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An Introduction to Islam: Five Basics

An Introduction to Islam: Five Basics

Did you know that only 15 percent of Muslims worldwide have the opportunity to learn about Christ in their own languages and in culturally relevant ways? Whether they live on the other side of the globe or across the street, these least-reached people can’t know and worship Christ unless someone shares His good news with them.

Below are five must-know facts about Islam and its followers. (This is just a taste of the information and practical tips you’ll find in our booklet on Islam!)

Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion.

With 1.9 billion followers, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world, and it’s growing faster than any other faith. Approximately one in four people worldwide is a Muslim. The majority haven’t heard the gospel, and many don’t even know a Christian.

Islam is worldwide.

Although Islam began in the Middle East, today it’s not just an Arab religion. Only one in five Muslims is an Arab. In fact, far more Muslims live in South and Southeast Asia than in the Middle East, in countries including Indonesia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And, Muslims are a growing part of the population in nearly every region of the world.

“Islam” means “submission.”

For the Muslim, peace is found in total submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. This submission is demonstrated in the Muslim posture of prayer, in which the knees, head and hands touch the ground.

Muslims show submission to God through the Five Pillars of Islam.

Islam is built on five tenets or “pillars” to which Muslims must adhere if they want any hope of being granted salvation. These five practices include professing the creed that “there is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah,” praying five times daily, giving alms to the poor, fasting one month a year and making a pilgrimage to Mecca (considered the birthplace of Islam) at least once in a lifetime.

Islam teaches that Muhammad is the final and greatest prophet.

Muslims believe that God sent numerous prophets. Jesus is considered one of these prophets, though He’s thought to be a mere man. Muhammad is heralded as the final prophet, and his teachings supersede those of all other prophets. Muslims believe that Muhammad received many revelations from God. After his death, these were compiled into what is known as the Quran, the holy book of Islam.

You can learn more in our booklet “Islam: An Introduction and Guide to Sharing Christ with Muslims.” This resource provides practical tips for sharing Jesus with a Muslim friend and offers an overview of Muslim beliefs and practices. It will equip you to pray for Muslims around the world and for Christar workers who seek to establish churches in Islamic communities, as well as help you reach out to Muslims in your neighborhood.

Participate by Praying:

  • Ask God to reveal Himself to the nearly 1.79 billion Muslims worldwide, over 84 percent of whom are least-reached.
  • Pray that God would open the hearts and minds of Muslims to the gospel, in your community and around the world.
  • Lift up workers sharing the gospel in Muslim communities, asking God to give them wisdom and perseverance.
  • Ask God to raise up more workers to share Jesus with Muslims worldwide.

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