5 Quotes From “Praying For Muslims”

Sobhi Malek put together an extremely helpful guide for praying for Muslims. Each week has a prayer, but there are also several helpful insights which Sobhi shares. Here are a few of those insights.

“This warfare is not against people of any religion or affiliation. Christ, who died for all human beings, instructed us to love our neighbors. Rather, this war is against the evil powers which control people and hinder them from seeing the light of the Gospel of Christ (Ephesians 6:12). In other words, we are warring against satan who ‘has blinded the minds of unbelievers.’ His goal is to keep people from seeing ‘the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). When we pray and ask others to pray, this does not mean that we feel superior. We do not think we are better than Muslims or any other people.  Rather, we believe we are fallen human beings like all others, but we have been saved by God’s grace.”

“When Muslims say, ‘In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate,’ all Muslims and many Christians do not know that this is taken from the Bible. This phrase demonstrates the early influence of Judaism and Christianity on Muhammad. Here are some occurrences of this combination in the Bible: compassionate and gracious (Exodus 34:6, NIV); compassionate and merciful (Psalm 86:15, GW; 103:8, NLT; James 5:11, GW); merciful and tender (Luke 1:78, TEV).”

“There are many teachings in Islam that we, believers in Christ, can use as bridges to help Muslims draw near to and enter the Kingdom of God. The Qur’an states that God created Adam and Eve, that He sent the flood but rescued Noah, that He spoke to Abraham, that He gave the Torah (Pentateuch) to Moses, that He sent Jesus who was born of a virgin. All these narratives, common to both Muslims and Christians, can be used as bridges to bring Muslims closer to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This does not mean that all the details of these stories in Islam are in full agreement with the biblical accounts, but they can work as starting points. It is also rewarding to establish friendships with Muslims as you seek to share with them the Gospel of Christ. Friends trust each other, depend on each other and desire each other’s wellbeing. Building bridges of common narratives and friendship pays dividends.”

“The Qur’an, Islam’s holy book, is a collection of jumbled statements and stories in a random arrangement. Most of its stories are fractured and lack consistency. Subjects and themes are not connected. So fractured are narratives in the Qur’an that only one story has a clear beginning, middle, and end: the story of Joseph. All the other stories pick up in the middle, or else they are never carried to their conclusion. The Qur’an admits that satan sometimes intervened and gave Muhammad ‘inspiration.’ It also states that Muhammad forgot some parts of it. Several chapters start with meaningless three-letter words such as alr, alm, etc. Even great quranic interpreters cannot find a meaning for such words. In one place the Qur’an states that no changes occurred in its text, and in another it says changes to it indeed took place.”

“In the past few decades, millions of Muslims have migrated to the West. Some seek jobs, others pursue freedom and a better living, and still others hope to conquer the West by converting Westerners to Islam or by sheer reproduction and numerical growth! I personally take this migration to mean the Lord wants to help the Church win large numbers of Muslims to Christ by bringing them to her doorstep.”

Next week I will share a few of the prayers Sobhi leads us in each week. I would also recommend that you check out my review of Praying For Muslims.

11 Quotes From Important Islam Booklets

I recently read four very insightful booklets on how Christians can best prepare themselves to share their faith in Jesus with their Muslim neighbors. You can read my complete review of these booklets by clicking here. Below are just a few quotes that caught my attention.

“‘America’s mosques are loaded with people who grew up in church’ [says Carl Ellis]. Ellis says that many converts to Islam are African-American males who see traditional churches as male unfriendly and as failing to address their real needs.”

“God is bringing thousands of Muslim immigrants to our shores every year. These people are coming from Islamic nations where they could not be evangelized before. Yet here in America, they are free to listen and respond to the Gospel. In this ‘land of the free’ they do not have to fear horrible consequences if they believe the gospel and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.”

“Our hearts should be increasingly burdened not only by the enormous spiritual need of the 1.4 billion Muslims, but also by the apathy of the missionary movement towards them. …  Instead of being evangelized, Muslims are evangelizing. …

“It is reported that Muslims are counting on Europe, the birthplace of the Reformation and the modern missionary movement, to become completely Islamic within the next few decades. In England more than 300 closed churches have been converted into mosques. … Muslims are now a majority in 44 countries of the world.”

