Muslims welcome friendships with Christians

Contrary to what some people think, many Muslims living in the United States welcome friendships with Americans and want to discuss matters of faith and the Gospel, Christians who befriend them say.

...Muslims commonly feel that Americans misunderstand them because of world terrorism and are eager to clear up misconceptions, says Yusaf Abdallah, a Christian worker among the large Muslim population in southern Florida. As many as 40,000 Muslims live in the area.

...Some Muslims study the Bible and are drawn to Christianity, but persecution, misunderstanding, and even death threats can keep those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ from making public professions, Abdallah said.

...A church fellowship is being formed by a group of Muslims in Miami, said Abdallah, who became interested in working with Muslims during missionary service in the Middle East.

..."I have been around Muslims much of my life," Abdallah told Religion Today. "Many of my friends are Muslims. I know many wonderful Muslims in various parts of the world who have blessed my life. There is not a more faithful friend than a Muslim friend."

...Abdallah said he pursues friendships that lead to opportunities to share his faith. He often approaches Muslims, saying, "I can't help but notice, are you from the Middle East or the Far East?" God has a way of guiding him to people who will be responsive, he says.

...He recently published a book that he says will give Muslims a chance to learn about Jesus Christ, and help Christians reach out to them. Jesus Gives Peace; Jesus in the Qur'an and the Bible is available from Latin America Mission (see link #1 below), a Miami, Fla.-based ministry. Its 23 chapters present the whole story of Jesus Christ, who is mentioned in the Qur'an. A chapter titled "Mary Is Not Divine" corrects misconceptions Muslims may have about the Christian view of the mother of Jesus. The book is not intended to be a scholarly work, but a devotional "written for people who are seeking the truth," Abdallah said.

..."I took the sections of the Qur'an pertaining to Jesus and put them in order. I then went through each story and made comments and gave Bible references. Christians could use this book, going through it chapter by chapter with a Muslim friend. Muslims will be interested because you start with the Qur'an and then lead to the Bible."

...The book's epilogue contains a response form that includes a prayer to Jesus to reveal Himself. While Islam is primarily a set of teachings from the Qur'an, what Christianity offers is essentially not a doctrine but a person, Jesus Christ, who can give rest to the weary seeker, he said.

...While there is some movement toward Jesus Christ among Muslims in the United States, Abdallah said he is not aware of any mass movement toward conversion. Islam is growing fast, with mosques being built for large groups while smaller groups meet in homes.

...Yet some Muslims do respond to the Gospel, either through the witness of a Christian friend or when God answers a prayer through a dream about Jesus Christ, Abdallah said. "The most joyful thing for me is to pray with a Muslim friend in Jesus' name."

From: - October 27, 1999

Back to: The latest page