Should we tell our Muslim neighbors and co-workers that Allah (the Arabic term for “God”) doesn’t grade on a curve? That entrance into Paradise doesn’t depend on good works totaling 51% or better? (surah 7:8–9; 21:47; 23:102–103)
Should we tell our Muslim neighbors and co-workers that the Quran is not God’s final and only truly inspired revelation to man? That their “holy book” contains blatant contradictions unbefitting of inspiration? To provide just a few consider that surah 2:29 (“surah” is the Arabic term for “chapter”) teaches that Allah created first the earth and then heaven but surah 79:27–30 suggests the exact opposite. Further, was man created from dust (surah 3:59), earth (surah 11:61), nothing (surah 19:67), clay (surah 15:26), water (surah 21:30) or a clot (surah 96:1–2)? It’s possible one of these is correct but not all of them. Mutually exclusive truth claims cannot all be true.
Should we tell our Muslim neighbors and co-workers that there’s no good reason to ruthlessly murder? (Unfortunately many Americans believe Islam to be solely a religion of peace so I’m forced to list the following verses from the Quran. For the record, I acknowledge that the great majority of Muslims do not advocate “lesser” jihad or holy war.)
surah 4:101 — “For the Unbelievers are open enemies to you.”
surah 2:191 — “Kill the disbelievers wherever we find them.”
surah 4:89 — “Seize them and kill them wherever you find them.”
surah 8:65 — “O Prophet! Urge the believers to war.”
surah 66:9 — “Prophet, make war on the infidels.”
surah 47:4 — “When you meet the infidel in the battle field, strike off their heads.”
surah 48:29 — “Mohammed is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the infidels.”
surah 2:216 — “Fighting is prescribed for you.”
surah 9:5 — “Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them.”
surah 9:123 — “Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”
surah 9:29 — “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day.”
surah 2:190 — “Fight in the cause of Allah.”
surah 9:14 — “Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame.”
surah 2:193 — “Fight them until . . . the religion is Allah’s.”
How should we approach our Muslim neighbors and co-workers? The truth is there’s only one right approach and that’s prayerfully. Any other approach is liable to further harden Muslims for whom Christ died. That’s why humility and prayerfulness are so important. In witnessing to Muslims we must move forward on our knees. With this foundation laid let me now propose the following question-asking approach in witnessing to Muslims. Your goal is to simply cause your Muslim friend to question Muhammad’s authority and teaching. In so doing he or she just might become more open to hearing about your Savior Jesus.
Simply ask your Muslim neighbor or co-worker or anyone sympathetic to Islamic teaching, “In your opinion, ‘Is Muhammad an excellent example to follow?’” Why ask this question? Because Muhammad identified himself as such in surah 33:21: “You have an excellent example in the Messenger of Allah; for anyone who seeks Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah frequently.” Since Islam stands or falls on the credibility of this “excellent example” it’s worth putting Muhammad’s words to the test.
Is Muhammad an excellent example to follow?
After you receive a “Yes” answer then consider one of the following questions.
1. Are you aware that Muhammad commanded Muslims to kill non-Muslims? Do you believe that command should be obeyed? (If “yes” run; if “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
2. Are you aware that Muhammad promoted lying? Do you believe lying is good practice? (If “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes," Muhammad bin Maslama said, "Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab)." The Prophet said, "You may say it."
(Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Volume 5, Book 59, Number 369)
* The Hadith is the record of the words and deeds of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
3. Are you aware that Muhammad said women’s minds were deficient? Do you agree? (If “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
“Muhammad asked some women, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The woman said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind.’”
4. Are you aware that Muhammad allowed men to marry up to four wives? Do you think that’s good practice? (If “yes” skip to next question. If “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
“Marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four.”
Are you aware that Muhammad married 11 women (and took 2 concubines)? Do you think he was being an “excellent example” when he broke his own command? (Muhammad later “received” a revelation from Allah allowing only him to take more wives but this seems all too convenient.)
5. Are you aware that Muhammad allowed men to beat their wives? Do you approve of this? (If “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
“As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them.”
6. Are you aware that Muhammad (then 54) married a six-year-old (Aishah) and consummated the marriage when she was nine? Do you find that morally permissible? (If “no” follow with…) It doesn’t appear Muhammad is an “excellent example,” does it?
“The Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 65)
Some may wonder how a professed prophet of God could command killing, promote lying, degrade women, marry 11 wives including a 6 year old, break his own “divine” marriage law, and encourage husbands to beat their wives if need be. Let me suggest to you a possible reason for his “unexceptional” example.