“When you are discussing the Bible with the Muslim, it is important that you read the Bible verses in context. The Muslim has developed an intricate system of ‘abrogation’ or substitution of one verse for another, due to the random way the Qur’an is written. He will have a tendency to try to find verses in the Bible that ‘contradict’ each other. Anyone witnessing to a Muslim must know the Scriptures thoroughly and be able to lead the Muslim to understand the meaning of passages in relation to the setting in which they are found.”

“The Muslim will be impressed with a Christian’s words only if he experiences genuine friendship from the Christian and sees him living a consistent moral life. A Christian’s lifestyle must match his testimony.”

“It is better to win the Muslim as a friend than to win an argument and lose his friendship.”

“Christians should be aware that Muslims are people who seek after God!”

“Here, surely, is a key to witnessing to Muslims, both in the United States and around the world: Love them as Jesus loves us. … You must give your SELF to your Muslim friend—not just the gospel!”

“A cardinal rule is: Never become involved in arguments—especially theological ones! Nominal and even irreligious Muslims often become fanatical advocates of their faith when pushed by argument. The truth is: We have argued and debated for hundreds of years without success. Let us now become witnesses—not debaters!”

“No religion on the face of the earth deals with forgiveness of sins except Christianity. … The concept of God as a loving Heavenly Father is completely foreign to a Muslim. … Show him from the Bible how God has provided a way whereby all sins can be forgiven, and every trace of guilt can be completely removed. This is a very powerful tool in witnessing.”

“One way the power of the Holy Spirit is demonstrated is through physical healing. If your Muslim friend or a member of his family is sick, offer to go and pray for him. He will deeply appreciate your concern, and when the person is healed, this demonstration of the Holy Spirit’s power will be convincing—often the key to his accepting Christ as Savior and Lord.” 

Some other helpful resources on this topic are two books from Nabeel Qureshi: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad. Also, check out Praying For Muslims.

Islam Booklets (book review)

Last week I reviewed a book calling Christians to pray for Muslims to come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer must be our first priority. But often times prayer will open the door for us to speak and act in love to share our faith with our Muslim friends.

I recently read a quarter of booklets that I would highly recommend to you—

  • The Shadow Of The Crescent 
  • What Christians Need To Know About Muslims
  • Sharing Your Faith With Muslims
  • Questions Muslims Ask

These booklets will help you understand the mindset of Muslims, learn more about the questions Muslims ask of Christians, some thoughtful ways to answer those questions, and the lifestyle that will be the most appealing for Muslims to open their hearts to Christians.

In one of the booklets, Ron Peck says, “It is our prayer that this knowledge [in these booklets] will encourage true believers in Jesus to reach out in love and share the life-changing gospel of Christ with Muslims God has brought to our shores. We also pray it will challenge Christ’s followers to take a stand against the missionary efforts of Islamic governments overseas as they endeavor to Islamize our nation.”

Given the fact that about 15 percent of all U.S. immigrants each year are followers of Islam, and that most statisticians agree that in the United States there are about 25,000 converts to Islam every year, now is the optimal time for Christians to be prepared to share their faith in Jesus with their Muslim neighbors.

The Qur’an And The Bible

Answering JihadIn his outstanding book Answering Jihad, Nabeel Qureshi gives us an understanding of the beliefs which support the Islamic faith. One thing that is key for Muslims is their reliance on multiple sources for definitive answers to their faith. Nabeel explains it this way…

“The Qur’an that was the first Arabic book ever put into writing, and the Arabic script of the seventh century remained too deficient to capture the richness and complexities of its text. … Muslim biographers begin to write about Muhammad’s life around 770 A.D.” 

“By the middle of the ninth century, there were more than 500,000 traditions of Muhammad’s life in written and oral circulation, and Muslim scholars decided to undertake the effort of sifting through them and distilling the most authentic accounts.” 

“Since there are thousands of verses in the Qur’an and hundreds of thousands of hadith, it is expected that only trained Muslim jurists can engage in determining what sharia teachers. The jurist must give primacy to the Qur’an, then consider the actions (sunnah) and sayings (hadith) of Muhammad, followed by reviewing the consensus of Islamic scholars, or ijma, before using his own reasoning (qiyas). By following these four steps, a Muslim jurist can make a decision, or fatwa, about what sharia teaches on a given matter. The ultimate goal is to apply the teachings of sharia to Muslim life, and that is called fiqh.” 

