Islam is one of the major world religions with an estimated 1.3 billion followers worldwide . The name Islam comes from an Arabic term meaning submission, a reference to the central belief that the goal of religion, or of a true believer, is submission to God's will. Adherents of Islam are referred to as Muslims.
Islam teaches that God (in Arabic, Allah) revealed his direct word and commands for mankind to Muhammad (c. 570–632) in the form of the Qur'an (also Koran), and to other prophets (including Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus), many of whom are Biblical figures shared with Christianity and Judaism. Despite admitting the ministry of prophets earlier than Muhammad, Islam asserts that the primary written record of God's revelation to humankind is the Qur'an, which Muslims believe to be flawless, immutable, and the final revelation of God.
Islam has been termed one of the three Abrahamic religions, along with Christianity and Judiasm. At times, the Bahá'í Faith is also included.
Islam teaches that parts of the Bible have been forgotten, misinterpreted, or distorted by Christians and Jews. Given this perspective, Islam views the Qur'an as corrective of Jewish and Christian scriptures.
Muslims do not hold the divinity of Jesus Christ and his unique salvific role, and the teachings of Islam in this respect have been likened to a compound heresy composed of elements of Arianism, Nestorianism, and Docetism ("...They did not kill him [Jesus] and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them..." Qur'an, 4:157), with some Pelagian and also Monarchianistic (i.e., anti-Trinitarian)] elements.
Muslims hold that Islam is essentially the same belief as that of all the messengers sent by God to mankind since Adam, with the Qur'an (the one definitive text of the Muslim faith) codifying the final revelation of God. Islam views Judaism and Christianity as incomplete derivatives of the teachings of certain prophets—notably Abraham—and therefore acknowledges their Abrahamic roots, whilst the Qur'an calls them People of the Book.
Islam has three primary branches of belief, based largely on a historical disagreement over the succession of authority after Muhammad's death. These are known as Sunni, Shi'ite, and Kharijite.
Orthodoxy and Islam
- A History of Orthodox Missions Among the Muslims
- Saints of the Orthodox Church who converted from Islam: St. Serapion of Kozheozero, St. Constantine Hagarit, St. Ahmed the Deftedar, St. Abu of Tbilisi, St. Peter and Stephan of Kazan.
- Orthodox Women Saints and Islam
- Christodoulos (Paraskevaides) of Athens on "Islam: The Extent of the Problematics”
- St. John of Damascus' Critique of Islam. Orthodox Christian Information Center.
- "Islam is a Different Culture". SPIEGEL ONLINE: Interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper, September 18, 2006.