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Purpose:

To help build bridges of love and understanding of Muslim communities To inform so we can pray and serve among them.
1. THE FAITH Five Pillars of Practice Six Articles of Faith 2. THE COMMUNITY Muslim World View Responding to Objections Insights on Sharing your faith Questions & Models for sharing 3. APPENDIX Who is the true last Prophet 24 Quran 26 Jihad 27 Principal Sects & Legal Systems 28 Presentation Handout: Outline of Faith & 6 Comparisons 30 6 11 15 20 1 4 Including Allah & Jehovah compared 5

Contents:

The FAITH
THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH...
Islam means submission
FIVE PILLARS of PRACTICE (Din) Islam is a religion of works/obedience/submission to Allah. One need only say the Shahada to become a Muslim and practice the Five Pillars. Part of Islams attractiveness is this simplicity do 5 things believe 6 things.
This is also a barrier to believing Christianity because it is a call to a relationship and away from the security of rules. There is no assurance of salvation in Islam thus the constant appeal to Allahs mercy and attention to enough practice to earn acceptance before a god who is arbitrary and absolute sovereign. 1

1. ONE CREED Shahada There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is His Apostle / Prophet This is the first and primary pillar of Islam. It is spoke at each call to prayer - 5
times for Sunni, 3 for Shia. Allah was the name of a local god in Arabia, centuries before Mohammed. The Ka'ba was called Beit-Allah, house of god. Both elements are essential; believing in one god is not. 1. Muslims believe this part of the creed has been repeated by every prophet since Adam, whom they teach started Islam. They believe the second part changes according to who was the current prophet. 2. Muslims believe there is much power in reciting the Shahada (to bear witness). It is recited in the new born to protect from evil. For the dying it is their last words spoken or heard, believed by many to protect from hell fire. Mohammed said, he who dies while acknowledging the Creed will enter Paradise. Tradition says that at judgement 99 scrolls which record their sins, each stretching as far as the eye can see, will be placed on a balance. Then when a scroll the size of an ant, on which is recorded the dying confession, is placed on the other side it will outweigh all sins. Share: Muslims think Christians believe in three gods, God, Mary, Jesus. We need to be ready to affirm we believe in one God. Show in Bible - Deut. 6:4; Jesus said in Mark 12:29-31, God is one, and we must

love Him completely and love our neighbour. See pg 11


Muslims accept the Pentateuch (Tawrat), Psalms (Zabur) and Gospels (Injil), so share only from these. (see Responding to Common Objections, below)

2. PRAYER - Salat
These ritual prayers are their identity - testimony they are Muslim. They give confidence they are heading to Paradise. It is the strongest unifying factor in Islam. They are very different from Christian prayer with a personal God who hears and responds. 1. Salat is observed 5 times daily (3 for Shia): dawn; early afternoon, late afternoon, after sunset, after dark. 2. How performed Ritual Ablutions for men only: Bath after major defilements: sexual intercourse Washing for minor defilements: urination, sleep. Wash hands three times; rinses mouth; sniffs water into nostrils; washes face; then arms to elbows. He then rubs hands through hair; touch his ears; wash his feet. No water? Sand or dust is used. Performed in ritually pure place; standing behind imam, on a mat if possible (to aide focus); all face Kaba in Mecca preferable done in Mosque. Call to prayer: "Allah is most great" (4 times); "I witness there is no god besides Allah" (twice); "I witness that Mohammed is the messenger of Allah" (twice). "Come to Prayer" (twice); "Come to salvation" (twice); "Prayer is better than sleep" (twice, morning only). "Allah is most great" (twice); "There is no god besides Allah" Second call to prayer Standing, the worshipper announces intent to perform salat - hands to head, open palmed, thumbs touching ears saying "Allah akbar", repeats Sura 1 (Fatiha) and possibly other portions of Quran. Bending over, places hands on knees, says "Allah akbar" next stands then prostrates with toes, knees, palms of hands, forehead touching ground. Sits up. Sitting, feet under, hands on thighs. Second prostration then stands.

This is performed twice in morning, three times at sundown, four times all other prayers. At the end they turn to each shoulder and say, Assalamu alaykum. Most Muslims believe there is an angel on each shoulder, one recording good deeds the other bad. This is how Allah will determine who goes to heaven or hell. At death they surrender a book listing all deeds. If good literally outweigh the bad, one is admitted (hopefully as Allah is still arbitrary. All conclude saying to each side, "Salam alaikum" (peace be to you). This ends salat, many Muslims continue with own devotions typically using a rosary to recite the names of Allah or other pious phrases. Note: If you come across a Muslim praying, don't cross immediately in front nor talk to them. If you have the opportunity share how as a follower of Jesus you can talk to God, confess sin.

3. FAST of RAMADAN - Ramadan


1. Ninth lunar month. This was the month Muslims believe the Quran was given to Mohammed on Night of Power, one of last nine days. 2. Fasting earns much reward. It is taught that it is spiritual and moral training: it pleases Allah to see obedience and thankfulness; it strengthens will power and self-control; is shows brotherhood. 3. Commensurate on all able bodied, except aged, sick, nursing and expectant mothers, those on difficult trips, women during menstruation. Muslims eat just before dawn and at sunset, bathe often, are to avoid useless or evil talk, quarrelling, do pious deeds, read and memorise the Quran, obey parents, be kind to one's wives. Strictness varies. In many areas it has become a time of feasting in the evenings, so much so that people gain weight. Share: If a Muslim asks why Christians don't fast, ask, How do you know they don't?, then refer to Matthew 6:17,18 where we are to fast secretly. You might also share the story of Jesus' own fast and how he defeated Satan. If living amongst them it can be good to also fast. But make it clear it is out of love for God and a desire to be closer to Him. Be careful not to cause offence by eating and drinking in front of them. Some references why people fasted: Exodus 34:1-9,28; Deuteronomy 9:7-21; 2 Samuel 12:13-17; Jonah 3:5-9

4. ALMS - Zakat
1. There are two kinds: required alms (zakat), freely given; (sadaqa) generally paid only by those better off. 2. Eight kinds of people may receive them: poor, destitute, needy travellers, warriors for Islam, "those inclined toward Islam", etc. . 3. Muslims give because they feel it purifies their other possessions, strengthens the soul, and it pleases Allah. Note: Should you mention or be seen giving alms? No, onlookers will think you are doing it to earn salvation. Also no, if this is the way the person earns a living. Yes, if they see the love of Jesus in you and the person has a real need. Share: Story of Good Samaritan showing Gods love of enemies and giving to them too. Luke 10:25 -37 comp. 2 Cor 8:9, Phil 2:5-8 Ask: Zakat purifies ones possessions, but how can I be purified since I am a sinner and God hates sin? 2 Cor 5:19

5. PILGRIMAGE to Mecca Hajj


1. Obligatory to every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. 2. Muslims believe Mecca is the "navel" of the world and the Ka'ba directly under the throne of Allah. The Ka'ba is a grey stone building the black meteorite occupying one corner. The whole is covered with black cloth with the words of the Shahada woven in. 3. What the pilgrim does At the edge of Mecca they bathe and say a brief salat and put on pilgrim clothes - two seamless white clothes, one worn around the waist, the other around the shoulders, then state their intention. 3

Then to Mecca with a guide, entering the Great Mosque; circling the Ka'ba 7 times. First 3 quickly, last 4 normal walk. Perform a short salat at points where they believe Abraham stood when he and Ishmael rebuilt the Ka'ba - Muslims believe Adam built it but it was destroyed in the flood. Outside are the hills Saf and Marwa, their tops 400m apart. The pilgrims run between them seven times in memory of when Hagar ran in search of water for Ishmael. The Hajj. On the seventh day of the month they listen to a sermon in the Great Mosque. Then travel to Mina to spend the night, though most travel on to the plain of Arafat, 18-20km from Mecca. The purpose of the whole pilgrimage is to stand on a nearby hill on the afternoon of the ninth day to meditate. This is the hajj. *Failure to do this is to fail to do the pilgrimage. After sundown all return a few kilometres toward Mecca, stopping at Muzdalifa to perform the evening salat and collect some pebbles. The tenth day is celebrated by Muslims all over the world as Id al-Kabir (Great Feast). The pilgrim continues toward Mecca stopping at Mina to throw seven small stones at certain stone pillars, the stoning of the devil - in memory of the time, Muslims believe Abraham chased Satan away. Near by is the hill where Muslims believe Abraham offered Ishmael for sacrifice. Each pilgrim kills a sacred animal in memorial to Abraham's willingness to offer his son. Thus ends the main part of the hajj. The pilgrim has their nails cut, shaves if male, and returns to normal clothes. They can now be called alhaji. Before leaving they again go around the Ka'ba, drink from the well of Zamzam, which Muslims believe Gabriel opened for Hagar and Ishmael. Most also travel the 400km to Medina to visit Mohammed's tomb. 4. Meaning of pilgrimage: It is the central event of their faith. They meet, and are united with people from all over the world. They leave with the assurance they are now pure from sin. Alhajj are highly honoured when they return. Some use this to their advantage. 5. Do Muslims worship the black stone? No. Mohammed kissed it, so now pilgrims do the same. Share: Muslims are often curious as to why Christians do not go to Jerusalem. We can answer, that Jesus said, true worship is of the heart, not in actions or deeds, see John 4:19-24. Ask: What makes a successful hajj? Is it what you do, or is your heart affected too? What preparations have you made for the great hajj, the next life? What does it mean to throw stones at the devil? Christians believe God has given us that victory.
1 John 4:4 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Romans 7:21-8:1

SIX ARTICLES of FAITH (Iman). Muslims must affirm


No deep understanding is necessary, only belief in.

UNITY of ALLAH - Allah DEITY in Islam and Christianity


Although the concept of Allah is deep and complex, the many names of Allah do not describe his essence but only his will and law. Allah is independent of his creation. He gives law. People submit to it. Islam means submit. Allah cannot be called father, neither can he share any of his nature ( as the Christian God does, giving us love ). He is one, sovereign, and lord ( al-Rabb ), while humans are servants ( Abd ) who respond in submission ( Islam ). Kenneth Cragg, Islamic scholar. Muslim Theologians agree that Allah has these seven attributes: LIFE - He is, without beginning or ending, dependent upon no one or no thing KNOWLEDGE - Knows all, seen and unseen, past, present, future; never forgets POWER - All power, doing as He pleases; no limits WILL - Does as he wills; what he wills happens. What we do was already willed, man has no free will. Good and evil are both from him. ALL HEARING - Hears all sound yet without ears. ALL SEEING - Sees all yet without eyes SPEAKS - Not with a tongue but directly or through messengers.

