What Do Muslims Believe?

There is no hope in Islam. The only true hope is found in placing faith in Jesus Christ. It is important for us to share the gospel with Muslims and help them know about Jesus. Their religion provides no assurance to them.

Contributing Writer
Updated Jul 24, 2023
What Do Muslims Believe?

Islam is one of the top religions of the present day. Those who adhere to Islam are called Muslims. While Islam is mainly common in the Middle East, it is now seen in Europe and America. Muslims don’t believe in the same God we believe in.

Rather than believing in the God of the Bible, they believe Allah to be “God,” and Muhammad is his faithful prophet. Muslims don’t have an accurate view of God, nor do they have a true understanding of salvation.

Understanding Muslims' Beliefs

As stated, the Islamic religion’s God is Allah, who they believe created everything. They call him Allah in prayer — not God. Islam started in the seventh century AD when Muhammad received visions in Mecca of what he believed to be divine.

Muhammad is recorded as receiving Allah’s first call in AD 610. As we can see, this is hundreds of years after the events of the New Testament; therefore, it is not a relatively older religion.

Followers of Islam are called Muslims, and the word Islam means “submission to the will of God.” The two main types of Muslims are Sunnis and Shiites, in which the former makes up 90% of the entire population of Muslims today.

The Sunni Muslims believe the first four caliphs were the true successors to Muhammad, whereas the Shia only believe caliph Ali and his descendants are the true inheritors.

The other types of Muslims include the offshoots of the major sects, which consist of the Wahhabi, Alawite, Nation of Islam, and Kharijites, as well as the Qarmatians, Ismailis, Druze, and Sufism.

The Shia, also known as the Shiites, make up a vast majority of the Muslim community. The proponents of Shia Muslims follow Ali and his teachings.

Their government is controlled by the deaths of Ali and Husayn. They do not hold to the caliphate as they believe in imamship. Thus, the teachings of the Shia Muslims are much more different compared to the beliefs of the Sunni Muslims.

Muhammad is seen as one of the most important figures in all of Islam. Muslims believe Muhammad to be the Prophet and the Divine Messenger. In the Hadiths, Muhammad is portrayed to be a very peace-loving and kind man.

Islam also paints a very kind picture of Muhammad by stating that he served others and treated women well, such as being faithful to his wife Khadijah until her death, as well as marrying eight to eleven other women to help them survive and have a better quality of life.

It should be noted, however, that the Quran has a different view of women than other beliefs, such as Christianity.

Islam states that it is permissible for a husband to scourge his wife as it is written in the Quran “But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great (Sura IV, v.9).

Despite the fact that Islam teaches that women can be brutally treated without remorse, Muslims retain a very high regard for Muhammad and the teachings about him found in their sacred books.

Do Muslims Believe in Jesus?

Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet but do not believe that he was the Son of God. They reject any divinity and place him below the prophet Muhammad.

Sacred Writings of Muslims

The sacred writing of Islam is the Quran, as previously mentioned above. There are also records of what Muhammed did during his life, which is called the Sunnah, and this helps Muslims to interpret the Quran.

Muslims live by the Quran and have the requirements to recite it daily as well as to memorize it. The Quran is said to be the direct words of Allah given to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. Muslims believe that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit.

Muslims do not translate the Quran into any other language because they believe that it would alter its contents. Since the Quran cannot be translated, all Muslims have to read the Quran in Aramaic.

Muslims believe that the Quran is flawless despite the fact that they do not have the original writings of the Quran. The Quran has 114 chapters called Surahs, and it has many parts of the Hebrew Old Testament (The Torah) within its pages.

The Quran is said to have been written under the supervision of Caliph Abu Bakr after Muhammad’s death.

Another sacred writing is the Hadith. The Hadith is not as authoritative as the Quran, but it is still very important as it is a record of everything that happened during Muhammad’s life and gives a record of the people he came in contact with.

The beginning of the Hadith was collected by Muhammad’s wife, Aisha. Muslims also have the sacred writings of Zaboor, which are the Psalms and the Injeel, which are claimed to be the true message of Jesus to the world. This is, of course, untrue; however, this is what Islam teaches.

Muslims believe that the parts in the Quran that contain the Torah and the Psalms have been corrupted and altered, but the rest of the Quran is inerrant. It is also important to mention that Muslims believe the Bible is not inerrant because it was written by men.

Since these men were only men, Muslims view the Bible with skepticism and unbelief. The only true authentic, inerrant word of God for the Muslims is the Quran.

