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The Practical Side of Witnessing to Muslims J. Bennett January 2011.

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1 The Practical Side of Witnessing to Muslims J. Bennett January 2011

2 Assumptions 1. You have previously developed at least a passing friendship with this Muslim. passing friendship with this Muslim. 2. If possible, you have tried to determine if this is a Sunni or Shia Muslim, etc. Sunni or Shia Muslim, etc. 3. You are somewhat aware of Islamic beliefs and practices. practices. 4. You understand the necessity of prayer and fasting in witnessing to Muslims. fasting in witnessing to Muslims.

3 1. Be Yourself Remember that Muslims are more often won by your demeanor than your words. Most Muslims have never met a born again Christian…first impressions count! Remember that Muslims are more often won by your demeanor than your words. Most Muslims have never met a born again Christian…first impressions count!

4 2. Be Constantly in Prayer It is the Holy Spirit who wins men and women to Christ. Seek His guidance and power as you present the Word. If this is a planned appointment, it would help to fast before the appointment. It is the Holy Spirit who wins men and women to Christ. Seek His guidance and power as you present the Word. If this is a planned appointment, it would help to fast before the appointment.

5 3. Use the Word of God Muslims respect the sacred books; the Law of Moses, Psalms and the Gospels. Let the Bible speak for itself. Muslims respect the sacred books; the Law of Moses, Psalms and the Gospels. Let the Bible speak for itself.

6 4. Be a Genuine Friend Friendship evangelism is the most effective approach with Muslims. Friendship evangelism is the most effective approach with Muslims. Saying Hello is not enough. If you really care, show it by investing time in their lives. Identify a felt need in their lives and help find solutions. Saying Hello is not enough. If you really care, show it by investing time in their lives. Identify a felt need in their lives and help find solutions.

7 5. Ask Thought Provoking Questions Do you have peace with God? Do you have peace with God? Do you have forgiveness of sin? Do you have forgiveness of sin? Does God answer your prayers? Does God answer your prayers? Questions like these show that you have an interest in the important things of life which concern Muslims. Questions like these show that you have an interest in the important things of life which concern Muslims.

8 6. Share Your Personal Testimony Your personal testimony is more powerful than an eloquent theological discourse. Your Muslim friend will appreciate your sincere personal testimony. It will create a real hunger in his life for such a loving relationship with God. Your personal testimony is more powerful than an eloquent theological discourse. Your Muslim friend will appreciate your sincere personal testimony. It will create a real hunger in his life for such a loving relationship with God. Give a reason for the hope that is within you. First Peter 3:15 is a powerful verse for anyone who wants to be an effective witness. Muslims will ask questions and we must be ready to give an answer – as Peter said, …in gentleness and respect. Give a reason for the hope that is within you. First Peter 3:15 is a powerful verse for anyone who wants to be an effective witness. Muslims will ask questions and we must be ready to give an answer – as Peter said, …in gentleness and respect.

9 7. Listen Attentatively When you ask a question, courtesy requires that you listen to the answer. Also, you can learn more of Muslims thought patterns so you can better relate to them. When you ask a question, courtesy requires that you listen to the answer. Also, you can learn more of Muslims thought patterns so you can better relate to them.

10 8. Present Your Beliefs Openly At the appropriate time, state what you believe, clearly and without apology, showing Scripture portions that support those teachings. Thus, you place the responsibility for doctrine where it belongs – on the Word of God. At the appropriate time, state what you believe, clearly and without apology, showing Scripture portions that support those teachings. Thus, you place the responsibility for doctrine where it belongs – on the Word of God.

11 9. Reason, Do Not Argue Arguing may win a point but lose a hearing; it generates a lot of heat but little light! Arguing seldom achieves anything, and may close a mind against you and the gospel. Arguing may win a point but lose a hearing; it generates a lot of heat but little light! Arguing seldom achieves anything, and may close a mind against you and the gospel.

