Catholic view of Islam

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**3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting. **

In light of this passage does the Church believe that a Muslim can possibly be saved?
In light of this passage does the Church believe that a Muslim can possibly be saved?
the answer is “yes”

btw, i have compiled many articles on the catholic view of islam, which may be of help to you. to read them for yourself, go here and scroll down to the section on Moslems and Islam

pax christi,
This passage from Nostra Aetate would appear to be merely describing Muslims. The specific topic of their being saved or not does not appear to have been raised.

However, in light of the rest of the teaching of Vatican II and the rest of the tradition of the Church, I would say that Muslims can be saved but not merely by virtue of the fact that they are Muslim. If anyone is saved, it is through the grace opened to us through Christ’s death and resurrection.

Those who do not know Christ and have not been joined to him and his Church through the saving waters of Baptism can still be led closer to him through a mysterious grace, one that we have a difficulty understanding, but one that still flows from the cross.

Now I do think that the passage in question implies an affirmation that Muslims, because of their beliefs, might more easily be able to cooperate with that mysterious grace than those non-Christians (except the Jewish people) who are not Muslim.
That is certainly true. Muslims aren’t ‘saved’ by virtue of being Muslim. They might attain salvation by some other means (God can do what He wants) but if they are saved, they are saved through the Catholic Church which has Jesus (God) for its head and through which any who attain salvation do so.
I lived in Indonesia for two years back in the mid '90’s and was impressed with several aspects of Islam (without ever caring to part from my own place in the Catholic Church).

One was their devotion to prayer. Calls to prayer were publicly announced 5 times a day. Many Christians could learn a lesson from this devotion.

Another aspect of their faith that impressed me was how much a part of their faith was shared within the family. Idul Fitre and the Fasting Period were very much a family activity/celebration. The religion of the families I knew was usually a seemless part of their family life. Again, something many Christians could probably work on in their own homes (mine included…)
Here’s a protestant site that can be used to defend the faith against Islam. (don’t go to .net or .com)

I wish there was a Catholic apologetics site.
CCC 841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

How does this reconcile with no salvation outside of the Church?

If Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the father except through him, how do we reconcile this verse?

Are they accepting Jesus without understanding that they are accepting Jesus?

Please help me to understand the Church’s stand.
I find this troubling too. Does anyone have any links that clarify Church teachings on Islam?
I found that same section the other night and that TOO perplexed me somewhat. Like many, I await a better explanation!
Catechism of the Catholic Church

"Outside the Church there is no salvation"

How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers? Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”
Everybody’s in the plan of salvation, which is for everybody to be in union with Christ. And since the Church is Christ’s Body in the world, salvation in Christ means being in communion with the Church.

Of course, while everybody’s in the plan of salvation, not everybody will accept this plan— and the Church states that those who knowingly and willingly reject the plan of salvation cannot be saved.

The Church’s position just recognizes that Muslims, like everybody, is in the plan of salvation-- God wants to save them, as he wants to save all of the sons of Adam. Moreover, the Church recognizes Muslims— unlike polytheists, agnostics, atheists and other pagans— to be are amongst “the first” in this plan because they profess to hold the monotheistic faith of Abraham. While Islam contains much error, it is closer to the Gospel than atheism, agnosticism and polytheism.

The Church isn’t saying that Islam is salvific. Nor is the Church saying that Muslims will be saved. The Church is saying that God is calling Muslims to come in union with Christ and thus, enter the Faith of His Body, the Church.
During the invasion of Iraq last year there was one picture on a news site that is still in my memory. During house to house searches they showed one young family. The father came out first with his hands on his head then he turned to encourage his wife and children to come to him. They had eyes only for him and he would put his arms out protectivly to his wife and over the children then back to his head. I don’t know if they were Muslim but they were sure an image of love at that moment. Where true love is there God is.

st julie
I lived in Indonesia for two years back in the mid '90’s and was impressed with several aspects of Islam (without ever caring to part from my own place in the Catholic Church).

One was their devotion to prayer. Calls to prayer were publicly announced 5 times a day. Many Christians could learn a lesson from this devotion.
What impresses me from the news lately is their general, worldwide unity. This daily call to prayer, whether in the Middle East, Phillipines, Africa, etc, appears to unite them much more than we are united as Americans by the American Flag or as Christians by the Cross. Islam seems to be the most united force in the world today.

IMO, this is very dangerous, to us.
Islam is a pagan religion which teaches that Jesus was a lesser prophet than Mohammed. They have expand their influence by the sword, forcing people to convert or killing the people where they wanted to conquer. They have fought and driven Christians out of the Middle East, North Africa, southern Asia, and southeast Asia.

I’m concerned that what I hear from the Church is that in Islam they prary and worship one god, Allah (a moon god in ancient times), and this makes them decent people. This is misleading, because the leadership is very calculating and deceptive to those who are on the outside looking in, such as us American Catholics.

Christians are not allowed to practice their faith in Saudi Arabia, and live as second class citizens along with those of the Jewish faith.

Islam teaches that God did not have a son. Our Catholic Christian faith is centered on the ministry of Jesus who died for our sins and rose from the dead, who sent the Holy Sprit and lead the apostles to go forth and teach all nations. This is the mission of our Roman Catholic Church.

