Tanya Walker on the Background and Mindset of Islam

Kent Shaffer —  October 16, 2012

At the Global:Church Forum, Tanya Walker of Ravi Zacharies International Ministries discussed the background and mindset of Islam.

Muslims make up every 1 in 4 people, and statistics show we can see an exponential increase to their adherents. Suddenly this centuries old religion has come to the forefront.

The staggering migration patterns of the last century have caused 46 million Muslims to move to the West. Simultaneously, we are seeing fear of Islam growing.

Because of this, we’ve moved away from a naive unawareness of Islam. But while our awareness has increased, we haven’t seen our compassion for Muslims increase. Christians must start reaching Muslims.

Beliefs of Islam

Christianity is a religion of complex beliefs and simple practices. Islam is a religion of simple beliefs and complex practices. There are five pillars of Islam.

  1. Shahada: This is the creed of Islam, and they believe that if you say it out loud, it makes you a Muslim. They have an emphasis on words and a mystic belief that saying their creed is all you need.
  2. Shallat: daily prayers
  3. Zakat: the giving of alms
  4. Sawm: fasting during Ramadan
  5. Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one’s lifetime.

While Islam and Christianity can use similar words like fasting and prayer, we cannot confuse the two religions. They are different.

The doctrine of god (Allah) is most important. God (Allah) is thought of in the absolute strictest form of monotheism. They believe that god (Allah) is utterly one without sections. Thus, the Christian Trinity is repulsive because they think God can’t have multiple forms. When a Muslim talks about the trinity they mean god (Allah) entering a sexual relationship with Mary to make Jesus.

Muslims do not believe that god can reveal himself. They believe that Allah is not bound by anything – character, promises, or anything. Consequently, they believe that Allah can change and not be bound by the scales of justice. It leaves Muslims to a state of fear.

Relationship with god (Allah) is a misnomer to them. Heaven is a place where they get pleasures.

Islam claims that the Christian have been corrupted. They believe that the classical Arabic Qur’an to be the real scripture. However, many variations occurred of the Qur’an, and Islamic leaders consolidated them for standardization and burned the early versions by the third generation of leaders after Mohammed.

The Muslim view of humanity is that humans are good by nature. They believe that humans are the pinnacle of creation but are not made in the image of god (Allah). Thus, they feel that they must earn their salvation, which is almost impossible even according to Muslim tradition. The way that Muslims consider sin is not as a fundamental problem but one of getting off the wrong path.

The Qur’an says that nobody including Mohammed can be assured of salvation unless they die as a martyr. The Qur’an says that no one can atone for another on judgment day. It completely refutes what Christ did for humanity through His death and resurrection.

Evangelism by Muslims is rooted in fear and a desire to earn as many good deeds as possible.

Muslims are the biggest unreached people group by Christianity. Yet more Muslims have come to Christ in the last several decades than in the last 14 centuries combined. This is the prominent move of God in our generation.

Don’t forget the persecuted Church. Reality is people are giving their lives for Christ right now. Partner with the persecuted Church at least through prayer.

 

Kent Shaffer

Posts Twitter Facebook

I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.