12 10. Never Denigrate Muhammad or the Quran This is offensive to a Muslim as disrespect about Christ or the Bible would be to you. This is offensive to a Muslim as disrespect about Christ or the Bible would be to you.

13 11. Respect Their Customs and Sensitivities Do not offend by putting your Bible (a holy book to the Muslim) on the floor, or by making jokes about their sacred topics such as fasting, praying, or Allah. Do not refuse hospitality and do not offer offensive food, e.g. pig meat or alcohol. Dress modestly and do not appear too free with the opposite sex. Do not offend by putting your Bible (a holy book to the Muslim) on the floor, or by making jokes about their sacred topics such as fasting, praying, or Allah. Do not refuse hospitality and do not offer offensive food, e.g. pig meat or alcohol. Dress modestly and do not appear too free with the opposite sex.

14 12. Persevere With Patience Muslims have a lot of rethinking to do when they are confronted with (1) a true Christian, and (2) the claims of Christ from Scripture. Dont drive them into a corner by pressing them to admit their error. Rest assured that the Word of God will do its work in Gods good time. Muslims have a lot of rethinking to do when they are confronted with (1) a true Christian, and (2) the claims of Christ from Scripture. Dont drive them into a corner by pressing them to admit their error. Rest assured that the Word of God will do its work in Gods good time.

15 Other: Try to understand Islamic doctrine from the perspective of Islam. Study the history of Islams development. Try to understand Islamic doctrine from the perspective of Islam. Study the history of Islams development. Be a good listener. Dont evaluate a Muslim only on the basis of his doctrine. Examine the other factors which fire his devotion to Islam. Be a good listener. Dont evaluate a Muslim only on the basis of his doctrine. Examine the other factors which fire his devotion to Islam. Try to use words according to his definitions, not yours. Try to use words according to his definitions, not yours.

16 Use an unmarked Bible. To a Muslim, a marked Bible indicates a disrespect for the Word of God. Use an unmarked Bible. To a Muslim, a marked Bible indicates a disrespect for the Word of God. Avoid using the word Trinity. To a Muslim, this often connotes the worship of three gods and will bog you down in issues of polytheism. Avoid using the word Trinity. To a Muslim, this often connotes the worship of three gods and will bog you down in issues of polytheism.

17 Dont be offended by the use of the term Allah. It is simply the Arabic word for God. Dont be offended by the use of the term Allah. It is simply the Arabic word for God. Never forget the power of love and prayer; for against these, there is no defense, Islamic or otherwise. Never forget the power of love and prayer; for against these, there is no defense, Islamic or otherwise.

18 Muslim Beliefs About Muslim Beliefs About Christian Scripture Christian Scripture

19 Questioning the Word of God Usually the first effort is to discredit the Bible. Muslims warn fellow-Muslims not to buy or read it, as it would lead them astray. Why? Because what we have in our hands are no longer the books that God gave to the prophets Moses, David and Jesus. They claim our forefathers corrupted or changed the originals. Nowhere in the Quran, by the way, is there any understanding of what the Bible really is, how it was put together or what the central theme is. Usually the first effort is to discredit the Bible. Muslims warn fellow-Muslims not to buy or read it, as it would lead them astray. Why? Because what we have in our hands are no longer the books that God gave to the prophets Moses, David and Jesus. They claim our forefathers corrupted or changed the originals. Nowhere in the Quran, by the way, is there any understanding of what the Bible really is, how it was put together or what the central theme is.

