Glossary of Terms and Beliefs

What do Christians and Islamic Terms Mean?
Christian Beliefs and TermsIslamic Beliefs and Terms

Christian and Islamic Words of Faith and Belief

As we seek to understand the most basic statements of faith for both Christianity and Islam we will first look at statements of faith or creeds for each faith and then at other theological terms that further define these two faiths

The Chalcedonian Confession of the Christian Faith, 451 AD

Following the Holy Fathers, we all with one voice confess our Lord Jesus Christ to be one and the same Son , perfect in divinity and humanity, Truly God and truly human, consisting of a rational soul and body, being of one substance with the Father in relation to his divinity, and being of one substance with us in relation to his humanity, and is like us in all things apart from sin (Hebrews 4:15),

He was begotten of the Father before time in relation to His divinity, and in these recent days, was born from the Virgin Mary, the Theotokis, (The Earthly, Mother of the Son of God, Jesus Christ) for us and our salvation.

In relation to the humanity, He is one and the same Christ, The Son, the Lord, the Only -begotten, who is to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division and without separation. This distinction of natures is in no way abolished on account of the union, but rather the characteristic property of each nature is preserved, and concurring into one Person and one substance, not as if Christ were parted or divided into two persons for He remains one and the same Son and the only-begotten God, Word, Lord, Jesus Christ; even as the Prophets from the beginning spoke concerning Him, and our Lord Jesus Christ instructed us, and the Creed of the Father’s was handed down to us.

The Apostles Creed
  1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of the heavens and earth;
  2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;
  3. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary;
  4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried;
  5. . On the third day He was raised from the dead;
  6. He ascended into the heavens and sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
  7. From where He will come to judge the living and the dead.
  8. I believe in the Holy Spirit
  9. In the Holy Catholic church; [the communion of saints;]
  10. The forgiveness of sins;
  11. The resurrection of his flesh (resurrection carnis)
  12. And eternal life
The Pillars of Islam

The Messenger of Allah stated that Islam is based on five [things]:

  1. The Shahadah (testimony): None has the right to be worshiped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of (Allah).
  2. Iqamat-as-Salat (to offer the compulsory congregational prayers dutifully and perfectly).
  3. To pay Zakat, this is a mandatory charity. This is a 2.5% tax. Zakat is also due on other forms of property along with regular income.
  4. Hajj (the greater pilgrimage to the House of Allah in Makkah) for whoever is able to do so.
  5. To observe Saum (fasting during the month of Ramadan): [With the intention to abstain from the start of dawn until sunset from food, drink, and everything else which breaks (invalidates) the fast].
    The Pillars of Islam and Iman, by Muhammed bin Jamil Zeno, Dar -us-Salam Publications, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, 1996.
The Pillars of Imam (Faith)

To believe in:

  1. Allah [in His Existence, His Oneness in His Attributes, His deserving to be worshipped and supplicated and His right to legislate]
  2. His angels [being created from light for obeying Allah’s Orders]
  3. His Books [Torah, the Gospel of Jesus, the Psalms of David and the Quran which is the best of them).
  4. His Messengers [the first of them was Noah and the last of them was Muhammad being the Seal of the Prophets].
  5. The Last Day [the day of resurrection for the reckoning of the people according to their deeds and their appropriate compensation (reward or punishment).
  6. And to believe in Qadar (Divine Preordainment) [that all which occurs of good and evil is by Divine decree, accompanied by the employment of means to achieve desired results with satisfaction of what happens of good or bad, the sweet and the bitter, because it occurs by Allah’s Decree].The Pillars of Islam and Iman, by Muhammed bin Jamil Zeno, Dar -us-Salam Publications, Riyadh-Saudi Arabia, 1996.

The Revealed Nature of the Lord God of Christianity and Allah of Islam

1.The Christian Trinity: The Christian belief that the Lord God is Monotheistic, that is one yet exist eternally in three persons. Being God the Father, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit.

2.Christian Monotheism the belief that the Lord God is Monotheistic that is one in His nature He has revealed Himself in scripture as a Trinity.

3.Islamic Monotheism: Allah is the unique Supreme God who has no associates and to whom no one and nothing else may be compared.

4.Allah: See Islamic Monotheism. Donner notes that “In the twenty-first century common faith in a single universal God for all mankind has become the paradigm for transcending loyalty to geography, kinship ties, and national borders.” The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, by John Esposito.

