Introduction- why Should we care about Muslims?
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Introduction- Why Should we care about Muslims?
Muslims are the largest unreached people group in the world (1.57B)
Second largest unreached people groups
Hindus (900 million)
Buddhists (364 million)
Less than 1% of all missionaries go to Muslims; 1 missionary per 420,000 Muslims
Muslims are preparing to reach the West
Have you memorized the NT?
The Great Commission: what’s your role?
The 10/40 Window
Indonesia, 202 million
Pakistan, 174 million
India, 160 million
Bangladesh, 145 million
Growth of Islam
1908 (230 million)
2011 (1.57 billion)
The nations are coming to America
Many of the immigrants who are now coming to America are coming from the Islamic countries of the world (60 Countries)
In the mosques that I’ve visited in Philadelphia, there are Muslims representing at least 40 different nations
Do you care about the things that God cares about?
Promise to Abraham
A child of his old age
Messiah comes from Israel
2 billion Christians today, children of Abraham
Jesus left us with the task of making worshippers of the nations
The Lives of Four Great Men
Most radical missionary
Left heaven for earth: a greater divide than any between nations or peoples
Born into poverty, rejected and despised by his own people
Radical missionary recruiter: Come and follow me
Consider Osama bin Laden
Gave up great wealth for his beliefs
Jesus and the rich young ruler: worthy of the kingdom?
Would you leave everything for the calling of Christ’s mission?
Jesus, the ultimate missionary, made the ultimate sacrifice
Perfect human died for a perfect cause: salvation
Perspective: pick up our cross and follow Him
Jesus had all authority: how can we not obey?
Member of Saul’s tribe: trained by Gamaliel, excellent student
Zealous for religious tradition; persecutor of the early Christians
Changed at his vision of Jesus: major paradigm shift
Does this describe your walk?
Paul was a Jew, but called to Macedonians, Greek philosophers and Stoics
Wasn’t he better equipped to reach his own people?
For you, for me, reaching out to Muslims may be counterintuitive
Born in Palma, Spain 1200 years after Paul
Intellectual and scholar
Appointed as an officer of the king’s court of King James II of Aragon, most popular poet in Spain
Lived a debauched life until he had a vision of Jesus 3 times, each time saying, “Raymond, follow me”.
Lull became the first recorded missionary to Muslims
A commitment he made to God
“To You, Lord God, do I now offer myself and my wife and my children and all that I possess; and I approach You humbly with this gift and sacrifice, may it please You to accept all that I give and offer up now for You, that I and my wife and my children may be Your humble slaves”.
Reaching Muslims did not come easy for Lull
9 years learning Arabic
Travelled in North Africa amongst very aggressive Muslims
He was determined to use weapons of love and learning to reach the Muslims rather than the sword of the crusaders
He was very bold about his faith…”death has no terrors whatever for a sincere servant of Christ who is laboring to bring souls to a knowledge of the truth.”
In his last missionary journey he was 79 years old
1314 spent a year in Algeria discipling a group of Muslims who had converted to Christianity
Died preaching the gospel in an open air market
It wasn’t until another 500 years later that another missionary to Muslims was sent
Young man, good life, wanted to marry
Translated the Bible into Urdu, Arabic, and Farsi
Founder of the church in Iran
Died at age 30
What are the common denominators between Jesus, Paul, and Raymond Lull, and Henry Martyn?
Gripped by God’s heart
Sacrificed all for the glories of God
Suffered for what they did
Missions should not be a subcategory in the church
Foundation of all ministry is missions
Great Commission is to be obeyed and completed
If Jesus had never come…
If Paul had not gone…
If Raymond Lull had not obeyed…
Either your life will count or you will have missed the greatest opportunity to serve God
Leave a legacy
Islamic Beliefs and Practices
Let’s look at some of the simple expressions of the Muslim belief
This applies to Sunnis (85% of Muslims) and Shi’a (15%)
We will focus on the points of tension between Christianity and Islam
Why is it important to learn about Islam?
Again Muslims are the largest unreached people group in the world
Live in the 10/40 window, also where 90% of the world’s poorest live
The Great Commission
Muhammad and the Revelation of the Qur’an
Islam begins with an Arab who lived 600 years after Jesus
Muhammad was the final prophet and example for all Muslims (and all mankind)
Born in AD 570, raised as orphan by uncle
Became a tradesman to Syria for a wealthy widow name Khadijah, married her when he was 25 and she was 40
Spent one month every year in a cave on Mt. Hira, which was a pagan custom of jahiliyya, known as the period of darkness or “the pre-Islamic era”.
AD 610, Muhammad has visions in the cave; Gabriel says, “Iqra!”
Gabriel becomes the channel of communication between Allah and Muhammad
Revelations came in fragments, later compile as the Qur’an
Written on stone tablets in heaven, Q85:21-22; Q43. This is known as the kitabullah, the book of Allah and is eternal
During revelation, he had protracted periods of fits and rage
Fell into trances, covered in sweat
Initially disturbed by the experiences, but his wife Khadijah comforted him
All of the symptoms he experienced are similar to someone who is either an epileptic or someone who may be demon possessed.