20 No Quranic Attack on Scripture Nowhere in the Quran does it actually say the Bible has been changed, although there are passages where Muhammad charges opponents with distorting the words, and Jews in particular, of mispronouncing and juggling Scriptures; but never does he say the originals have been changed. Nowhere in the Quran does it actually say the Bible has been changed, although there are passages where Muhammad charges opponents with distorting the words, and Jews in particular, of mispronouncing and juggling Scriptures; but never does he say the originals have been changed. Akbar Haqq, son a noted Muslim convert of India, points out that in the early years of Islam, Akbar Haqq, son a noted Muslim convert of India, points out that in the early years of Islam,

21 ….when the Bible was not available in Arabic, the Muslims made no charge that the Bible was corrupted. But after copies of the Bible fell into Muslim hands and they began to compare the Bible with the Quran, they found wide discrepancies between Biblical and Quranic accounts of the same stories. It was at this point in time, somewhere between ninety and a hundred and fifty years after the death of Muhammad, that Muslims, who assumed that their Quran was authentic, fabricated the charge that Jews and Christians had changed their Scriptures. ….when the Bible was not available in Arabic, the Muslims made no charge that the Bible was corrupted. But after copies of the Bible fell into Muslim hands and they began to compare the Bible with the Quran, they found wide discrepancies between Biblical and Quranic accounts of the same stories. It was at this point in time, somewhere between ninety and a hundred and fifty years after the death of Muhammad, that Muslims, who assumed that their Quran was authentic, fabricated the charge that Jews and Christians had changed their Scriptures. But this charge will not stand up to Muhammads testimony to the Scriptures in the Quran. Let us examine some of these statements. But this charge will not stand up to Muhammads testimony to the Scriptures in the Quran. Let us examine some of these statements.

22 Quranic Affirmation of Previous Scriptures The words of God can never be changed: (S.6:34) There is none that can alter the Words of God……, and (S.10:64) …No change can there be in the Words of God. This is indeed the supreme felicity. The words of God can never be changed: (S.6:34) There is none that can alter the Words of God……, and (S.10:64) …No change can there be in the Words of God. This is indeed the supreme felicity. The words Muhammad put forth as divine revelation actually were given to confirm and guard the previous Scripture: (S.5:51) To thee we sent the scriptures in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety… And (S.10:37) The Quran…is a confirmation of [revelations] that went before it…, and (S.46:12) …before this was the Book of Moses as a guide and mercy: and this Book [the Quran] confirms it in the Arabic tongue…. The words Muhammad put forth as divine revelation actually were given to confirm and guard the previous Scripture: (S.5:51) To thee we sent the scriptures in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety… And (S.10:37) The Quran…is a confirmation of [revelations] that went before it…, and (S.46:12) …before this was the Book of Moses as a guide and mercy: and this Book [the Quran] confirms it in the Arabic tongue….

23 Muslims were also enjoined to consult with Jews and Christians. (S.10:94) If thou wert in doubt as to what we have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book [the Bible] from before thee… Muslims were also enjoined to consult with Jews and Christians. (S.10:94) If thou wert in doubt as to what we have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book [the Bible] from before thee… Jews and Christians were even enjoined to take their stand on their own Scriptures: (S.5:71) Say: O people of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord… Jews and Christians were even enjoined to take their stand on their own Scriptures: (S.5:71) Say: O people of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord…

24 Finally, we read in a command form that Muhammad is supposed to believe in the books given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets. Finally, we read in a command form that Muhammad is supposed to believe in the books given to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets. (S.3:84) Say: We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in [the Books] given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord; we make no distinction (S.3:84) Say: We believe in God, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in [the Books] given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to God we bow our will… between one and another among them, and to God we bow our will…

25 Even though there are passages in the Quran that charge The People of the Book with concealing the truth (S.2:77; 2:216), and with writing The Book with their own hands (S.2:79), these do not undermine Muhammads repeated affirmation of the unchangeable canonized Scripture. Every religion has its deviants. The actions of these Jewish and Christian deviants do not nullify the truth from which they have departed. Therefore, this above-mentioned collection of Quranic injunctions adds up to a powerful affirmation of all the previous Scriptures. According to Muhammad, he believed in them and was sent to confirm them. Even though there are passages in the Quran that charge The People of the Book with concealing the truth (S.2:77; 2:216), and with writing The Book with their own hands (S.2:79), these do not undermine Muhammads repeated affirmation of the unchangeable canonized Scripture. Every religion has its deviants. The actions of these Jewish and Christian deviants do not nullify the truth from which they have departed. Therefore, this above-mentioned collection of Quranic injunctions adds up to a powerful affirmation of all the previous Scriptures. According to Muhammad, he believed in them and was sent to confirm them.

