The Inclusivity of Islam

Lori J. Gainer

University of Phoenix, Austin Campus

World Religious Traditions / REL134

Dr. Grant Sisk

October 31, 2007

The Inclusivity of Islam

There exists today an innumerable count of religions. This situation occurs simply because the definition of religion includes, "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects" (religion, n.d.). Since this definition does not specify what the 'number of persons' includes, two people might share a common belief and call it a religion. Many of the world's leading identified religions, are permeated with the idea, perception, or determination that one religion is preferred, or better, or more right, over another. This is not the case within the religion of Islam. This faith tradition "offers hope for salvation to the righteous and God-fearing of all religions" (Masud, 2005). In this sense, Islam is more inclusive than many other religions. There is much about this faith that is not widely known, properly identified, or openly discussed; especially in light of recent media events.


According to the CIA's World Factbook, documentation of religious adherents is noted as, "Christians 33.03% (of which Roman Catholics are 17.33%, Protestants 5.8%, Orthodox 3.42%, Anglicans 1.23%), Muslims 20.12%, Hindus 13.34%, Buddhists 5.89%, Sikhs 0.39%, Jews 0.23%, other religions 12.61%, non-religious 12.03%, atheists 2.36%" (CIA,2004). Today, nearly one-fifth of the world's population adheres to the Islam faith. Islam traces its spiritual roots back to Abraham and his son Ishmael. Ishmael is said to be the son of Abraham by his slave wife, Hagar. Christian Old Testament scriptures indicate that Hagar and her son were taken into the dessert and removed from the family because of the jealousy of Abraham's wife Sarah. Tradition tells that Abraham and his son Ishmael built a sanctuary to God, whom Ishmael called Allah. This sanctuary, known as the Ka'bah, is the holiest of holy sanctuaries in the Islamic faith. It is also written that Abraham's son, Isaac, called God Abba (meaning father) where Ishmael called God Allah, meaning the same. Where Judaism follows the traditions of God through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; Islam follows the traditions of the same deity God through Abraham, Ishmael and subsequent elected leaders.
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The mission of Islam is to reform society, to actively combat oppression and corruption by inviting all that is good, enjoying all that is right, and forbidding all that is wrong. Additionally, Islam not only calls people back to faith, but creates a moral order in the world as the embodiment of God's commandments (Fisher, 2002)


To the faithful followers of Islam (called Muslims) the doctrine of Islam is simplistic. The word islam is Arabic which is synonymous with peace, purity, acceptance and commitment. As a religion, "Islam calls for complete acceptance of the teachings ...

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