NATURE
Islam

of

DEITY
Christianity
Because of Gods love, trustworthiness, compassion... ...there is fellowship/relationship Tawrat & Zabur reveal... Love/Lovingkind Ps 100:5; 111:9 Faithful/Covenant Keeper Ps 136 Compassionate Ps 51:; 111:4 Just Ps 97:2; 98:8; 99:4 135:14 Unchanging Ps 111:7-9 Trustworthy not capricious Ps 9:10 Pure Ps 18:26 Good Ps 34:8 Humbles Self for us Ps 113:5,6 Answers prayers Ps 3:4; 34:4-6 Forgiver Ps 32:51 Healer Ps 30:1,2; 103:1,2 Sustainer Ps 55:22 Redeemer Ps 19:14 Deliverer Ps 19:14 Psalms that speak of Gods greatness in light of a Muslims felt needs include: Ps 25, 27, 51, 65, 77, 89, 99, 103, 111, 115(against idols), 136(Psalm of kindness), 145, 151. The Injil reveals God is Love, John 3:16, 15:9-14

Because of Allahs total remoteness and absolute sovereignty... ... there is no fellowship/relationship Quran reveals... 99 names: 24 merciful and gracious, 36 power / pride/absolute sovereignty, 6 hurting and avenging, 4 moral. Holy & truthful - Islam does not understand these as Christians do. Arbitrary/Unjust he makes each situation right or wrong because he does as he pleases. Changeable Abrogates (20Xs) he can even change the Koran. No one is sure of heaven. Only force thus author of both good and evil. Pure will without reason or love. We have no will thus a Muslim may never thank a person for a deed because it was Allah who willed it/did it. Mocks, deceives, plots, has no feeling. Jealous thus more ready to punish than reward. Leads people astray (20Xs). Love never mentioned Sufi expressions of love are in spite of Allah, not from him.

Consequences of Islams understanding of god... MORALLY - If he wills everything (Sura 9:51;7:178f), then it makes no difference what I do. Our problems, all accidents are the will of Allah, so why help? SPRITUALLY - If Allah is absolute will; it is meaningless, even wrong, to question anything. Any possibility of love and relationship are meaningless. Fear and hopelessness prevail, for nothing is sure, not even the Quran which he freely abrogates. Trinity: See treatment below under Common Objections What does Psalms/Zabur reveal about God? Ps 5 speaks of God hearing prayer and His loving-kindness Ps18:20-31 mentions a number of attributes ending with affirmation God is One Ps 25:1-11 speaks of God forgiving sin and being lovingkind - also 32

2. ANGELS Malaika: Reasoning beings created from light; the greatest of whom is Gabriel who revealed Allah
to Mohammed. A majority also believe in jinn and other evil spirits Each individual has two recording angels and a garina a demonic force born with each person to distract them from truth. Also believe in Satan. This is why most wear amulets and charms..

3. SACRID BOOKS - Kutub: The Pentateuch (Tawrat), Psalms (Zabur), Gospels (Injil), about 104 other revelations
(100 of which are lost), and of course the Quran. Muslims believe the Quran contains the basic message of the Tawrat, Zabur and Injil. Some claim the Quran came because Jews and Christians had corrupted their revelation. But the Quran is supposed to be guardian and preserver of previous Scripture, Sura 5:48. The Quran also abrogates - New verses can replace old verses, Sura 2:106. This occurs in 20 places including the verse to honour people of the book.

4. MESSENGERS or PROPHETS Anbiyaa: A messenger delivers a new law (Sharia) and so is higher than a
prophet who continues an old one. Many were both. The number is typically listed as 124,000 or 240,000. The great number because Islam teaches all cultures were sent prophets. Each is gifted piety and leadership. Each was given a special book for just one particular group. Only 28 are mentioned in the Quran. Most Muslims would only know the names of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. A problem: If Allah preserves his books, where are those of the other prophets? Why Mohammed supersedes Jesus. They accept Mohammed performed no miracles. However, each Prophet was the Prophet for that day - Obedience is expected to the current prophet whose teachings are binding for a particular historical period. God sends a messenger for a specific time? The new supersedes the old. Islam teaches all prophets are to be respected equally Sura 4:152. But hold since Mohammed was the final prophet, the Seal of the Prophets Sura 33:40f, he is worthy of special honour. His teachings are perfect. Muslims believe all prophets could work miracles. Yet Mohammed admitted he could not. They were to be sinless yet Quran mentions all except Jesus sinned, even Mohammed Sura 47:19; 48:2. Some apologist in defence say that the coming of the Quran was miracle enough. Islam teaches Jesus prophesied of Mohammed, Sura 61:6 Lo, I am the messenger of Allah unto you, confirming that which was (revealed) before Me in the Torah, and brining good tidings of a messenger who cometh after Me, whose name is "Praised One" . In Arabic "Praised One" is Ahmed, a variation of Mohammed. They also cite John 14:16,17. However, the Greek is periklutos, similar to parakletos meaning Comforter. The context clearly points to the Holy Spirit, not another earthly person. Share: Regarding Jesus, God was revealing His plan through the prophets. Compare Zechariah 1:1-6; Jeremiah 33:14-6; Isaiah 52:3-10; Joel 2:23-32 with Luke 24:25-27; 1 Peter 1 :10. Note how boldly Messiah is proclaimed. No prophecy regarding anyone after Him. See appendix: Who is the last Prophet?

5 .DAY of JUDGEMENT Yawm el Hisaab: When Israfel blasts the trumpet, all living beings will die. Another
blast and all will come to life and be handed a book of their life's deeds. All must cross a razor sharp bridge over a horrendous and putrid hell. A successful transverse depends upon its weight. Y es this is different than the balance mentioned above. Also unclear which determines ones ends: Allahs arbitrary decision or ones deeds. Dying in Jihad is the most virtuous.

6. PREDESTINATION Qadaa el Qadar: Muslims are very fatalistic. Forgiveness is an arbitrary act of Allah. He saves whom he wills outside any moral constraints. Disasters and set backs are from Allah as well as good. This leads to a denial of human responsibility as true religion is the resignation to the divine and capricious decrees of Allah, there is no escape.
1. Allah is absolute power and will We have no power to change anything. "nothing will happen to us, save that which Allah has decreed for us. " Sura 9:51 2. Allah decrees who will enter Paradise; who Hell. "Verily, I shall fill Hell with the jinn and mankind together." Sura11:119 He might cast out those already there. Share: 1. Muslims live lives of fear. We have love and hope. So hearing of a God who loves is great news. Sadly they must resist it as the feel the Koran replaces the Bible. So be patient. Share the more positive matters of Gods love, acceptance and forgiveness and the joy, hope, encouragement that brings you now. 2. We know we sin, we lack power. But God gives us power to overcome 1 Cor 10:13 3. We have choice. He knows what we will do, but He does not predetermine it. Psa 139; 4. Creation was perfect, but Adam chose to rebel and the desire to sin (rebel) has been passed on ever since. Thankfully, Creator God, himself, has provided the answer. He came and lived among us in the person of Jesus and died to deal with our sin and open the door to fellowship with Himself, 2 Cor 5:21

The COMMUNITY
MUSLIM WORLD VIEW
World view is the way a particular people understand their world. It is a collection of values derived from ideas and unstated assumptions of how their world works. They are learned by observation and reinforcement. They are so a part of someone they are unaware of them Its what everyone does or thinks isnt it?i.e. social courtesies, dress, manners, expectations. People rarely define it. With Islam, Mohammed made it a religious/social/political entity and expanded and oversaw it through earthly power. He was more than a prophet he was ruler. (This is what led to the struggle after he died that created the Sunni Shiite split). Thus Democracy is an incompatible idea. It comes from a totally different mindset ( world view). Some Muslims may want it, but It is incompatible with Islam.

1. Which Islam are you dealing with?


All Muslims are part of the Umman which overarches all local political entities. It does not submit to any non-Muslim authority; the sharia of Allah is their only law. Where not in majority Islam will submit to local law as far as necessary. Even as Christians affirm the church is not a place but wherever there are believers, so too the Umman is wherever there are Muslims, but with one significant difference: Gods Kingdom is not of the world; Mohammeds is and, importantly, it can be legitimately taken by force. Folk Islam - These groups are still governed by pre-Muslim superstitions. They merely have a veneer of Islam. Most non-Arabic Muslims fit this group. .1 Names of Allah (use of rosary) and Quran good to ward off evil (talisman). Will ask for Bible verses for same reason, so check why one wants a Bible. .2 Saint worship - to gain good energies, protection from "evil eye" and jinn. .3 Mullah's operate like earlier medicine men did, with potions, chants, talisman. Cultural Islam - These people just go along with the community. Belong because they were born into it. They also fear the consequences of leaving. Don't believe, just go through the motion. Traditional Islam .1 Popular - Follow the dictates of the faith. Would only know the core ideas. .2 Learned - Open minded, will ask questions (Shiahs more than Sunni's) Closed minded, one does not question Allah nor Quran. .3 Liberals/moderates are aware of Qurans weaknesses, particularly in relation to women. They want to change the Quran and Islam - but that is not an option. Media, politicians and others make grave mistakes not differentiating. Many have almost exclusive contact with Traditional/learned and assume all others, except whacko terrorist, are the same. Typically people associate Middle Eastern peoples with Islam, but there also Turks, North African, Persian, Indian, Malay, Europeans among others. This is important. Before you can share you need to know which Islam you are dealing with.

2. Holy Books
Christians believe the physical Bible is not sacred but what it contains is. Therefore, we can treat it casually. They believe it is to be studied and interacted with. For Muslims The Quran itself is holy because it is the very words of God delivered by Gabriel to Mohammed. True of every copy written in Arabic - because Arabic is seen as the language of Adam and God and now Islam. Anyone who becomes a Muslim looses any other identity and becomes an Arab. Quran even affirms this saying you are the best nation that has been brought to mankind. S3:110 Translations are considered commentaries. 7

3. Faith
Their Identify does not come from a set of theological convictions but from family, society, culture. When answering theological questions remember you are not challenging belief / truth but family / society / culture.

This identity is the most serious roadblock to conversion.


In many ways community, society, family have precedence over faith. They might not practice the faith, but if born of Muslim parents, they are Muslim. Most Muslims believe Theology is against god; we are to obey. They may use theology with Bible believers, but not Muslims. Intellectual reasoning cant change the mind-set of obedience to law. So while an individual may otherwise be highly intelligent, by default they will give blind obedience in regard to their faith. Sharia laws are so vague each nation or people group appoint a mufti to study and interpret them for his own people. Its a constant effort as times change so too how to interpret. Islam does not see belief and disbelief as westerners do. The concept does not exist. One who is not a Muslim is not a disbeliever, but kufr, not yet a Muslim. One Pakistani scholar expressed faith in Allah thus, a Muslim is one who does not deny Allah. Some were fortunate enough to be born into a Muslim family. All others are considered as in denial until accept. So if one is offered opportunity to accept Allah and refuses they then become kafir (infidels) now acceptable to kill people of the book as they are deniers.
Houssney p114

4. Arab Character (from ch 7 Engaging Islam)


Knowing this is essential for Islam is a reflection of the desert life of Arabs: Its harshness, Pessimism (fate) derived from unrelenting elements, Superstition, evil eye, jinn, qarina (personal demon assigned at birth) Resistance to authority. There were no rulers to unite a source of the constant unrest in Arab dominated parts of Islam. Traditions involving family, friends, society, hospitality, honour, friendship, courage, pride can be very complex. Face, Honour and pride, the preservation of not open to criticism. Arabs will flatter to ones face, even if enemies. Cause someone to loose face and you make an enemy for life Courage - Desert people were constantly fighting or defending themselves Loyalty. If gain a friendship it is forever. Women suffer much because family pride/honour is higher than the value of a woman thus many honour killings even if the man raped her (it is assumed she lured him). Revenge a large theme in Arabic literature/tradition and at the heart of the Sunni/Shiite struggle Hospitality, always elaborate and over the top, key to their heart. Time is measured in loose blocks, not by clocks can insult coming on time. Arabic people were hot tempered and easily provoked, particularly in family matters. Romantic themes include, desert, women, camels, home, nature, high ideals. Nature of Arabic language helps understand what seem at times the incoherent language of Quran. Arabic is about ideas not the meaning of words; intuitive not logical, thus many verses do not follow any logical sequence, rather a tonal sequence. It can be quite illogical and disjointed. In Arabic poetry one can shuffle lines and no one would notice unless familiar with the original. They are thoughts or ideas put together spontaneously. One can see this influence on the Quran ...most verses express disconnected ideas that have no cohesiveness or continuity with the surrounding verses. In fact, you can observe that rhyme takes precedence over intelligibility. Words and phrases are thrown together because they sound good. The Quran changes Cain to Cabel to rhyme with Abel (is this why Jesus becomes Isa to rhyme with Musa [Moses)? Beauty of expression is a higher value than truth . Houssney 96

5. Spiritual Issues: What Muslims believe regarding Sin and Salvation


Regarding spiritual awareness, from birth Muslims hear the Shahada. Their lives are filled with the ceremony of the five pillars. Fear of evil forces, like evil eye, sorcery, jinn fill their lives. The majority would be syncretistic practicing rituals from their pre-Islamic days. Regarding SIN For Muslims sin is primarily: polytheism, apostasy (denial of Mohammed and Quran), scepticism, witchcraft, unlawful murder, usury, spending orphans money, running from battle, abusing faithful women and impiety. Lesser sins like lying, deception, anger, bribes, stealing, lust are easily forgiven/overlooked as long as one is free from greater sins including conscious acts against known law. Why is sin not an issue? Islam teaches Allah created us weak; we have no will of our own. Without will, there is no sin. It's only what God makes of it. Our penalty for wrong deeds is offset by right deeds. Repetition of the creed, and obedience are paramount. Allah winks at sins of the faithful, but is wrathful to all the infidel does.