Revelations came for 23 years but he was illiterate
There are some questions here. He was a tradesman, how could he have been illiterate?
Since Muhammad never performed any miracles, it is in the best interest of Muslims for him to be illiterate in order to make the Qur’an seem miraculous
AD 610, at the age of 40 is when Muhammad became a public prophet
Early on, his teaching was one of peace and unity between the different groups
AD 622, loses support among the Jews and pagans and many become angered by his message
He temporarily gives into pressure, allowing polytheism, then recants, bringing hostile clashes
Move to Medina
Muhammad becomes violent
Beginning of ummah, Muslim community
Growing political power, fighting those who were against the influence of Muhammad
His last nine years
Participated in 27 battle campaigns and planned approximately 64-84 additional battles
Ordered mass executions (800 Jews throats slit), 25 assassinations, rapes, and forced conversions took place during of these campaigns
Died suddenly of illness in AD 632 leaving 11 wives and 4 daughters
The way the revelations were collected is problematic
Muhammad was supposedly illiterate and his followers memorized the revelations
They would write them down on stones, leaves, animal skins and bones
They were never written down in a book in his lifetime
After his death, his successor, Abu Bakr, had the Qur’anic revelations compiled
According to Muslims sources, the first Qur’an was compiled in AD 634
There were several different codices, up to 15 with 15,000 variances between them
Caliph Uthman (AD 644-656) had an official copy made and burned all the rest of the manuscripts
Not all of the Qur’an was preserved: “Many of the passages of the Qur’an that were sent down were know by those who died on the day of Yamama…but they were not know by those who survived, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar, or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur’an, nor were they found with even one person after them. (ibn Dawud)
Muslims claim: Qur’an is unchanged, but al Suyuti writes, “It is reported by Ismail ibn Ibrahim…Let none of you say, “I have acquired the whole of the Qur’an. How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur’an has disappeared? Rather let him say, I have acquired what has survived.”
The Six Articles of Faith (Iman)
Belief in Allah as the one true God
Problems with the Allah of Arabia
Allah had a father named Hubal, who in turn had three daughters: allat, almalat, and aluza (Q53)
Satanic verses: revelation that permitted people to worship Allah and the idols
But Gabriel corrected Muhammad telling him that he had been seduced
The verses remained, those idolatrous worship was disallowed
Allah’s character is quite different than the God of the Bible
He is very distant, totally other (Platonic concept of God)
Allah never enters time and space, stays in heaven
Does Allah speak with Abraham on the plains of Mamre? Wrestle with Jacob? Lead Israel through the wilderness?
Ask your Muslims friends: In Q20:14-15, Allah is speaking to Moses from the burning bush, so how can he be totally other? Doesn’t this imply that he was in the bush, as we believe?
Transcendent; no personal relationship
He is just, but capricious
Muslims are unsure of reward or punishment
God is love?
Belief in angels (as instruments of God’s will)
Gabriel, interacts with humans
Michael, angel of light
Israfil, angel of resurrection
Asrail, angel of death
Iblis, who is Satan, the corrupter, the seducer
There is a good angel and a bad angel on each shoulder recording one’s good and bad deeds to be reconciled on the Day of Judgment
There is no theological concept of demonology or fallen angels
You will never meet a Muslim who speaks of good jinn
Belief in Four inspired books: The Tawrat (Torah, law of Moses), the Zabur (Psalms), the Injil (The Gospel), and the Qur’an
Different notion of inspiration; can’t God preserve his word?
Lost Gospel of Jesus? The books of Moses and David have also been lost
Qur’an is the final, therefore most authoritative revelation
Uthmanic recension, AD 634
Given to wife, Hafsa, held for 20 years
AD 650, second recension, even though we know of other versions
Al-Bukhari, Zaid ibn Thabit’s codex was not as popular as ibn Masud’s
Problems with Quraysh dialect and vowels (not introduced until 150 years after the supposed compilation of the Qur’an)
Prophets of Allah (28 mentioned in the Qur’an)
Muhammad is the last, therefore most authoritative
Jesus is a prophet, known as ruhullah (Spirit of God) or kalimatullah (word of/from God), but only a predecessor of Muhammad
Predestination (Arabic, qadr; Q4:60; 17:175; 25:29)
What God has initiated; every act you do; every thought you have is predestined
You have no volition; so why are your good and bad deeds recorded?
It is not like Christianity: our salvation is predestined, by we also have free choice and responsibility for our actions; in Islam, Allah dictates all your choices. This is why Muslims always say, “Inshallah”, if God wills it
Day of Judgment (Q4:74; 47:4-6)
Deeds recorded are weighed
Lack of assurance; suicide bombers
Across the razor sharp bridge (Q55 and 56)
Paradise is carnal (beautiful trees, wine, and women (houris)
The Five Pillars of Islam
The Shahadda, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”
True Faith of the heart is not the issue
Recitation of Shahadda makes one a Muslim
Said at conversion in front of an Imam
Allah and Muhammad are said together in the Shahadda, but not in the Qur’an
Q2:255; 28:88; 112:1-4, have the first half of the Shahadda
Were they brought together at a later stage?
