Introduction- why Should we care about Muslims?

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  1. Introduction- Why Should we care about Muslims?

  1. Muslims are the largest unreached people group in the world (1.57B)

  2. Second largest unreached people groups

    1. Hindus (900 million)

    2. Buddhists (364 million)

  3. Less than 1% of all missionaries go to Muslims; 1 missionary per 420,000 Muslims

  4. Muslims are preparing to reach the West

  5. Have you memorized the NT?

  6. The Great Commission: what’s your role?

  7. The 10/40 Window

    1. Indonesia, 202 million

    2. Pakistan, 174 million

    3. India, 160 million

    4. Bangladesh, 145 million

  8. Growth of Islam

    1. 1908 (230 million)

    2. 2011 (1.57 billion)

  9. The nations are coming to America

    1. Many of the immigrants who are now coming to America are coming from the Islamic countries of the world (60 Countries)

    2. In the mosques that I’ve visited in Philadelphia, there are Muslims representing at least 40 different nations

  10. Do you care about the things that God cares about?

  11. God’s plan

  1. Promise to Abraham

  2. A child of his old age

  3. Messiah comes from Israel

  4. 2 billion Christians today, children of Abraham

  1. Jesus left us with the task of making worshippers of the nations

  1. The Lives of Four Great Men

  1. Jesus

    1. Most radical missionary

    2. Left heaven for earth: a greater divide than any between nations or peoples

    3. Born into poverty, rejected and despised by his own people

    4. Radical missionary recruiter: Come and follow me

      1. Consider Osama bin Laden

      2. Gave up great wealth for his beliefs

    5. Jesus and the rich young ruler: worthy of the kingdom?

    6. Would you leave everything for the calling of Christ’s mission?

    7. Jesus, the ultimate missionary, made the ultimate sacrifice

      1. Isaiah 53:5

      2. Perfect human died for a perfect cause: salvation

      3. Perspective: pick up our cross and follow Him

    8. Jesus had all authority: how can we not obey?

  1. Paul

  1. Member of Saul’s tribe: trained by Gamaliel, excellent student

  2. Zealous for religious tradition; persecutor of the early Christians

  3. Changed at his vision of Jesus: major paradigm shift

  4. Acts 20:24

  5. Does this describe your walk?

  6. Paul was a Jew, but called to Macedonians, Greek philosophers and Stoics

  7. Wasn’t he better equipped to reach his own people?

  8. For you, for me, reaching out to Muslims may be counterintuitive

  1. Raymond Lull

  1. Born in Palma, Spain 1200 years after Paul

  2. Intellectual and scholar

  3. Appointed as an officer of the king’s court of King James II of Aragon, most popular poet in Spain

  4. Lived a debauched life until he had a vision of Jesus 3 times, each time saying, “Raymond, follow me”.

  5. Lull became the first recorded missionary to Muslims

  6. 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”.

  1. Reaching Muslims did not come easy for Lull

      1. 9 years learning Arabic

      2. Travelled in North Africa amongst very aggressive Muslims

      3. He was determined to use weapons of love and learning to reach the Muslims rather than the sword of the crusaders

      4. 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.”

      5. In his last missionary journey he was 79 years old

      6. 1314 spent a year in Algeria discipling a group of Muslims who had converted to Christianity

      7. Died preaching the gospel in an open air market

      8. It wasn’t until another 500 years later that another missionary to Muslims was sent

  1. Henry Martyn

  1. Young man, good life, wanted to marry

  2. Translated the Bible into Urdu, Arabic, and Farsi

  3. Founder of the church in Iran

  4. Died at age 30

  1. Conclusion

  1. What are the common denominators between Jesus, Paul, and Raymond Lull, and Henry Martyn?

  1. Gripped by God’s heart

  2. Sacrificed all for the glories of God

  3. Suffered for what they did

  1. Missions should not be a subcategory in the church

  1. Foundation of all ministry is missions

  2. Great Commission is to be obeyed and completed

  1. If Jesus had never come…

  2. If Paul had not gone…

  3. If Raymond Lull had not obeyed…

  4. Either your life will count or you will have missed the greatest opportunity to serve God

  5. Leave a legacy

  1. Islamic Beliefs and Practices

  1. Let’s look at some of the simple expressions of the Muslim belief

  2. This applies to Sunnis (85% of Muslims) and Shi’a (15%)

  3. We will focus on the points of tension between Christianity and Islam

  4. Why is it important to learn about Islam?

  1. Again Muslims are the largest unreached people group in the world

  2. Live in the 10/40 window, also where 90% of the world’s poorest live

  3. The Great Commission

  1. Muhammad and the Revelation of the Qur’an

  1. Islam begins with an Arab who lived 600 years after Jesus

  2. Muhammad was the final prophet and example for all Muslims (and all mankind)

  3. Early life

  1. Born in AD 570, raised as orphan by uncle

  2. Became a tradesman to Syria for a wealthy widow name Khadijah, married her when he was 25 and she was 40

  3. 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”.

