It has been said that one of the greatest religious revivals to take place within the last few decades has not been among the adherents of Christianity, but rather among those who profess Islam. Outside of Christianity, Islam is the only other religion that spreads with missionary fervor. It is no secret that the ultimate goal of Islamic propagators is to convert the whole world to Islam. Every Muslim is obligated to "invite" non-Muslims to embrace the teachings of his prophet Muhammad and follow the tenets of his religion. This invitation to outsiders is called "dawah".
Unfortunately some Muslims, though not all, have been driven by this revival fervor to viciously attack the religion and teachings of Christianity hoping to prove the superiority of their own brand of Islam. Theirs is certainly not a polite invitation! Such brutal methods against the sacred teachings and traditions of another man's religion can only create animosity and communal unrest. It must be admitted that insensitive Christians have been guilty of the same! Those with an un-Christlike spirit have also been known to slander the prophet of Islam and insult both Muslim culture and tradition. This has been nothing new in the history of the Muslim people. Even during the time of Muhammad there were so-called Christians who mocked the Islamic faith. Against such, the Qur'an declared this warning:
0 ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for your friends and protectors ... take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport.
Surat-ul Maida (5):51,57
Except for the above verse that addresses both Jews and Christians who may have been unkind and insensitive to the feelings and aspirations of Muhammad during his time, it is noteworthy that the Qur'an has some very positive things to say about Christians. These are not nominal Christians, but rather true Christians who are true followers of Christ. Notice the following Qur'anic descriptions:
... nearest among them in love to the believers (Muslims) will thou find those who say, "We are Christians" because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.
Surat-ul Maida (5):82
When Jesus found unbelief on their part, he said, "Who will be my helpers to (the work of) God?" Said the disciples: "We are God's helpers; we believe in God, and do thou bear witness that we are muslims (those who bow to God's will). Our Lord! We believe in what Thou hast revealed, and we follow the Apostle (Jesus); then write us down among those who bear witness. "
Surat-u Ali-Imran (3):52-53
Said the Disciples (of Jesus), "We are God's helpers!" Then a portion of the Children of Israel believed (became followers of Jesus), and a portion disbelieved. But We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed.
Surat-us Saff (61):14
Behold! God said: "O Jesus! I will take thee and raise thee to Myself and clear thee (of the falsehoods) of those who blaspheme. I will make those who follow thee superior to those who reject faith to the Day of Resurrection."
Surat-u Ali Imran (3):55
We sent after them (the prophets) Jesus the son of Mary, and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy.
Surat-ul Hadid (57):27
In relating to Muslim people, do not hesitate to apologize on behalf of the many Christians who have either intentionally or unintentionally insulted their religion and their prophet. Although you may not agree with all the teachings of the Qur'an, let the Muslim know that you are among the true followers of Jesus whom the Qur'an describes as nearest in love to the Muslim people. Let your words and deeds prove to him that you likewise believe in the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and desire to fully submit to His will. Demonstrate to him in a loving way that you likewise are devoted to learning; free from worldly ties; humble; desirous to be God's helper; endowed with spiritual power over the enemy; destined to prevail to the very end; and whose heart is filled with compassion and mercy for all people! If you can live up to these expectations, then you will certainly gain an open door into the heart of the Muslim people.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to emphasize that this booklet has not been prepared as a means of attack or counterattack against Muslims. Its purpose is not to be used as resource material for debate and argument. Remember, as a true servant of the Lord Jesus, you must heed to the admonition of scripture:
Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments because you know, they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him, he must gently instruct in hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth...
2 Timothy 2:23-25
Remind the people... to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
This booklet is a compilation of ideas and approaches gleaned from the reading of other authors combined with over fifteen years of personal experience with the Muslim community. It is hoped that the following pages will help those Christians who are under persistent attacks from certain Muslim scholars and material that specialize in debate for the purpose of creating doubt and confusion within the Christian community. However, it must be emphasized that the better approach to prove the claims of Christianity is simply to live it! Every effort must be made on the part of a true follower of Jesus to befriend a Muslim and to establish an understanding of mutual respect. Arguments with verbal attacks and counterattacks only produce losers that result in long-term resentment. How much better to gain a Muslim friend and live before him a life of humility, daily putting into practice the love of Christ which alone is able to melt a hardened heart and open it to greater truths.
In a relationship of friendship and mutual respect, the material of this booklet can be used to a greater advantage to answer the sincere questions of a Muslim who is aware of the many claims of his religion but struggles to sincerely know the truth! Such an open exchange of beliefs can certainly lead a Muslim friend into a deeper desire for the truths of the Bible, and ultimately a deeper desire for the truth of salvation in Jesus the Messiah.
True followers of Jesus have never been commissioned to take up arms for either a military war or a verbal war. Instead, they have been commissioned to lay down their worldly aims, and to carry the message of the Gospel to all the world. As servants of God, their mission is to reveal the love of Christ, and to preach salvation and forgiveness of sin in His name. They are not to condemn; rather, as ambassadors for Christ, they are to proclaim the message of reconciliation, whereby through Christ, man might be reconciled to God and to each other! May God bless in that noble endeavor.
All Qur'anic references are from "The Holy Quran / Translation and Commentary" by Yusuf Ali.
All Biblical references are from the New International Version (NIV).
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