Here is a sample of pointed questions and statements we are likely to be confronted with during the initial stages of our talks with Muslims. Try to get to understand what your friend has in mind when asking these questions. Otherwise, our answer might be misunderstood.
- Do you believe in Muhammad and the Qur’an?
- Why don’t you become a Muslim?
- Why do you believe in three gods?
- How can Jesus be the Son of God?
- Jesus was not really crucified.
- The Bible has been altered, corrupted.
- I believe in Jesus as a prophet of God, why can’t you believe in Muhammad as the final prophet?
A Christian response
1. Belief in Muhammad and the Qur’an:
I appreciate that you believe in Muhammad as your prophet and in the Qur’an as your sacred book, but I believe in Jesus as my Saviour and the Bible as the word of God.
2. Why don’t you become a Muslim?
I understand that the Arabic word simply means submission. I have already surrendered myself to God. “God opposes the proud but gives grace unto the humble. Submit yourself therefore to God” (James 4:6,7).
3. Why do you believe in three gods?
Muslims accuse Christians of believing that ‘Allah is the third of three’ (Qur’an Sura 5:73) and that God will ask Jesus on the day of judgment: “Didst thou say unto mankind: ‘take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah’ ”? (Sura 5:116).
We do not believe in three Gods. Show him from Deuteronomy that God is one. Turn to the New Testament and show him verses that teach the unity of God, for example, read with him Mark 12:28-34, pointing out from it that we are required to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. Declare ‘I believe in one God’ and share with your Muslim friend 1 Corinthians 8:6.
4. How can Jesus be the Son of God?
Islam was formed within a society that believed that Allah had many sons and daughters. This was rejected by Muhammad. He thought that Christians also had similar beliefs. We should read to our friend Rom. 1:1-5 and explain to him why we believe Jesus is the Son of God, taking care to show him that the phrase “Son of God” does not mean that God and Mary had a son physically. Show him Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth and the introduction to the Gospel of John. Point out to him that the Qur’an addresses Jesus as the word and the spirit from God.
5. The Crucifixion?
Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection is denied by Muslims. However, they acknowledge that he did ascend into heaven and will come again. Show from Old Testament prophesies that the crucifixion and resurrection were part of God’s plan and are not a human fabrication. Advise him of the Dead Sea Scrolls which verify that those prophesies were in existence before the time of Christ's birth and therefore could not have been forged by Christians.
6. The Integrity of the Bible?
We should ask him “Was the Bible corrupted before or after the time of Muhammad?” If he says “after”, then, point out to him that there is ample manuscript evidence that the Bible of Muhammad’s time was materially the same as it is now. If he says ‘before’, then he has the problem of explaining passages in the Qur’an that vindicate the Bible (e.g., “No changes can there be in the word of God” (Sura 6:115; 10:64).
The Qur’an itself cannot sustain the types of criticism Muslims bring against the Bible. However, it is better not to use this information unless it is evident that our contact has a mental block on this subject, which needs removing before progress can be made. Then get back to positive evidence on the authenticity of the Bible and the facts of the gospel.
7. Why JESUS ONLY?
Muslims love to talk about the prophets, e.g. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon. They believe that God sent more than a hundred thousand prophets to lead mankind into the straight path. We should show him how various prophets foretold the coming of Jesus.
A Muslim, deep down in his heart, knows that he needs to be saved. He wishes for assurance for the life to come. He knows that he has three great enemies: Satan; the world and his fleshly desires (I John 2:16). It is up to us to tell him that in the light of the Bible Jesus is the only name given under heaven through whom we can be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Muslims believe that all of the prophets were totally innocent even though the Qur’an says that several prophets asked God for forgiveness. (Sura 26:82; 28:16-17; 21:87; 47:19). Please be careful, because Muslims are very sensitive about this issue. A friendly approach is necessary. The significance is that the Qur’an never has Jesus asking Allah to forgive him. Show him Jesus’ challenge, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46).
Muslims believe that God has 100 names, one for each of his attributes. Two of these attributes are, "Al-baten" - the hidden and "Az-zaher” - the revealed, manifested. Compare with him this with what John relates (John 1:1,14,18). No one has seen (al-batin) the Father but the son revealed him (az-zaher). Muslims in their prayers ask God to lead them in the straight path. 600 years before Muhammad Jesus already answered such a plea by claiming: 'I am the Way' (John 14:6).