Should one mention the word Islam in the Western world, many
folk would immediately conjure up a picture in their minds of a man with a
turban around his head, a beard, a wild fanatical look in his eyes, or a lady
dressed in black, eyes peering out from a slit in her clothing and shuffling
along behind her husband.
The Evening Post, on 22 September 2001, headlined an
article: "Islam". We quote in part: "Life for Muslims around the world has
not been easy since last week's World Trade Center attack. In the minds of
many Westerners, including some New Zealanders, Islam has become synonymous with
fanaticism and extremism. But that's not the way it is for the estimated
25,000 Muslims who live here. They consider themselves Kiwis, and their faith to
be one of peace, tolerance and humility (please refrain from smiling at this
Last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington
have made Islam synonymous, in many people's minds with merciless, fanatical
attacks on innocent civilians. But what's the reality?...
Strictly speaking, Abdullah Drury (a spokesman for the
Wellington-based Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand) explains,
'jihad' means a 'holy struggle', which may mean something as innocent as
a Muslim man trying to be a better father to his children. In essence, it means
doing something for the service of God.
'Our jihad,' says Drury, referring to the local Muslim
community, 'is teaching our children to be good Muslims.'
He and Hanif Ali (fellow spokesman), explain that there is,
in Islamic law, a very specific holy struggle -– a military jihad -– which can
be justified if it involves rising up against one's oppressors.
The Koran, says Ali, instructs followers of Islam to neither
oppress nor be oppressed....
Who do Muslims worship?
Muslims worship Allah, the one God and 'Lord of all Being'.
The Koran identifies Allah as the same God of the Bible, but while Muslims
recognise Jesus Christ as a prophet, he is considered neither divine nor the Son
of God..." (emphasis added).
Therefore let us clarify this issue by turning to John 14:6:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me."
This being the case, we can now understand that when a Muslim
prays, he is not accepted by God because his prayer is not prayed in the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ. However, let it be recognised by committed born-again
believers in Jesus Christ that his prayer is no doubt heard by God but he is
praying amiss because he has in most cases, never been allowed to hear the truth
of Jesus Christ.
It needs to be reckoned also that these people have souls
that Jesus died to save, and therefore are very precious in His sight, and He
will love them with an everlasting love.
The sad thing about all this would be the fact that many of
the folk involved in this religion become so misguided that they are prepared to
kill in the name of their God, whom they name Allah, which is certainly not the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore, not the God we worship.
I recently spoke with a dear Christian brother from Malaysia
who told me that he had tried for many years to help Muslims come to know the
Lord and at this particular time in history, he believed this was their time to
sort out the God they really wanted to serve, the God of love, the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, or the god of hatred and anger, who showed no mercy or pity
The Lord Jesus Christ Himself makes His attitude perfectly
clear when He tells us to pray for those who just spitefully use us and bless
those who curse us. Therefore let us join at this particular time not with a
spirit of vengeance, but a spirit of humility, in praying for these misguided
people -– that they may come to know our loving God, our Father, who extends
His mercy to all as long as there is life and breath in us.
For this we praise Him.