Warning: Christians think of holiness as God always doing the right thing and His hate of sin.
In Islam Allah is capricious and even plans hurtful things. Don't attack or mention Allah as cause of sin. While true, it will only make Muslims defensive. Same with Mohammed. Many Muslims feel it presumptuous to claim God will forgive sins. But be ready to show the Scriptures that teach this: Psalm 103:8-14; Acts 10:43; 13:38f; Colossians 1:14. Don't use unfamiliar terms like sin is washed away. Muslims will begin to understand sin only after they see the absolute holiness of God. This is also seen in Jesus attitude toward sin. John 5:14; Luke 19:45; Matthew 5-7 Muslims see holiness as transcendence. Allah is completely other. Only once does the Quran refer to moral purity. Never is Allah seen as love. Love is only possible, say Muslims, between beings on an equal plane. Ritual more important than moral purity . Regarding SALVATION Repentance is meaningless. "God leads astray whomever he will... and he guides to repentance whom he will, Sura 13:27-30. Thus he forgives whom he chooses, Sura 48:14. We have no choice, Sura 28:67. Forgiveness has nothing to do with repentance. Repentance is returning to a state of obedience/submission, Sura 4:17,18 Redemption or atonement are things we do. Every soul earns only its own account; no soul laden bears the load of another", Sura 6:164. Thus it is blasphemous to speak of God bearing the sins of His creatures. Salvation is through submission - the meaning of the word Islam. There are no assurance. They hope Allah will be merciful if they perform the right deeds, to the best of their knowledge. Good works can cover any bad works, primarily doing the five pillars. Faith is accepting what was revealed to Mohammed Sura 4:136.

What BARRIERS must Muslims cross (see pg17 for more)


They are leaving family traditions, community & community traditions. They probably will experience persecution, even the death penalty. If into Christianity, the additional intellectual and cultural hurdles of the lies they have been told about what Christians do and do in church. See below Failure to Contextualise imposing unnecessary forms. Loss of the ease and comfort of repetitive ritual It is important to understand why people convert to avoid false conversions. Some do it for: social advantage, in rebellion, from boredom, to try new things; welfare (rice Christians); to marry and migrate. Others are spies wanting to infiltrate. One cant filter everyone, but knowing it happens helps us to be aware and develop strategies consistent with our area. 9

6. It claims to be a Brotherhood? Is it?


It lacks 4 essentials. Sadly it is a brotherhood of fear, not faith. Allah is not father to everyone - it is an exclusive brotherhood of believers, not an inclusive brotherhood of everyone. This leads to fanaticism and pride. Allah is not love. - our hearts crave relationship with a God who loves; one who is touched by our infirmities and who answers our prayers. Islam is a loveless creed, therefore does not encourage compassion nor love. Allah is not absolutely, unchangeable and eternally just. Muslims live in fear. Calvary can only be explained in light of eternal love and divine justice. Allah allows his chosen ones, like Mohammed, things which are otherwise forbade, e.g. his child wife, marriage to his adopted sons wife. Allah has no harmony in his attributes. Mercy and truth do not meet, nor righteousness and peace. Formalism often petrifies the conscience of the Muslim believer.

7. It claims to be a religion of peace? Is It?


It was not under Mohammed. It expanded primarily though not exclusively by the sword. In only a couple areas it dominates are other faiths tolerated. It even fights itself -. sadly so too those who claimed to be Christians, so we cannot point a figure only challenge the claim. Islam divides the world into two spheres the House of Islam and the House of War. The oft quote Quranic verse on respect for people of the book was revoked at Medina and replaced by over 100 verses to kill or harm (see Jihad). At issue: Which was consistent with its profession?

8. Response to Westernization and globalization?


These influences bring increasing polarisation. Some more willing to question but others feeling victimised go deeper into faith. Islam is a complete package of religion, government, social order. They cannot comprehend how we can separate them. Therefore, when they see sex and drug abuse in the West the logically conclude Christians are very immoral. Much of what is behind the lack of political progress in Muslim areas lies behind our failure to understand their worldview.

Arabs long for unity, though for many reasons they find it impossible. This unity has been
frustrated by tribal independence; the humiliation of Western colonialism after WW 1 & 2; the major humiliation of the Six Day War, exacerbated by the abandonment by the Communist whom they had turned too to fight colonialism and who had armed them and promises of help. Face was more than lost. The culture of saving face and never confront an Arab brother makes in near impossible to settle issues. There is much distrust and deception - some while complimenting in public (to save face) were plotting their overthrow in private. More recently they blame The West, and Western controlled Banks, for their woes and thus Humiliation (face). In many places there were uprisings to replace westernised secular governments with Islamic rule. But the excesses of those seeking to impose Sharia law only caused further disruption. The reaction was to become more fundamentalist or seek the rewards of secularism. Note: ALL THE ISSUES HERE ARE SPIRITUAL: The answer is not, as we often do in the West, to appeal to reason. Its not an intellectual battle, but spiritual. Our western world view is very rational, even in spite of current relativism. Thankfully, God has graciously placed in every human heart something of Himself. Yes we may well have to answer some questions to clear away those falsehoods which Satan uses to trap minds. Most of Pau letters first dealt with the issues that prompted his letter. But always there was reference to it begin a spiritual battle see Eph. 6:10-20 regarding our preparation for spiritual battle. Why should a Muslim leave the culture they are familiar with to follow someone and a people they have been warned about all their lives?

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Responding to most Common Objections


God has set eternity in the hearts of men, Ecclesiastes 3:11
Keep your answers brief so you can move on to a positive witness, share testimony and/or offer a read. Don't hesitate to admit you don't have all the answers. If they are genuine, they will accept that.

1. Christians blaspheme because they worship three God's: God, Mary, Jesus Respond with loving disbelief, Someone has misinformed you. That is offensive to me, blasphemy. The Bible says, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. It also says, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:4,5

God is so beyond us we cannot comprehend Him except as he has revealed Himself. But we can have relationship with Him. (An attractive concept to share as not a possibility in Islam). If God is God, will there not be matters beyond our comprehension?! Most Muslims are unaware they already accept the idea of two natures, in their Quran: the eternal perfect nature in heaven, and the temporal, physical presence here in print and paper. Note: this is too fine a point for some So too God in Jesus. There is the eternal perfect presence in heaven, and the temporal, physical presence in the flesh. Because the fleshly, earthly, presence is temporal, it can die but the continuing and eternal presence in heaven is unaffected. It continues forever.

2. God could not have a Son (see 1. Above) Respond with dismay. I find the idea of God having a physical relationship offensive. Ask: Would you like to look at what the Bible says? John 1:14-18; 3:16,17
1. Begat means only one thing to the Muslim - sexual intercourse. Challenge them to read the Bible (thus building up its authority). Luke was well qualified to talk about Jesus' unique birth, he was a doctor. Luke 1:26-37 Begotten in Greek does not refer to being created or sexual relationship but to a quality: "uniqueness", "only one of his kind". Its a relational term. God can do anything, including becoming incarnate - human. He could have come full grown. He chose to come as a baby. Is it logical to teach God can do anything, except come to earth in human form, as Islam declares.

2.

3. How can spiritual God enter a physical world?


Some will protest God cannot take on any physical form because it involves death. Remind them that the Quran has two forms. The eternal in heaven and physical on earth. Allah has two forms. To help understand this read John 1:1-4,14,

In the beginning the Word already existed. He was with God, and he was God. He was in the beginning with God. He created everything there is. Nothing exists that he didn't make. Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. (14) So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.

This, our Muslim friends would affirm, is what we mean, how can God be on the earth, in physical form? Continue by reading Sura 27:8-11 And when he came to it (the burning bush), Blessed, He who is in the fire, and He who is about it; and glory be to God, the Lord of the Worlds! O Moses! Verily, I am God, the Mighty, the Wise! Throw down now thy staff. And when he saw that it moved itself as though it were a serpent, he retreated backward and returned not. O Moses, fear not; for the Sent Ones fear not in my presence, Save he who having done amiss shall afterwards exchange the evil for good; for I am Forgiving, Merciful. (Everyman) Here Allah enters his physical world in the fire and speaks to Moses. Fire is his creation. In John 1:14 it is saying God entered flesh, something physical, and spoke out of it. Flesh is His creation. All should now be able to agree God can enter His physical creation whether fire or in human form. Therefore what died was the human / physical form, not the Eternal that is what is incapable of dying.

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An illustration: Assume for a moment that you are a great king and you are touring your kingdom. At one point your attention is diverted to a young lad wallowing helplessly in muddy marsh at the side of the road. Then to your shock and horror you realise it is your much loved son. Would you not immediately jump in finary and all? How much more is Gods love for us that He willingly cast off His finery to enter our muddy murky world, corrupt as it is, to die for us - not His Eternal presence in heaven but His physical presence on earth. This is the God we Christians proclaim. Muslim friends feel our view of God is lacking. But He is in fact perfect in love, justice and mercy. Sadly, as we explore a little we see the Muslim view of God does not include attributes of love, acceptance and forgiveness of all who believe.