When Muhammad was 40 years old he had the following experience in a cave near his hometown. This was the beginning of his call as a “prophet” of Allah.
The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah's Apostle was in the form of good righteous (true) dreams in his sleep. He never had a dream but that it came true like bright day light. He used to go in seclusion (the cave of) Hira where he used to worship (Allah Alone) continuously for many (days) nights. He used to take with him the journey food for that (stay) and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again for another period to stay, till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him in it and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, "I do not know how to read." (The Prophet added), "The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and again asked me to read, and I replied, "I do not know how to read," whereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it anymore. He then released me and asked me again to read, but again I replied, "I do not know how to read (or, what shall I read?)." Thereupon he caught me for the third time and pressed me and then released me and said, "Read: In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists). Has created man from a clot. Read and Your Lord is Most Generous...up to...that which he knew not." (96.15)
Then Allah's Apostle returned with the Inspiration, his neck muscles twitching with terror till he entered upon Khadija and said, "Cover me! Cover me!" They covered him till his fear was over and then he said, "O Khadija, what is wrong with me?" Then he told her everything that had happened and said, “I fear that something may happen to me." Khadija said, “Never! But have the glad tidings, for by Allah, Allah will never disgrace you as you keep good relations with your kith and kin, speak the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guest generously and assist the deserving, calamity-afflicted ones" (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.111).
What’s interesting in Muhammad’s call to be a “prophet” of Allah is that his life is narrowly spared. Three times this “angel” nearly kills him! What kind of “angel” is this? Is the one true and living God going to send His angel to choke His beloved prophet? Some have their doubts, and I am among them, that this was no “angel” of the one true and living God.
Muhammad himself even appeared to believe that he had encountered a demon after this so-called call to be a “prophet.” He actually returned “twitching with terror” and feared something would happen to him. His wife and later his wife’s cousin at least temporarily convinced him otherwise but the “angel” had likely already made its entrance. It seems all too clear now how this professed prophet of God could command killing, promote lying, degrade women, marry 11 wives including a 6 year old, break his own “divine” marriage law, and encourage husbands to beat their wives if need be.
In response to the above questions you’ll inevitably be reminded of the Crusades and atrocities committed by professing Christians of the past and present. It’s truly sad to think of such deplorable acts. If we’re honest we must admit that many professing faith in Christ have ruthlessly murdered the innocent. These atrocities cannot be denied. What must be pointed out, however, is that Muslims who murder are following the example and teaching of their so-called prophet. In addition to leading caravan raids and military engagements, Muhammad gave the clear command to “Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them” (surah 9:5). The following is an important distinction. Whereas Muslims who murder are following the example and teaching of their leader, Muhammad, Christians who murder are clearly not following the example and teaching of their leader, Jesus. The question, however, is not so much “Who’s followers are doing what?” but rather “Which leader is the more excellent example?” Is the leader who shed the blood of others more excellent than He who shed His own blood for the sins of the world?
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”
Jesus, John 15:13
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus, John 13:35
“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.”
Jesus, Luke 6:27–31
*Muslims believe Jesus didn’t die on a cross (surah 4:157-158). The evidence, however, leans heavily in defense of His actual death on a cross. First, the Old Testament predicts it (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53). Second, Jesus predicts it (Matthew 12:38-40; 17:22–23; 20:17–19; Mark 10:42–45; John 2:18–22; etc.) Third, Gospel writers report it (Matthew 27:32–56; Mark 15:21–41; Luke 23:26–49; John 19:1–42). Fourth, many witness it (an unnamed disciple, probably John – John 19:26–27 / Mary His mother, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene – John 19:25 / two robbers – Matthew 27:38 / chief priests, scribes and elders – Matthew 27:41–43 / Roman soldiers – Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47; John 19:31–34 / Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus – John 19:38–42). Fifth, extra-biblical writers confirm it (Josephus AD 37–100 / Tacitus AD 56–117 / Jewish Talmud). Are we to believe a man of questionable character living around 600 years after the time of Christ over Old Testament Prophets, direct claims from the Son of God, Spirit inspired authorship, and secular writings much closer to the time of Christ? I’ll let you be the judge.
“Answering Islam” by Norman L. Geisler & Abdul Saleeb
“Unveiling Islam” by Ergun Mehmet Caner & Emir Fethi Caner
“Questions for Muslims” by Matt Slick