How to Share the Gospel With a Muslim
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Muslims belong to the religion called Islam which means ‘way of submission’. The Muslim beliefs are based on the teachings of a book called the Koran (Quran), which the prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, claimed was dictated supernaturally to him in 610 A.D. by the angel Gabriel. Islam is the second largest religion in the world and claims to have one billion followers. Muslims go to ‘church’ called a Mosque every Friday to pray to God. In Mosque, they pray facing east towards the city of Mecca, the birthplace of Islam where Mohammed had his vision from Gabriel.
Questions You Can Ask
Areas You Can Admire
- What is it like to be part of your religion? The traditions I’ve heard about sound pretty interesting!
- Have you ever been to Mecca or do you plan to go?
- Which parts of Islam do you wish people understood better?
- Do you follow Islam because of your own choice, or because it is your family tradition?
- What do you think happens after we die?
- Do you believe that entrance into heaven is dependent on living by the Five Pillars of Islam?
- What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
- Do you think there’s a difference between a “religion” and the “relationship” with God that Jesus talked about?
- Have you ever considered the possibility that Jesus really could be the Son of God? Why or why not?
- How would your Muslim friends and family react if you converted to Christianity? How does that make you feel?
- What do you think of Jesus’ claim that He was God and the way back to God?
- Has anyone ever explained the gospel to you?
- Their belief in one true God.
- Their commitment to prayer.
- Their commitment to leading a devout life that pleases God.
- Their belief in a heaven and a hell.
What a Muslim Believes
Muslims believe that Islam is the only true religion, and they are often radically committed to their faith. At the core of Islam are seven fundamental beliefs that a Muslim must accept as a part of their religion. These beliefs are:
- Belief in God (who, in Arabic, is named ‘Allah’).
- Belief in the angels (both good and evil).
- Belief in the revealed Books of God.
- Belief in God’s many prophets (including Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, and others who Christians and Jews are familiar with).
- Accepting that there will be a Last Day/Final Judgment.
- Belief in the divine measurement of human affairs.
- Belief in life after death.
Like those of the Hindu religion, a Muslim’s beliefs affect every part of their life including how they spend their time, what they eat, and the types of friends they choose.
A Muslim does not believe in the God of the universe who is revealed in the Bible as Yahweh. Rather, their god is called ‘Allah’.
About the Trinity:
Muslims wholeheartedly reject the Biblical teachings about the Trinity. They believe there is only one true God, and his name is Allah.
Muslims believe that Jesus was one of Allah’s prophets. They reject the notion that Jesus is God. Even on a human level, they believe that Mohammed was a greater man and prophet than Jesus.
About the Bible:
They recognize the Koran alone as truly and completely divine in origin. They recognize only part of the Bible as God’s word, but believe that even that portion of the Bible is badly corrupted and inaccurate.
About the Afterlife:
A Muslim believes that there is life after death, where faithful Muslims are rewarded according to their faithfulness, and unbelievers (called infidels) suffer for eternity.
They believe that salvation (meaning reward in the afterlife) is only achieved through absolute obedience to Allah, the Koran, and the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars of Islam are:
- Affirmation (Shahada) – Consistent recitation of and belief in the creed that “there is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.”
- Prayer (As-Salah) – Praying toward Mecca (their holy city) five times a day.
- Almsgiving (Zakah): Giving 2.5% of their income to the poor.
- The fast (Siyam) – Fasting from dawn till dusk every day during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar).
- The Pilgrimage (Al-Hajji) – Traveling to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
What the Bible Teaches
God identified Himself as “I Am” (Exodus 20:2), meaning He is the self-existent (never had a beginning or end) eternal Creator of the universe. He is not the same as Allah, because Allah doesn’t exist.
About the Trinity:
There is one God and yet three Persons (Isaiah 45:5; Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19).
Jesus is fully God and fully man, and not a prophet of Allah. He is the God of the universe (John 1:1, 14, 18; 8:58 ; 10:30. Compare Titus 2:13 and Isaiah 45:21), and He is equal with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
About the Bible:
The Bible alone is the word of God. It is without error. It cannot and should not be added to or subtracted from (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Revelation 22:18-20). The Koran is not sacred because it was not sent from God.
About the Afterlife:
Those who trust in Christ alone as their only hope of salvation will spend eternity in heaven; those who reject Christ will spend an eternity in hell (John 5:24-30; Revelation 20:11-15).
Salvation is by faith in Christ on the basis of His death on the cross. Good works or self-denial have nothing to do with being saved (John 3:16-17, 36; 6:29, 47; Romans 4:1-5; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Obedience to Allah has nothing to do with your destiny in the afterlife.
Things to Remember
For Further Research
- Like Hindus, Muslims are coming from a radically different way of looking at the world, so your early witnessing efforts should consist of mainly listening and getting a feel for where they’re coming from. So first, be a friend. The Muslim culture places a high value on friendships, but many Muslims have not had the opportunity to develop a close friendship with a Christian. One way to develop a friendship in a way they will appreciate is to invite them to your home. They place a high value on hospitality—if you visited the home of a Muslim friend, you would not leave without being offered something to drink, no matter how short the visit. Show them the same care and hospitality and be sure and ask beforehand about any dietary restrictions.
- A Muslim’s religion is inseparably tied to their family and culture, so be sensitive to the fact that if they reject Islam, their family and culture will probably reject them very harshly. This means your Muslim friend must carefully weigh all the consequences of trusting Christ, so give them time and make sure you don’t make trusting in Christ sound flippant.
- Stick to the common themes where Islam and Christianity meet, like Jesus and the Bible. Use those themes to introduce your friend to the truth about them, like the claims of Christ, his death and resurrection, and the Bible being the inspired word of God.
- Muslims often view their God (Allah) as an angry and demanding being. Use your own testimony as a way to show how it is possible to have a personal relationship with the personal God of the universe (Yahweh) who loves and forgives unconditionally on the basis of Christ’s death and resurrection.