The point is not to provide so-called talking points for theological rebuttal, but rather to give more insight into questions you will often encounter with Muslims who are eager to talk about God, Jesus and the holy books.
1. Do you believe the Qur’an is God’s inspired Book?
Do not take this question lightly; this is extremely important to a Muslim. Muslims want to know what we think of their holy book – but it might surprise you to find that many Muslims have never read the Qur’an.
Always encourage your Muslim friends to read the Qur’an. Examine the veracity of the Qur’an, by that I mean read it for yourself. At the very least you will have read a book highly regarded by a fifth of the earth’s population (the same logic you will use, among many other, to ask your Muslim friend to read the Bible).
Realize that the Qur’an would never have been written unless God allowed it to be written. Remember that the concept of holiness is different to a Muslim, and this perspective is at least deserving of respect.
2. Do you believe Muhammad is a true prophet of God?
You might want to indicate that it’s very important to verify every self-claimed prophet, whether they’re in your church or in a mosque.
Recognize that Muhammad wanted his people to return to the one true God, and demonstrate your respect for that tradition.
3. Has the Bible been changed?
Many are taught that God revealed Himself to the Israelites and later to the Christians and yet the “people of the book” changed and distorted the teachings of God, such that the Bible can be misleading.
Bring all of the relevant material back to Jesus and keep the discussion there, because Jesus reveals truth.
If you feel it is the right time in your relationship to begin pushing the boundaries, you can point out what the Qur’an itself says about the Bible —
- Taureh was given to Moses by God
- We [God] gave Moses the Book and followed up with a succession of Messengers – Q 2:87
- We did indeed aforetime give the book to Moses: so be not then in doubt of its reaching (thee): and We made it a guide to the Children of Israel – Q 32:23
- The Zabur was given to David by God
- …And to David we gave the Psalms – Q 4:163
- The Injeel was given to Jesus the Messiah by God
- We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary and bestowed on him the Gospel – Q 57:27
- Numerous times the Qur’an says of itself that it is a confirmation of the book (the Bible) including —
- And this is a Book [the Qur’an] which we have sent down, bringing blessings and confirming (the revelations) which came before it [the Bible] – Q 6:92
4. How can God have a son?
To the Muslim, the idea of Jesus being transferred to earth as a “word from God” or a “spirit from heaven” is normal – that’s what the Qur’an teaches. The cornerstone difficulty we face is that Muslims do not believe Jesus is the Son of God.
In Islam it is a serious transgression to make any person equivalent with God, and the concept of the Trinity (many Muslims think it is God, Mary and Jesus) is sacrilegious.
Sometimes you will need to say, “Jesus is who He said He was.”
It often works to explain that the Bible does not teach that God was a man who had a baby boy named Jesus.
5. Was Jesus crucified?
Muslims think it is against God’s nature, or even His capability, to allow such a prophet to be killed by human hands. At the same time, Muslims believe that Jesus ascended to God, and that at the end of time He will come to earth again.
In our discussions, let’s talk about Jesus. Let’s discuss His life, His teachings, His ways. A complete study of the life of Jesus will bring the student to understand His death and resurrection in the right time and in the right way.
The first step in talking about the matters of faith is one of immense self-control and a deep desire to present Jesus to your Muslim friend – drop the arguments and forget the fight.
Take the questions you receive seriously. God is impeachable in His greatness. This gives you tremendous opportunity.
Ask questions yourself. Engage your friend with questions that give you both something to think about.