Ministering to Muslims
We can build walls or we can build bridges.
We can start with all the reasons why our religions are different and why we have different god’s and why what they believe is wrong and what we believe is right.
We could find the redeeming truths that they already have in their culture and use those as BRIDGES to share Truth with them.
Here are some bridges to start with:
1. Allah- this is the Arabic word for God and is used by all Arabic Christians when referring to God, and is written in Arabic Bibles as well.
2. Isa- this is the Muslim word for Jesus, no matter what country they are from or what language they speak; most often our Arabic Muslim friends refer to Jesus as “Isa al-masih” which means “Jesus the Messiah” although they don’t understand what Messiah means.
3. Prophet- Muslims honor great men of God and will give them the title of Prophet when they speak of them, for example “Prophet Moses” or “Prophet Abraham”; Muslims have great reverence for God while we practice a more casual faith in America.
4. Four Holy Books- every good Muslim who has been educated at all knows that there are 4 holy books and they should read them all—
• Torah (they say Taoorat)- the law of Moses
• Psalms (they say Zaboor)- of Prophet David
• New Testament (they say Injeel)- story of Jesus life
5. Injeel- this is the Muslim word for Bible (as well as the word for the N.T.); if you call it a “Bible” then your Muslim friend will assume that it is the Christian book that has been corrupted, but if you call it an “Injeel” they will be drawn to read it, especially if you can find one in their language; treat it like a holy book and don’t put it on the floor or show irreverence.
6. Prayer- take every opportunity to pray with your Muslim friends; remind them that Jesus is the only Prophet in the Quran who can heal people and raise people from the dead and so you want to pray in Jesus name because it has power; all 4 holy books suggest that we pray with our hands raised and our eyes toward heaven and this is how our Muslim friends will recognize our reverence for God.
7. Christian- most Muslims have very wrong definitions of “Christian” just as we have many misconceptions about them; because of the influence of Hollywood in so many countries most of the world thinks that Christians are immoral, polytheistic, wine-drinking, pig-eating, loose-dressing, materialistic, corrupt, unclean Westerns. It is wise to identify yourself as a “follower of Jesus” rather than a Christian, and this usually opens up wonderful conversations.
8. Dress- Muslims measure godliness by what they see on the outside; when visiting with Muslim friends you want them to know that you honor God and what you are wearing says a lot about your faith even before you open your mouth; it is wise for us to err on the conservative side (cover shoulders and knees) if you feel comfortable doing so.
9. Friendship- above all else our Muslim friends value relationships and their “love language” is hospitality and generosity; as believers our friendship needs to be faithful and consistent with them as we establish trust and offer our hospitality and love them as Jesus loved them.