Thank you for your interest in this online video teaching series by Jerry Robinson Ministries International.
See below for access to Notes and Reference Material.
Notes and Reference MaterialsLesson 1 Notes
An Introduction to Muslim Beliefs
– Misunderstanding abounds on both sides of the Christian and Islam divide.
– Despite how the mainstream media portrays it, not all Muslims are alike.
Fact: Islam is the fastest growing religion not just in America, but in the world today.
Over the last several years, Western culture has been confronted by the rapid growth of Islam. Mosques are increasingly being built around America and new words are being injected into mainstream discourse like Ramadan, Koran, Jihad.
Some attribute the rapid growth of Islam strictly to mass immigration. However, the number of actual conversions annually outpaces that of Christianity. So Islam is succeeding in converting people without a systematized missionary effort like Christianity has.
Fact: Only 15% of the world’s Muslims live in the Middle East
The largest Muslim nation in the world is Indonesia with 180 million Muslims.
110 Million Muslims live in India.
Fact: In Western China alone, there are more Muslims than there are Southern Baptists in the entire world.
Followers of Islam subscribe to seven core beliefs. Every Muslim must accept these fundamental teachings.
A Belief in God (Allah)
A Belief in Angels
A Belief in the inspired books of God. (Books of Moses, Psalms of David, Gospels of Jesus, Qur’an.)
A Belief in many prophets (Beginning with Adam and ending with Muhammad)
A Belief in the Last day
A Belief in the Divine measurement of time (this is an interesting concept that we will discuss in an upcoming session)
A Belief in Life after death (Islam’s teachings on the afterlife are very intriguing and will discussed next week.)
The Three Fold Journey through Life
Muslims believe that the human soul can be developed towards a state of total contentment through much study, prayer, and effort. Islam teaches that every soul can progress through three distinct stages during this life.
1. The Animal Self: This is the first stage and is the most primitive. It is a state of selfishness and self-centeredness.
2. The Accusing Self: This stage begins when an individual begins to ask himself deep questions such as: Why am I here?, Who is God?, etc. The deeper one travels down this path, the greater his self-awareness becomes and the closer he becomes to God.
3. The Restful Self: This stage is also known as the “Contented Self.” In this stage, the individual is no longer moved by the world around him. He understands that this life is only a test. His soul is content and his mind is quiet.
Lesson 2 Notes
How Muslims view God (Allah)
The Four Stages of Life for Muslims
The Islamic View of Heaven and Hell
The Origin of Allah
The name Allah is the Arabic name for God.
ALLAH = “Al-Ilah”
“al” meaning ‘the’, and ”ilah” meaning ‘god’)
“Allah” in Pre-Islamic Times
In pre-Islamic times, the name Allah was used as the name of a creator deity and the giver of rain.
Ex. Muhammad’s father’s name was ʿAbd-Allāh’ meaning “the slave of Allah.”
Christians and the Name of Allah
Christian Arabs, many Eastern Orthodox, and some Roman Catholics use the name “Allah” for God.
The use of the name Allah among Arab Christians pre-dates Islam.
Christians living in Indonesia and Malaysia use the name Allah for God. Biblical translators in those languages translate the Hebrew Elohim as Allah.
The Islamic View of God
Islam forbids making any representations of God. They are strongly opposed to any images portraying God, Muhammad, other religious figures. Their reasoning: This brings God down to our human imagination which is impossible and is prideful. SHIRK is the greatest sin in Islam which attempts to hold something equal to God. Boasting and showing off are even discouraged as they are minor shirks that may seek to take some glory away from God.
The 99 Names of God
Of the 99 names of God in Islam, not one is “Father” or has a personal connotation.
Four Stages of Life for the Muslim
What is the purpose of human life? To surrender to God.
During this life, according to Islam, there are four different stages that we will experience.
These stages go from the moment of conception to our entrance into the next life in Heaven or Hell.
1. Life in the Womb… Islam believes that human life begins at conception.
2. Life in the World
3. Life in the Grave
4. The Next Life (Heaven/Hell)
Lesson 3 Notes
The Four Stages of Life in Islam
1. Life in the Womb
2. Life in the World… Hayat ad-Dunya
This stage is initiated the moment that we are born into the physical world. The goal of this stage is to learn how to lead a moral and upright life that pleases God. Accountability before God occurs once we enter puberty.
