What Do Muslims Believe?

Even Muslims do not truly understand what their Koran actually teaches. This is why there are so many different beliefs among Muslims. Thus, how can we, who are not Muslims, understand what they believe? Muslims are followers of Islam and the truth is that if we are open to it, we can understand the basic teachings of Islam. If we do this, we can understand how to talk to a Muslim. So let’s look at the fundamental beliefs in Islam.

Who Is Muhammad?

Muhammad is the founder of the Islam religion. He was born in 570 AD in Mecca, Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) and he died on June 8, 632.

According to Christian scholars, who can read and understand the Koran, Muhammad is never called the “prophet of God” but rather is only called “His Messenger.” The word that is translated “messenger” is also translated as “apostle.” Thus, according to the Koran, Muhammad considered himself in the same category as the apostles in our Bible. He is someone totally committed to God and is trying to teach others about who God and Jesus is.

In the Koran, it says in [4:136] “O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah , His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray.”

Notice that in the above passage from the Koran, it says that followers of Allah are to read the Scripture “which was sent down before.” This can refer to no other book than our Bible. It also says that they are to follow “his messengers.” Notice that this is plural. Who are the other messengers? Since the Arabic word translated “messenger” is also translated “apostle,” than it can only refer to the Apostles in the Bible.

Also please note that “Allah” is not an incorrect Arabic word for God. Every Jewish and Christian Bible that is translated into Arabic uses “Allah” as the word for “God.”

Muhammad and the Koran

It is really not important to understand who Muhammad was. In fact, if you search the internet for a “history of Muhammad,” you will be shocked by what you find. History reveals that Muhammad started out as a person who truly was searching for God. He was also greatly influenced by Judaism and Christianity.

However, later in his life, he lived a life that was far from someone who was trying to live as God wanted him to live. Most Muslims do not know about his later life, or if they do, they ignore it.

Muhammad wrote the Koran in his early years, when He first tried to understand who God was. In his studies, he studied both Judaism and Christianity. This is why we find so much similarity between the Koran and the Bible.

Since Muslims insist that they must live by the teachings of the Koran, we need to understand exactly what the Koran teaches. The problem is that the radical Muslims (the Jihadists) take most of their beliefs, not from the Koran, but from the additional writings of Islam called the Hadith.

And since the radical Muslims believe that both the Koran and the Hadith are sacred writings, they consider them both as equally valid messages from god. However, this idea is not taught to the average Muslim. That is why all Muslims believe that everything that they are taught comes from the Koran.

Therefore, the important point is not to be concerned about who Muhammad was but rather what is actually contained in the Koran. Also, if a Muslim insists that the Koran says that Muhammad was a prophet of God (and they will) do not argue with them. It really does not make any difference what he is called.

Islam and Christianity Are Similar

Islam is the religion that Muslims follow. However, it is really much more than that. Islam is their way of life. Everything that they do is centered around Islam. This is what Christianity is supposed to be. Yet, multitudes who call themselves Christian do not live their life as the Bible says they should be living.

This is why Muslims reject Christianity and are very suspicious of anyone who calls themselves “Christian.” They see us as separating our faith in God (Allah) and our everyday life. To a Muslim, this is sacrilege. This is why we, as born-again Christians, need to live our faith and demonstrate to the world that we live what we say that we believe.

It is very interesting to note that the basic Muslim beliefs (as taught in the Koran) are very similar to the beliefs of Christians. Yes, the differences are very important and it is these differences that keep Muslims from receiving the salvation that Jesus offers. However, it is because of these similarities, that we can lead Muslims into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

The biggest problem is that most Imams are not teaching these basic beliefs that are contained in the Koran. They are incorporating teachings from the Hadith and claiming all their teachings come from the Koran.

Muslims Believe in Allah, Angels and Jesus

Muslims believe in Allah who they believe is the author of both good and evil. Many Christians believe that “Allah” is actually a pagan god. However, did you realize that Allah is derived from the Hebrew Elohim and god is derived from the name of a German pagan god called gott? Which one would be better to be used?

I am not suggesting that we use “Allah” for God even though every Arabic Bible uses “Allah” as the word that we translate as “God.”. I am just saying that their name for God is not an incorrect name.

The Koran teaches about angels and even talks about Gabriel. Muslims believe in a day of judgment, even though it is somewhat different than ours. They believe in the same prophets of God that we do even though they do place the title of prophet on some Bible characters that we do not. They believe in Adam, Abraham, Moses and even Jesus.

Notice that I said that the Koran teaches about Jesus. The only problem is that Muslims believe that Jesus was only a prophet. Although the Koran talks about Jesus quite a bit, it doesn’t say very much about who He is. However, many Muslims do want to know who Jesus really is and this is a common ground between us.

The 5 Pillars Of Islam

There are 5 pillars of Islam. They are:

1. Reciting the creed of Islam.

2. Prayer 5 times per day.

3. Fasting the month of Ramadan.

4. Giving alms to the poor (however only 2.5%).

5. Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

Notice that Jihad is not one of the 5 pillars of Islam even though radical Muslims proclaim that it is.

Muslims Believe In One God

Muslims believe that there is only one God. Muslims reject the Christian’s God because they believe that the Christian’s God is three Gods. They believe that we worship three different Gods: God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit.

They do not understand that our Bible actually says that God (Jehovah) is only one God. He simply reveals Himself to us in three different ways. We know that this is a concept that we will never really understand until we leave this limited, physical world and take on our new body in an unlimited spiritual world.

However, Muhammad indicates that he did not believe that that Christians worship three different gods. When Muhammad was writing in the Koran about Christians he said [21:108] “Say, ‘Surely what is revealed to me is only that your God is (only) one God; so will you then be Muslims?’ (i.e., those who surrender to Allah).”

A Common Ground

So you see, the basic beliefs of Islam have many common grounds with Christianity. The problem is that there are as many different interpretations of Islam as there are different interpretations of Christianity. Since almost everything that we hear about Muslim beliefs come from the interpretations of the radical Muslims, we do not get an understanding of the true basic teachings of the Koran. I will be writing more about this in future articles.

Simply keep in mind that if we approach Muslims with a loving open mind, we will find many common elements. It is through this that we can we win them to a saving knowledge of Jesus.


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