4. A barrier for Muslims: How can one understand a God who dies for sinners when the Quran teaches that Allah does not love sinners?
Background to the problem is the difference between Allah and Yahweh God. In Islam, Allahs love, justice and mercy are all linked and imperfect. The Quran reveals: 2:190 Allah does not love those who exceed the limits 2:276 any ungrateful sinner 3:32 the unbelievers 3:57 the unjust 4:36 the proud or boastful 7:31 the extravagant 8:58 the treacherous 28:77 mischief makers 57:23 any arrogant booster Allah loves only good Muslims. He has no love for sinners or unbelievers. Here is the theological problem and why it is a stumbling block for Muslims. How can one understand a god who dies for sinners when their Quran teaches that Allah does not love sinners? In fact speaks wrath against all infidels? Moreover Allahs justice is limited. He can sweep some sin under the rug, as he did with Mohammed - a display of mercy but not justice since Allah treats different people differently. The Haddiths suggest Allah might even change his mind about those already in heaven. Note: This is primarily a theological issue, most people still have a sense of sin. Yahweh Gods love is perfect and just and merciful. In John 3:16 God says,

(He) so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. He chose to enter into this evil world in the form of physical flesh so he could pay the price for our sins.
Romans 5:6-8 states, When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us

sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

5. Jesus was only a prophet, not God Ask, Would you like to look at what the Bible actually says about Jesus?
1. The heart of their question is the deity of Jesus. Thus, it is best handled indirectly Who but God forgives sin? Who but God could be perfect? Who but God could raise the dead? Who but God can command nature to obey? Who but God commands Satan and has complete mastery over the spirit world? Who but God has special knowledge of the future? Ask, May I read from the Injil? In first five chapters of Mark we see Jesus has power to heal the sick, cast out demons, forgive sins, command nature, raise the dead! Quran acknowledges the miracles, but teaches Jesus was God's instrument. God worked through him. What does the Bible say? Jesus spoke, and it was done. The apostles and prophets were only channels of God's power (e.g. Elijah in 1 King 18:36-39; Moses' actions in the Exodus; Elisha; each did as God directed; or Acts 3:6; 8:18; 13:9 which states they were filled with the Holy Spirit and acted)

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2. Is Jesus a great prophet? As a great prophet he claimed He was God. Would a prophet lie? Jesus said, I Am, one with the Father (see John 17:5; 8:58; 5:16-27, also the I am statements John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). I AM was Gods exclusive name which He first told to Moses. Exodus 3:14 Jesus did not rebuke Thomas when he called Jesus, "My Lord and my God", John 20:28. Nor is this an exclamation as some critics assert. Jesus blesses Thomas for what he sees and believes. When he forgave sins he was making himself equal to God, Mark 2:5-12 Jesus disciples were as monotheistic as any Muslim. But after 3 years with Jesus they were forced to rethink their understanding of oneness. Why would followers die for a dead Messiah? Why would they persist in calling him Lord and God when they knew it would mean their death, unless was true? 3. Jesus is unique: Miraculous birth; no sin; intercessor, in heaven, titles; miracle worker (while later tradition credits miracles to Mohammed, he disclaimed them. His only credential he claimed was the Quran) The Quran claims Jesus is unique: Why was He called the Messiah? Why a miraculous birth? Why alive in heaven? What was his unique message? Remember Muslims believe every prophet had a unique message Share: After sharing who Jesus is you will need to point out they must be willing to revise their assumptions in light of the evidence. If not, then they are left with Jesus as only a man. If not God, then He was a liar, for He claimed He was; or worse a lunatic because He willingly went to a horrible death claiming to be God. While logical to believers, logical evidence is foreign to most Muslim mindsets. Patients is required. Warning dont use Quran to prove Jesus as this verifies the Quran. You may observe he is mentioned in the Quran then ask if they would like to see what the Injil (which they accept) says?

6. Jesus will lead all to Islam when He returns


When Muslim asks why not become a Muslim, because the Quran says that that when Jesus returns he will lead all to Islam? Answer: Until any new revelation from Jesus confirmed as His first, was with signs

and wonders and fulfilled prophecy, I will be faithful to the one revelation He has left. That revelation say that when He returns He will judge the world, time will have ended! 7. How can God die: Jesus did not die on a cross, but a substitute. Ask, What new evidence does the Quran provide to support this? Does it quote eyewitness accounts? Muslims insist God would not allow a prophet to be killed. God does not always act as we think He should, My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways... Isaiah 55:8,9.
1. His death was approved by God, Isaiah 53:2-5. It was prophesied, Psalm 22:16; Zechariah 12:10 (Paul warned, the cross would be foolishness and a stumbling block for some, 1 Corinthians 1:21) 2. What caused the monotheistic Jews to call Him Lord? What changed the cowardly disciples into martyrs? Paul says even King Agrippa knew about it, Acts 26:26. Who went to the cross if not Jesus? How could a substitute motivate thousands to die saying He did? Dozens, maybe hundreds, claimed to be eyewitnesses. People don't die for a lie, knowing it is a lie. How could a substitute fool the mother? And other close friends? 3. To the Muslim, incarnation and His atoning death are anathema. The Quran denies them. Atoning sacrifice is illogical, unnecessary. God does not care about us, "He punishes whom He pleases and has mercy on whom He pleases" Sura 29:20. 4. When sharing, link His death with His resurrection. That God allowed Him to die is a mystery, but it was His plan --- explain the Gospel....

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8. The Bible has been altered from the original Hand them a Bible and ask, Can you show me where it has been altered? "No?" Someone has misled you".
1. Challenge them to read the Gospels/Injil and see for themselves. Commit to say, 15 minutes a night. Mark is short and to the point about Jesus power and purpose. Luke reveals Jesus compassion, has more teaching, and begins with a genealogy, important in Folk Islam. 2. Mention that we have two complete Bibles and thousands of portions which were written before Mohammed was born. Nothing has changed. Ask: Would

you like to read this special book?

3. If they refer to the Gospel of Barnabas, it is a fake with many inaccuracies. Capernaum is in the hills and Nazareth by the lake. It rRefers to many items not known until Middle Ages: mites (money), casks, etc. 4. When they attack the Bible ask, Why do you believe that? What evidence do you have for that? Remember: Answering their questions should not be the focus of evangelism. Rather, ask questions back to discern real purpose. Answer the minimum before moving on to a positive witness, share testimony. Don't hesitate to admit you don't have all the answers. If they are genuine, they will accept that you may need to look it up. Offer a book or find an answer.

9. Why do ________ hate Arabs?


Assumed because the love for Israel equates to hate to Arabs. Affirm your own love and affirm hate is wrong, but even Arabs fail to support Arabs. This hate is the reason Jesus came.

10. What do you think of Mohammed?


Typically the first question when you share with Muslims . They have deep respect for him looking to him as the seal of the prophets. When asked try to: 1. Focus on positive things Muhammad did; then lead the discussion back to Christ. Five positive things about Muhammad: Taught the oneness of God United warring Arab tribes Destroyed idols in the Kaaba Abolished the practice of infanticide Gave a few rights to women 2. Segue to Christ who while... Muhammad pleaded to God to forgive his sins, Jesus was sinless from birth. Muhammad formed a community of those who submit to the message; Jesus taught about Father God who loves the entire world. Muhammad died in the 7th century and is buried; Jesus Christ conquered death and is alive today. Emphasize the Uniqueness of Christ: Ask if he/she has read the Injil (Gospels) and offer one as a gift. Or ask if they would like to read it with you. If so read the parables that show Gods love. Reminding them Muslims accept the Jabut, ask if you can share what they prophecy about the Messiah? Show from the New Testament that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer, Read Hebrews 1:1-2. They may well reject this as not a recognised book so then ask Would you like to see what the Injil says?

It is improbable that adequate answers to these questions will win any to Jesus. They merely remove potential roadblocks. Conversion is a matter of heart and will, besides mind.
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Insights for sharing your FAITH


PREPARING YOURSELF
1. Do you love God with all our heart, mind and spirit? If not you will not be ready to love those He loves?

2. This battle is won in prayer and love. Yes respond to any questions, this helps remove road blocks. Prayer: God promised His Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, John 16:8 Through prayer we thwart Satan's design and through the blood of Christ we have power over him 1 Jo 4:4. Therefore, God's Word, well presented in the right atmosphere will bear fruit. Be constantly in prayer. Develop a sense of constant communication with God in every activity of the day. God has chosen to work through our prayers, John 15:7 Love: Many have testified it was the love of Jesus as exhibited through His followers that caused them to change faiths. No one loved as much as Jesus John 15:13. He died for us even when we rejected Him. Love sometimes requires creating conflict. This will be the case when we challenge Muslims worldview. No one can change without dealing with very deeply felt conflicts . The difficulty in sharing with Muslims is that they see religion as a formal duty. There is no relationship with God. The idea of relationship is absurd. Mohammed taught God is above us; Moses taught God above us yet with us; Jesus taught God is above us, with us and in us. Zimmer p76 Out of love we must create spiritual conflict to wake people from their comfort zones of unprocessed beliefs. The foundational barrier to be bridged is faith: but wrapped in family/culture/politic. Lovingly challenge: who is the true God and who is the true last prophet? See other suggested questions below People are looking for guidance from people they have confidence knows the truth. Your loving boldness/confidence projects this and can open doors dont be off put if at first they attack, check their tone and eyes. All have same heart problem: In every culture the matter and key to Christian victory is the heart. Everyone has the same emptiness and pain: we all want love, acceptance and peace. All other matters are smoke screens. Yes we sometimes need to deal with those matters that are blocking people coming to terms with their own heart (apologetic/ psychology), but bottom line it is a spiritual heart issue.

God so loved the world He left heaven and died for us! He is our model!
3. Remember the battle is the Lords ...greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world , 1 John 4:4. Do nothing without the presence of the Holy Spirit. How do we know He is present? We quench the Spirit when we sin. Gal 5:16-6:5 We must confess sin - Ps 66:18 reveals God does not hear our prayers if we entertain sin intentional sin or any sin we are not dealing with. None is sinless, just forgiven. John 15:7 assures us that if we abide in Him and His word in us He will answer prayer. That is conditional. His will is we seek and save the lost and he answers according to His will. Anger is a sign of areas we are not trusting to God. What rights do you feel were violated when you were angry? Jesus went to the cross with our burdens, anger says we are reclaiming them. Release them to Him.

It is the Holy Spirit that convicts. We are responsible for teaching about Jesus
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4. People differ: Get to know the culture and value. See what others are doing (and evaluate). When you have the opportunity, share your faith with boldness/confidence but with a gentle spirit. Many cultures expect one to be bold if they believe. Some(many) will argue. (Read below how do avoid arguments). Some to save face, some because they are searching but need to disguise it, others because that is who. So dont judge why, but do try to discern genuineness. And spys can sound very genuine. Remember, the issue for the majority is not theological but of the heart. Its the battle that rages in every one of us. All are subjected in some way to sin and its power to corrupt, deafen, and blind. Rom 1:18-32. And it is likewise resolved in all in the same way through the indwelling Holy Spirit 5. Remember God loves them, not what they believe or do. When you share, He is loving them through you. Islam is opposed to all other faiths. Faith in Jesus and Islam are mutually exclusive; confrontation is inevitable. Change wont come without a crisis. Many converts share it was the love of Christians or a vision of Jesus that caused them to question their faith. Concentrate on Spiritual felt needs (see below). Let God's love shine through you. 6. Love with all your heart. Be a friend, love them, show hospitality, accept hospitality - Be prepared to be offered choice pieces and helpings bigger than anyone can consume. Resist sharing critical observations regarding Islam, even if they are critical of Christianity. Rather, ask them why they feel that way? Establish trust. Be ready to share your faith in terms that touch their felt needs which can only be discovered through friendship. Our God of love is so different from Allah. God Saved me from sins curse, transformed my life, is a friend and companion. He has made life joyful, forgiven sin, answered prayer, taught me to love my enemies, guaranteed my place in heaven. 7. Persevere with patience. This is a total mind shift. They have a lot of rethinking to do and, should they accept Gods gift and confess Jesus as Lord, major trauma with family, community, etc. . Though we feel the utter urgency of the task, and will be sometimes frustrated at the apparent lack of interest, hostility, or whatever, constantly remind yourself God is at work, Muslims are responding, it is a spiritual battle. If your heart is pure, motive genuine and approach reflects the truth you do have, then that will be perceived.

