Today we will take a brief look at who Allah is as well as the importance of showing genuine interest.
“Who is Allah?”
-The Arabic word Allah comes from the root Al-Ilah meaning “the god.”
-Mohammad’s intent was not necessarily to start a “new” religion, but to use Islam as a call for people to return and submit to Allah or his perception of the one true God.
NOTE: It is vital that we look at Allah both in context and in the literal meaning of the title.
ALLAH IN CONTEXT: Before Islam, Allah was a name used for the moon god worshipped in the Kaaba. This god was among the many deities that the pantheistic Arabs worshipped.
LITERAL MEANING: It is important to note that the word Allah is literally the Arabic word for God. Christians in the Arab word use Allah when praying and it is also used in Arabic Bibles. Some Arab churches also use the word Rab which means Lord to create distinction. However, it is important to understand this concept and to keep ourselves from becoming intimidated by the term.
POINTS FOR CHRISTIANS:
Medearis gives us a really great point on showing interest.
1. Show genuine interest in your Muslim friend’s faith. This is not as a means of deception, but rather because you are genuinely interested in them and what they think about God. Keep the conversation on common ground. You will find that many Muslims are actually do not know very much about their religion, therefore, a theological debate will only lead to frustration. Be the one to ask questions about them and their faith and you will find that the curiosity will be reciprocated.
2. Be genuine and patient. Be sure that above all else you love them as a person. This love will allow you to exhibit patience if more difficult conversations arise or if it seems like they are not receptive. We are not here to “secure converts” as Medearis puts it and that is definitely not the idea we want to convey. We are here to love people and share the source of that love: Jesus Christ.