Shaytan is the ultimate enemy during this stage of our life. He will seek to corrupt our minds by tempting us with life’s temporal pleasures. He designs his appeals to keep us in our animal selves.
The Koran calls this stage of life one that is filled with illusions, deceptions, amusement, and hoarding. The Koran warns the Muslim not to fall into the pleasures of life as they will tempt a new adult (defined as one who has exited the stage of puberty.
The Muslim believes that all of life’s trials are meant to serve as a test of his character and of his spirit. They give him an opportunity to improve himself and draw closer to Allah.
The Koran says that every person has two angels who follow us throughout our entire lives. They are called the Kiraman Katibeen (the Noble Writers). The record every deed. The angel on the right shoulder records our good deeds. The angel on our left shoulder records our bad deeds.
It is said that Muslim parents often joke with their children about one of their two angels getting hand cramps from writing so much.
These records will be used against us or for us on judgment day.
The preferred lifestyle of a mature Muslim is rooted in a few virtues, namely: SLIDE…
Allah does not demand perfection. He demands our best. (Note the Disobedience and Obedience theme here again.)
It is important to note here, as we discussed last week, that there is no salvation moment that occurs in the Islamic life. There are no guarantees or easy tickets to heaven.
In fact, a Muslim’s spiritual condition in his final days is very important. A muslim could spend his entire life being faithful to Allah and then in his final days rejects him, it spells trouble. In essence, a muslim’s entire life will be judged based upon his spiritual condition when he leaves this earth. (That’s why martyrdom is so highly esteemed.)
3. Life in the Grave
Muslims do not view death as final. It merely represents the next stage in the cycle of life.
At the moment of death, things get interesting in Muslim theology.
Islam teaches that as our bodies are in the process of dying, our soul rises up within our body and collects in our throats. Then, the Angel of Death (Malikul Mawt) comes to us to remove our soul from our body.
If the person who dies believes in God the Angel of Death gently extracts the soul from the body. However, if the person had denied the existence of God and was an overall bad person, the Angel of Death will tear the soul from the dying person’s body.
When a person is moments from death and knows that he is going to die, it is too late to repent. The Koran tells the story of Pharaoh in the Red Sea saying “Now I believe” as he saw the waves crashing in on him but God answered by saying that it was too late. (Qur’an 75:27-30)
After the Angel of Death removes the soul, and the soul enters into a new spiritual realm. We have been freed from our physical bodies and now enter the spirit world where angels and jinns, and Allah himself dwells. (A parallel universe, if you will.)
The angels that have come for the soul will then allow the person to see their dead corpse. They will float above their corpse and will witness all of the activity. Our soul will stay near our corpse during this time.
The good person’s soul will be taken to heaven. The angels will announce his name before Allah and then he will be sent back to the earth to await his resurrection.
The bad person’s soul will be also be taken to heaven but the gates will not open for him. Allah will then instruct that the person’s name be recorded in the register of hell and he will then instruct the angels to return the person to the earth to await his punishment.
Next, the angels carry the soul down and the person’s soul will join its corpse as it is lowered into the grave and buried. The soul will hear the dirt being shoveled onto his coffin and will hear the footsteps as the people walk away from the grave. Our soul will stay near the place where the body was last placed or laid to rest.
Died in a fire and your body disintegrates? Your soul will sink into the ground right there.
Now the life in the grave begins. This stage of life is also known as the Partition (Barzakh)
It is also commonly referred to as a time of “soul storage”.
During this time of soul storage, our souls will wait until the final day of judgment. No contact with the living or the souls of other dead people can happen during this time. During this time, the person is aware of nothing but themselves.
So what happens to the Muslim in the grave?
According to Muhammad, two angels with black faces and blue eyes come to the soul shortly after he is buried. Their names are Munkar and Nakir. (The Denied and the Denier)
Their presence will force the soul to a state of attention. These angels are the questioners of the grave.
