Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed); in the Sacred Books (including the Torah,
the Gospels, the Psalms, and the Koran); and in the Day of Judgment.
Islam does not believe in original sin. Islam teaches that people are
born innocent and remain so until each makes himself or herself guilty by a
Islam is neither an ethnocentric (belief that ones own ethnic group is
superior to other ethnic groups) nor a sacramental religionthey observe no
sacraments. Anyone may become a Muslim by a personal decision alone.
Initiation into Islam entails no sacramental ceremony, no participation by
any clergy, and no confirmation by any organized body.
The chief teachings of Islam which are to be accepted by all Moslems are:
Doctrine of God. Islam is a strict monotheistic religion. There is no
other God than God (Allah).
Doctrine of Angels. Angels surround the throne of God and serve as
His messenger to people. Gabriel is the chief of angels. Iblis, who is Satan or
the Devil, is a fallen angel. He controls the jinn who are male and female
Doctrine of Inspired Books. Moslems believe in the Sacred Books
including the Torah, the Gospel of Jesus, the Psalms, and the Koran
(Quran). They believe the Koran is the only book which is completely
without error. If contradictions exist between the Koran and other inspired
books, the Koran stands as correct. Parts of the Koran resemble the Bible,
the Apocrypha, and the Jewish Talmud. The Koran contains many of the
same stories about the prophets that appear in the Old Testament. It also has
stories from the New Testament about Jesus, called the Spirit of God. The
Koran, which is somewhat shorter in length than the New Testament,
contains 114 suras or chapters. Moslems are expected to memorize as much
of the Koran as they can. Those who memorize it all are greatly honored.
Doctrine of Prophets. There are many persons who are considered
to be prophets according to Islamic teachings. Among these are
Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, Noah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Mohammed.
Mohammed is considered to be the final prophet and his proclamations
complete the message of God to people.
Doctrine of Last Judgment. Moslems believe there will be a final
judgment for all people. At that time, unbelievers will be sentenced to the
burning fires of hell; believers will enter heaven. The pleasures of heaven will
be given to believers according to the degree of their faith and the morality
they displayed in life.
Respect for moral and legal codes. Moslems believe that the Islamic
moral and legal codes permeate all areas of human life. Another doctrine,
called Kismet (fate) is taught, but is not required of a Moslem. Kismet is the
belief that all things are foreordained by Allah.