How to start a spiritual conversation with your Muslim friend
“I want to share my faith with my Muslim friend, but I don’t know where to start.”
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Talking about your relationship with Jesus can be uncomfortable at the start, and then when you add the fact that Islam and Christianity are so opposed to each other, it can feel almost impossible. That’s why we’re giving you some simple conversation starters and tips (not a script!) to help.
5 Simple Conversation Starters:
What does your relationship with Allah look like?
This is an easy way to learn more about what your friend’s personal experiences and beliefs are. Christians do not have the same knowledge about the Bible's teachings or the same experience with God. The same applies to Muslims! They have different views and experiences about Allah. After you hear you Muslim friend's answer, you now have the opportunity to share your own story with God and the intimate personal relationship you have with Him through Jesus Christ.
I think it’s interesting to see you pray every day. What does prayer mean to you?
Muslims perform their five daily prayers by reciting pieces of the Quran in Arabic; however, not all Muslims speak Arabic. Still, they must complete the 5 daily prayers to please Allah. Getting your friend’s perspective on this will give you a lot of insight into whether they think this is a good or a bad thing. And you can explain that prayer according to the Bible is a two way conversation between you and God.
What is your favorite verse or story in the Quran?
Do you have a favorite story in the Bible that you love to talk about? Don’t you love it when people ask you about what you like?
Give your Muslim friend the same opportunities to share what they like! It will probably reveal a lot about what they value or think is important concerning religion. Try to connect what you hear with a Bible story and share it wholeheartedly with your Muslim friend.
What do I have to do to go to heaven according to Islam?
Even if you’ve done your research about what is required for salvation in Islam, your Muslim friend may not believe the same things as every other Muslim. You’ll probably be surprised by how they would explain salvation, and you might get the chance to share the Bible's teaching through your own salvation experience – that we can’t ever earn salvation. Instead Jesus earned it for us through redemption when He died in our place.
Would you consider yourself more of a cultural Muslim or a religious Muslim?
Islam is a multifaceted religion, and for some Muslims, they adhere to more of the cultural traditions and customs instead of the religious beliefs and worldviews. Finding out where your Muslim friend is spiritually will open doors to deeper conversations and create a clearer understanding of what they wrestle with in their faith!
Best tips while having a conversation about faith:
Pray before you speak.
When your Muslim friend asks you a question, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:20, “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Commit the conversation to God’s glory, not your own.
This is your friend!
Relax. Have some fun. This isn’t an apologetics conference, it’s a conversation with someone you value deeply. It’s not about having “correct” answers, it’s about giving honest answers. So don't be afraid to say you don't have the answer, but promise to search and get back to them.
3. Ask questions.
Have you ever had a conversation where all the other person talks about is themselves? Did you feel ignored or like you didn’t matter to them? Don’t do this when you’re talking about your relationship with Jesus! By all means, if they ask you a question, answer it. But when you ask more questions than them and listen intently, it communicates that you want to truly hear what they have to say.
4. Listen more and talk less.
James 1:19 says, “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger…”
Don’t take over a conversation even when you are sharing about your faith. Don't pour out all what you know and all the details of
your story in one sitting. This will overwhelm your Muslim friend. Value the time you have with them and listen to their heart.