Most Muslims are very open to talking about faith. You don’t have to be an Islamic expert to start a conversation and share your own experiences, says Bethie Peltola.
Many Christians feel like they don’t know where to start when talking to Muslim friends about their faith. You may feel like you don’t know enough about Islam to engage in a conversation, but you don’t need to be an expert to start a discussion.
Muslims are usually quite open to talking about faith and many don’t hesitate to question Christian beliefs. Likewise, following in the footsteps of Jesus, asking questions of others can be a great way of starting a great conversation.
I’d like to suggest ten easy questions that require little or no knowledge of Islam, but which can really help engage Muslims to take the claims of Christianity seriously.
For more questions, some of which go deeper and challenge specific Islamic beliefs, our new book Questions to Ask Your Muslim Friends is available online now.
1. How did you become a Muslim?
The vast majority of Muslims do not have a conversion story. They just accepted the religion of their culture or family. This question will hopefully open up the opportunity for you to share your story of becoming a Christian.
2. What made you decide Islam is true?
How did they reach the conclusion that Islam is true? This question puts the emphasis on truth and may enable you to share some of the truth claims of Christianity.
3. What does it mean to you to be a Muslim?
This question will help you understand how seriously your friend takes their Muslim faith and what they think it means to be a Muslim. You can then explain what it means to be a Christian, and what your faith means to you.
4. What do you think Christians believe?
A lot of Muslims have misconceptions about Christianity. For example, thinking that Christians worship three gods. You should take the opportunity to challenge any misconceptions they may have, then share the wonderful good news!
5. What difference does prayer make in your life?
Christian prayer is about relationship with the living God. This contrasts with how most Muslims see prayer. Muslims often believe that Christians do not pray very much, so take the opportunity to share any stories about how prayer has changed you or specific answers to prayer that you have experienced.
6. Do you know God’s forgiveness?
Muslims are generally not confident of their salvation. Even Mohammad was unsure whether he would be forgiven (Q 46:9). There is no clear concept of salvation in Islam. By contrast, Christians can be assured of their salvation and forgiveness (see 1 John 5:13).
7. Have you read any of the New Testament?
The Koran refers to the New Testament as “guidance and light” (Q 5:46). Suggest that your friend should read it. They may claim that the New Testament has been corrupted, in which case you should as for evidence of this claim. When and how was it corrupted?
8. What does Allah think of me?
This question helps you to understand how serious your Muslim friend is about Islam. Do they think you will be condemned? What hope can they offer you? Does Allah love me? This leads to helpful conversations about the love of our heavenly Father.
9. Is Mohammed alive today?
You can visit Mohammad’s tomb in Medina. But Jesus is alive! You should present the claims of the resurrection to your Muslim friend. Be aware that the Koran specifically denies that Jesus died on the cross (Q 4:157). This was written around 600 years after the event and contradicts all the historical evidence.
10. How can I pray for you today?
Most Muslims will not turn down an offer of prayer. Be prepared to pray then and there, and always pray in the name of Jesus, and to your heavenly Father. You may be surprised at what God will do!