When we think of the overwhelming population of Muslims in the world, many images come to mind. But we want to take a moment to focus on this—Muslims are broken, hurting people. With this in mind, we can remember that showing compassion to the broken is a character trait of our Lord Jesus, which we should desire to exemplify.
When a Follower of Jesus is asked what comes to his mind about Muslims and Islam, usually there is a common response due to a common stereotype—they have dark or olive skin, wear head coverings and are typically Arabs. However, only about 15% of Muslims worldwide are Arabs, leaving 85% of other nationalities. Many times all Muslims are stigmatized as being radical, which is not the case either. Most people do not realize that Muslims go through the same trials and hardships that we do. In many cases, for those in the Middle East, life is close to unbearable.
It can be said that followers of Islam are missing something in their relationship with their god—relationship. Because of his character and nature, Allah does not know or understand the concept of relationship. But the essence of the character of the God of the Bible is love, which is expressed in relationship between Him and His followers.
It can be said that the Trinity is a stumbling block to most Muslims, but why is this? A reason could be one of the most important doctrines in Islam—the tawhid, which means the oneness of God. To a Muslim, Followers of Christ are polytheistic—believe in or worship more than one god—because they see them believing and worshipping three Gods, the Father, Son, and incorrectly, Mary, the mother of Jesus. As Christ Followers, it is necessary for us to reach out and show Muslims the love of the Father as a part of the Trinity. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the nature of God can be explained through the Trinity, which helps develop the relationship that Muslims long for, which Allah cannot and does not provide.
Since a part of this blog’s goal is to equip our readers to pray with understanding, we call it The Discipleship Blog. GCM is all about Discipleship, and we hope we can inspire and equip you to pray for our disciple makers in restricted Islamic nations, as well as add value to your life as a disciple of Christ. To help equip you in understanding the Muslim world and partner with us in prayer, we have a special three-part series this month titled ‘Understanding Islam and How to Pray for the Muslim World.’
Many Muslims around the world, both Sunni and Shia, will celebrate Ashura on the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which starts at sunset on Monday, September 9. For Shias, Ashura is a major religious commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of Muhammad, and for Sunnis it is a day of fasting.