We demonstrate God’s great love for Muslims by our manner of communicating, by our friendship and our respect. We are not called to argue against Islam, but to make every effort to make Jesus known!
1. Focus on areas of agreement.
In your dialogue with Muslims it is useful to be in agreement as much as possible about our common beliefs. We all believe that there is one God, the God of Abraham. In Arabic the word used for God is “Allah” (Christian Arabs also use this word for God). Muslims believe that God made the world, that He knows all things, that He is all wise and very powerful. They believe in angels and in prophets such as Abraham, Moses, David, Noah and Jesus. They believe in the last judgment. In a general sense we can agree on these points, and use these to build trust and understanding. Affirming our common beliefs enables us to listen to one another with greater understanding and openness.
2. Talk about Jesus.
Focus on Jesus. Jesus IS the good news. Focus on the hope you have found in Jesus and how you have found “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1)
3. Use stories.
It is helpful to tell the stories about the life of Jesus and other men and women mentioned in the Bible – this is the narrative of our faith. Muslims often use stories in speaking about their own faith, so listen to their stories, and share your own.
4. Build Friendships.
Make it your goal to be a real friend. This our highest calling as followers of Jesus – to love others. It is important to understand the culture your Muslim friends come from – their way of thinking and their historic and religious background. Learning some of their language could be very useful as well.
5. Don’t Argue.
You have little chance of convincing Muslims to believe as you do by reasoned argument. Love your Muslims friends and avoid getting into discussions which push them to defend Islam and start theological arguments.
6. Respect their Culture and Values.
Show great care to respect the culture, values and feelings of your Muslim friends. Don’t assume you know what they are – find out! Always demonstrate the love and understanding that you would also want from people of other faiths.
7. Avoid Christian culture shock!
Christian culture and Church programs are quite a shock to anyone who is not used to them and can often lead misunderstanding. If a Muslim friend is interested in seeking Jesus, bring him or her to a small group, Bible study or house church rather than taking them to a traditional church service. Many Christians have not learned how to show respect to those of other faiths, so avoiding situations that can be hurtful to your Muslim friend is wise.
8. Beware of Sensitive Issues.
Avoid arguing about minor issues or topics that can hurt friendship. Eventually, you may speak of these things together, but allow your friendship and trust to develop before you discuss hard issues.
- Do not attack the person or teachings of Mohammed.
- You do not have to agree with one’s faith to show respect.
- Do not criticize the Qur’an (Koran)
- Avoid politically-sensitive subjects.
- Don’t make a big deal about eating or not eating halal food. We, as Christians, are sent to proclaim Jesus. Not dietary restrictions.