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Apologetics

(2,997 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
A systematic argumentative discourse in defense of a religion or doctrine. In the history of encounters between Muslims of differing opinions and between Muslims and members of other faiths, the Qurʾān has usually been central as a guide and source in debates and has often been a significant topic in these discussions. Within the Qurʾān itself there are arguments defending both its proclamations and its own status. Its fundamental emphasis that God is one and distinct from all other beings is most emphatically asserted in q 112, which is generally thought to have been delivered …

Conversion

(2,300 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Spiritual and moral transformation attended by a sincere change of belief. The concept of conversion is represented in the Qurʾān by a group of teachings which together stress the importance of admitting God's lordship, accepting the guidance he gives, following the way he has established and conforming to his will (see belief and unbelief; lord; obedience; islam). It is essentially a matter of reverting to a norm perceptible to all and to which one is able to conform by one's own efforts. The initiative for the movement of restoration lies with God,…

Trinity

(2,409 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The distinctive Christian doctrine of one God in three persons, directly alluded to three times in the Qurʾān. The overwhelmingly powerful assertion in the Qurʾān that God is absolutely one rules out any notion that another being could share his sovereignty (q.v.) or nature (see god and his attributes ). The text abounds with deni-¶ als that there could be two gods ( q 16:51) and that he could have partners (e.g. q 6:163; 10:18, 28-9; 23:91; see polytheism and atheism ) or relations ( q 6:100; 16:57; 17:111; 25:2; 112:3) and explicitly repudiates the idea that he took Jesus (q.v.) as his son ( q 4:…