Read His Words Before Ours!
Imagine a young woman named Fatima who grew up in the Islam faith.
As far back as she can remember, she has seen her mother quickly cover her head, kneel on her prayer rug, and pray five times a day during the namaz (required memorized prayers).
She has watched her brothers being sent to the Imam (EE-mom) weekly to learn recitation of the Quran in Arabic. Arabic wasn’t Fatima’s native language and though poorly understood, was necessary for recitation as it was chosen by Allah.
On Fridays, her brothers and Father proudly wear their white caps and Kurtas (long shirt) and pray at the mosque.
Fatima’s mother has strictly taught her to keep her skin covered in front of men, following the example of Prophet Mohammad’s wives. Allah’s command is for women to be modest so as not to entice men. She regularly hears her parents sneering at their unbelieving neighbors who eat unclean pig, drink forbidden alcohol, and flaunt their women instead of protecting them.
As Fatima seeks to obey the principles of Islam, she sees how this pleases her parents and she is filled with pride. The more she denies herself with fasting from “worldly” desires, the more she is seen as righteous. She feels a strong sense of pride in being Muslim.
This is a common picture for an Islamic family today.
Taking pride in their religion is taught from a young age as Muslims are family and community based. Their communities are centered around mosques; religious practices are outward, not private or personal.
The biggest difference between Christianity and Islam is how Jesus is understood. Muslims are taught Jesus was a great Islamic prophet.
Believing Jesus is the Son of God will send you to hell. (Quran 5:72)
Christianity believes Jesus is the Son of God and belief in Him, as being fully God, will save you from Hell and grant forgiveness.
What does this mean in everyday life?
Since Islam does not believe in Jesus as Savior, good works attain salvation.
Salvation in Christianity is based on grace and faith alone, with no good works in order to be forgiven. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
How will we know if our good works have finally achieved salvation?
How much “good” is good enough?
And, of course, there is the constant pressure to perform and perform, better and better.
In my conversations with girls like Fatima, I have often asked,
“What happens to you after you die?”
They respond, “I will go to heaven if Allah wills.”
When I ask, “How do you know if Allah wills it?”
They shrug their shoulders saying,
“We cannot know for sure.
We hope our good works outweigh our bad,
and hope Allah will be merciful.”
These words break my heart!
Our gracious, loving God has given us His truth that we may indeed know for certain He will rescue our souls for eternity!
The Qur’an teaches that in the last day, Allah will bring out a scale, weighing good versus bad deeds. Many hope their prayers and rule-keeping to be enough to grant acceptance by Allah on judgment day.
All religions and belief systems, except for one, are the same as Islam;
they are man-made,
relying on our ability to work for forgiveness and eternal security.
That one that’s different?
The Bible teaches faith in Christ’s work on the cross for eternal salvation is,
and will always be,
enough to cover the sins of the truly repentant heart.
This stark contrast between true Christianity and all other religious belief systems, including Islam, should give us confidence as we share our faith with others!
One reason Christians feel inadequate, even scared, to share the Good News with Muslims is because they aren’t sharing regularly with anyone.
Learn to share the Gospel and begin sharing
with everyone God puts in your path!
As evangelism becomes more natural, through faithful obedience and dependence on God, you will be able to adapt and adjust to whatever religious or spiritual background you encounter.
There’s no silver bullet in how to share with a Muslim, but Christianity and Islam share much common ground we can utilize to begin and continue spiritual conversations.
Both religions believe in creation, monotheism, similar prophets, Torah/Psalm/Injeel (New Testament), many of God’s qualities (such as omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence), and many things about Jesus (such as His virgin birth, no sin, many miracles, His ascension to heaven, and His future return to earth).
Want to help a Muslim understand the gospel?
Intentionally make a friend!
Because Muslims practice their faith in community, many immigrants to America feel isolated. Take this opportunity to disprove any wrong presuppositions they might have toward Christianity as they get to know you.
What does that mean practically?
These are the faces of individuals with many of the same problems as you: finances, marriage, raising children, workplace difficulties, etc.
Invite them over for birthdays, holidays, and special events.
Start regularly praying for specific concerns they have.
As your friendship grows, be intentional to share the Good News both directly and indirectly.
This isn’t time to shy away until you “know each other better”.
Direct sharing is as simple as sharing your Gospel-focused story of how Jesus remade you! As you gain their trust, you can ask what they believe about Jesus, Christianity, and the Bible. Not all Muslims believe the same way. This will provide opportunities to humbly use God’s Word to correct wrong understanding of Christian principles and beliefs.
Indirect sharing can be accomplished by drawing them into your everyday life. Allow them to witness the sincerity of your faith in the way you treat your spouse, children, and time spent in worship and prayer. Don’t pull away from your regular spiritual practices out of fear of offending your Muslim friends.
There is a good chance that a woman like Fatima lives near you.
Be intentional, share in her life, faithfully pray for her, and speak of Jesus often with reverence and love, using Bible stories about Him. At the appropriate time, you can gift a Bible in her heart language (the New Testament, Psalms, and the first five books of Old Testament are acceptable portions of Scripture in Islam).
Then, if she is willing, teach her how all the books of the Bible fit together!
Just as Islamic women are proud of their religion, let us also be unashamed of the Gospel of Christ!
Let’s pray for boldness in reaching Muslims around us, in order to bring them into eternal Christian community!
Because Jesus is more than enough!
*Written by Janna Comfort
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!