We demonstrate God’s great love for Muslims by our manner of communicating, by our friendship and our shared love. 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 contacts with Muslims it is useful to be in agreement as much as possible with Muslims 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. Muslims can often feel rejected by Westerners. Affirming our common beliefs enables them listen to us with greater understanding and openness, and enables us to understand and appreciate them more.
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 important to tell the stories about the life of Jesus and other men and women mentioned in the Bible. Muslims often use stories in speaking about their own faith. Most Muslims have never had an opportunity to read the Scriptures (many have never fully read their own book, the Qur’an). Learn to use parables, stories and examples from daily life to share your message. In this way your Muslim friends will also retain your words better. It is important to understand their culture, their way of thinking and their historic and religious background. Learning some of their language could be very useful as well.
4. Build Friendships.
Do not be afraid to visit them in their homes and invite them to your own home. If you invite them for a meal buy your meat in a Muslim butcher shop or serve fish.
5. Don’t Argue.
You have little chance of convincing Muslims by reasoned argument. Western logic does not carry the same weight with Muslims and may not even be understood by them. Love your Muslims friends and avoid getting into discussions which push them to defend Islam.
6. Get a Qur’an.
You may read it, but do not necessarily use this as the unique basis of witness. Muslims need to meet the Jesus who is revealed in the Bible. If you read the Qur’an or visit a mosque, pray that God would show you His love for them, and give you understanding (Ephesians 6:10-18).
7. Respect their Culture and Values.
Show great care to respect their culture, values and feelings. Remember how you felt before you became a Jesus follower, and show them the love and understanding that you would also want from those of other faiths.
8. Avoid taking them to church.
Christian culture and Church programs are quite a shock to many Muslims (or any non-Christian) and can often lead misunderstanding. For this reason, it is often best to include a Muslim who is seeking Jesus in small groups, Bible studies or house churches, rather than taking them to a traditional church. Further, many Christians have not learned how to show respect to those of other faiths, so avoiding situations that can hurt the feelings of your Muslim friend is wise.
If your Muslim friend insists on coming to church with you, you should to explain to them what will happen and the meaning behind the songs, events and programs.
9. Allow God to work in their lives.
When speaking to Muslims they will probably raise objections that our faith in the Messiah is unacceptable for them. Believers need to know about these objections and not respond with arguments or defensiveness.
In fact, we often need to step back and allow God to reveal Jesus in His own way. If we trust that God is working in their lives, we need to know the limits we have, and allow God to do His part.
10. Beware of Sensitive Issues.
Avoid argument on minor issues or things that can hurt friendship. Eventually, you may speak of these things together, but allow your friendship and trust before you discuss hard issues. Here are a few issues to avoid:
1. Do not attack the person or teachings of Mohammed. You do not have to agree with one’s faith to show respect.
2. Do not criticise the Qur’an (Koran).
3. Avoid politically-sensitive subjects.
4. Do not try to convince them that Jesus is the Son of God. A Muslim will not understand or accept this affirmation. Later, when he has read the Bible or the gospels, you can give him the necessary explanations.
5. Do not enter into discussions about pork and wine. We, as Christians, are sent to proclaim Jesus. Not dietary restrictions.