Some Christians see Islam as a part of truth, for example the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council:
"The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, among them especially the Muslims, (...) who adore with us the one God." (Lumen Gentium)
"The Church considers with respect the Muslims, who worship the one God." (Nostra Aetate, October 10, 1965)
For other Christians, Islam is the Antichrist par excellence. They think that:
- Allāh is a pagan god
- Halal meat is meat sacrificed to idols
- Islam must be fought
- Muslims must be converted to Christianity by criticizing Islam
The Arabic Word Islam
The Arabic word Islam does not primarily applies to a religion of Muhammad (pbuh) but to the principle of submitting ourselves to God.
- Islam means Submission to God
- Muslim: the one who has Submitted
- Both words are related to salām, peace
Islam in the Qur’ān
Islam is presented as the religion of Prophet Ibrāhīm / Abraham (pbuh):
"Who has a better in religion than he who surrenders fully to God (aslama), he is the doer and the faith of Ibrahim followed?" (An-Nisa ' 4:125)
"Your father Ibrahim gave you the name 'Muslim'." (Al -Hajj 22:78)Note: Abraham lived about 2,500 years before Muhammad and was a Muslim. This shows that the Qur’ān does not assume that Islam came through Muhammad’s sermons but was the true religion of the Patriarchs long time before "the Prophet of Islam".
Moreover, Islam is the religion of the Jews (children of Jacob):
"And Ibrahim said to his sons, also Ya'kūb / Jacob: "O my sons, God has chosen a religion for you. You shall die as Muslims." (Al- Baqarah 2:32)
Jews and Christians are Muslims:
"Not only the Jews and the Christians go to heaven but those who fully surrender to Allāh." (Al- Baqarah 2:111-112)Note: This text suggests that is not enough to call oneself "Jew" or "Christian" to enter Paradise. It means that the principle of submission to God expressed by the word Islam may apply to Jews and Christians as well, even more: It must apply -- whereas the text does not conclude that they have to leave Judaism or Christianity but to practice their religion in the right spirit, which is the attitude of devotion to God.
Islam in the Bible
Another text says:
"Because you have experienced God's mercy, I exhort you to surrender to God all over you." Romans 12:1Note: Because God is ar-Rahmān ur-Rahīm (compassionate and merciful), the Apostle Paul exhorts his readers you to aslama (to surrender) to God! This is exactly the idea of Islam: submission to God. Here is the origin of Islam (submission) in the Injīl / New Testament!
Another text says:
"Also, do not give your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as towards those who were dead and are now alive, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness." (Romans 6:13 NIV)
Islam is the language of Al Masīh ' Isa ibn Maryam / Jesus (piuh)
In the Aramaic language (spoken by Al Masīh ' Isa ibn Maryam / Jesus piuh), the action of turning away from evil is described with the same word as Islam (shālēm). Someone undergoing this process is called "a Moshlem". Converts to Christianity were called "Moshlem"! The obvious similarity between Moshlem and Muslim shows the origin of the word Islam: as a principle much older than the time of Muhammad (pbuh).
Islam is not the religion of those who follow Muhammad (pbuh) but a principle of devotion to God taught in both the Qur’ān and in the Bible (Tawrat, Zabūr and Injīl). Therefore Christians who have given their lives to God may claim to be "Muslims" in the original sense of the word.