OTHER PREPARATIONS for SHARING


1. Always use your Bible Let them know you read God's Word, and pray daily. Dont brag, just share casually the joy you receive from that. This affirms what you count it as important without offending them, remember most expect and respect boldness. When sharing, show the verses or ask if they would like to read. Even if memorised it is best to read. It shows you value it, but more importantly is how the Holy Spirit uses the read word to convict (a conclusion from experiences). Do memorise. It helps you find appropriate passages and again, more importantly it is our defence. Ps 119:11.18. Even Jesus used it to defend himself. After a few meetings feel free to share some of the spiritual lessons you are learning from your Bible; how God answers needs. Again it lends authority to the Bible but also shows others you value your relationship with God. Always have spare gospels or tract to give away for those who want one. Only give a Bible if they have read the shorter texts you provided ( testing for sincerity). Warning: Many in folk Islam seek or willingly receive Gospel portions to use as fetishes. 16

2. Share answers to prayer. These reveal your reverence and trust in Gods love. Offer to pray for a need, many have believed when a prayer has been dramatically answered. 3. Don't need to answer every objection. DISCERN THE HEART. Learn to first ask them to explain what they mean. Often the words they use mean something very different from what Christians mean. Also can gain insight on which to build. If all they do is raise objections, offer them appropriate Bible material If you don't know the answer? Always be honest. Assure them you will look it up. For now move on, This I do know, through Jesus we have been offered love, acceptance and forgiveness. This was the way Paul responded before hostile audiences in Acts 22-26 See also the blind mans testimony in John 9 The Bible nowhere attacks Islam, though Islam attacks the Bible. Simply ask them to check out what it teaches. Be ready to answer any true questions about the Bible's integrity. They may well question the Bibles reliable? Ask, "What evidence do you have?" 4. Reject anti-Christian literature that just attacks. This lends credibility to it. Dont even discuss it. Make the Bible and its truth the issue. Our prayerful goal is to point them to the loving God they dont know. To re-direct conversation, point to positive witness, answer heart issues. Yes we ask them to read our literature, but only what honours God. Not anything that would denigrate Islam, Quran, Mohammed. You can say, "I would not ask you to read anything that attacks Islam, why do you ask me to read something that attacks Christianity"? 5. Determine the Islam they practice. The depth of their questions should reveal this. Even many urban Muslims practice folk Islam. Be sure you are sharing in a culturally acceptable manner, "How do people gain acceptance here?" Typically, any sharing with a community requires permission of some head-man. Prepare and then gain permission to share with the whole group. Proverbs and Wisdom of the ancients are part of conversations. Most important conversations contain them and are made more powerful by their inclusion; far more than logic. For evangelism to be effective the presentation must be in a form and language the receiver clearly understands. We are dealing with a whole cultural integration, not just belief. 6. Establish a common ground of love for God, hate of sinfulness, love of family, etc. . 7. Terminology: Use God or Yahweh, not Allah, when speaking of the Christian God (inless sharing with an Arabic speaking person). Clarify what you mean by your words. What they think of when hearing the word God/Allah is far different from Christians. They see Allah as transcendent power, impersonal, arbitrary, wrathful judge. (There is controversy over which name to use so check locally) 8. Never use Quran to support Christian doctrine. This can suggest you accept it as authoritative. To start a discussion? OK. i.e. The Quran mentions Jesus, does it not? Can I show you what the Bible says? Also be careful not to site what Muslims believe. This too can sound like you accept it lending credence to their system, or more tragically, if you misquoted it you will also lose credibility. 17

9. What barriers do we needlessly put in their way? How would you receive a convert, what cultural changes would be essential? What might be unnecessarily foreign? Examine practice to discern what is of God and what is of your culture. External: Pork eating, alcohol, dress, day of worship, church organisation, Christian names, festivals, capitalism, birth ceremonies (circumcision), marriage and funeral ceremonies, historical relations, clergy, architecture, western sexual norms, , language, prayer forms, fasting, music, art, role of women. Internal : Strong clash of world views, deep-seated nationalistic view of Islam, perceived cultural and moral inferiority of Christian West, undesirableness of change, pride, Christianity does not seem to meet felt needs. Other stumbling blocks: Treating Bible casually - never on floor, cover or pants pocket. Negative comments or comparing Quran vs Bible or Mohammed vs Jesus; Mentioning historical violations against either faith. Using Israel or Palestine. when referring to where Jesus lived. They are emotionally charged. Use Jesus birthplace or name actual sites. Improper interaction with women. Learn if it is OK to look at, talk with, how a wife and women are expected to dress and behave. All interaction must be gender specific Dont joke about their customs or any religious practice. Not even at home, for this is disrespectful and you will do it in public. Its not love. Some wrong but Common Misconceptions among Christians The two faiths have great similarities Islams Jesus/god is the same as the Christians Samuel Zwemer a leading authority stated With regret, it must be admitted that there is hardly an important fact concerning the life, person and work of our Saviour which is not ignored, perverted or denied by Islam. (The Muslim Christ, 1912) Houssen p81 Muslims respect People of the Book that passage was abrogated by militant passages Same heaven Islams heaven is totally sensual; and there is no guarantee that you can stay. No concept of it being a place of relationship with a Loving Father God.

TESTING for SINCERITY


Important as not uncommonly, particularly is Muslim Countries spies pretend to show interest. 1. With sincerity and quiet spirit ask inquirers questions. Must listen and look carefully to see how they respond, body language, etc. or if they respond at all only listen. Ask, Do you really want to know truth? Would you follow truth if it were different than what you now believe? Ask God to reveal Himself to you as you share. God responds to the sincere, but not the curious. Matthew 7:7 2. Offer a Bible or some appropriate material. People in folk Islam will want it for a talisman so ask Will you read this if I give it to you?

3. Offer to meet again. A positive yes does not means they are sincere spies sound sincere. In most areas seekers should only brought into church meetings only after they have been baptised. 4. With all the current violence and blood shed in the name of Peace and Brotherhood, many Muslims are asking questions about their faith. If they mention this, resist criticism and ask if they would like to know about Jesus and the God who loves them (dont say the Christian God as this will raise other issues)

OPPORTUNITIES for SHARING


1. Festival of Eid al-Adha & Qurbani (The Great Sacrifice) once a year on 10th day of last month of Muslim year everyone is to sacrifice and eat an animal. Usually killed with mouth toward Mecca, a memorial of Abraham's substitute for his unnamed son Sura 37:106,107 Muslims later claimed it was Ishmael ( They know God tested Abraham and then provided the ram). New clothes are bought and worn. Interestingly in much of popular Islam the sacrifice is linked to the idea of a sin offering. (see Gen 22) Numbers 29:7-11 describes the Jewish sin offering. Use Psalm 51; Hebrews 9,10 18

2. Community. Islam exercises strong control through its community life. If present, does the local Christian church have a strong sense of community? You may need to deal with that first. We are asking people to leave their strong Muslim community. They will need another that will support them. Seek to have as few cultural barriers as possible to cross. Other Community touch points included issues of health, education, relationships. 3. Hosptality is central to culture and life; both in giving and receiving. Learn the local custom of how much food to prepare; how understand time; etc. . Hospitality. This can take many forms. One group, knowing where there were homeless people and not comfortable to visiting in their homes took food and toiletries to them on a regular basis. Going out to a place of common interest. 4. Responding to emergencies 5. Praying for the sick or specific needs 6. Common ground for establishing relationship Affirm you believe God is One. Deut 6:4, from which the Shahada is probably taken (but don't say that to a Muslim). The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! Man is under God and accountable to Him. Satan is the arch Accuser. Gratefulness, "Thanks be to God" Note: Muslims never say, "Praise to God", but Thanks be to God. This reflects their submission to the all powerful Allah, where Praise to God reflects relationship with God. Muslims respect the sacred books. Let the Bible speak for itself. 1. Talk about God and Jesus first, using Bible. This shows your acceptance of it. Let the Holy Spirit convict them 2. Show what the Bible says about mutual concerns, quote it or show it. Use dreams of Jesus or God. But be aware the dream could have come from an occultic source. Ask: "What do you think the dream was pointing you to / asking you?"

FELT NEEDS TO WHICH YOU CAN APPEAL:


Personal.......
Fear of God Powerlessness: They feel powerless against jinn, evil eye, occult. Fear death & judgement, no assurance of heaven. If asked, are you going to heaven they answer, Insha Allah If God wills. As God answers our prayers, Jesus' message is vindicated and shown to be powerful. All people without God have fear. Our God casts out all fear. Personal: no peace (forgiveness); Seeking pardon and forgiveness; Loneliness; guilt over immorality Political: When one Islamic Country fights or invades another Country, or when one people-group attacks another(genocide), there is deep disillusionment. Many are saddened even dismayed by the militancy they see around them. Natural Catastrophes: The larger and quicker response of Christian aid organisations has opened doors. However, others marvel how Allah uses the infidel West to rescue his people. Migration: Whether from war or for economic reasons, there is a window of opportunity, before they reestablish themselves in community. Ethnic resurgence: Persecuted people groups are open. Spiritual: A surprising number have visions of Jesus Frustration with job

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Women.......
Fear: beatings allowed Sura 4:34, spirits, divorce, mother-in-law, loss of honour, domination by men Because of strong sexual appeal men naturally wanted to cover their women from others lusts, so many feel suppressed by required garb besides being uncomfortable. Considered inferior: takes 2 to equal the witness of 1 man in court Sura 2:282, receive only half the inheritance Sura 4:11, witness of four men if charge with adultery. Because ceremonial cleanliness is paramount, and because one is ceremonially unclean from touching blood, they are unclean for a time each month. It is believed most wont make it to heaven, only a couple verse about it compared to extensive sensual details awaiting for men.
A Muslim lady, Zanah Anwar, proclaimed how marvellous Islam was for women. Looking at her website one discovers she is a liberal who acknowledges what the Quran teaches, but urges its rejection in preference to a more contemporary Islam! www.sistersinislam.net.

Family honour and solidarity paramount. In the Middle East the oldest mother is usually the head of an extended family of sub wives, wives of sons, other women. Fear Allah - Most probably believe Allah does not speak to women. So they turn to saints, spirits, talismans and magic. McCurry. 253 Share about Jesus sitting at the well in John 4.

Questions and Models for Sharing


1. General questions open doors, they show you care. Three levels of questions. Universal: information anyone may ask about Personal: information only family and friends may know ask only with permission Private: matters only most trusted intimates know dont ask No two people are the same. Asking questions helps us discover more about the person(s) you are seeking to share with and helps them to see we care about them. No one is to be a project. Questions to become acquainted: Ask about family, Country, beliefs (avoid politics), their own story. Every person has a fascinating story; questions unlock these and show them you care. You will learn much about a people and culture through them. Your love will keep questions from sounding like an interrogation. They also help identify common interest or concern which we can tap into; or areas where you can help or pray. As they answer, listen for opportunities to ask questions like:

Do you have any questions about Jesus or the Bible?


Warning: Avoid questions about churches or Christians or historical atrocities? Dont ask about Islam. One may feel it is good to learn what others believe, but it puts the focus on Islam rather than Jesus. Also, if the person you are sharing with has not tried to convert you, they probably dont know much about the faith. Some, becoming embarrassed went to their Inman for answers and either became a strong Muslim or were inoculated against listening. 2. As soon as possible, find out about their faith and practice: Even when asked a question it is good to seek clarification. Are they seeking answers or just want to argue?