They will ask the person three questions:
1. Who is your Lord?
2. What was your way of life?
3. Who was your prophet?
The correct answers are: God, Surrender to God’s Will, and then the correct prophet.
If we answer correctly, then simply interesting happens…
Then two doors will open up before our eyes… one to heaven and one to hell.
We are shown where we would have gone if we had been disobedient. Then the two angels expand the size of our soul storage bin to the size of a large room. A soft light is turned on and we are told to rest peacefully and await the day of judgment where we will receive our rewards.
Everyday, an angel will come to us, nudge us, and show us once again a glimpse of our paradise to come.
However, if we do not answer the questions properly, then things get ugly.
The appearance of the angels become terrifying and gruesome. They inflict injury upon our souls and then command the soul storage bin to squeeze in upon us until we feel as if we will suffocate.
Our bad deeds become personified who says.
Then the angels open a window for us to peer into hell and see a spot waiting for us. This person will stay tormented and will continue screaming until judgment day.
Islam teaches that animals can hear the screams of those being tormented in the grave. Muhammad said that if people could hear the screams and crying coming from the graves beneath us, we would faint in terror.
4. The entrance into the next life…
While most religions have a version of heaven and hell, Islam is unique in their treatment of this topic. Their religious texts go into great detail about heaven and hell which creates an interesting eternal incentive. In fact, over 25% of the entire Koran deals with the topics of the next life and the unseen spiritual world. For Islam, the real life is yet to come. This life in the world is just a test, almost like a dream. A testing ground before the real life begins. When a Muslim dies, he believes that he awakens to the true reality.
Life in the grave will last until the day of judgment. Once the last day arrives, the fourth stage of a Muslim’s life begins.
Remember, the goal of a Muslim during his life in the world is to reach the highest of the three levels, which is the contented self, or the resting self. The test of life is completely over at Judgment day for all people.
At the day of Judgment, a horn blast will be heard and everything will be destroyed. Allah will destroy all living things, including all living people, all angels, and jinns, and even all matter. This is called the last day.
The show is over.
Next, the angels will be brought back to life and another horn blast will be heard and then as if instantly, all human beings and jinns will appear standing on a huge level plain. All of the souls in their graves will be given resurrection bodies and they will appear as well. Everyone will be naked and equal. This is what Islam calls the resurrection.
Next, every person will be asked to line up behind who they followed and what they worshipped.
Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Communism, Capitalism, and all forms of gods and leaders will appear. The angels will move us into our places and we will be unable to move from our line.
Thus begins the judgement. Muhammad said that this process would take over 50,000 years because every person who had ever lived would be present.
Lesson 4 Notes
Heaven and Hell
For the most part, every major religion teaches some form of afterlife.
I recommend reading the book Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson (click here to get the book).
Heaven vs. Hell (Differences throughout time, yet the same… Note the power of incentives.)
In Islam, the vivid description of heaven and hell create powerful incentives. You are hard pressed to find a religion throughout all of mankind’s history that has more effectively harnessed the power of incentive regarding the afterlife amongst its subject than Islam.
In Islam, your beliefs… and particularly, your actions matter given their view of the afterlife.
25% of the Qur’an discusses the afterlife.
The Day Of Judgment
On judgment day, all of humanity will be on a level plain. They will be placed into lines behind those whom they followed. 50,000 years.
When it is our turn, two angels will escort us before Allah. One of the angels will hand us our life’s record. If we were a good person, then it will be placed into our right hand. If we were a bad person, it will be placed into our left hand (or behind your back if you were really bad.)
Then our whole life’s record will be read aloud right before us. Every thought and every deed. Our faith and our sincerity will be examined. Then, we will be questioned about our decisions. If we attempt to lie, our own body parts will begin to speak out to tell the truth.
Witnesses to our deeds will be brought forth to testify for or against us. Those we have harmed on earth will testify against us.
Finally, all of our deeds, both good and bad, will be placed onto a scale to be weighed.
Before they are weighed, our prayer record will be examined. If it is found to be deficient, then ALL of our good deeds will be thrown out.
Once the tally has been made, we will be made to understand our fate. According to Islam, Allah could choose to send a bad man to paradise if he wants to for a small act of random kindness. In essence, our fate is totally in God’s hands. His decision is final and always merciful and just.
