We are always excited to help you prepare for any questions that your Muslim friends will probably ask you. That's why we couldn’t leave it at just five! (P.S. if you missed our first post, we dove into the most common questions Muslims have about Jesus and the character of God). Now, we are going to cover some of the most common questions Muslims have about Christian practices and doctrine!
The hardest part when talking about Christian practices and doctrine is the heaviness of the topic. That's why we always try to curate these answers to be “bite-sized” and easy enough for you to remember and for your Muslim friend to digest. Remember that as you respond, it is important to reference biblical truths and also share what God has done in your own life!
Question: What does prayer mean to you? I don't see Christians praying. Why? As a Muslim I pray 5 times a day!
Answer: For me, prayer is a conversation I have with my Creator and Heavenly Father. I can come to Him anytime and anywhere for anything -- to ask Him to forgive me for a sin I committed, to praise Him and thank Him for His goodness, and to ask Him for wisdom or help in my daily life. He lovingly speaks back to me through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The Bible teaches me to pray without ceasing, meaning my heart and mind are always in fellowship with my Lord. I fail to do this many times but this is what I seek.
The Lord Jesus taught me in the Bible, in Matthew 6:6 that prayer is private, like a conversation between two friends. Christians also pray together. This is a way for us to have a deeper spiritual relationship with God and among each other, and to gain strength as we pray selflessly for each other and praise Him together.
2. Haram and Halal
Question: Do you Christians have the concept of Haram and Halal?
Haram- food, actions, thoughts that are forbidden under Islam
Halal- food, actions, thoughts that are permissible under Islam
Answer: Even though we don’t use the exact terms of halal and haram, these concepts are present throughout the entire Bible. For me, halal would be an act that honors God and others, while haram would be anything that I think or do or even say that does not reflect how the Lord Jesus Christ wants me to live my faith.
In the Old Testament, God gave specific commandments so that anyone who believed in the true God would obey and follow these commandments and be in good standing in front of Him. These commandments kept the believers, specifically the nation of Israel, pure while the world around them did as they pleased.
In the New Testament, Jesus simplifies the requirements of what “halal” would be to two things: loving God with all our being and loving our neighbor as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40).
I am only able to do these commandments by Jesus’ strength and the Holy Spirit who lives within me.
3. The Credibility of the Bible
Question: We Muslims are taught that the Bible is corrupted. How can you prove the Bible is still intact?
Answer: I believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Even the Quran upholds the consistency of the Bible in many places and even calls it a “guidance and light” to all humans (Sura 5:44-46, 46:12). There is no proof that the Bible has been corrupted; in fact, the major and most important scrolls that were found are over a thousand years old and were found to be almost identical to today’s Bible translations. In addition, I believe that God is all powerful! Therefore He is able to protect His original message to us without needing to send a new message to fix mistakes. And because I truly believe that He loves me, He would not want to confuse me with two or more books especially when they contradict each other.
If you are interested in a resource with a more in depth explanation for your Muslim friend, check out this PDF flyer.
4. Violence in the Bible
Question: Why do Christians criticize violence in the Quran while it is also common in the Bible?
Answer: It’s true that the Old Testament tells about many nations, prophets, and kings taking part in violent wars and as a true Christian I do not shy away from this fact. But, in the Bible, wars that were initiated by a direct command from God were never used to advance a religion, or for personal gain of the nation that waged the war. The truth is that God used war to punish nations who were very sinful after giving them many opportunities to repent. Just as God gives us the choice as individuals to choose life or death, He gave it to nations. Those who repented lived and prospered, like the city of Nineveh (in the book of Jonah) and those who insisted on evil, such as the Canaanite city of Jericho, who sacrificed their own children to their idol gods, were destroyed.
Ezekiel 18:21-23 tells us that God always offered grace and mercy first, and anyone who turns away from their sin would live.
5. The Trinity
Question: God is one, but you speak of a Trinity. Do you worship three gods?
Answer: Let me assure you that I worship the One true God who created me and all this world! In Mark 12:29, Jesus affirms that “the Lord is one.” The topic of the Trinity or the Triune God can be confusing, and with our human minds we will never fully understand it. However in Matthew 28:19 we read about God being the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit.
If they are open to it, you can go over this flyer with them talking about the Trinity.
Dear Jesus, Help me to focus less on trying to seem smart in the eyes of others, and focus more on speaking lovingly. Even if I fumble over my words, I want to be speaking Your Gospel. Please help my Muslim friend feel comfortable asking me these questions, and give me a humble spirit to answer them and point them back to you. In Your Name, Amen.