Do you practice your faith?


Some may be more animist that Muslim so be ready to challenge those spirits or gods. As different groups use English or Arabic words ask,

How do you refer to Jesus and the Law and Psalms?

Have you read the Bible or the Injil?

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3. The following questions are to challenge their faith - These relate to the common fears of Muslims Remember true love has two faces: serve and confront; grace and truth. Jesus confronted those who needed it, like Nicodemus, the Samaritan women and the rich young ruler and was gentle with others like the adulterous women and the demon possessed man in Gerasene. He spoke what people needed to hear, not wanted to hear, and always in love. John 14:6 is a good starting point as it immediately states Jesus is the only way to God. Ask questions to create a hunger for what you have/will teach.

Can you keep all the laws?


Help them discern their hopelessness of being able to please Allah through works. (Be familiar with Islams view of judgement)

Do you know if you are going to heaven?


There is no assurance in Islam so great fear. This opens the door to share about our loving God and our love for Him. Allah is a god of wrath and capricious, so Jehovah is both very attractive and yet hard to understand when one is raised in fear.

Do you know/have peace with God? / Do you know if your life pleases God? Do you know how to conquer Satan and the evil in your life? Do you feel you have forgiveness of your sins?
Islamic doctrine says there is none, because of Allahs absolute Sovereignty. But God has placed in their heart an ache, a sense of separation (sin) only He can fill. That is the witness of the Holy Spirit, so do ask. If yes then you can answer.

Does Allah answer your prayers? Do you have strength to follow Allahs commandments?
Share, we believe different things, only one can be truth . Ask if you may share regarding Jesus/Isa and let the Holy Spirit do his part. Use a relevant parable or demonstration of power from Scripture. Mark 1 introduces Jesus purpose and reveals His power over evil and illness Another is the parable of the Faithful Father in Luke 15:11-32 In a rural area believers have used the parable of the lost sheep Luke 15:3-10 Our constant partner is the Holy Spirit. God is passionate about all hearing His Good News. His Spirit uses Scripture to convict of sin (John 16:8-11); particularly it seems when read. Houssney shared, when a Muslim begins to be concerned over the falseness of their faith, it is then appropriate to share that Islam is not from God and it is not their fault they were born into it. But it is their fault if they blindly accept what they were taught and not search for t ruth. A Gospel that does not shake people up and turn them upside down is not the Gospel of Jesus. p183 4. If asked, What do you believe? or"Are you a Christian?" respond, "What do you understand Christian to be?" A loving, accepting, forgiving God will be a new concept. But first, because there are so many misconceptions you need to know what they believe a Christian is. Many have been taught Christians worship three Gods, eat pork, have low morals (because of media), some that they drink blood (communion), will be kidnapped if enter a church, etc. When sharing, keep the gospel simple. We do not need to explain terms like justification. Theology is rarely an issue in Islam, but obedience and community is; so make the focus on the true God as soon as possible. Share yours or someones testimony as mentioned Arabs value wisdom and proverbs. They need to hear about a God who loves, accepts and forgives. Family/community oriented stories carry value.

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There is a tendency among Christians to share what Jesus has done for them. In so doing they reduce Him to their servant. Christian faith is about our acknowledging we fell short of Gods Ideal; were sinners deserving death, but have accepted His free gift of love acceptance and forgiveness now and certainty of heaven later (Two things Islam lacks). 5. Do you have any questions? When dealing with difficult question be honest and say you dont know but will find an answer. Most will respect that. When asked questions which to theologically conditioned ears may seem essential like trinity, how can God die, etc. Houssney suggested the following response: Thank you, but I feel there is a more important question first I want to answer for you; this is an advanced question. You need to know the basics first. or Before answering that would you answer this...? - important to gain understanding of why asked . or May I share a story from Bible or a testimony? Lean to turn questions into questions to gain deeper understanding. Avoid temptation to win points. Ask: Why did you ask that? Why is that important? Why do you feel that way? Etc. 6. Avoid Arguments If you sense an argument developing you do not always have to answer. Some people are just argumentative, others do it to see if you do have answers. All will be observing your demeanour and discerning if you are as loving as you claim. Ask, May I share something? - which will be Scripture or testimony. Dont presume how anyone will respond when under conviction We do not need to be profound, just loving, truthful, bold. A simple blind man confounded the teachers of the law with a simple response, ...one thing I do know, that once I was blind, now I see. John 9:25. Proving your case won't win converts. Many, confronted with the problems of their faith fall back on "how could so many be wrong?" Islam's final apologetic is, I believe... . 7. In a non-majority setting... Do invite to home groups, but only invite to the gathered church if they are interested. Sadly some people are irreverent or immodest in Muslim eyes. We know God accepts sinners, and that inner conformity is what is important, not outer but not Muslims. Remain persistent, expose to as many other believers as possible It is sad the jealousy and rivalry among believers who will sheep steal or not cooperate out of envy or jealousy - so work on developing unity among those in your area. Avoid sharing before groups unless making a presentation. In a small group setting if anyone appears to show interest the others will interrupt or change the conversation then away from the group harden their heart. 8. How much must the Muslim understand to become a Christian? As we consider this we must keep in mind the contextual issues of each people group. Do they.... Believe the God of the Bible and that He is the only true God and Jesus the only way to God? Can affirm belief Jesus is Gods Son? Realise they have chosen to reject God and want to change repent? Know the price and willing to suffer rejection, persecution and possible death? Have evidence of a changed life wanting to love, accept, forgive?

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Danger to avoid... Sressing knowledge while overlooking the spiritual dynamic of relationship with God. The Christian faith is about a God who loves, forgives and seeks relationship - not an abstract truth. This love is what is so attractive to Muslims. Seeing conversion as a single step, rather than the process of life change and discipleship. Wanting to rush them, because we know the eternal consequence without God. Evidence reveals a correlation between the longevity of faithfulness and the time spent learning the basics and discipleship. Seeking conversion as individuals rather than family/community. If in a nominal Muslim area which is community oriented, seek to ask the recognised community leader if you may come for X weeks and talk about Jesus, stating that only on the last visit you will you ask what people think and want to do. Islam is about community, you must provide a new one. 9. A model from Parshall
He suggests using this simple bridge: God Exists, God is One (common ground), Jesus is Lord (the new ground) And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. --Heb 11:6 GOD EXISTS >> All Muslims believe God exists and interacts with us. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. -- Deut 6:5 If you confess with mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. -- Rom 10:9 JESUS IS LORD Christ is more than an excellent prophet. Raised from the dead He provides a path for eternal salvation.

GOD IS ONE > > Now we can know God through love. Before it was through submission and obedience.

Web sites:

Note:Muslim subjects in Wikipedia tend to be not always be objective.

These represent the best of the sites I consulted and saved in my web favourites. The videos are very good. Five minute Intro, video http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=7240560636470031966&ei=JujBSKXXCqO6qAOZ06S3BQ&q=Islam&vt=lf&hl=en Video How can God die http://www.youtube.com/user/Acts17Apologetics#p/u/3/XM0Pjbkp3E4 Answering Islam, Christian-Islam dialogue http://www.answering-islam.org/index.html Crescent Project http://www.answering-islam.org/index.html Encountering Islam http://www.encounteringislam.org/ Father Zakaria http://www.fatherzakaria.net/links.htm Isa Ruhallah http://www.fatherzakaria.net/links.htm Operation Reveille http://www.oprev.org/#denominations St. Francis Magazine http://www.stfrancismagazine.info/ Muslim Presence (Moderate Muslem) http://muslimpresence.com/ Understanding Islam (Muslim) http://muslimpresence.com/

Bibliography:
ANSWERING ISLAM, N. Geisler & A. Saleeb CHRIST & ISLAM, James A. Beverley, College Press 2009 ENGAGING ISLAM, Georges Houssney,Treeline Publishing, 2010 (permission granted for all inclusions 24/1/12) NOTES ON ISLAM, Emory VanGerpen NEW PATHS IN MUSLIM EVANGELISM, Phil Parshal SHARING THE GOOD NEWS WITH MUSLIMS, Bill Dennett THE MOSLEM DOCTRINE OF GOD, S.M. Zwemer Crescent Project, P.O. Box 50986, Indianapolis, IN 4625, www.crescentproject.org The Word Teaches.com 18 12 10 Everyman THE KORAN, J.M. Rodwell 1995 Islam teaches that only the Quran (Koran) in Arabic is holy. Translations are considered commentaries. This is why men in many cultures memorise a book they cannot read or understand. Verses are approximate as the Quran is not divided into verses. The chapters, Suras, except the first are arranged by length.

Note: When studying Islam consult a number of sources as there can be a number of differences on some facts.
also there are many various spellings for Islamic terms: Quran (used here) is also Koran, Quran, Coran, Kuran, al Quran Tawrat (used here) is also Taurat, Tawrah Mohammed (used here) is also Muhammed, Muhamet (most common variations) Prepared by Ted Bjorem 2/24/12

Appendix:
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Who is the last prophet?


Anyone can claim they are Gods Anointed and have followers who believe them. So how might we discern whom to trust? Islam claims that prophet Mohammed is the final prophet. Christians claim that of prophet Jesus. So who is? Which view do the earlier texts, the Psalms/Zabur support?

The Messiah prophesied in the Psalms/Zabur


Matt 22:41-46 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is
he? The Son of David, they replied. He said to them, How is it then that David, speaking in the Spirit, calls him Lord? For he says, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet. If then David calls him Lord, how ca n he be his son? No-one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no-one dared to ask him any more questions.

Jesus was referring to Psalm 110:1. If the Pharisees believe that Psalm 110 was not referring to the coming Messiah, they would have responded. They did not. Nowhere in the Bible do we see an invitation to an earthly king to sit at the right hand of God. Psalm 110 was talking about the coming Messiah and in Matthew we see both Jesus and the Jewish leaders acknowledging it even though the Jewish leaders later rejected Jesus claim they did agreed this Psalm was about the Messiah. Some others of this type are Psalms 2, 22, 45. Later Jesus said, This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses (Tawrat), the Prophets and Psalms (Zabur) Luke 24:44.

We see the Messiahs offices in them.


His office of Prophet. Psa/Zb 22:22 I will declare your name (prophecy) to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. Psa/Zb 40:9,10 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O Lord. I do not hid your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly. His office as Priest. Psa/Zb 110:4 The LORD has sworn, and will not change his mind: You are a pries t for ever after the order of Melchizedek. His office s King. Psa/Zb 2:6-8 I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill. I will proclaim the decree of the Lord. He said to me, you are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. This verses also declares the Messiahs Sonship.

We see Messiahs character


He is the Good Shepherd, Psa/Zb 23 The Lord is my shepherdhe leads,he guides,with me . John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. His moral character is seen in Psa/Zb 45. Psa/Zb 45:2 You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Psa/Zb 45:4 In your majesty ride forth victoriously of behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; . His anointing of the Holy Spirit is seen. Psa/Zb 45:7 You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, Has set you above your companions. All agree Jesus lead a sinless life and that Mohammed did not.

