Friday, December 3, 2010

What are the Five Pillars of Islam? #2

A few blog posts back, I briefly listed and explained the five pillars of Islam.  Click here to read it.

The pillars are:

1. The Islamic Creed - recited in faith.
2. Prayer (Salat) - five times a day, facing Mecca, prayers are limited to recited Arabic words.
3. Charity - give a percentage of income to the poor.
4. Fasting during Ramadan - fast for the month of Ramadan during daylight hours, at night, chow down!
5. Hajj - pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in a lifetime if a Muslim has the means to go.

So... how can a Christian present the Christian faith to a Muslim using these five pillars? 

First, ask questions, even if you already know the answers.  Show that you want to learn from them.  Ask,  "What are the five pillars to you?" 

For the Creed, which for them is "There is no God but Allah, and Muhhammad is his messenger," you can share that Christianity also has creeds.  The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.  You could also share that you too believe in only one God.  They'll likely argue that... and say that you believe in three gods.  But you can then share the Christian faith to them more. 

For the daily prayers, you can ask questions about what are the prayers you say?  Why do you have to say them in Arabic?  You can can share that Christians pray too, and that God hears our prayers at all times, not just at certain moments, because he is all powerful and knows all things and wants to listen to what his children have to say. 

Charity - you can share that it's good that they give to the poor.  You can share that Christians give too. 

Fasting - you can share that Christians fast too, but that it's optional for us, and that we can do it anytime we want, and that the purpose for the fasting for us is lead us to pray and to remind us to pray. 

Hajj - you can share that to Christians this entire life is a pilgrimage!  This is not our home.  Our home is in heaven with God and we are just strangers passing through this world to our eternal home with God. 

They may even ask you more questions about these similarities.  If you have a Bible you can share the verses from the Bible with them.  Many Muslims have not read the Bible, yet they believe that the prophets of the Bible, and even Jesus, were prophets for Muhammad, so their words should be authoritative. 

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