Muslims welcome friendships with
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
...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
..."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
...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."
- October 27, 1999
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