Our verdict will be read aloud: guilty or innocent.
After recompense is given to anyone that we have harmed and our deeds have been weighed, and the final verdict given, we will move forward from the Plain of Judgment.
All of us, both innocent and guilty will begin moving forward towards the Pit of Hell. According to the Qur’an, it is an enormous pit that you cannot see across. The flames leap up for miles above the pit. Sparks the size of tree branches will emit from the pit. Everyone will feel its heat and all will be terrified of the flames and what they represent.
The angels will immediately throw only the worst of sinners into the flames. The rest of mankind, whether guilty or innocent, will then have to walk over the pit of hellfire on a huge bridge called the Sirat.
The Sirat is thinner than a human hair, more sharp than the sharpest sword, it is full of jagged edges and spikes, and there will be no light to see by unless Allah gives the light. The amount of light that you will have to see will be dependent on how much light was in your heart.
Those who are righteous, and the prophets, will glide across the bridge with ease.
Those who were good people, who had just a few sins that were not forgiven, will be cut and bruised as they cross the Sirat. This is to remind them of their bad deeds. Some will be very cut up when they make it to the other side.
The sinful will only make it so far along the bridge before they get snagged and ensnared. They will fall into the pit screaming. Their cries will echo be terrifying to all.
All who make it across the Sirat will be completely healed from their injuries on the other side.
Notice the Heights… Those who go here will serve out a sentence seeing hell below. Eventually, these will go to paradise.
Jannah (Heaven)… For those who pass over the Sirat bridge successfully, they will find themselves on the other side of the pit of hellfire staring at a huge wall with eight gates.
Each gate has a name based on the religious rituals in Islam… Prayer, Fasting, etc. The Muslim is to enter the one that he was best at on earth. Some of the prophets will be told to enter all of the gates. They will be able to choose their own gate. Others will only be able to the enter one gate.
Once inside, the Muslim will have entered paradise. It will be a lively place with with cities, gardens, meadows, forests, rivers. Much like earth… The colors will be stunningly beautiful. (One tree so large that a rider could stay in its shade for over 100 years.)
No sickness, infirmities… Only perfect health. We will all be about 30 years old and never become sick again.
Babies who died on earth will remain as infants into eternity.
Heaven has seven layers…
Everyone will have their own unique home on one of those levels. The level that we will reside on will depend upon our goodness, and our knowledge of the holy writings and the prophets. (Muslims are instructed to pray, not for entrance into paradise, but into the highest level in Paradise.)
Guiltless sex will exist in heaven. Soulless creatures, called houris, will be heavenly maidens who will join us to serve us and bring us pleasure.
Jahannum (Hell) – The purpose of hell in Islam is not only to punish, but also to purify.
Islam teaches that while some who enter hell will never leave, some can leave hell eventually. So, in Islam, hell is not forever for everyone.
In Islam, hell is not the headquarters of Shaytan. It is a place that was created exclusively for punishment. Hell is so large that it will never be filled.
Just like heaven, hell has seven levels or layers. The lower the level, the worse it gets.
Our level is hell will be determined by how bad we were. 19 angels guard the rim of the pit of hell. They prevent anyone from leaving. According to Muhammad, the fire of hell is 70 times hotter than the fire that we know on earth.
Hell will be full of misery and regret. Snakes and scorpions will continually harass the inhabitants of hell.
Dante’s Inferno was influenced and loosely based upon the Muslim view of hell.
If Allah determines that someone should be removed from hell, then their body will be removed. Then a substance known as the water of life will be poured on the person by the angels. This will restore the person’s body completely and then he will be escorted to paradise.
The Qur’an does not specify who will stay in hell forever and who will be able to exit eventually. It does indicate that anyone with a small amount of faith will be able to leave eventually. Those, however, who inhabit the bottom level of hell will be the worst offenders and they will never be allowed to leave.
Lesson 5 Notes
Islam View of Creation
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam believes that the known universe was created by God over six specific periods.
Where did Allah come from? No beginning and no end. He exists outside the time domain. Muslims do not attempt to explain the origin of God.