5.Tawhid: This theological term emphasizes the Oneness of Allah, which is the central theme of the Quran. It also includes the Sovereignty of Allah, and demands that His rules and command be enforced upon the entire universe including mankind. The submission of man to His Rule and His Will and the readiness to live in compliance with His commands is Islam.

6.Ruh al-Quds: This is the Spirit within Islam which is the Spirit of Holiness. As represented by the Archangel Gabriel, who is a Servant of Allah and the one who is the messenger of Allah’s Quran. References to Ruh al-Quds are seen in the Quran at Q 16:102, Q 26:193 and Q 58:22.
Dictionary of The Holy Quran by Abdul Mannan Omar, NOOR Foundation International, 2012.

Sacred Scripture and Books

1.The Holy Bible: The collection of books accepted by the Christian Church as authoritative. Written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that came upon the Biblical writers, primarily, the Patriarchs of the Old Testament as well as the Prophets and the Apostles of the New Testament.

2. The Holy Quran: The Quran is the speech of Allah sent down upon the prophet Mohammad through the Archangel Jibril. It is inimitable, unique and protected by Allah from corruption. The Quran was revealed over the twenty-three-year ministry of the Prophet Muhammed. Quranic Keywords, A Reverence Guide by Abdur Rashid Siddiqui, The Islamic Foundation 2008.

3. Christian Commentaries: As the name implies these are books and articles written by theologically trained writers that have had training in the original languages of scripture that enables them to write an in-depth review of the scriptural text being reviewed. Commentaries are also referred to as Biblical exegesis.

4. Islamic Tafsir: These are writing for Quranic exegesis. Tafsir reviews the scriptural text of the Quran from the fields of linguistics, juristic, and theological fields.

Christian and Islamic Eschatology: The Study of End Times or Last Things

Christian Eschatology

1.This Present World: The Holy Bible, as the message from the Lord God, speaks to all the circumstances of life. The Bible provides guidance, wisdom and direction from the Lord God. All that you need to know and understand about the Lord God’s desire to have a Saving Personal relationship is contained in the Bible. There are three scriptures from the Holy Bible that testify to the Lord God’s desire for a relationship with His Creation.

Acts 4:11-13 New International Version (NIV)

11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” 13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished, and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

John 10: 9-11 New International Version (NIV)

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 14:6-10 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.7If you really know me, you will know  my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

2. Judgement: First Corinthians 15: 19-28 New International Version (NIV)

19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

3. Heaven and Hell: Heaven is the future abode of believers. A place of complete Happiness and Joy. It is distinguished especially by the presence of the Lord God. One of the clearest statements about Heaven is in the final book of the Holy Bible, the Book of Revelation giving the Christian a picture of what it means to be in the Lord God’s presence.

A New Heaven and a New Earth (Revelation 21 New International Version (NIV)

21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth, For the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new! “Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Hell: The place of future punishment of wicked or unbelieving persons; It is a place of great anguish from which the Lord God is totally absent.

Islamic Eschatology

1. This Present World: “The Quran is primarily a Book of Guidance. Its purpose is to provide guidelines for human beings so that they can fulfill the role of vice regency on Earth”. “The Quran covers a vast number of subjects: moral, social, economic, political and legal as well as matters relating to creed and metaphysics” Quran 2: 185; 16:98; 17:88, 25:30; 47:24.

2. Judgment: “At the end of time Allah will take apart his creation. The firmament will shatter, and the mountains will fall apart. Those who did not recognize the truth during their lives will finally taste the truth through pain. They(unbelievers) will be cast into the fire that they refused to acknowledge”. …The believers, however are promised a far different future. Instead of pain, they will experience the true nature of bliss”

3. Heaven and Hell:

Heaven: The Arabic Word for Heaven is Jannah. “Jannah is the manifestation of Allah’s (Maghfirah) Forgiveness and attainment of His pleasure. It is the eternal residence of those who led a life of piety in this world. Its bliss is eternal and its pleasured are everlasting, it is one area where there life and no death; where there is pleasure and no pain; where there is happiness and no regret; where there is peace and no turmoil. Every desire will be fulfilled, and every wish complied with”. Q 3:185.

Hell: The Arabic Word for Hell is Jahannam. It is a fiery subterranean abyss where the wicked will be condemned to for punishment after death. They will endure eternal punishment. Q 67:7-8, 2:24. And 20:74.

Quranic Keywords, A Reverence Guide by Abdur Rashid Siddiqui, The Islamic Foundation 2008.

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