“As is probably clear by now, at no point was the average Muslim expected to read the Qur’an to decide upon correct Islamic practices by himself or herself. Not only is Islam not a faith that upholds the sufficiency of scripture alone, the complexity of its foundations virtually necessitates a reliance on jurists and scholars for proper practice.” 

I prefer to pattern my life after the Bible, a book which I am free to read on my own. It’s authenticity has been well-established, and it doesn’t require me to find an “expert” in the texts and traditions to explain to me how to live my life.

I would highly recommend you read two books by Nabeel Qureshi: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad. If you are curious about the claims of the Bible, you can check out God-Breathed and Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask. And if you want to dig any deeper, search this website for the quotes I have posted from all four of these books.

9 More Quotes From “Today’s Moment Of Truth”

Today's Moment Of TruthToday’s Moment Of Truth by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg is so chockfull of helpful truths that I couldn’t possibly have shared all of the passages I highlighted. Here are a few more quotes I wanted to share with you:

“Jesus said, ‘Do not believe Me unless I do the works of My father. But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father’ (John 10:37-38). And Jesus did the miraculous works He referred to. Even the Pharisee Nicodemus conceded, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with Him’ (John 3:2).

“We can see such confirmation repeatedly in the lives of Jesus and the biblical prophets. But it never happened in the life of Mohammad, the founder of Islam. Mohammad believed Jesus was a prophet who performed miracles, including raising the dead. Muslims also believe Moses and Elijah performed miracles.

“However, according to the Qur’an, when unbelievers challenged Mohammad to perform a miracle, he refused. He merely said they should read a chapter in the Qur’an (Surah 2:118; 3:181-184; 4:153; 6:8, nine, 37).

“So, unlike Jesus, Mohammad never did miracles. It wasn’t until approximately 150 to 200 years after Mohammad’s death that some of his followers begin to come up with stories of miracles and ascribe them to him.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg 

“There are two major competing worldviews to Christian theism—atheism and pantheism…. The problem with atheism is that, with its denial of God’s existence, there’s a loss of any ultimate moral basis by which to declare something good or evil. So atheists are left without any objective standard by which to judge something as being right or wrong. Instead, they’re left with mere preferences. I have mine. You have yours. Rape and murder may not be my cup of tea, but they maybe somebody else’s. And who are we to say that what others choose to do is wrong? [We are] not saying an atheist cannot live a moral life; we are saying that an atheist cannot define what morality is. ….

“If everything is part of god [as in pantheism], then what we call evil is actually part of that god as well. … This is the very god, or ultimate reality, that Eastern philosophy says we’re supposed to strive to become more like and eventually to become one with. This presents a tremendous problem: we’re supposed to join with the very entity that contains evil within itself!” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg

“Revering Christ as Lord and being prepared to defend our faith are ongoing processes in the Christian life. … It’s interesting that in the original Greek, the word Peter used for answer is apologia [1 Peter 3:15], from which we get our word apologetics. It literally means we are to be ready to give a speech of defense—a well-thought-out account of why our faith in Christ makes sense. … With God’s help we can present information that will remove intellectual barriers, helping people move one step closer to faith in Christ.” —Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg

“In 2 Chronicles 7, God says if Israel’s sin reaches a certain level, He’ll destroy the temple, exile the people, and leave them in a state of judgment. Sure enough, this comes to pass. The prophet Daniel prays in Daniel 9 that God would have mercy. God gives him a revelation about the temple being rebuilt. Before this new temple is destroyed, Daniel is told, several things are going to take place, including the bringing of everlasting atonement—the final dealing with sin.

“The prophet Haggai says the glory of the second temple will be greater than the glory of the first temple. God will fill the second temple with His glory. Then the prophet Malachi says the Lord will come to His temple. He uses a Hebrew term that always refers to God Himself: the Lord—He will come to that temple.

“Keep in mind the second temple was destroyed in AD 70. Atonement for sin had to be made and the divine visitation had to take place before the second temple was destroyed.

“So … if it’s not Yeshua, the Jewish name for Jesus, then throw out the Bible, because nobody except Him accomplished what needed to be done prior to AD 70. What divine visitation did take place if not for Yeshua? When else did God visit the second temple in a personal way? How else was the glory of the second temple greater than the first?

