Session 5 Islam
As a result of conversations and activities connected with this session, group members should begin to do the following:
- Identify the historical roots and sacred texts of Islam;
- Articulate some of the basic beliefs of Islam
- Understand connections between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; and
- Appreciate the possibilities and potential benefits of Muslim-Christian interactions
Genesis 17:18-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
- 18 And Abraham said to God, “O that Ishmael might live in your sight!” 19 God said, “No, but your wife Sarah shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac.[a] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; I will bless him and make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous; he shall be the father of twelve
Opening Activity: Create a Word cloud of Islam
On a blank sheet of paper at the front of the class, write a word or phrase that you associate with Islam.
After everyone arrives we will look at this word cloud and ask the following:
- What images of Islam are reflected in this cloud?
- What other images would you add?
- Are most of the images positive or negative?
Before the attacks of 9/11 many Christians did not know much about Islam. Rev. Hamilton believes it is important for Christians to learn about the religion of Islam.
- How has your awareness of Islam changed since the attacks of 9/11?
- Why do you think it is so important for Christians to know about Islam?
- What more do you want to know about Islam?
- How much do you interact with people who are Muslim?
God of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, *
God of Isaac and Ishmael,
We want to love you with our soul, body, mind, and strength.
We want to surrender our lives to your will and your work.
As we seek to understand and love our Muslin neighbors more, help us to see in them a reflection of our own desire for you.
Help us to be ambassadors for Christ that you call us to be.
In the strong name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
*(I added Hagar’s name.)
In Chapter 5, Hamilton discusses Islam, recounting its origins, sacred text, and essential beliefs and practices. He also discusses ways in which we differ. He asks us to consider the images of violence in both Islamic and Christian texts. He concludes by asking us to be ambassadors of Christ with our Muslim neighbors. The video will recap major points in the text and the interview with Sheikh Dahee Saeed is on page 53.
- How does the video describe Mohammed? Did you learn anything new?
- The point of disagreement in the religions is how we see Jesus. Why id it important for Christians to Jesus actually died on the cross?
- How does Sheikh Saeed describe the importance of regular prayer?
- What do you remember about worship in the Islamic Center of Johnson County? Compare and contrast worship in the mosque with worship in the church.
- What do you think of the interaction of Hamilton and the Muslim woman who attended his service?
Book and Bible Study and Discussion
Divide into four groups. Creatively express your period—play-acting; drawing; a poem; or pretend you are doing a segment for the TV nes.
Group 1: Mecca—Muhammad’s life before age twenty-five
Group 2: Ages twenty-five to thirty-nine
Group 3: Age forty to the move to Medina
Group 4: From the migration to Medina to the spread of Islam
Skim pages 102-107 to refresh your memory.
- What new things did you learn in doing this presentation?
- What impressions do you have of Muhammad?
- What were three major themes of Muhammad’s life?
Group 1: Genesis 16
Group 2: Genesis 17.15-27
Group 3: Genesis 21.1-21
Group 4: Genesis 25.7-18
Each group should consider these questions:
- What do these passages tell us about Ishmael?
- What do they tell us about God’s provision for Ishmael?
- How could this story have impacted the relationship between Isaac and Ishmael’s descendants?
Reconvene in the large group and discuss:
- In two sentences, what happened in the passage you were assigned?
- How would you describe Ishmael’s place in God’s story?
- ow could these stories help people in the faith traditions that trace back to Abraham (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) understand their relationship to one another?
Comparing the Quran and the Bible
- How do you understand the major differences between how Muslims view the Quran and how Christians view the Bible?
- What do you think Hamilton means when he says that Muslims view the word of God in light of the Quran and Christians through the lens of Jesus?
Exploring the Five Pillars of Islam (pages 110-112)
Five volunteers who will not look at the material but try to explain the term from memory.
After they have been defined:
- Which of these practices are also practices within Christianity?
- Which challenge us to live our Christian faith more deeply?
- ased on your experience, what are the essential practices of the Christian faith?
- What can we stand to learn about our own faith by paying attention to these pillars of Islam?
Violence and the Sacred Texts (pages 116-119)
- Why do some people have the impression that Islam is a religion of violence?
- How does context help us understand violent passages in our text?
- How would you talk with someone about why a violent act done in the name of Christianity does not reflect the teaching of the Bible?
- How could we be good Samaritans for our Muslim neighbors?
Page 119—the Call to be Christ’s Ambassador
Write a letter to an actual member of the Muslim faith; an imagined member of the Muslim faith, or God. Describe your honest desire to live the Great Commandment.
- How difficult was this?
- What did you learn about your own faith through writing this letter?
- What might you do as a next step?