Odds are you have a lot of questions about Islam. You weren’t raised in an Islamic household or culture, so of course, you’re not going to understand everything your Muslim friends say or do!
In the same way you have lots of questions about Islam, your Muslim friends have a lot of questions about your Christian faith. It’s important that your friendship is open and safe so that you both feel comfortable asking such questions. Work on building that trust so that you can both be genuine, respectful, and honest with each other, as well as curious to learn from each other.
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,
always being ready to make a defense
to everyone who asks you
to give an account for the hope that is in you,
yet with gentleness and reverence.”
1 Peter 3:15 NASB
To have a close relationship with your Muslim friend it is key for you to be authentic and unapologetic about your faith. This encourages your Muslim friends to feel safe and ask questions. 1 Peter 3:15 reminds us how to respond and be ready with truthful answers that are gentle and respectful.
As a first step, and to help you, we’ve compiled 5 of the most common questions Muslims will ask you as well as examples of how to answer them.
Remember, this is not an opportunity to debate with your Muslim friend! Instead of searching to prove that, “I’m right, and you’re wrong,” give answers that point them back to the Bible and the love of Christ.
A majority of this post was drawn from our publication, The Guide to Loving Your Muslim Neighbor by Samya Johnson.
5 Questions your Muslim friends might ask you (with answers!):
1. As a Muslim, I believe in Prophet Isa 'Jesus' and in your Holy Book. Why don't you believe in the Quran and Muhammad?
The Jesus that I believe in is different from the Jesus or 'Prophet Isa' portrayed in the Quran. It is great that you believe just like me that Jesus was born of a virgin, that He was pure and had never sinned and He performed countless miracles. But there is so much more I would like to tell you! Jesus is not a mere prophet. He is God who chose to come in the body of a baby boy and when He grew up He became the Great sacrifice and died in my place so that I could have a relationship with God. Don't you think this is good news for my eternal life and yours?
You can read about this in the Holy Bible, the Book that is God’s message to humanity. This Word of God is complete in itself. It has changed my life and always points me back to Jesus as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Would you like to start reading this Book?
2. Christians and Muslims believe in the same God, right?
I know that you worship the Creator, who made the heavens and earth and who created you and me. But the characteristics you know about God through the Quran may be different, even contradictory to what the Bible teaches about God.
For example, the Bible teaches me that God is love, and He loves everyone, not only those who do good. He is the Heavenly Father who reaches out through His mercy and grace to make me His child. I find peace knowing that God is my Heavenly Father and that He loves me not based on my behavior but based on His nature as love. Would you like us to study and compare together between God in the Bible and Allah in the Quran?
3. Do you claim that God died? How can this be?
God cannot die since He is an eternal, spiritual being and death is a physical process. However, Jesus, the Word of God, took on a human body so that He could become the sacrifice for my sin and yours and die in my place.
When Jesus was crucified, His human body physically died and stopped functioning, but His spirit did not die. On the third day, Jesus' physical body rose from the dead. When Jesus comes back, if my body has died, He will raise it and I will live forever in His presence. Would you like us to read together the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection?
4. How can God have a son?
“Son” is the best term we have to understand the relationship between God the Father and Jesus Christ. Jesus as the Son of God does not mean that God procreated or created Jesus. Jesus existed from the beginning of time before He was born into a human body, even before the world was created (John 1). The Bible tells us He is the Son of God so that we can understand the deep relationship between Him and the Father and of Him being sent to save us.
5. Doesn't it make more sense for Jesus to be a prophet? Why do you say He is God?
I believe that Jesus is God for a number of reasons. When he was on earth, He was able to control nature, heal the sick, and even raise the dead to life. He also had the authority to forgive people’s sins (Luke 5), which is a right that only God has. He even predicted His own death and resurrection, including the foreknowledge that He would rise from the dead 3 days later.
These are all attributes and abilities that belong to God. I believe that Jesus took on a human form to show us how deep His love is for us, so deep that He would undergo the most painful and tortuous death a person could go through just to have a relationship with me.
Ask your friend if they would be interested in reading about His life. Start from the Gospel of Luke.
These 5 questions give you a better understanding of what your Muslim friend might be thinking, and how to answer them in a way that points them back to Christ. Pray that God will lead your conversations with your Muslim friends, and that He can give you the right words to say. We gave you a good baseline as a guide, but ultimately, ask the Lord to give you the words that will shine the light of Christ.
Lord, I pray that you give me the right words to answer any questions that my Muslim friend may have about my relationship with you. Help me point them to you. Thank you for giving us a curious nature, so that we can search for you and find the Truth, the Way and the Life. Amen.