“Either the Messiah came two thousand years ago, or the prophets were wrong and we can discard the Bible. But they weren’t wrong. Yeshua is the Messiah—or nobody is.” —Michael Brown, a messianic Jew

“Even nonreligious people live in the trust that their nonreligious beliefs are accurate and that they won’t someday face a thoroughly religious Maker who actually did issue a list of guidelines and requirements that they failed to pay attention to.” —Mark Mittelberg 

“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” —William F. Albright

“The noted Roman historian Collin J. Hemer, in The Book Of Acts In The Setting Of Hellenistic History, shows how archaeology has confirmed not dozens, but hundreds and hundreds of details from the biblical account of the early church. Even small details have been corroborated, like which way the wind blows, how deep the water is a certain distance from the shore, what kind of disease a particular island had, the names of local officials, and so forth.

“Now, Acts was authored by the historian Luke. Hemer gives more than a dozen reasons why Acts had to have been written before AD 62, or about thirty years after Jesus’ crucifixion. Even earlier, Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke, which is substantially the same as the other biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.

“So here you have an impeccable historian, who has been proven right in hundreds of details and never proven wrong, and it’s written within one generation while eyewitnesses were still alive and could have disputed it if it were exaggerated or false.” —Norman Geisler 

“No Book of Mormon cities have ever been located, no Book of Mormon person, place, nation, or name has ever been found, no Book of Mormon artifacts, no Book of Mormon scriptures, no Book of Mormon inscriptions,…nothing which demonstrates the Book of Mormon is anything other than myth or invention has ever been found.” —John Ankernerg and John Weldon

“Jesus did exist, whether we like it or not.” —Bart Ehrman, an agnostic

If you would like to read the first set or quotes from this book, please click here.

You can check out my review of Today’s Moment Of Truth here.

And to read some of the other quotes I’ll be sharing from this book, be sure to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter.

10 Quotes On The Difference Between Christianity And Islam

Nabeel Qureshi wrote a couple of outstanding books to help those in the West better understand Islam (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and Answering Jihad).

Answering JihadIn Answering Jihad, Nabeel invests several chapters in looking at the differences between Christianity as displayed in the Bible and Islam as displayed in the Quran. Here are some of the more noteworthy quotes I pulled from this book. The references in parenthesis in these quotes are references to a chapter and verse in the Quran.

“Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5:72).”

“According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that God is a father (112:1-4).”

“Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5:73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God and Christianity. … The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three Persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of Islam specifically denies in the Quran.”

“The Trinity is an elaboration of Jewish theology, not a rejection. By contrast, Tawhid is a categorical rejection of the Trinity, Jesus’ deity, and the Fatherhood of God, doctrines that are grounded in the pages of the New Testament and firmly established centuries before the advent of Islam. The earliest Christians were all Jews, incorporating their encounter with Jesus into their Jewish theology. Nothing of the sort is true of Muhammad, who was neither a Jew nor a Christian. Islam did not elaborate on the Trinity but rejected and replaced it.”

“Christians worship the triune God: a Father Who loves unconditionally, a Son Who incarnates and Who is willing to die for us so that we may be forgiven, and an immanent Holy Spirit Who lives in us. This is not who the Muslim God is, and it is not what the Muslim God does. Truly, Tawhid is antithetical to the Trinity, fundamentally incompatible and only similar superficially and semantically. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.”

“The warfare the Quran commands is not due to any evil action, but rather due to the beliefs of non-Muslims, such as the Christian belief that Jesus is the Son of God (9:29, 30).”

“Warfare in the Old Testament is not about subjugating inferior peoples. Yahweh does not promise the Jews that they are the best of people and that their enemies are less than they are. He makes this quite clear in Deuteronomy 9:4-6. … The Quran, by contrast, envisions Muslims as the best people: ‘You are the best of all people, evolved for mankind’ (3:110). It teaches that Jews and Christians who do not convert to Islam are the worst of all creation: ‘Those who do not believe [in Islam] from among the Jews and Christians and the idolaters will go to hell. They are the worst of creatures’ (98:6; see 98:1-5 for context). This is why the Quran in 9:33 commands Muslims to fight Jews and Christians, so that Allah may cause Islam ‘to prevail over all religions.’”

“Muhammad’s life moved from peaceful to violent in a crescendo, reflecting the trajectory of the Quran, and he died just after conquering the Arabian Peninsula. His words in the canonical collections were, ‘I have been ordered by Allah to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. … [O]nly then will they save their lives and property from me’ (Sahih Bukhara 1.2.25). Muslims are commanded to follow Muhammad’s example, and his example was jihad.