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We find details of His passion


His rejection. Psa/Zb 69:8 I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mothers sons; The conspiracy of His foes. Psa/Zb 31:13 For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life. His betrayal by a friend. Psa/Zb 41:9 Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heael againt me.. See John 13:18 Psa/Zb 55:12-14 His death on a cross. And last words Psa/Zb 22:1,2 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so f ar from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent. Psa/Zb 22:7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. See Matthew 27:46. His hands pierced. Psa/Zb 22:16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. Being mocked while on the cross. Psa/Zb 22:8 He trusts the Lord, let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him. See Mat 27:43 Psa/Zb 22:11-13 His anguish. Psa/Zb 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of Joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. Offered a drink. Psa/Zb 69:21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. See Matthew 27:34,48. Garments divided and gambled over. Psa/Zb 22:17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing His resurrection. Psa/Zb 16:9,10 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also rests secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. Psa 68:18 When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train His kingdom and triumph. Psa/Zb 72:2-7 He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. The mountains will bring forth prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor. He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. In his day the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. Psa/Zb 110:1 Sit at My right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet. See Matthew 22:44. His coming judgment. Psa/Zb 98:9 let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity. Also Psa/Zb 50:3 The number and detail of prophecies in the Psalms/Zabur about the coming Messiah is amazing. They cannot be explained except by the foreknowledge of God. Who should be the true last prophet? The one who fulfilled all the prophecies of the Tawrat and Zabur or another who fulfilled none? There are no other prophecies regarding any other person other than the Messiah in the Taurant and Zabur, nor in the Injil. Only Prophet Jesus fulfilled all these. Did prophet Mohammed fulfil any prophecy? The one who performed signs and wonders to confirm his prophetic ministry as the Messiah? Or one who in his own words performed none? Even Mohammed confirmed and believed this. Significantly Jesus disciples choose terrible deaths claiming Jesus was the last prophet. So too many other witnesses. His followers conquered by selfless love in the face of fierce persecution.

The followers of prophet Jesus said there would be no more revelation!?


That if anyone taught a different gospel than the one about prophet Jesus they were to be rejected. Romans 16:17; Cor 3:11; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-9,12; 1 Timothy 6:31.

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The Quran
It is the sacred book of Islam, divided into 114 Suras. The first and last two are short prayers. The remaining Suras are arranged roughly according to length. Generally, the shortest ones record Mohammed's first utterances.

A Tablet in Heaven

Muslims believe the original is written on a "guarded tablet" in heaven, 85:22. It was brought down from Allah's throne to the lowest heaven in the month of Ramadan, 2:185, and was given to Mohammed over many years. Gabriel would tell Mohammed, who would recite aloud, while others memorised it, or recorded on whatever materials were available.

Does the Original Text Exist? Many

Muslims are told, with absolute confidence, that the "original manuscript", which Mohammed himself gathered is still in existence and that all Qurans come from this text. However, those with more knowledge are aware it was collated by Caliph Uthman a few years later. It's message varies according to the time and circumstance of Mohammed's life. Earliest passages, written in Mecca before hijra, emphasised the goodness of Allah, coming Judgement, unity of Allah and respect for Jews and Christians (whom he hoped would join his cause). As persecution increased the Quran contained more stories of apostles and prophets (many from the Bible) and warnings to those who would reject God's prophets. After his move to Medina (hijra) he became a statesman and ruler. The Medina Suras contain detailed laws for his new community. He renewed the call to faithful obedience in the face of increase opposition from Jews and Christians. The Suras became increasingly hostile toward these two communities. The Quran does mention the Torah (Taurat), Psalms (Zabur), and Gospel (Injil). The early Suras encouraged Muslims to believe them, 4:136. However, since contradictions occur between the Quran and Bible, Muslims accuse Christians and Jews of corrupting it.

Hadith

The Hadith record the actions and saying of Mohammed. They were assembled to help Muslims know what to do in various situations. 300 years after Mohammed they were collected and edited from 600,000 to 7,397. To be accepted they had to have a chain of authority going back to Mohammed. Muslims take great pleasure in following Mohammed's example. Note: The Quran has no standard verse structure so translations vary. References will vary by 5-8 lines.

Author has more material on origins and transmission of the Quran; and critique of Gospel of Barnabas; and Bibles Reliability

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Jihad
Ideally Muslim apologist insist that the Jihad was only a means of defence and never as an offensive act. Sahih
Muslim states: Jihad in Islam is not an act of violence directed indiscriminately against non-Muslims; it is the name given to an all-round struggle which a Muslim should launch against evil in i.e. self preservation and the preservation of the moral order in the world. Sahih Muslim, III pg 938 Jihad is one of the chief meritorious acts in the eye of Islam. It all but guarantees entry into heaven, which is otherwise very difficult. The Quran strictly prohibited conversion by force, saying: There is no compulsion in religion. Sura 2:256

In reality
When a infidel's country is conquered its inhabitants are to be offered three alternatives: 1. Receive Islam, in which case the conquered becomes a citizen 2. Pay a poll tax to received "protection" and became Zimmis only offered to Christians and in rare cases Jews. Typically very oppressive. 3. Death. Say to the infidels: If they desist, what is now past shall be forgiven them; but if they return, they have already before them the doom of the ancients! Fight then against them till strife be at an end, and all religion be all of it Allah's. Sura 8:39 Proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject the faith. Sura 9:3 Kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you find them, besiege them, seize them, lay in wait for them... . Sura 9:5 Apologist typically site Sura 2:256 let there be no compulsion in religion However this has been abrogated, replaced by later verses as sited above. The Quran does contradicts itself. This is recognised by Muslims. They cant explain it, just accept it. The Haddiths (sayings and actions of Mohammed considered all but equal to the Quran, as he was the prophet of Allah ) add: Wherever you settle (conquer) that is your share. If they disobey Allah and His Messenger, its one-fifth is of Allah and His Messenger, and the remainder is for you. Mishkat II It is hard to ignore the economical and sexual gain of Jihad. Many a warrior would have been enticed by such offers. Each warrior had a right to 4/5 ths the possessions of those he slew and could sell or ransom any captives. Women and children were booty and women were available for concubinage, unless pregnant. Interestingly Mohammed appears to never have lived extravagantly, in fact he was personally generous to poor, widows and orphans among the Muslims. A few of the 100 verses regarding Jihad. 2:190 ...whoever offereth violence to you, offer you the like violence to him, and fear Allah... 3:29 34? make war uponthose who do not agree with us.. until they pay tribute Christians say Messiah is a son of God, this resembles the sayings of InfidelsGo do battle with them. They say Jesus is Lord along with God. This is not good far from God 5:54 O Believers! take not the Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one a nothers friends. If any one of you taketh them for his friends, that one is surely one of them! Allah will not guide the evil doers. 47:4 When you encounter the infidels, strike off their heads till you have made slaughter among them, and of the rest make fast the fetters. And afterwards let there be free dismissals or ransoming, till the war hath laid down its burdens ( Allah will bring you to Paradise ) as for the infidels, let them perish.. 61:4,14 God guideth not the wicked... but though the Infidels hate it, God will perfect his light...He may make it victorious over every other religion. Remember: Most Muslims like most people everywhere want peace. It is Islam that requires Jihad. And when those who seek to fulfil this requirement instigate war, those for peace will, like peoples in all cultures, have to follow. Sadly, many today (most?) are hearing hate from many quarters and so will be easily caught up. 27

From authors Brief History of Islam

The Principal Sects & Legal Systems

Sunni and Shia Muslims differ over who leads, interprets and applies the Quran.

Groups / Sects of Islam primarily from OperationReveille Website


Islam is a religion of many influences and traditions. Understanding this helps us understand why Muslims respond to matters in different ways, as in Iraq. Knowing history reveals why Sunis and Shia will never come to peace; why Saudi Arabia exports the most strict understanding which heavily influences the current political climate.

Understanding some terms Caliphs: The title for the head of state among Sunnis and supreme religious leader for the community ruled by the Shariah law. Islam does not separate religion / politics / social law. Shia Muslims reject all caliphs except Ali and Hasan. After the first four caliphs (all personal friends of Muhammad) the title went to the Umayyad (Damascus), Abbasid (Baghdad), Fatimid (Cairo), and Ottoman (Istanbul) dynasties with occasional competition from dynasties in Spain, North Africa, and Egypt. There has been no Caliph since the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1924AD. Sultans or Emirs were regional governors and ruled under the caliph. Imans: Title for the religious/political leaders among the Shia The Principal Sects Sunni and Shia Muslims differ over who leads, interprets and applies the Quran. Shia are the followers of Ali(c.600-661AD). He was the fourth and final appointed Caliph. He was both a cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed; married to Fatima. He was one of Mohammeds scribes and a principle leader in the early raids and battles. Shia is from Shia Ali (party of Ali). He died by assassination. Aisha, one of Mohammeds wives, supported the revolt and attached Ali at Basra (in Iraq). He had sought to avoid the battle which he won. He then moved his capital nearby. This is the origin of the Shia Sunni split. Shia conform around the identity and teachings of their Imams They have various theological beliefs, schools of jurisprudence, philosophical beliefs, and spiritual movements and believe under the literal lies the esoteric known only by Imams. Three major parties: Ithnaashari (12rs); Ismailis (7rs); Zaidi (5rs). The number refers to how many Imams after Ali they accept as of his line (see below). Two other distinctions: pray 3 times; pay tax to religious authority, not State. Sunnis: Hold the Quran to be the ultimate authority for faith and practice. Revere the acts and sayings of Muhammad (Hadith) as the key to interpreting and applying the Quran. They conform around the consensus of scholars who interpret and apply the Quran in accordance with what they identify as the Sunna the tradition of Muhammad and of the emerging Muslim community and cannot be changed. The Larger sub-Sects Kharijites: The first schismatic sect. They accepted the caliphates of Abu Bakar and Umar, but rejected and rebelled against Uthman. They initially accepted Ali, but then rejected him over his accepting the arbitration that ended the first civil war. They believe in obedience to the Caliph as long as he rules justly and piously. If not, they believe the Caliph must be confronted, deposed, or even murdered in order to be replaced. Alis assassin was a Kharijite. They eventually split, only the Ibadi remain.

