with others only what the Bible teaches (Mark 16:15-16). Christians need to teach Muslims to accept Jesus and the Bible. We must hope and pray that they will.