Day 10: Understanding Islam, part 2
By Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
There are many routes up mountains such as Kilimanjaro. But, Matthew 7:13 tells us, “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way.” (Photo by Gary Fallesen, Mission: Kilimanjaro 2008)
My Muslim friend sat on a boulder looking up at the peak of the mountain we were climbing. He pointed to the distant trails ascending toward the summit and noted how they all ended at the same place.
His point: many paths lead to heaven.
Some Muslims, particularly in Majority World cultures, believe that Allah and the God of the Bible are the same. In fact, “Allah” is the Arabic name for God — used by both Muslims and Christians. Same name, same deity? In a word: No!
Don’t be deceived by this worldly lie.
Even Muslims in Malaysia recognized this when they banned Christians from calling God “Allah.” Authorities in that Muslim country ruled that allowing other religions to use the Arabic word for God led to confusion and caused Muslims to convert, which is against the law.
The God of the Bible is a Triune God. Three in One. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one
” (1 John 5:7
Muslims believe there is one God. He does not have a son (that would be blasphemous). He does not have a “spirit.” The Qur’an states: “Say, ‘He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him’” (Surah 112:1-4).
The belief that Allah is god alone is the first of six basic beliefs. Muslims also believe in:
- Angels. It was the angel Gabriel who they believe revealed the Qur’an to Muhammad.
- Prophets. There are 124,000, but 25 main prophets. Those include Moses, David, Jesus (called “Isa”), and Muhammad, who was the last and greatest. The central Islamic creed (or Shahada) declares, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.”
- Holy Books. There are four: the Tawrat (or Torah, which was revealed to Moses), Zabur (Psalms, revealed to David), Injil (Gospel, given to Jesus), and the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the final word among these books.
- Divine decree. “If Allah wills it” is the inshallah, a common Muslim expression.
- Final judgment when, the Qur’an states, “those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy, they will be successful. But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in hell they will abide” (Surah 23:102-103).
Even Muhammad wondered about his eternal fate before he died in 632. “By Allah, though I am the Apostle of Allah, yet I do not know what Allah will do to me,” he said in Hadith 5.266.
Imagine the fear and uncertainty of following such a god. “Allah,” the Qur’an states in Surah 5:40, “punishes whom he pleases and forgives whom he pleases.”
If Allah is having a bad day he may send you to hell, regardless of the balance on your earthly scale of good deeds. There is no promise of paradise.
Even a thief being punished on a cross outside ancient Jerusalem found affirmation in his life after death from the One being crucified next to him. “Jesus,” the criminal said, “remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
“Jesus answered him, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’”
Muslims do not think Jesus was crucified, died and rose again. Some believe in:
- The “swoon theory” — Christ was unconscious, possibly in a coma, and removed from the cross. He later revived and traveled to another region, where he died a natural death.
- Allah would not allow his prophet to die and took him to heaven before death.
- The “substitution theory” — Judas was killed, not Jesus.
Substitution is the reality, of course. But not as Muslims see it. We know that Jesus died in our place, for our sins. He took on death and defeated it for us.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit
” (1 Peter 3:18
Sharing Scripture to correct the deception engulfing Muslims is the greatest tool we have. But be prepared: Muslims have been taught that the Bible has been changed and corrupted.
Remember, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness
” (2 Timothy 3:16
, ESV). Because the Word came from God and is Living, it can do what we might think impossible. Even changing hearts and minds.
We have heard stories of those who found Bibles and read them (often in secret) coming to Christ after experiencing the revelation of God’s Word. “This Word is good,” Pastor David Platt says near the conclusion of his “Secret Church 2016” teaching on Islam (CLICK HERE
to watch the 49-minute instruction). “Let it do the work. Give them Scripture!”
Pray that those following Islam, which means “submission,” would submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Pray that the Truth would penetrate their souls. May the veil of darkness surrounding Muslims be lifted by the light of Isa Masih, and He be recognized as The Messiah — their Savior.