How did God create the world? He said the word: “Be” Then an object, like a ball, appeared and split into pieces. This splitting process was an explosion that continues to this day. (Similar to big bang) The planets and stars soon formed.
Muslims do not believe that the universe is only a few thousand years old. Instead, they tend to believe that it is billions of years old. In fact, they have no trouble believing that God used evolution to create the universe and everything in it with one major exception: Man.
Note: An extreme minority of Islamic scholars believe that humans came into existence through an evolutionary process.
Creation finished in 6 days… No resting period for God on the 7th day. Instead, he began his reign on the 7th day.
Angels – created from light (no free will)
Jinn – created before Adam. Like angels in that they are not visible to the human eye. creatures of fire; along with angels and humans, one of the three intelligent species created by God (Have free will.)
Adam and Eve… Some will say that the Qur’an version is simply a copy. However, remember that Muslims believe their holy book corrects all books and theology before it.
Adam – first man created by Allah (free will)
Garden of Eden – the heavenly Paradise where Adam and Eve lived before their Fall.
God taught Adam the names of everything (different than bible version)
God orders the angels to bow to Adam as he is higher in intelligence than them with free will. When the angels bowed, so too did the Jinn. But one Jinn refused to bow. His name was Iblis… Why? “I AM BETTER THAN HIM.” Arrogance…made from fire… Adam made from clay and dust…
God told Iblis to get out of the garden… Iblis threw down a challenge to God that he could corrupt mankind if given adequate time. God accepted the challenge… (Similar to Job??)
God had one ground rule however: Iblis would have no power over the humans who sought protection from Allah.
Iblis’s name was then changed to Shaytan. (Shayten means= “Separation”… fitting name as his goal is to separate man from his creator). A portion of the jinn population decided to follow Shaytan.
Adam and Eve were warned about Shaytan and told not to eat the fruit fo a certain tree. Nothing mentioned about the tree being special…
Islam breaks somewhat with Judaism and Christianity in explaining why Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. In the actual Hebrew account in Genesis, a snake tempts them to eat the fruit. Extra-biblical Christian mythology identifies the snake with Satan, but the actual text of the Biblical story does not explicitly make this identification. In contrast, the Quran states explicitly that Shaitan (Satan) tempted Adam and Eve to eat the fruit.
Shaytan appealed to the animal self of Adam and Eve. Qur’an does not mention which one ate first…
They immediately realize their sin and sew fig leaves to cover themselves. God punishes them by ordering them out of the garden. No child labor pains placed upon Eve…
God would later show Adam and Eve how to gain forgiveness. Shaytan did not know that there would be a forgiveness mechanism available to mankind so he was said to be furious. (No Original Sin)
God promised to send a series of prophets to keep humanity faithful to him and to battle Shaytan.
The Divine Measurement of Time
According to Islamic doctrine, God has measured out the span of every person’s life, their lot of good or ill fortune, and the fruits of their efforts. When referring to the future, Muslims frequently qualify any predictions of what will come to pass with the phrase Insha’Allah, Arabic for “if God wills”. The phrase recognizes that human knowledge of the future is limited, and that all that may or may not come to pass is under the control of God.
Prayer is the only thing that can change the predetermined events that Allah has created.
Life is a test and Muslims trust Allah.
The FIVE PILLARS OF FAITH
A muslim must perform the five pillars or it is counted as a sin.
1. SHAHADAH – This one phrase is said a minimum of 17 times per day by over 1 billion Muslims…
Uttered up to 17 billion times per day.
Consists of two parts… the negative and a positive.
Belief in God… Acceptance of Muhammad.
Muhammad not considered a god. Just a man.
When a person desires to convert to Islam, he simply states this phrase in front of witnesses and must believe it in his heart.
No study required, no baptism. Just repeat the phrase and believe it
2. Prayer: elevates the mind, helps curb appetite for sin.
Performed 5 times per day (see pg. 126)
The prayer takes about 5-10 minutes.
7 preconditions (PG 127)
Less than 30 minutes in a 24 hour day.
Any prayer made late will be noted by the angels.
Prayers are extremely important in Islam as they will be examined first on judgment day. Salat keeps a Muslim clean before Allah.