The Arabic term Islam literally means “surrender” or “submission”. The followers of Islam, known as Muslims (from the active participle of Islam), accept or surrender to the will of Allah, the Arabic word for god. Allah is viewed as a unique god who is creator and restorer of the world. The will of God, to which man is to submit, is made known through the Qur’an (the Koran), which was revealed to his messenger Muhammad. Muhammad, it is claimed was the last of the great prophets which included Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and some others. The basic belief of Islam is expressed in the shahadah, the Muslim confession of faith, “There is no god but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God.”1
Islam was the vision of Muhammad on his fortieth birthday. He believed he was visited by the angel Gabriel who brought him a solemn message. He was told that the world had abandoned true religion and he was chosen by God, as a prophet to bring the final message to the world. Later, Muhammad claimed to be taken on a night journey into heaven. This fantastic journey supposedly took him first to Jerusalem and then to Paradise where he was introduced to “all the prophets of Islam” including Moses and Jesus.
It was through this journey that Muhammad received the detailed rituals of daily prayer and the core message of Islamic history and faith.2 Islam was founded as a complete repudiation of Christianity. It explicitly denies the trinity. It denies the Fatherheart of God, divinity of Christ and the person of the Holy Spirit. Islam claims that the Old Testament of the Bible became flawed when it was translated from the Greek.3 Islam is a worldview and a religion that intends to impose its system on the whole world including beliefs, diet, dress, work, home, politics and allegiances. These rules are still held in every country today designated as an Islamic republic. 4 Flaws of Islam
Islam is a flawed worldview/religion for many reasons. While Islam claims to worship the creator God of the universe as introduced in the book of Genesis, the Quran is filled with instructions and teachings that call for violence, extermination, war, murder, mass murder, destruction, terrorism, torture, brutality and more. This is incongruous with the teachings of the God of the Bible.
The God of the Bible sought to be connected with His creation. Islam’s ultimate goal is to conquer and force into submission all nations. This is contrary to the teachings of the Bible of a God who created His people with free will. Mohammad claims to be the last prophet but he behaved contrary to any other prophet of the God of the Bible. How could such a man who advocated destruction and inhumanity possible represent the justice loving God of the Bible?
There seems to be a number of contradictions between the teaching of the Quran and the life of its author, Muhammad. The Quran teaches that men shall have no more than 4 wives but Mohammad had 12 wives. The Bible says God created the earth in six days but the Quran says God created it in eight days. It is the common belief that Mohammad was sinless but the Quran contradicts this and Muhammad asks for forgiveness. The Quran says there are to be no divisions within Islam but there are several divisions.
The Quran says man was created out of blood, dust, nothing and other substances at various places. There is confusion in the Quran whether Mohammad, Moses, Abraham or Jacob was the first Muslim. The Quran takes both sides on whether or not to forgive those who worship false gods. The Quran is unclear on whether wine consumption is good or bad because it takes both sides. Since the Quran was translated directly from God to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel not a word can be false. If the Quran is false then Islam is false. The Quran says sperm is emitted through man’s abdomen (between the backbone and the ribs) but we know this is false.6 Sharing the Gospel with Muslims
Before taking on this task one must commit it to God. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1, NIV). A good apologist must understand what the unbeliever believes. It is also important to know the flaws of the unbeliever’s religion. In the case of Islam, there are many flaws. Presenting these flaws of Islam (Negative Apologetics or Polemics) is not necessarily the tactic I would use. The typical Muslim will be a critic, believing Christianity is wrong.
I would pursue positive apologetics and attempt to engage the Muslim in a dialogue of the similarities between Christianity and Islam. It is unlikely he knows much about Christianity or Islam. In this context sharing my faith with a Muslim is not much different than sharing it with my neighbor or a colleague at work. Just because we know that Islam is a staunch cult doesn’t mean it is invulnerable to the message of the Gospel.
I would start with a discussion of the Quran, asking my Muslim friend to explain where it came from and what he gets out of reading it. I would give him plenty of opportunity to talk to help him feel comfortable with the conversation and to learn how much he actually knows about the Quran. Hopefully, in some part of the discussion I would draw an analogy to the similarities and differences in the Bible. But this would be done in the spirit of love and respect.