“By contrast, the stories in the Old Testament do not enjoin Jews or Christians to fight today. Though commands to fight are recorded in the text, no Jew or Christian is commanded to memorialize these battles as ongoing conduct. They were a part of the history of Israel, certainly, not a mandate or continuing command going forward.”

“Violence has a very different place in Islam and Christianity’s theological frameworks. The final marching order of Islam is jihad. The final marching orders of Christians are grace and love.”

But I especially love this thought from Nabeel: “One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God.” Amen!

Other quotes from Answering Jihad are here and here.

Additional quotes from Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus are here.

10 More Quotes From “Answering Jihad”

Answering JihadNabeel Qureshi has given us a very timely book in Answering Jihad. He cuts through the confusion and misinformation to give us an informed, clear look at the teachings of Islam in regard to jihad.

I already shared one set of quotes from this book (which you can read here). Here is the next set of quotes I found eye-opening.

“At the risk of over-generalizing, this common understanding of Islam boils down to this: True obedience to Allah will result in Muslim dominance.”

“I have heard many people, frustrated by the increasing frequency and scale of Islamist terrorism, suggest that Islam needs a reformation. What they may not realize is that radical Islam is the Islamic reformation. This might sound shocking, but consider: Just as the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to raze centuries of Catholic tradition and return to the canonical texts, so radical Islam is an attempt to raze centuries of traditions of various schools of Islamic thought and return to the canonical texts of the Quran and Muhammad’s life.”

“Violent expressions of Islam adhere more consistently and more literally to the foundational texts of the Islamic faith, the Quran and the hadith. Peaceful versions of Islam must reinvent traditions from Muhammad’s life in order to be internally consistent, or they must ignore them outright.”

“Instead of fearing Muslim immigrants, we should embrace them and be the element of change we wish to see. … I suggest friendship rather than fear has a better way forward.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5:72).”

“According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that God is a father (112:1-4).”

“Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5:73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God and Christianity. … The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three Persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of Islam specifically denies in the Quran.”

“One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God.”

“In the Christian worldview, the exemplar for followers of God is no mere man but God Himself. Since God cares for those who are His enemies, even blessing them with rain, Christians ought to love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them, so that they can follow God’s example. This contrasts with the teaching of the Quran, where Allah tells Muslims, ‘O you who believe! Do not take my enemies or your enemies as allies, offering them your friendship when they do not believe’ (60:1). Of course, that is not to condemn the Quran, as it is counterintuitive to love one’s enemy. The Christian command may make little earthly sense, but it is the explicit teaching of Jesus.” 

“Even though Muslims are often raised with the teaching that ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ when they study the texts for themselves, they are faced with the reality that Muhammad in the Quran calls for jihad. They will stand at the crossroads for only so long before they choose what path they will take—apostasy, apathy, or radicalization. As Muslims make that choice, it would benefit the whole world if they did not make it alone, or worse, with radical recruiters. We need to show compassion for Muslims and befriend them.”

Be sure to check out my review of Answering Jihad, and then pick up a copy for yourself.

11 Quotes From “Answering Jihad”

Answering JihadAnswering Jihad by Nabeel Qureshi is an excellent resource to get clarity on all of the terms floating around about Islam, Muslims, and the use of jihad. You can read my full book review by clicking here.

Below are the first set of quotes from this book that I’d like to share with you. Unless otherwise noted, all the quotes are from Nabeel Qureshi.

“There is a great deal of violence in Islam, even in the very foundations of the faith, and it is not all defensive. Quite to the contrary, if the traditions about the prophet of Islam are in any way reliable, then Islam glorifies violent jihad arguably more than any other action a Muslim can take.”

“As Islam is practiced in a way that calls Muslims to return to its foundations, violence will follow.”

“Islam is not Muslims, and Muslims are not Islam. Though Muslims are adherents of Islam, and Islam is the worldview of Muslims, the two are not the same, as many uncritically believe. … Islam is not Muslims, and one can criticize Islam while affirming and loving Muslims.” 

“Islam was first called ‘the religion of peace’ as late as 1930, and the title of a book published In India. … The phrase was slow to take off, but by the 1970s it was appearing more and more frequently in the writings of Muslims for western audiences.” —Mark Durie, a research scholar of linguistics and Islam at Melbourne School of Theology, in an article for the Independent Journal

“The Quran never says, ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ nor do the traditions of Muhammad.”