The reported number of followers of Islam in the world is 1.7 billion people. It is the largest religion outside of Christianity in the entire world.

The geography of Islam can be found in Western Europe. Africa, Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and the Middle East with the highest number of Muslims living in Africa, with 40.8% of the population Muslims.

Other findings differ in where the highest amounts of Muslims are in the world as former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi stated that there are more Muslims in Indonesia than anywhere in the world. One of the types of Muslims, the Shiites, is found most commonly in Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The followers of Islam do not see a separation of church and state as Western civilizations do, which also affects the Muslim population in certain areas, which gave birth to Islamic States and Islamic Regimes.

Muslim Doctrines of Faith

The doctrines of the faith of Muslims are that they believe the supreme being is Allah. Allah is the central figure in this religion, as Muslims believe that he created everything and that everything exists because of him.

The Islam doctrine of God is that there is only one God and that his name is Allah. They teach that Allah is the divine creator, he sees everything, and he is always present. Allah, according to Islam, is also all-knowing and he created the earth and the heavens.

At the heart of Islam is their strong allegiance to Allah and Muhammad. Salvation in Islam is seen as radically different from Christianity as salvation is only found in repentance and the unsure hope that Allah will forgive the Muslim. The most likely way to obtain salvation, according to Islam, is to die in holy war, known as jihad.

The Islamic belief about origins is that Allah created the world, the heavens, the planets, the sun, the moon, the stars, and everything on the earth, including mankind and animals. The Quran teaches in alignment with the Big Bang theory as their creation story reflects this false belief.

Islam teaches that Allah created the world in six days; however, these were not literal six days, but six eons of time.

Another distinction from Christianity is that the Quran states that Allah is never finished creating and that he is creating to this very day because Allah is never done.

This way of viewing creation aligns with an evolutionary mindset, all the while still being able to acknowledge that Allah created everything.

The Quran also states that Allah created everything and everyone out of water. Concerning mankind, Muslims do not believe in evolution even though their view of creation aligns with the Big Bang Theory as they believe human beings are divinely created by Allah with a conscience, mind, and soul.

The Quran teaches that the first man was named Adam and that Allah formed him from clay and quintessence fluid. The Quran also teaches that Adam was Allah’s first prophet and the first Muslim.

In the Quran, the creation of the woman is not as deeply described, as she is not even given a name. Over time, Muslims have given her the name Hawwa (Eve), and Hawwa is said to be Adam’s partner that he loves.

What Muslims Believe About the Afterlife

Concerning the afterlife, Muslims believe that if you are not a practicing Muslim, when you die, you will go to hell. Their description of hell, as recorded in the Quran, includes eternal torment, fire, and all those who weren’t practicing Muslims.

There is said to be the Tree of Zaqqum, which is in hell, where all the people who are not practicing Muslims are forced to eat of its fruit that has gone bad.

Mainly, hell is a place of eternal agony as it includes being tortured by demons who are boiling the person in oil and pulling the flesh off the victim.

Moreover, heaven for Muslims is described by the Quran as being Paradise, as well as a garden, a blissful place, and a holy oasis.

The emphasis of heaven for the Muslim is placed on the aspect of males having a large amount of virgins to serve them.

They do believe in a physical resurrection of all people to face judgment and that their judgment will be focused on the person’s own good works and repentance.

Muslims teach that one can get into heaven by dying in holy war, which means they are martyred in jihad, such as the Muslims who attacked the World Trade Center on 9/11. If a Muslim is not killed in jihad, then they automatically will have to spend a duration in hell.

Even if Muslims follow the rules of the Quran and die in jihad does not mean that they can be assured they will go to heaven because not even Muhammad was assured of his salvation.

Therefore, Muslims have no certainty they will go to heaven when they die, even if they follow Islam perfectly and die in jihad.

True Salvation Is Found in Christ

As we can see, there is no hope in Islam. The only true hope is found in placing faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). It is important for us to share the gospel with Muslims and help them know about Jesus. Their religion provides no assurance to them.

They are weighed down by impossible goals, and they are worshiping a god that doesn’t exist. All Muslims deserve to hear the gospel and have a chance to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord. Pray for Muslims and ask God to help them come to know Him.

For further reading:

Why Are Thousands of Muslims Converting to Christ?

What Is the Holy Book of Islam?

What Does the Quran Say about Other Religions and Believers?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Drazen Zigic

Vivian BrickerVivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.


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