Introduction to Islam, by Dr. Timothy Tennent
About this Class
This course is an introduction to the religion of Islam. There are 24 separate lectures totaling approximately 16 hours. These lectures were given at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introductory study of the structure, beliefs and practices of Islam. Special emphasis will be placed on a study of the theology of the Koran. The student will read and study the entire Koran along with important selections from the Hadith, Shari`a material and Sufi writings. The actual historical manifestations of contemporary Islam will be explored with a special emphasis on Islam in the African context. Throughout the course there will be a concern to demonstrate how Islamic thought is different from Christian thought and how the gospel can be most effectively communicated to members of the Islamic faith, the second largest and fastest growing religion in the world today.
The class handouts that Dr. Tennent mentions in the lecture are not available. There is an outline for each lecture and when you login, you will see links on the class page for books that Dr. Tennent recommends for you to read along with this class.
Introduction to Islam
Islam is based on teachings in the Qur'an. Knowing the teachings of Islam helps us to understand the uniqueness of the teachings of Christianity and the perspective of Muslims.
Arabia in the 6th century was a land where traders and raiders lived. Mecca was a city in which many religions were practiced.
Early Life and Influences
In his early life, Muhammad was influenced by Judaism, Christianity and the Hanifs.
Revelations, Hegira, Movement
As Muhammad began telling others about his revelations, he was forced to flee Mecca and went to Medina. After he consolidated his power and influence he returned to Mecca.
The text of the Qur'an was revealed directly to Muhammad.
Creation, Anthropology, Cosmos
The Qur'an has passages that teach about both practical and spiritual aspects of daily life. The world was created in six days and there will be a culmination of events at the end of the age.
Pillars 1 & 2
The first two pillars of the Muslim faith are the confession of faith (Shahadah), and ritual prayer (Salat).
Pillar 3 & 4
Almsgiving (Zakat) and fasting (Sawm) are the third and fourth pillars of the Islamic faith.
Pilgrimage (Hajj) is the fifth pillar of Islam.
Islam as a "Missionary" Religion
Da'wah and jihad are two methods that the Qur'an describes for Muslims to approach infidels.
Muhammed and Caliphs
After Muhammad's death in 632 AD, he was succeeded by the four "rightly guided caliphs."
Shi'a, Sunni and Sufism
The split between the Sunni and Shi'a groups began when there was a disagreement over who should succeed Muhammad after he died. Sufi Islam is the mystical expression of Islam and could be compared to the monastic movement in Christianity.
Role of Tradition
Many Muslims consider the Hadith an important source of information for guidance in how to live their lives.
The Islamic Sharia
Sharia is Islamic religious law which regulates both public and private aspects of life.
Schools of Law
Different groups within the Sunni and Shia traditions have various perspectives on how the teachings in the Qur'an and Hadith should be interpreted and applied.
Sufism and Sufi Orders
Sufi Muslims are more contemplative, mystical, individualistic, syncretistic, and non-legalistic than someone who is an orthodox Muslim.
Introduction, Hausa, Tiv
Folk Islam is a popular expression of Islam which has synthesized indigenous beliefs and customs into the religion. Folk Islam is a popular expression of Islam which has synthesized indigenous beliefs and customs into the religion. Two expressions of this in Nigeria are the Hausa and Tiv.
Yoruba, Maguzawa, Key Observations
Folk Islam is a popular expression of Islam which has synthesized indigenous beliefs and customs into the religion. Two expressions of this in Nigeria are the Yoruba and Maguzawa.
Introduction, Titles and Life
The Qur'an contains a description of Jesus' life and ministry.
Death, Resurrection and Deity
The description in the Qur'an of Jesus' death, resurrection and deity are different than that of the Bible.
Islam does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity.
Islam has clear teachings in cultural areas such as the significance of beards, acceptable types of clothing, behavior and acceptable clothing for females, and food and dietary restrictions.
The Christian Community in an Islamic Context
In order to make it easier for Muslims to understand and accept the message of the gospel, Christians can approach them with the assumption that they probably misunderstand the Gospel, that the number one stumbling block for Muslims is Christianity, and that the most effective approach is Jesus plus nothing.
Islamic Apologetics Surveyed
Comparison of teachings of Christianity and Islam.