Islam is a monotheistic, revealed religion. Its book of reference, the Koran, is considered to be the word of God (or Allah in Arabic), He of the Old and New Testaments: a God who exists, communicates and commands. In other words, a God who is interested in man and his condition and who expects man to be involved in the relationship and offer something in return. Islam shares with Christianity in particular the notion of eschatological salvation and the universality of its message, which is intended for all humanity and not just one specific population.
Two concepts are used interchangeably in reference to Islam: one relating to the religion (islam) and the other to the civilisation (Islam). The primary issue that discourse on Islam must now address is its ability to distinguish between the spiritual and temporal order, the specific and the universal.
In order to understand the nature of Islam as a religion and how it functions in terms of its relationship with history and reality, this paper embarks on a journey through the Islamic canon and gives an idea of the complexity of the Koranic phenomenon, which eludes even the wisest Muslims, and which partly explains the fundamentalism and fanaticism that Islam suffers due to the ignorance of some of its followers.
This paper is written by Tareq Oubrou, Grand Imam of Bordeaux and theologian.
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