Oftentimes, we focus our evangelism tools and training for reaching a Muslim with the assumption that they have been raised Muslim and have practiced Islam their whole life. This isn’t always true! In fact, our blog post, Reaching Americans who convert to Islam, discusses the main reasons that lead Americans to convert to Islam as adults.
The Muslim woman at the grocery store could have been an atheist or a traditional Christian until she met her spouse (a Muslim man) and converted to Islam. The Muslim college student you walked by on the street could have been raised as a Hindu, but converted to Islam when he came to the U.S. as a transfer student and got plugged into a Muslim community. Not every Muslim is Middle Eastern. Not every Muslim was born into and raised under Islam. Sometimes it is the stability of organized religion or the strong Muslim community that draws a non-Muslim into Islam. It is important for you to understand your friend’s background and what drew them into Islam to truly be able to meet them where they are.
Things to understand about a Muslim who wasn’t raised Muslim
When you want to minister to a Muslim and share the love of Christ with them, it is important to know why they turned to Islam if they were not born into a Muslim family. What was lacking in their prior belief system or lifestyle that Islam offered?
Some turn to Islam for structure, others for community. Most Muslim converts are not very knowlegeable about true Islam. They learn about the five pillars and try to practice them, but they rarely ask the challenging questions, which, if they did, would expose Islam's true message.
A key point is to find out what their core values are. Often, people search for a belief system that is consistent with their core values, and they are on a continuous journey to fill a hole in their life. Knowing what they are searching for will help you speak to them in a way that will resonate with them.
“...in whose case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4
Questions to ask
You can ask them questions for two reasons: to find out what they value and to provoke them to find out the truth about Islam.
- What made you convert to Islam after… (being an atheist/growing up Hindu/etc.)?
- What did your family raise you to believe in?
- How did you become a Muslim?
- What do you like about Islam?
- How has your life changed since becoming a Muslim?
- Does Islam promise you eternal salvation?
At the end of the day, your goal is to help your Muslim friend find the true God who loves them. Invest in them, and pray for the Lord to open up their heart to know Him. They might be more open-minded because of their diverse religious background, so don’t be afraid to invite them to come to church with you!
Dear Lord, please give me eyes to see my Muslim friend’s heart. Allow me to speak love into their heart according to what they value. Thank you for this friendship, and let it be glorifying to You. Amen.