26 Muslim Charges Against the Scriptures Are Unfounded In spite of the abundant references in the Quran as to the validity and authenticity of the Scriptures as they existed in Muhammads day, the Christian worker will find that Muslims tend to dodge the issue by claiming that Christians somewhere down the line have altered the texts. This baseless charge is the only way they can explain to themselves the numerous contradictions between the Quran and the Bible. Initially, and maybe never, are they willing to face the possibility that Muhammad was wrong, and therefore, not a true prophet of God. In spite of the abundant references in the Quran as to the validity and authenticity of the Scriptures as they existed in Muhammads day, the Christian worker will find that Muslims tend to dodge the issue by claiming that Christians somewhere down the line have altered the texts. This baseless charge is the only way they can explain to themselves the numerous contradictions between the Quran and the Bible. Initially, and maybe never, are they willing to face the possibility that Muhammad was wrong, and therefore, not a true prophet of God.

27 Out of fairness to Muhammad, it should be pointed out that he had no access to the canonical books of Scripture. He gained most of his knowledge by hearsay, and that was based especially on extracanonical and apocryphal sources…and on heretical forms of Christianity and Judaism. Out of fairness to Muhammad, it should be pointed out that he had no access to the canonical books of Scripture. He gained most of his knowledge by hearsay, and that was based especially on extracanonical and apocryphal sources…and on heretical forms of Christianity and Judaism. Much patience is required on the part of the Christian worker in explaining to the Muslim that our Scriptures are divinely inspired, trustworthy and authentic translations of a large collection of early texts, all of which predate Muhammad, and copies of which are preserved in museums throughout the world today. Much patience is required on the part of the Christian worker in explaining to the Muslim that our Scriptures are divinely inspired, trustworthy and authentic translations of a large collection of early texts, all of which predate Muhammad, and copies of which are preserved in museums throughout the world today.

28 Refutations of False Muslim Charges There are several volumes that have done an excellent job of presenting the case for the authenticity of our present Scriptures with special regard to Muslim charges against them. Some of them are: There are several volumes that have done an excellent job of presenting the case for the authenticity of our present Scriptures with special regard to Muslim charges against them. Some of them are: - Share Your Faith With a Muslim – Akbar Abdul- - Share Your Faith With a Muslim – Akbar Abdul- Haq Haq - The Islam Debate – J. McDowell & J. Gilchrist - The Islam Debate – J. McDowell & J. Gilchrist - Christian Reply to Muslim Objections – W.S. - Christian Reply to Muslim Objections – W.S. Clair-Tisdall Clair-Tisdall

29 1. There are at least 30,000 documents that predate Muhammad from which the text of the present Bible has been established. 1. There are at least 30,000 documents that predate Muhammad from which the text of the present Bible has been established. 2. The text of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the O.T., many of which go back to the 1 st century before Christ, is essentially the same as that of the Hebrew text as we have it today. 2. The text of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the O.T., many of which go back to the 1 st century before Christ, is essentially the same as that of the Hebrew text as we have it today. 3. There is no evidence from any period of Christian history, after the canon had been established, that indicates the text of the Bible was any different from what we have today or what existed in Muhammads day. 3. There is no evidence from any period of Christian history, after the canon had been established, that indicates the text of the Bible was any different from what we have today or what existed in Muhammads day.