Q33:40; 48:29; 64:8; Muhammad is the prophet of Allah
Why isn’t the full Shahadda in the Qur’an? Was it an afterthought?
The earliest written Shahadda they we have found that has Muhammad and Allah together is found written on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (AD 691, 60 years after the prophet’s death)
Earliest document is al Bukhari (AD 850-870)
Muslims do not have an answer to this
Salat (Daily prayers)
Upon rising in the morning, at noon, mid-afternoon, evening, and before bedtime
Prayers are prescribed
Ritualistic cleansing or ablutions must be performed prior to prayer
Always facing Mecca
Prayer is not communication, but an obedient routine and duty; looking for Baraka
Shi’as pray 3 times per day, Sunnis 5 times per day. This requirement comes from the Hadith of al Bukhari, not the Qur’an.
Muhammad awakened for a trip, the miraj
Muhammad flew from Mecca to Jerusalem on a winged horse Buraq
Supposedly flew to the great mosque in Jerusalem
Was there a mosque in Jerusalem in AD 624?
No, Islam didn’t reach Jerusalem until AD 641
Q17 is considered a reference to the story, but is an anachronism
Met many prophets on way to highest level of paradise
Gabriel tells him his people must pray fifty time, but Moses encourages Muhammad to work the number down to five
So who is responsible for Muslims praying five times a day, Moses or Allah?
Who prayed three times a day in Muhammad’s time? The Jews!
After Muhammad had a falling out with the Jews in Mecca, he not only changed the direction of prayer but the frequency based on this Qur’anic revelation
This is why Muslims pray five times per day
Du’a is another form of private prayer that Muslims have to relate to Allah
Does this mean that Muslims have a relationship with Allah?
Does Allah answer prayer?
Doesn’t Du’a limit Allah?
Can slaves ask anything from their master?
Ask your Muslims friends if he really believes in Du’a. Is that as close to Allah as they can get?
Explain that as Christians, we believe that God responds to our Du’a
We can pray anytime and anywhere, and in any language
The idea of this type of relationship to God will make many Muslims cringe, but many will become very intrigued
How do Christians pray as opposed to this practice?
We don’t have to be ritually clean; we approach the throne of God boldly for cleansing in the blood of Jesus
For Muslims, prayer is public, for us it is private (Matthew 6:5-6)
(Sawm) Fast of Ramadan
A time of great solidarity for the Muslim community
During Ramadan, Muslims consume more food than at any other time of the year
They fast out of obedience-the reason for all of the pillars.
Ask, are you close to God when you fast? (Isaiah 58)
Ninth month of Islamic calendar
Seems to be modeled after Ashura, the Jewish fast. Is it borrowed?
Prayers, charity, accountability are part of this time
Black and white thread
Fasting begins and ends with sighting of the new moon
Zakat (Almsgiving) Q2:43, 110, 177, 277; 9:5; one time annually
Generally given to the mosque
2.5% of income, savings, and jewelry; mostly supposed to go to the poor
During early days of Islam, non-Muslims paid jizya tax and land tax (15-20%)
Conversions to avoid this tax became so numerous that in AD 705, the governor of Iraq allowed no more conversions because the economic system was collapsing
As Christians, we are to give all that we have to the Lord
Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
Commemorates when Muhammad led his followers from Medina to Mecca and cleansed the Ka’aba and removed all idolatry from the holy city
Muslims from all over the world who can afford the pilgrimage make the trek to Mecca. Whether one spends the hereafter in paradise could be determined by whether a Muslim makes this journey
Problems with the Hajj
Mecca was never mentioned as a prominent city in Muhammad’s time
Trade over this area of the Arabian Peninsula was too expensive
Many of the rituals performed during the Hajj have their roots in pagan practices
Jihad (some today are trying to make this a sixth pillar of Islam)
Many of their beliefs and practices are borrowed from the Jews, Zoroastrians, and pagans of that time
Allah is found to be worshipped prior to Islam
They have many problems with the first three books
Practice of prayer was not completed until after the Qur’an was written
We too have a battle to fight, however our power and weapons are much different. Our power comes from the Holy Spirit and we fight with truth and love
Our weapons are not physical but the Sword of the Word of God
We fight for a kingdom, but it is not of this earth
We have a leader we follow, yet not one who kills or asks us to kill, but one who died for us
Finishing the Task, Reaching the Muslims in our Community
Remembering God’s Heart
The Great Commission (Ma. 28:18-20)
God does not desire than any should perish (2 Pe. 3:9)
The Bible tells us that there will be people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people in heaven (Rev. 5:9; 14:6)
Not confronting Muslims is not loving
Street and Mosque evangelism
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