“To contend that the word Islam signifies peace in the absence of violence is incorrect. Islam signifies a peace after violence, or under the threat of it. According to Islamic tradition, that is how Muhammad himself used the word. His warning to neighboring tribes is famous: Aslim taslam, ‘If you surrender, you will have peace.’ It was a play on words, as aslim also connotes becoming Muslim: ‘If you convert, you will have safety through surrender.’”

“The vast majority of Muslims inherit their understanding of Islam and have not investigated the foundations of Islam for themselves. If they were raised in the West and taught that Islam is the religion of peace, as I was, then their first foray into the foundations might be somewhat of a shock, and they will probably soon find themselves either in a defensive position or grappling with significant cognitive dissonance.”

“Since there are thousands of verses in the Quran and hundreds of thousands of hadith, it is expected that only trained Muslim jurists can engage in determining what sharia teachers. The jurist must give primacy to the Quran, then consider the actions (sunnah) and sayings (hadith) of Muhammad, followed by reviewing the consensus of Islamic scholars, or ijma, before using his own reasoning (qiyas). By following these four steps, a Muslim jurist can make a decision, or fatwa, about what sharia teaches on a given matter. The ultimate goal is to apply the teachings of sharia to Muslim life, and that is called fiqh.”

“As is probably clear by now, at no point was the average Muslim expected to read the Quran to decide upon correct Islamic practices by himself or herself. Not only is Islam not a faith that upholds the sufficiency of scripture alone, the complexity of its foundations virtually necessitates a reliance on jurists and scholars for proper practice.”

“Islam was not in fact ‘spread by the sword’—conversion was not forced on the occupants of conquered territories—but the conquests created the necessary preconditions for the spread of Islam. With only a few exceptions… Islam has become the majority faith only in territories that were conquered by force. Thus, the conquests and the doctrine that motivated these conquests—jihad—were crucial to the development of Islam.” —David Cook

“I ask your pardon, but I really do feel that the Christian teaching of loving one’s enemies, even in the face of death, might perhaps be the most powerful answer to jihad at our disposal today. Not only does it allow us to counter jihad, it also enables us to treat Muslims with the utmost dignity: as image bearers of God.” 

Stay tuned for more quotes from Answering Jihad

Answering Jihad (book review)

Answering JihadMilitant Islam … Jihad … Religion of peace … ISIS … Islamic terrorism. These phrases dominate the news stories and the water-cooler conversations, but do we really know what they mean? Nabeel Qureshi does. He was born to devout Muslim parents, trained in the Quran, and ready to follow in his parents’ footsteps. But along the way, Nabeel became a Christian. Knowing both the Muslim and Christian angles of these topics, Dr. Qureshi can capably help us Westerners in Answering Jihad.

(By the way, if you haven’t read Nabeel’s account of how he became a Christian, you really should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.)

Answering Jihad is presented to us in the form of answers to 18 of the most-asked questions about how jihad is really perceived in the Muslim community. As he did in his biography, Nabeel presents this information in a way Western minds can grasp. He introduces key points of history that surround Muhammed, explains Islamic terms, and quotes relevant passages from the Quran and other Muslim scholars. I think you will find, as I did, so much more clarity than the sound bytes thrown around on news sources and on social media.

Nabeel concludes his book by telling us that there is a better way forward than the “either-or” extremes that are usually proposed. He explains it this way—

“If we avoid the truth about jihad, we leave the door open for innocent people to be killed in attacks like Paris and San Bernardino. If we lack compassion, we close the door to innocent people who need refuge from places like Syria and Somalia. … Even though Muslims are often raised with the teaching that ‘Islam is the religion of peace,’ when they study the texts for themselves, they are faced with the reality that Mohammed and the Quran call for jihad. They will stand at the crossroads for only so long before they choose what path they will take—apostasy, apathy, or radicalization. As Muslims make that choice, it would benefit the whole world if they did not make it alone, or worse, with radical recruiters. We need to show compassion for Muslims and befriend them.”

Well said! And with the information in Answering Jihad, you can be ready to befriend your Muslim neighbors on their journey.

I am a Zondervan book reviewer.

13 Quotes From “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

Seeking Allah Finding JesusIf you want to know about Islam from an insider’s perspective, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi is simply a phenomenal book! Check out my book review by clicking here. Below are just a few of the quotes I found quite educational.