  1. AD 610, Muhammad has visions in the cave; Gabriel says, “Iqra!”

  1. Gabriel becomes the channel of communication between Allah and Muhammad

  2. Revelations came in fragments, later compile as the Qur’an

  3. Written on stone tablets in heaven, Q85:21-22; Q43. This is known as the kitabullah, the book of Allah and is eternal

  1. Prophethood

  1. During revelation, he had protracted periods of fits and rage

  2. Fell into trances, covered in sweat

  3. Initially disturbed by the experiences, but his wife Khadijah comforted him

  4. All of the symptoms he experienced are similar to someone who is either an epileptic or someone who may be demon possessed.

  1. Revelations came for 23 years but he was illiterate

  1. There are some questions here. He was a tradesman, how could he have been illiterate?

  2. 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

  1. AD 610, at the age of 40 is when Muhammad became a public prophet

  2. Early on, his teaching was one of peace and unity between the different groups

  3. AD 622, loses support among the Jews and pagans and many become angered by his message

  4. He temporarily gives into pressure, allowing polytheism, then recants, bringing hostile clashes

  5. Move to Medina

  1. Muhammad becomes violent

  2. Beginning of ummah, Muslim community

  3. Growing political power, fighting those who were against the influence of Muhammad

  1. His last nine years

  1. Participated in 27 battle campaigns and planned approximately 64-84 additional battles

  2. Ordered mass executions (800 Jews throats slit), 25 assassinations, rapes, and forced conversions took place during of these campaigns

  3. Died suddenly of illness in AD 632 leaving 11 wives and 4 daughters

  1. Qur’an

  1. The way the revelations were collected is problematic

  2. Muhammad was supposedly illiterate and his followers memorized the revelations

  3. They would write them down on stones, leaves, animal skins and bones

  4. They were never written down in a book in his lifetime

  5. After his death, his successor, Abu Bakr, had the Qur’anic revelations compiled

  6. According to Muslims sources, the first Qur’an was compiled in AD 634

  7. There were several different codices, up to 15 with 15,000 variances between them

  8. Caliph Uthman (AD 644-656) had an official copy made and burned all the rest of the manuscripts

  9. 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)

  10. 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.”

  1. The Six Articles of Faith (Iman)

  1. Belief in Allah as the one true God

  1. Problems with the Allah of Arabia

  1. Allah had a father named Hubal, who in turn had three daughters: allat, almalat, and aluza (Q53)

  2. Satanic verses: revelation that permitted people to worship Allah and the idols

  3. But Gabriel corrected Muhammad telling him that he had been seduced

  4. The verses remained, those idolatrous worship was disallowed

  1. Allah’s character is quite different than the God of the Bible

  1. He is very distant, totally other (Platonic concept of God)

  2. Allah never enters time and space, stays in heaven

  3. Does Allah speak with Abraham on the plains of Mamre? Wrestle with Jacob? Lead Israel through the wilderness?

  4. 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?

  1. Transcendent; no personal relationship

  2. He is just, but capricious

  3. Muslims are unsure of reward or punishment

  4. God is love?

  1. Belief in angels (as instruments of God’s will)

  1. Gabriel, interacts with humans

  2. Michael, angel of light

  3. Israfil, angel of resurrection

  4. Asrail, angel of death

  5. Iblis, who is Satan, the corrupter, the seducer

  6. 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

  7. There is no theological concept of demonology or fallen angels

  1. Jinn

  2. You will never meet a Muslim who speaks of good jinn

  1. Belief in Four inspired books: The Tawrat (Torah, law of Moses), the Zabur (Psalms), the Injil (The Gospel), and the Qur’an

  1. Different notion of inspiration; can’t God preserve his word?

  2. Lost Gospel of Jesus? The books of Moses and David have also been lost

  3. Qur’an is the final, therefore most authoritative revelation

  4. Problems

  1. Uthmanic recension, AD 634

  2. Given to wife, Hafsa, held for 20 years

  3. AD 650, second recension, even though we know of other versions

  4. Al-Bukhari, Zaid ibn Thabit’s codex was not as popular as ibn Masud’s

  5. Problems with Quraysh dialect and vowels (not introduced until 150 years after the supposed compilation of the Qur’an)

  1. Prophets of Allah (28 mentioned in the Qur’an)

  1. Muhammad is the last, therefore most authoritative

  2. Jesus is a prophet, known as ruhullah (Spirit of God) or kalimatullah (word of/from God), but only a predecessor of Muhammad

