2.26 What are the origins of Islam?
In the seventh century AD, an Arab called Muhammad claimed that the angel Gabriel had dictated divine revelations to him. These were written down in the Qur’an. There is also the hadith, a book explaining the Qur’an, by Muhammad and his followers. The Sharia laws are derived from the Qur’an and the hadith.
Islam spread rapidly in the Arab world, including by waging war against Jews, Christians and people with other beliefs. Islam regards Jesus as a prophet but not as the Son of God who he truly is. Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection are also denied by Islam.
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In 1219 Saint Francis obtained permission to visit and speak to the Muslim sultan Malik al-Klmil, to preach the Gospel of Jesus... In an age when there was a conflict underway between Christianity and Islam, Francis, intentionally armed only with his faith and personal humility, travelled the path of dialogue effectively. The chronicles tell us that he was given a benevolent welcome and a cordial reception by the Muslim Sultan. It provides a model which should inspire today's relations between Christians and Muslims: to promote a sincere dialogue, in reciprocal respect and mutual understanding [Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 27 Jan. 2010]