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Ibadi: The last remaining Kharijite sect. Mostly found in Oman. Smaller communities are also found in Algeria, Libya, and Zanzibar. Ithnaashari: twelvers represent 85% of Shia. Believe Imams were chosen by God and infallibly interpreted and apply Muslim law. They reject legal precedents set by Sunni Caliphs. They believe every age has a divinely selected Imam. The one for this era was born in the 9thC. He has since been supernaturally hidden and will reappear to establish a correct and global Islam, just before the final judgment. This is Irans national ideology. Ismali: seveners believe the Imamate ended when the seventh Imams son disappeared to one-day apocalyptically return as the Mahdi. They also have seven rather than the five pillars of practice. They believe their Imam is divinely appointed and thus infallible. They were once the largest Shiite branch. They fall into several different traditions/paths called tariqah. The largest is the Nizari path; most live in Indo-Iran. Zaidi: Called fivers they follow the teachings of the fifth Imam, Zayd ibn Ali. They dont believe the Imams were infallible or received any divine guidance. The Zaidi divide into three main groups. The largest group makes up over forty percent of Yemen. Alawi: Call themselves Shia and take their name from Ali. Orthodox Sunnis consider them to be heretical. They keep many of their distinctive beliefs secret. They are a powerful religious minority in Syria where they control many key positions. Over one million live in cities in Syria and another million in neighboring regions of Turkey. Druze: Started as an Ismaili movement in the eleventh century. They drew heavily from Greek philosophy and Gnosticism. They opposed some major trends in the religious landscape of their day. Always a minority they have been used and abused, sometimes rising to prominence and sometimes suffering vicious persecution. Today they remain socially and religiously distinct living in isolated pockets in Lebanon, Syria and Israel. They forbid intermarrying and proselytizing. They have had important roles in Lebanese politics. They believe: rituals are purely symbolic for an individualistic effect; the pillars of Islam are not obligatory for them; in reincarnation. Sufis: This was an answer to the harsh legalism of Islam. It is more mystical and experiential and present in most branches of Islam. It is a personal spirituality outside orthodox Muslim law and theology. Participants usually seek divine love and knowledge. They typically exhibit discipline and piety. They commonly use dancing, trances, chanting, and singing (popularly called whirling dervishes). They frequently venerate local saints at their tombs. Sufis are organized into brotherhoods around spiritual leaders and grouped into orders called tariqas. Sects not accepted by Islam but derived from it: Bahai: founded in 19C Persia by a man claiming divine inspiration and the title Bahaullah. Followers assert they follow a distinct and new religion. Most Muslim leaders say it is an apostate form of Islam. Followers have been severely persecuted in Iran and Egypt where they are illegal since Islam claims to be the final revelation, there can be no more. Bahai say their relation to Shia Islam is similar to the heritage of Christians in Judaism. Worldwide followers number above 7 million. Ahmadi: Begun in late 1800s in British occupied India/Pakistan as a branch of Islam, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. He claimed to be the promised Jewish Messiah, His second coming, and the Muslim Mahdi. They believe they are leading the revival and peaceful propagation of true Islam. They are mainly in Pakistan, Indonesia, and India. They have freedom in India, but persecuted elsewhere. Orthodox Muslims consider them heretics for embracing a prophet that came after Muhammad. Nation of Islam: Wallace D. Fard, a.k.a Elijah Muhammad, founded the Nation of Islam (NOI) in Detroit in 1930AD. He aspired to restructure the conditions of black men and women in America. He claimed to be the Mahdi of Islam and second coming of Christ. Louis Farrakhan heads the religious organization today. The NOI preaches adherence to the pillars of Islam, but its followers

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do not practice them in accordance with traditions in Islam. Many teachings about Allah and mankind are not in accordance with mainstream Islam. Sunni 4 legal traditions: Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi
These concern how the Quran is applied to everyday life As pointed out in the section on Learning and Free Thought, the various Jurist schools hold the loyalty of the masses over any political boundaries. This is vital in understanding the lack of peace among Muslims in any given Country and how alliances are formed among people in States that are outwardly at war. The purpose here is not knowing the details but of their existence and power over their people within any given State.

Hanbali: Students of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal started around 855AD. It is the strictest and most literal approach to the Quran. It has the smallest number of followers. It predominates in the Arabian Peninsula. It puts divine revelation above human reason for formulating ethics; and sovereignty above free will for determining fate. Wahabi: Wahabism is the strictest sect, the faith of Saudis. It advocates restoring practices to the days of the prophet and purifying Islam of any syncretism. Salafi jihadists: It differs from Wahabism. They usually reject Western ideologies like Socialism and Capitalism and concepts like economics, constitutions, and political parties. They seek to advance Sharia rather than any political program or State. Salafi ideology represented in Sayyid Qutb produced jihadists like Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Hanafi: Students of Abu Hanifa an-Numan ibn Thabit established this tradition around 780AD. It imphasizes human reason. It is the most liberal, with the largest following. The Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire in India spread this system. Maliki: Two works by Imam Maik (711-795AD) inform them. It predominates in North and West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, and parts of Saudi Arabia. About 15% follow this. It ascribes more weight to the sources written while Mohammed was in Medina Shafi: Second most widespread. Imam ash-Shafi began it. He included a secondary place for community consensus and analogy, in addition to the Quran and Sunnah . Its the legal system in Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia. There are also followers in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, the U.A.E. Chechnya, Kurdistan, Egypt, Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, the Maldives, and Singapore

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ISLAM
Islam means submission Purpose:

A brief look at

To build bridges of love and understanding with Muslim communities To inform so we can pray with purpose for Muslims

The FAITH
FIVE PILLARS of PRACTICE
1. CREED Shahada 2. PRAYER - Salat 3. ALMS - Zakat 4. FAST of RAMADAN Ramadan -. Ninth lunar month. 5. PILGRIMAGE to Mecca - Hajj

SIX ARTICLES of FAITH. Muslims believe in


1. UNITY of ALLAH 2. ANGELS: The greatest of whom is Gabriel who revealed Allah and Koran to Mohammed. 3. SACRID BOOKS: The Pentateuch ( Tawrat ), Psalms ( Zabur ), Gospels ( Injil ), about 104 other
revelations and the Koran. Abrogation - New verses can replace old verses, Sura 2:106. This occurs in 260 places.

4. MESSENGERS or PROPHETS: 313 in total, each came with a special book revealed just to him.
Koran revealed to Mohammed supplants all previous

5. LAST DAYS 6. PREDESTINATION: Muslims are very fatalistic. Forgiveness is a very arbitrary act of Allah. He saves who he wills outside any moral constraints.
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Ted Bjorem

Six differences to consider in Islam


First an important Note Most Muslims know only the rudiments and social expectations of their faith. Most just want to live in peace. Much of what happens in the Muslim world is an embarrassment to intellectuals and apologist and so they seek to defend their faith. Has it been hijacked? Is Islam a religion of peace, brotherhood and tolerance? Are women treated with equity? Are Allah and Jehovah the same? Most Westerners, raised to be tolerant, are uncomfortable with any criticism that seems harsh. Most have only heard Islamic apologist. Tolerance is good, as long as it is not blind. The majority would not be aware that this spirit of tolerance we take for granted, was hard won and exists only in the Protestant West and the places influenced by it, beginning 500 years ago, but only really taking hold in last 200.

Both faiths claim to be from God and the truth. Thus, if they do not agree, one of them cannot be from God nor the truth. As we explore, two provisos: 1. we are to love Muslims the critique is of Islam 2. we are to stand firm on truth.

1. Different Gods
Allah - is absolute power, unknowable, vengeful, arbitrary, capricious, lacking integrity as he changes his mind (Sura 2:100), contradictory (verses in the Koran contradict one another) holds no guarantee of heaven. The appeal to his mercifulness is a call of hope, because that is not how Allah revealed himself. Jehovah God - is loving, approachable, kind, and just, yet merciful. The Bible is without contradiction regarding His character or revelation. Both Testaments overwhelmingly affirm God as Love

2. A different Jesus.
Koran accepts he lived and died. It also affirms he was sinless, performed miracles and was virgin born. But it rejects that He came to die for our sins someone else was on the cross (How can God die?) or that He rose again! Some believe he married. Bible teaches that Jesus fulfilled dozens of very specific prophecies (Mohammed none); that his ministry was confirmed though countless miracles and signs, (Mohammed none. Muslims say the Koran was enough miracle); that He is Gods Son and died and rose again for our forgiveness and eternal life.

3. Is it a religion of Peace, Tolerance and Brotherhood?


Islam - Not now, not then, not under Mohammed - he cleared Medina of the three Jewish tribes that rejected his claims to be a prophet. He forced the first to leave overnight, the second and third he brutally attacked killing the men and enslaving the women and children; even though they had supported him in war. These tactics were to continue with his followers. Genocide was often a part. Today? Over the last 30 years where have been the majority of the wars? - and most of those are between Muslims, which calls into question the idea of brotherhood ( the bloody division between Sunni and Shia occurred within 100 years of Mohammeds death ) Until recent decades Muslims openly practiced slavery and concubinage (women kept for sexual purposes) - both groups included fellow Muslims. Women have an inferior place. Islam divides the world into: the house of Allah and the house of war. Is there any one place dominated my Muslims, where they show tolerance to any non-Muslim? Christians conquered the world with love in the face of great persecution. Even her enemies commented on how they loved one another and cared for others.

4. Different Founders
Mohammed Claimed to be a prophet but performed no miracles, fulfilled no prophecy. Though he could be good and generous his character was flawed ( he was vengeful, had many wives including a child ). He spread the faith by the sword. Died Jesus Fulfilled countless and very specific prophecies; affirmed his ministry with signs and wonders.

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He was perfect and taught us to love one another. He died cruelly and unfairly without seeking or taking vengeance. He then rose that all who believe in Him might have forgiveness and eternal life. All who believe in Him have assurance of salvation.

5. Different Salvation
Islam Islam means submission. A Muslim must obey a moral system consisting of five pillars: The Creed ( There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet ); Prayer five times facing Mecca (changed from Jerusalem when the Jews in Median rejected him ); Fasting during Ramadan (fine for nomadic people but a burden on farmers, labourers and modern life styles); Pilgrimage to Mecca; Giving 2% to the poor. Even doing these was no guarantee of heaven. The only assurance of heaven is for those dying in Jihad. And even that can be rescinded. Sadly, it is a religion of fear because Allah is capriciousness, has absolute sovereignty (nothing of love comes through), and has numerous and graphic descriptions of hell. Rules, but no relationship with deity. Christianity The Bible reveals a God of love who, though rebelled against and rejected, graciously provided an answer for our helpless dilemma: He came and lived among us and died that all who believe in Him and obey His commands would receive His love, acceptance and forgiveness plus, the assurance of heaven. In the story of the rebel son who foolishly squandered his share of his father s inheritance, Jesus reveals God as a loving Father always ready to receive the penitent. Different Heaven Islam heaven a place of eternal carnal pleasure filled primarily with men because few women could qualify due to their spiritual and sexual inferiority. To enter one must cross a razor sharp bridge which one can do only if their merits outweigh their sins. Any knowledgeable Inman will affirm, Islam has no guarantee of heaven. And no assurance one will remain. Christianity a place of perfect fellowship with God where we will experience unceasing joy as we worship our God of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. God assured all who believe and obey will be in heaven. Different means of Spreading the Message Islam spread primarily by sword and the offer of material and sexual reward to its soldiers. SE Asia came to the faith through merchants who settled there. Christianity spread with sacrificial love and extensive suffering and no promise of reward on earth, in fact persecution the norm.

6. Different Holy Books


Koran written by 1 author over 20 years in 1 Country. Theme: Submission It has no prophecies, no miracles. It contradicts itself. Inmans know this. They call it abrogation when a newer revelation differs from a older one, the old one is superseded. The call to honour people of the Book often cited as proof Islam is friendly to Jews and Christians, was abrogated. Muslim scholars resolve this conundrum of Allah changing his mind by saying Allah can do anything. It cannot survive critical analysis: it is not good Arabic (typically has disagreement between tenses) and borrows stories and ideas from three other religions. Bible written by 40 authors over 1400 years on 3 Continents. Theme: Gods love It has complete harmony, countless fulfilled prophecies, and miracles to attest to the authenticity of its authors. It has withstood the severest of critical attacks. In contrast to Koran, the Bible affirms love for enemies, women, non-believers
There is nothing here a knowledgeable Muslim could not affirm. The faiths are different. So which is truth? In pointing out these differences it is hoped all who read it will consider Isa the Prince of Peace and the God of love, acceptance and forgiveness who revealed Him. Two widely circulated misconceptions regard tolerance in Spain and development of science and medicine under Islam. Spain was at peace when violently conquered from Muslim sources. The tolerance so typically alluded to did exist, only for 10-40 years out of the 700 year occupation! There was a longer peace in Bagdad because they valued knowledge more than Arabs. Most of the science and medicine attributed to Islam actually came from their captives or the few who chose to learn from them. More typically Islam burnt the great libraries as they conquered ( because all other literature was inferior to the Quran ) intellectuals were typically imprisoned from time to time.

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