Drawn from this post and this podcast from Zane Pratt.

Six Beliefs of Islam

“Islamic theology could be summarized as belief in [1] one God, [2] his prophets, [3] his books, [4] his angels, [5] his decrees, and [6] the final judgment. Islam teaches that humans are born spiritually neutral, perfectly capable of obeying God’s requirements completely, and that they remain this way even after they’ve personally sinned. The need of humanity, therefore, is not salvation but instruction; hence Islam has prophets, but no savior.”

Five Pillars of Islam

“These are composed of

  1. the confession of faith (“There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his prophet”), 
  2. prayer (the ritual prayers said in Arabic five times a day while facing Mecca and performing the prescribed set of bowings, kneeling, and prostrations), 
  3. alms (taken as a tax in some officially Islamic countries),
  4. fasting (the lunar month of Ramadan, during which Muslim believers fast during daylight hours but can eat while it’s dark), and
  5. pilgrimage (the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, which every Muslim believer should make once in his or her lifetime).

Two Types of Muslims

“The two major denominations of Muslims are Sunni and Shi’a. Sunnis are the vast majority, at 85 percent of all Muslims. The split occurred in the first generation after Muhammad’s death and was based on a dispute over who should succeed him as leader of the Islamic community.”

Four Helpful Books on Islam and Ministering to Muslims

  1. John Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path (4th ed., Oxford University Press, 2010)
  2. Thabiti Anyabwile, The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence (Moody, 2010)
  3. J. D. Greear, Breaking the Islam Code: Understanding the Soul Questions of Every Muslim (Harvest House, 2010)
  4. Robert Scott, Questions Muslims Ask: What Christians Actually Do and Don’t Believe (IVP, 2011)