Yesterday the Lord gave me an opportunity to visit a Mosque in a Muslim majority slum area in my city. I have had opportunities to minister to Muslims before but this was the first time for me go inside a mosque, other than for touring, to have a conversation with an Imam.
It was just after their afternoon prayers so most of the people had left. We asked a man sitting at the main gate of the mosque if we could speak with the Imam? He asked us to wait as he went inside. We took off our shoes and waited near the area where all the basins are installed for washing before Muslims recite their prayers. As we waited, I remember thinking how good our God is. He is infinitely holy and yet we can come before him unclean in spirit and body. He did not first demand holiness or cleanliness but has Himself cleaned us with His precious blood and made us acceptable to the Father through Himself.
The Imam, a young guy of about my age, came and asked us what we wanted to talk about. We told him that we had some questions regarding the Quran and "Isa Al-Salam" (Jesus). He asked us to follow him and took us to a lower level of the mosque. As we followed him, we heard a lot of children reciting Arabic because this mosque is also a Madrasa (Islamic School for children) with over 50 children memorizing Arabic scriptures through chants.
Eventually we came to a small room, which looked like the resting room of the Imam. It did not have any furniture so we sat on the ground. The Imam asked us to begin talking about what we wanted to ask and so we first asked him the difference between an Imam, Maulana and Mufti. It turns out that the Imam is one who teaches prayers, a Maulana is someone who holds a theological degree and the Mufti is one who has a PhD level theological degree.
We started our questions by pointing to the following verses from the Quran:
What followed was a very interesting conversation about Jesus and his resurrection, about the “Injil” (Bible), and the other “Aasmani Kitaabs” or books from the sky.
We knew the Muslim arguments that the original Bible has been lost in translation so we told him that the Bible we have has been directly translated from the original manuscripts, just like the Quran has been from their earliest sources. The Imam did not believe us, but as my friend who was with me said, our motive was to make the Imam think about the resurrection of Jesus and to cast some doubt in his mind about his beliefs.
During the course of our conversation, I got to share the Gospel with the Imam (and 30 other people in this Muslim community) and he kept shaking his head whenever I referred to Jesus as the Son of God who died for our sins. Nevertheless we shared the Gospel with him. As we left the Mosque, we were convinced that the Imam is a good man, honestly seeking God who just got misguided.
We are praying for God’s work to be done amongst the Muslim Community in India. May all the worship in this land be directed towards Jesus, the one true God and the only Savior, for there is no other name whereby we might be saved (Acts 4:12).
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