Most Christians are fairly uninformed about Islamic beliefs. In a similar way, many Muslims do not understand or are ignorant of Christian teaching about Jesus. Most Muslims believe that Jesus (whom they call Sidna Isa) was a remarkably good prophet who was sent to the Jews to bring them back to an Israeli form of Islam. Muslims believe that Islam was the religion which was practised by all the prophets (Abraham, David, Moses, Solomon, Jonah and others). Afterwards their followers corrupted the true faith.
Gospel of Barnabas
Muslims think of Jesus as a prophet who is reputed to have done miracles, but most of them have no knowledge of most of His life and ministry. Jesus is highly honoured by Muslims as a holy man, but is not seen to be divine. In recent times many Muslims have pointed to the so-called Gospel of Barnabas as being a source document about the Muslim Jesus. This document portrays a Jesus who is radically Islamic. Many believe that this so-called Gospel was possibly written around the year 1600 by a Muslim living in Spain. It was certainly not written by the disciple Barnabas who was a contemporary of Paul. (For more information about the Gospel of Barnabas, see the websites: (Christian site: www.answering-islam.org/Barnabas , Muslim site: www.islam101.com/barnabas ).) [In a new window]
Ideas and understanding about Jesus (Isa)
Muslims claim that Jesus did not die on the cross – such a death is considered to be unworthy of such a good prophet. They affirm that Jesus was taken up to heaven without dying. Generally they think that Judas Iscariot was crucified in the place of Jesus, and that God supposedly transformed his face to make him look like Jesus. Judas is seen as being a traitor who received just punishment while Jesus escaped.
Muslims equally affirm that Jesus (Isa) will return to earth from heaven sometime before the end of the world to punish the Jews and Christians for their corruption of religious faith and practice. Eventually Jesus will die a natural death and later be resurrected to be judged with all men during the last days. The Muslim idea of Christ is actually significantly different from the Christ of the Bible.
Gospel of Barnabas Prayer Points
* Muslims need to understand and recognize Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and to see the glory of the risen Lord. Pray for spiritual blindness to be removed (2nd Corinthians 4:1-7).
* Most Muslims have never even had an opportunity to believe because they have never heard enough of the real Gospel to be saved. Ask God to raise up an abundance of ministries to proclaim Christ in a culturally sensitive manner.
* The “Jesus” film has been an excellent means worldwide of helping Muslims learn about Jesus. Pray for a wider distribution of this film in more languages (Rom. 10:14).
* Most Muslims have needs which can only be answered by Jesus Christ. Pray that Muslims might find themselves in situations where they would be encouraged to call upon and believe the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:8-13). Some remarkable healings and conversions have happened when Muslims call on Jesus as a healer.