When talking to Muslims about Jesus, here are 4 things to keep in mind:
1. Muslims are people. Sounds obvious, but is it? Because of the frequent reports we see on TV about Muslim extremists, it is easy for some to “dehumanize” Muslims, forgetting that they are people too. Muslims, like everyone else in the world, have personal needs. They need a friend, sympathy, help, advice, comfort, and in many cases, the physical necessities of life. The whole atmosphere of your relationship with a Muslim can be changed by ministering to them at their point of need, just as Christ did with people in His day.
2. Don’t fall for stereotypes or purport them. Muslims are not all alike. Just because someone says they are Muslim does not mean they fit into a certain profile or mold. There are many divisions and sects of Islam, including:
- Sunnis – Follow the Quran and Hadith (written traditions about Muhammad)
- Shias—Follow the Quran and the present day Ayatollahs.
- Sufis – Mystics who desire direct contact with God.
- Folk Muslims – A broad category which includes people who practice local forms of animistic religions under an Islamic cover.
- Nominal Muslims – They are Muslim in name but not in devout practice. They may have adopted the Muslim label because their parents were Muslim or just to fit in.
You would not want someone to label you a particular way when they find out you are Christian (think about military Crusades from the past or some forms of “Christianity” you see on TV). Treat others the way you would want to be treated, with respect and a desire to get to know them rather than label them.
3. Make Christ is the issue. When sharing our faith, it is important to remember that we are sharing Jesus Christ, not a political philosophy, lifestyle, cultural mandate, or anything else above Him. Much good and bad has come from both Christian and Islamic cultures throughout the centuries. We are not comparing the two, we are pointing to Christ alone who transcends both.
4. Don’t base your relationship with them on whether or not they trust Christ. Do you like for someone to pursue a friendship with you, then abandon you if you don’t agree with something they believe or don’t comply with their wishes? We are not called to be salespeople. We are called to engage and love people, while at the same time pointing them to Christ.
Further Resource for Study:
Healing the Broken Family of Abraham: New Life for Muslims. Don McCurry.