Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholicsby Daniel Ali, Robert Spencer
Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics utilizes a popular question-and-answer format so that all Catholics, both the theological novice and the well-catechized, can learn the basics of Islam. Co-authors Robert Spencer and Daniel Ali, a convert from Islam, give you a solid understanding of Islam's unique teachings including:
• The Islamic view of God
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This is a great book for those coming to Islam for the first time. The basic beliefs of Islam are spelled out, and the reader will also get a good overview of Islamic history. It's also a great book for comparing and contrasting Islamic theology with Christian theology (specifically Catholic theology). Finally, the book has a helpful section on how Christians can share the gospel with Muslims. Readers of this book would also like "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about the death of God, the crumbling of Western civilization, and what the West can do to stop it.
This book has an interesting format including a Forward, Introduction, 100 Questions and Answers, a chapter on Sharing the Gospel with Muslims, Contradictory Teachings and Commands of Islamic Theology, Notes and Appendix. It answers some very important questions I myself have asked as a practicing Catholic. One of these was expressed in # 86 where it was asked: "Given Islamic teachings on jihad, how can Muslims claim to be a religion of peace?" This is not only a question I may have had but so might many of the suffering thousands (perhaps millions) of those affected by the bombings of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In this book the reader is informed: "When the Muslim declares that Islam is a religion of peace, he is either ignorant of the Koran or is extending this "peace" only to those within the Muslim community, without telling you that he is the way he means it. According to the Koran, "Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but ruthless to unbelievers." As a well educated woman who married later in life and who, if left to fend for herself, could very easily support herself and her family comfortably, I have also often thought on uestion # 94. "What is the position of women in Islamic society? Do they have the same rights as men?" I had already read in the Geraldine Brooks book NINE PARTS OF DESIRE; THE HIDDEN WORLD OF ISLAMIC WOMEN that being married in the Islamic faith meant "the acceptance of a legal code that valued her testimony as half the worth of a man's, an inheritance system that allowed her half the legacy of her brother, a future domestic life in which her husband could beat her if she disobeyed him, make her share her attentions with three more wives, divorce her at whim and get absolute custody of her children." I could not imagine any intelligent, well educated American woman born and raised in a democratic society ever learning to tolerate such injustice. INSIDE ISLAM agrees telling us that "The treatment of women in Islamic countries is consistently shocking to modern Westerners....Islam views women as innately subordinate to men." This uestion was followed by # 95 which states: "The Koran's teachings on the status of women seem to reflect those of St Paul's in the Bible. Didn't he tell wives to be submissive to their husbands?" The author's response to this mirrors what I have been told by a number of Catholic priests I have spoken with over the years: "St. Paul's teachings for wives to be submissive to their husbands must be read in the entire context of his letter to the Ephesians....Immediately prior to his "wives be submissive" injunction, St Paul tells husbands and wives to "be subordinate (or submissive) to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Eph 5:21). I can highly recommend this book.