30 4. Many of these pre-Islamic texts of the Bible, in the original languages, are on display in various museums around the world and they are in basic agreement with the text of the Bible as we have it today. 5. Whatever discrepancies exist between the various texts can be attributed to errors in copying, and in no case have any of them altered a single doctrine of the Christian faith. 6. The differences in the many versions of the existing Bible simply reflect the principles of translation by which the various translators went about their work. In no case, have their preferences for different word choices affected a single doctrine of the Scriptures.

31 7. If Muslims persist in their allegations that Christians and Jews have corrupted the text of the Bible, both the Old and the New Testaments, then the burden of proof is on them to – a. Through reputable scholarship, show us who corrupted the original texts. a. Through reputable scholarship, show us who corrupted the original texts. b. Demonstrate historically, when the tampering occurred. b. Demonstrate historically, when the tampering occurred. c. Show exactly what the corruptions were as distinguished from the original. c. Show exactly what the corruptions were as distinguished from the original.

32 It might be well to remember that Satans original attack on Adam and Eve was to get them to doubt the Word of God. Jesus, in His encounter with Satan answered each temptation by quoting the Word of God. We must not be beguiled into not using the Scriptures, but rather follow Jesuss example. Remember how Jesus answered Satans attacks. Each time He said, It is written… and then quoted from the appropriate passage. It might be well to remember that Satans original attack on Adam and Eve was to get them to doubt the Word of God. Jesus, in His encounter with Satan answered each temptation by quoting the Word of God. We must not be beguiled into not using the Scriptures, but rather follow Jesuss example. Remember how Jesus answered Satans attacks. Each time He said, It is written… and then quoted from the appropriate passage.

33 The Trinity The Muslim concept of the Trinity is: God the Father, Mary the Mother, and Jesus the Son. The Muslim concept of the Trinity is: God the Father, Mary the Mother, and Jesus the Son. Back in the time of Muhammad in Arabia, the Nestorians and other Christian groups were arguing among themselves as to whether Mary was the mother of God (Jesus). Back in the time of Muhammad in Arabia, the Nestorians and other Christian groups were arguing among themselves as to whether Mary was the mother of God (Jesus). Muhammad hearing all of this came to the logical conclusion that this must consist of the Trinity, Father, Mother, Son, and he understood it to mean a physical relationship. Muhammad hearing all of this came to the logical conclusion that this must consist of the Trinity, Father, Mother, Son, and he understood it to mean a physical relationship.

34 Now we must explain to them clearly that this concept is heresy to us as well as to the, we do not believe that any more than they do. Now we must explain to them clearly that this concept is heresy to us as well as to the, we do not believe that any more than they do. There are a number of illustrations one can use to illustrate the Trinity…the simplest is the three joints of the forefinger. However, a better one is to ask, Do you have children Yes. Do you have parents? Yes. Do you have brothers and sisters? Yes. That means you are a father, a son, and a brother, doesnt it? But does it mean that you are three different people? There are a number of illustrations one can use to illustrate the Trinity…the simplest is the three joints of the forefinger. However, a better one is to ask, Do you have children Yes. Do you have parents? Yes. Do you have brothers and sisters? Yes. That means you are a father, a son, and a brother, doesnt it? But does it mean that you are three different people?

35 This is an example of a person having three different identities in various relationships while remaining one person. Obviously, this sort of discussion does not answer the difficulty we have in explaining the three-fold nature of God, but it is intended to make a Muslim think again about his fixation with mathematical unity. This is an example of a person having three different identities in various relationships while remaining one person. Obviously, this sort of discussion does not answer the difficulty we have in explaining the three-fold nature of God, but it is intended to make a Muslim think again about his fixation with mathematical unity. One of Islams aims at its inception was to eradicate polytheism prevalent among the tribes of the day, and establish a strongly monotheistic religion. Hence their opposition to anything they perceive as idolatry. One of Islams aims at its inception was to eradicate polytheism prevalent among the tribes of the day, and establish a strongly monotheistic religion. Hence their opposition to anything they perceive as idolatry.