“There is much division in Islam. The best determination of whether a man is Muslim is if he exclusively declares that Allah is God and Mohammad is Allah’s messenger. Beyond this point, there is great diversity in Islam.”

“There is no book of sharia. We must derive the law from a hierarchy of sources using a process of jurisprudence called fiqh. The first and greatest source is the Quran. Nothing can supersede the Quran because it is the word of Allah. But the Koran is not comprehensive. As Muslims, there is much we must do and believe that is not found in the Quran. For this, we go to the second source, hadith. The hadith elaborate and clarify what is found in the Quran, but they never contradict. There is no contradiction in Islam. If a hadith is found in any way to contradict the Quran, then it is inauthentic and must be disregarded. If no hadith can be found to clarify an issue, then we must turn to the third source of sharia: the ulema, Muslim scholars who are wise and experienced in Islam.”

“Muftis from different schools of thought have different precedents and therefore provide different fatwas. Each denomination differs on what hadith they consider accurate. Since the hadith are the second rung of sharia, these differences of opinion have real consequences. Many of the differences between the ways Sunnis and Shias practice Islam are over this very matter. Their books of hadith are disparate. This difference, combined with the Shia position regarding the authority of imams, results in a significantly different view of sharia. … Most Muslims do not know these things. They know Islam to the extent that they practice it, and these are matters for the learned.”

“Christians believe Jesus is God incarnate, and this is a necessary belief for orthodox Christianity. Muslims believe that Jesus is no more than a prophet, and to consider Him God incarnate would be blasphemy and would cause one to be condemned to hell eternally, according to the Quran.”

“Regarding Jesus, there are two issues on which Muslims particularly disagree with Christians: that Jesus died on the Cross and that Jesus claimed to be God. The Quran specifically denies both of these beliefs.” 

“Sahih Bukhari…is the most trustworthy book of hadith, compiled by Imam Bukhari. The hadith were not collected into the books until a long time after Mohammad’s death. Many false hadith had been fabricated, and it was difficult to determine which ones were accurate. Imam Bukhari sifted through five hundred thousand hadith and pick out the five thousand most accurate.”

“The earliest historical records show that Mohammad launched offensive military campaigns and used violence at times to accomplish his purposes. He used the term jihad in both spiritual and physical contexts, but the physical jihad is the one Mohammad strongly emphasizes. The peaceful practice of Islam hinges on later, often Western, interpretations of Mohammad’s teachings, whereas the more violent variations of Islam are deeply rooted in orthodoxy and history.”

“The Bible and the Quran were nothing alike. Not in the slightest. … Mohammad dictated the contents of the Quran to his scribes over a period of twenty-three years. Only after his death was the Quran collected into a book. Verses that had been dictated years or decades apart are frequently found side-by-side in the Quran, often with no obvious connection. The result is that Muslims placed relatively little weight on surrounding passages when trying to interpret sections of the Quran.”

“Almost everything Muslims know about Mohammad comes to them orally, rarely from primary sources. Unlike Christians learning about Jesus from the Bible, the Quran has very little to say about Mohammad.”

“Mohammad’s first biography, Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq, comes down to our date only through the transmission of a later biographer, Ibn Hisham. In his introduction, Ibn Hisham explains that he altered the story of Mohammad’s life. ‘Things which it is disgraceful to discuss, matters which would distressed certain people, and such reports as [my teacher] (sic) told me he could not accept as trustworthy—all these things I have omitted.’”

“According to the hadith, Mohammad named four men as the best teachers of the Quran. The first one was Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, whome Mohammad distinguished as the foremost expert of the Quran. The last one was Ubay ibn Ka’b, whom Sahih Bukhari identifies as the best reciter of the Quran. These were the men that Mohammad hand selected as the best teachers of the Quran, but as I studied the early sources, I found that they did not agree with the final Quran, which has been passed down as today’s version. They did not even agree with each other. … Ubay is known to have had 116 chapters in his Quran, two more than Zaid’s edition. Ibn Mas’ud had only 111 chapters in his Quran, insisting that the additional chapters in Zaid’s Quran and Ubay’s Quran were just prayers, not Quranic recitation.”

“In Islam, there is only one unforgivable sin, shirk, the belief that someone other than Allah is God. Shirk is specifically discussed in the context of Jesus in 5:72. He who believes Jesus is God, ‘Allah has forbidden Heaven for him, and his abode will be the Hellfire.’”

“All suffering is worth it to follow Jesus. He is amazing.”

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