What do you think about Islam?
Errr How can they worship the same God, when they deny Christ?
Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
True. Except the moral life is only shown to Muslims, almsgiving includes weapons, and money to other Muslims, and never goes to non-muslims, fasting is the only thing here that is ok.

Im stumped to how the Church came to this conclusion, especially since within 80years of Muhammads death, half of europe, almost all christian kingdoms were destroyed in africa, india was totally slaughtered, not to mention modern day murders of Greeks on Cyrus, sudan, Id loved to know where the Morals are there!
I have a few things to tell about muslims, infact I have a lot of things to tell, but I won’t talk about everything.

I agree that Muslims are considered “saved”, not because they are Muslims, but because of what the Word of God did for us on the cross, and that goes for all religions.

But having said that, and having lived in a Muslim country for over 17yrs, I can tell you that Muslims think of Christianity and other religions as inferior religions, the general consensus of muslims think that all the corruptions of the world are because of the “Kafirs” or “non-muslims”, i.e. the West. There are only a minority of muslims that think differently.

Here in the US and after the tragic events of Sept 11th, Islam came out with statements that the “God of Abraham, is the same GOD that is worsipped in Islam, Christianity and Judaism”. Yes that is true to some extent, but you have to keep in mind that they strongly condem the fact that we Christians believe in a Triune GOD, to which i feel contradicts the above statement, plus they feel that the Bible is a corrupted book. Therefore I honestly believe they (Muslims) came out with that statement to reassure the American people that Islam is a religion of peace and not of war, and I feel that the American people have sympathy for the Muslim minority because of America’s past history with minorities. I can honestly tell you that if what had happened in the US on Spet 11th happened in say a muslim country in the Middleeast by Christians, we christians would not be treated like how muslims are treated in this country, no matter what statements we come out with.

Culture and Pride are very strong in Islam, they cannot stand to loose or say that they are wrong. To confirm this, try debating with a Muslim, I’ll bet you anything that a normal discussion will turn out to be a heated argument. They will use the Bible to both contradict Christian beliefs and prove that their Religion is the right religion or path to GOD. But If you try and disprove the Quran, they will out right tell you that using a transaltion of the Quran to prove you point doesn’t satisfy, because the Quran is only to be understood in Arabic, not any Arabic, but a certain type of Arabic, and the people that know that special kind of Arabic are theologians and scholars, majority of whom are muslims.

The Next time a Muslim tells you that they worship the same GOD, ask them if you could make a trip to Mecca to worship (according to islamic tradtion) the House of GOD built by Abraham, and see what they have to say?. What is sad is that the road to Mecca and Medina can only be travel by muslims, non-muslims have to go by another road.

If people have more questions about Islam please feel free to ask, If I can provide a different perspective, I will, but as BobCatholic mentioned is a good place to start. It is coming from a protestant background, but their tracts and topics are very informative.


Seeker 👍
Malo you got it right brother, I do not know why the church has ties to this pagan religion. It made my stomache churn when I saw the Pope kiss the Quran and step foot in a Mosque. We should be trying to convert these people away from barbarism not encouraging it.
I don’t see the Pope as trying to encourage Islam. I believe he is looking for common ground from which a dialogue can take place between us and Moslems in a spirit that lends itself, hopefully, to their reconciliation.

My experiences in Indonesia with Moslems was obviously not the same that others here have described, I’ve no doubt that both Moslems and Catholics could spend all day telling each other how the other side has wronged them for hundreds of years. Would this dialogue further our mission to preach the Gospel to all ends of the World? Is our mission to prove our faith is “right” (it is right but didn’t Christ already prove that?) or encourage its acceptance by everyone.

Its also important to remember that the Church does not condemn those people who, through no fault of their own, have not heard the Gospel or been permitted to accept it. Would anyone here condemn a Moslem child to hell because she was never given the opportunity to hear the Gospel? I don’t think the Church has ever officially condemned anyone to hell have they? Obviously most Moslems have had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. Their choices and fate in that regard are in the hands of God. We still have an obligation, in my opinion, to find the common ground that will allow as many people as possible to feel comfortable having a meaningful dialogue so that they can decide for themselves what spiritual path to follow. I see the Pope as looking for that common ground. I’ve never thought the Church was trying to somehow say that Islam contained the complete deposit of Faith.

Paul said it well I thought in his first letter to the Corinthians:
“Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over the Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law - though I myself am not under the law - to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law - though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ - to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the Gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.” I Cor 9:19-23
Pax Iesus.

Ive been working on a Catholic site against Islam, Ive got a few articles up so far, includes sources so Muslims cant re-re argue them, ONLY Reliable sources.

Magen Ha- Emunah - Defender of Faith

Here are the articles Ive written so far:

Apologetics > Islaam > ‘God’ -

MH-E: Is Allah, God?

MH-E: The Islamic god - Encarta, Columbia Enc. & Understanding Islam - Muslim Author

MH-E: Did Early Christians reject the Trinity? - Personal Rebuttal

MH-E: Was the Trinity Invented? Part I - Personal Rebuttal

MH-E: Was the Trinity Invented? Part II - Personal Rebuttal

Apologetics > Islaam > Al Qur’aan

MH-E: The Compilation of Al Qur’aan According to Al Hadeeth - Contradictary Stories
Note: 3 Pages in Total.

Im working on More.

Pax Iesus Christi
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