  1. Predestination (Arabic, qadr; Q4:60; 17:175; 25:29)

  1. What God has initiated; every act you do; every thought you have is predestined

  2. You have no volition; so why are your good and bad deeds recorded?

  3. 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

  1. Day of Judgment (Q4:74; 47:4-6)

  1. Deeds recorded are weighed

  2. Lack of assurance; suicide bombers

  3. Across the razor sharp bridge (Q55 and 56)

  4. Paradise is carnal (beautiful trees, wine, and women (houris)

  1. The Five Pillars of Islam

  1. The Shahadda, “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”

  1. True Faith of the heart is not the issue

  2. Recitation of Shahadda makes one a Muslim

  3. Said at conversion in front of an Imam

  4. Allah and Muhammad are said together in the Shahadda, but not in the Qur’an

  1. Q2:255; 28:88; 112:1-4, have the first half of the Shahadda

  2. Were they brought together at a later stage?

  3. Q33:40; 48:29; 64:8; Muhammad is the prophet of Allah

  4. Why isn’t the full Shahadda in the Qur’an? Was it an afterthought?

  5. 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)

  6. Earliest document is al Bukhari (AD 850-870)

  7. Muslims do not have an answer to this

  1. Salat (Daily prayers)

  1. Upon rising in the morning, at noon, mid-afternoon, evening, and before bedtime

  1. Prayers are prescribed

  2. Ritualistic cleansing or ablutions must be performed prior to prayer

  3. Always facing Mecca

  1. Prayer is not communication, but an obedient routine and duty; looking for Baraka

  2. 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.

  1. Muhammad awakened for a trip, the miraj

  2. Muhammad flew from Mecca to Jerusalem on a winged horse Buraq

  1. Supposedly flew to the great mosque in Jerusalem

  2. Was there a mosque in Jerusalem in AD 624?

  3. No, Islam didn’t reach Jerusalem until AD 641

  4. Q17 is considered a reference to the story, but is an anachronism

  1. Met many prophets on way to highest level of paradise

  2. Gabriel tells him his people must pray fifty time, but Moses encourages Muhammad to work the number down to five

  3. So who is responsible for Muslims praying five times a day, Moses or Allah?

  4. Who prayed three times a day in Muhammad’s time? The Jews!

  5. 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

  6. This is why Muslims pray five times per day

  7. Du’a is another form of private prayer that Muslims have to relate to Allah

  1. Does this mean that Muslims have a relationship with Allah?

  2. Does Allah answer prayer?

  3. Doesn’t Du’a limit Allah?

  4. Can slaves ask anything from their master?

  5. Ask your Muslims friends if he really believes in Du’a. Is that as close to Allah as they can get?

  6. Explain that as Christians, we believe that God responds to our Du’a

  7. We can pray anytime and anywhere, and in any language

  8. The idea of this type of relationship to God will make many Muslims cringe, but many will become very intrigued

  1. How do Christians pray as opposed to this practice?

  1. Without ceasing!

  2. We don’t have to be ritually clean; we approach the throne of God boldly for cleansing in the blood of Jesus

  3. For Muslims, prayer is public, for us it is private (Matthew 6:5-6)

  1. (Sawm) Fast of Ramadan

  1. A time of great solidarity for the Muslim community

  2. During Ramadan, Muslims consume more food than at any other time of the year

  3. They fast out of obedience-the reason for all of the pillars.

  4. Ask, are you close to God when you fast? (Isaiah 58)

  5. Ninth month of Islamic calendar

  6. Seems to be modeled after Ashura, the Jewish fast. Is it borrowed?

  7. Prayers, charity, accountability are part of this time

  8. Black and white thread

  9. Fasting begins and ends with sighting of the new moon

  1. Zakat (Almsgiving) Q2:43, 110, 177, 277; 9:5; one time annually

  1. Generally given to the mosque

  2. 2.5% of income, savings, and jewelry; mostly supposed to go to the poor

  3. During early days of Islam, non-Muslims paid jizya tax and land tax (15-20%)

  4. 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

  5. As Christians, we are to give all that we have to the Lord

  1. Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)

  1. Commemorates when Muhammad led his followers from Medina to Mecca and cleansed the Ka’aba and removed all idolatry from the holy city

  2. 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

  3. Problems with the Hajj

  1. Mecca was never mentioned as a prominent city in Muhammad’s time

  2. Trade over this area of the Arabian Peninsula was too expensive

  3. Many of the rituals performed during the Hajj have their roots in pagan practices

  1. Jihad (some today are trying to make this a sixth pillar of Islam)

  1. Conclusion

  1. Many of their beliefs and practices are borrowed from the Jews, Zoroastrians, and pagans of that time

  2. Allah is found to be worshipped prior to Islam

  3. They have many problems with the first three books

  4. Practice of prayer was not completed until after the Qur’an was written

  5. 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

  6. Our weapons are not physical but the Sword of the Word of God

  7. We fight for a kingdom, but it is not of this earth

  8. We have a leader we follow, yet not one who kills or asks us to kill, but one who died for us

  1. Finishing the Task, Reaching the Muslims in our Community

  1. Remembering God’s Heart

  1. The Great Commission (Ma. 28:18-20)

  2. God does not desire than any should perish (2 Pe. 3:9)

  3. The Bible tells us that there will be people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people in heaven (Rev. 5:9; 14:6)

  4. Not confronting Muslims is not loving

  1. Refugee work

  2. Street and Mosque evangelism

  3. Public debate

  4. Go!

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