A Pew Research Center study conducted in 2015 states that there are 1.8 billion Muslims around the world and as of 2017 they are reporting 3.45 million Muslims live in the United States. That means 1.1% of our country’s population are Muslim. While that is a small percentage we can’t ignore what the statistics are showing us, that Islam is the fastest growing religion.
That means that here in the United States, we live in the perfect place to evangelize Muslims. Unfortunately, when I hear many people talk about Muslims they are always referring to radical Muslims associated with ISIS or al-Qaida. That tells me that some Christians aren’t educating themselves about Islam and when we aren’t educated about something we tend to make irrational assumptions that are not always true. And we forget there are millions of Muslims who may have never had a Christian take an interest in why they are a Muslim or who they are as a person. Like Mormons, Muslims place a high importance on community and relationships. You aren’t going to reach Muslim’s without being their friend first.
Most of us do not understand why Muslims believe the way they do because we are not seeking to understand what they believe and why they believe it. We see the news reports of ISIS soldiers blowing up the innocent and think that this is what every Muslim believes is right according to their religion. But the fact is that a large majority of Muslims just want to live a peaceful life and do not agree with what ISIS, Boko Haram, or al-Qaida is doing in the name of Islam. I met a Muslim at Barnes & Noble awhile ago and when I asked her why she values that religion over all the others, she responded that she was in awe of the beauty of the religion and that is what she loves about it. Granted, she may not have dug deep enough into this religion to know everything about it as she was a new convert. Like many of us, she may of saw the religion at a distance and we must not make the same mistake.
Islam is not a religion of peace but there are peaceful Muslims. And if we are to tell Muslims why we have a real hope in Jesus Christ we cannot let fear lead us away from them. For far too long we have allowed the biased media outlets to educate us about Islam without digging deeper ourselves to see if the information we are hearing is accurate or not. It shouldn’t be surprising that the information they report on isn’t always correct. So that is why we must research it ourselves or go to trusted people who did the work such as David Wood with Acts 17 Apologetics, Alan Shlemon, and Nabeel Qureshi, just to name a few.
Here are 3 facts about Islam that all Christians should know:
1.) Muslims have a religious book called the Quran that is divided into chapters called surahs. Also, they have a book that accompanies the Quran called Hadith. The Hadith is the recording of Muhammad’s actions and speech in tradition. You don’t have to be a scholar to learn what the Quran or Hadith says but it will help you understand what Muslims think about creation, Jesus, and Muhammad. It will also give you a better understanding of how they view God and how it’s much different from the way Christians view God.
2.) There are 5 pillars of Islam, they are practices expected of every Muslim:
-There is one God (Allah) and Muhammad is his messenger (shahada)
-Pray 5 times a day (salaat)
-Pay the religious tax (zakat)
-Pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj)
-Fasting during Ramadan (sawm)
3.) Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prophet but they don’t think that he died by crucifixion. They also affirm that the Bible is the word of God. Yet they think that Christians believe in many gods because of how we explain the trinity.
We can share our hope in Jesus Christ in a very real way through connecting with Muslims and building relationships with them. We literally have millions of opportunities to tell them about the gospel and love them right where they are. If Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners surely we can take time to share the truth with Muslims.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”.