36 Say to them, Someone has misinformed you. True Christians do not worship three gods. The worship of Mary and praying to her are thoroughly unbiblical. Say to them, Someone has misinformed you. True Christians do not worship three gods. The worship of Mary and praying to her are thoroughly unbiblical. This belief is blasphemy for me! Idolatry is an offense to the living God and to me. The Bible says, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deut. 6:4-5) This belief is blasphemy for me! Idolatry is an offense to the living God and to me. The Bible says, The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deut. 6:4-5)

37 Son of God This is an opportune place to emphasize that God is omnipotent and nothing is impossible to Him. The Bible does not teach that God can do anything except become incarnate, as the Muslims declare. Point out to them that if they believe he is omnipotent, he can do anything, even to becoming a human being. This is an opportune place to emphasize that God is omnipotent and nothing is impossible to Him. The Bible does not teach that God can do anything except become incarnate, as the Muslims declare. Point out to them that if they believe he is omnipotent, he can do anything, even to becoming a human being. We know that the kernel of the Gospel is found in John 3:16, but it is a nut that the Muslims cannot crack without the aid of the Holy Spirit. When you first begin to speak to them about Christ, never call Him the Son of God. Why? Because their concept of the sonship of Christ is purely in the physical sense. God has no wife, therefore how can He have a son? We know that the kernel of the Gospel is found in John 3:16, but it is a nut that the Muslims cannot crack without the aid of the Holy Spirit. When you first begin to speak to them about Christ, never call Him the Son of God. Why? Because their concept of the sonship of Christ is purely in the physical sense. God has no wife, therefore how can He have a son?

38 Use words such as: The Word of God, the Son of man, Isa ibn Maryam. He holds a very high place in their Quran and there are many references to Him in it. He is considered to be one of the great Prophets and is also called the Messiah. He was declared to be born of the virgin Mary and He lived a sinless life (S.19:19). He did many miracles during His life and He will return again and convert the world to Islam. Use words such as: The Word of God, the Son of man, Isa ibn Maryam. He holds a very high place in their Quran and there are many references to Him in it. He is considered to be one of the great Prophets and is also called the Messiah. He was declared to be born of the virgin Mary and He lived a sinless life (S.19:19). He did many miracles during His life and He will return again and convert the world to Islam.

39 As you begin talking to them about Christ they will ask you why you call Jesus the Son of God. You may answer, Who was His Father? They usually answer that it was the spirit of God. Then you can reply since the spirit of God comes from God – then in a figurative sense can we not call Him the Son of God? An apt illustration is that when they send their son to school he will be called, ibn almadrassa (son of the school). Did the school give birth to your son? Of course not, that is only a saying. (You can also use the phrase ibn as-sabil which mean son of the road.) As you begin talking to them about Christ they will ask you why you call Jesus the Son of God. You may answer, Who was His Father? They usually answer that it was the spirit of God. Then you can reply since the spirit of God comes from God – then in a figurative sense can we not call Him the Son of God? An apt illustration is that when they send their son to school he will be called, ibn almadrassa (son of the school). Did the school give birth to your son? Of course not, that is only a saying. (You can also use the phrase ibn as-sabil which mean son of the road.)

40 To understand their thinking on this we must understand a little of their background. The greatest sin to a Muslim is called shirk – which is equating anyone or anything as an equal with God. Their Quran reads: (S.112) Say, he is God, the one and only God, the eternal, absolute, he begatteth not nor is he begotten. It is essentially the same concept that the Jews had in Jesus day. (Jo. 5:17-18) Jesus said to them, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. To understand their thinking on this we must understand a little of their background. The greatest sin to a Muslim is called shirk – which is equating anyone or anything as an equal with God. Their Quran reads: (S.112) Say, he is God, the one and only God, the eternal, absolute, he begatteth not nor is he begotten. It is essentially the same concept that the Jews had in Jesus day. (Jo. 5:17-18) Jesus said to them, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working. For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him: not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him: not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.


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