Background and Beliefs," by Dr. Robert Smith
These are some of the crucial questions that we must answer in connection with Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam (NOI). The overwhelming majority of the converts to the Nation are Black men who in turn introduce their wives, children, and friends to their religion. Because of its contrast to true Christianity, the Nation of Islam should be studied, understood, and intelligently discussed from a biblical perspective.
This booklet is intended to give the reader a working knowledge of the critical issues involved and to serve as a catalyst for further thinking and discussion.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NATION OF ISLAM
The first person to appear on the modern American scene as the "savior" of Blacks from an oppressive White system was Timothy Drew. In 1913 he left his native North Carolina for Newark, New Jersey, took the name Noble Drew Ali, and founded the Moorish Science Temple of America. His primary philosophy of salavation for Blacks was through discovering their "national origins." They should refuse to be called anything but Asiatics, Moors, or Moorish Americans. He also taught that Jesus was a Black man killed by Whites.
After Noble Drew Ali died, Wallace Fard broke with the Moorish Science Temple and founded a group called the Temple of Islam. Although he was not a Black American himself, Fard took his religion door-to-door to Blacks in Detroit, claiming to be Ali's reincarnation, but born in Mecca. Fard's mission to America was to set the "captives" (Black Americans) free from "Caucasian devils" and the "White man's religion" (Christianity).
This leads Black historians and apologists like Dr. Colin Akridge, Dr. Jerry Buckner, and Carl Ellis to pose an interesting question. Since Fard was not a Black man, they ask, how can Islam be exclusively a Black man's religion?
ELIJAH MUHAMMAD AND MALCOM X
Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Poole) was a disciple of Fard and became a leader in the Temple of Islam. When Fard left the organization in 1935, Elijah Muhammad assumed leadership and changed the name of the sect to the Nation of Islam, which he led until his death in 1975.
One of the young men who embraced the religion during that time was Malcolm Little. Like Elijah Muhammad before him, Little was born into the home of a Baptist preacher. But as a young man in prison for theft, Little adopted Elijah Muhammad's teachings through an intensive discipleship program. When released in 1952, Little went to Detroit, took the name Malcolm X, and eventually became one of the chief disciples of Elijah Muhammad. Most of the growth of NOI during that time--to an estimated 40,000 members--is attributed to the efforts of Malcolm X.
In 1964 a division arose within the Nation. Malcolm X was suspended and eventually resigned. After his famous pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm broke with Elijah Muhammad, denounced his teachings and questioned his character. On February 22, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated. Years later Malcolm's former disciple, Louis Farrakhan, publicly condemned Malcolm for having questioned Muhammad's character (L.A. Sentinel, March 24, 1994, p. A3).
A NEW DIRECTION WITH FARRAKHAN
Louis Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Walcott) left college to pursue a career as "Calypse Gene," a nightclub entertainer. However, his life changed in 1955 when he met Malcolm X. He assisted Malcolm at the Harlem mosque for about a year before he was sent to be the minister of the Boston mosque. After Malcolm's death, Farrakhan returned to Harlem to replace Malcolm and remained there until Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975.
Wallace Deen Muhammad (Iman Warihuddin Muhammad), the son of Elijah, then assumed leadership fo the Nation. He began to transform the sect into a Sunni (orthodox) Muslim community and took it through a series of name changes. He also began letting Whites join and denounced his father's teachings as racist and not truly Islamic. A dissatisfied Farrakhan broke away from Wallace's group in 1977 and founded the "Original Nation of Islam" (now simply known as the "Nation of Islam") and based it on a revised version of Elijah Muhammad's traditional teachings.
Today at least seven distinct Black Nationalist groups call themselves "Nation of Islam." Louis Farrakhan has succeeded in making his "Nation" the most well-known of the NOI groups, often challenging Christian churches in order to gain converts to his version of Islam. Surprisingly though, this group is not as large as it seems. Some experts estimate the total membership of Farrakhan's NOI sect at no more than 20,000 members. This number may seem surprising in light of the great amount of publicity Farrakhan often creates. In fact, according to Rev. Carl Ellis, at Farrakhan's most celebrated event, the Million Man March, 60% of the attendees were Christians! Out of 100 Black men interviewed by Rev. Ellis at the rally, not one was a follower of Farrakhan. These men had come together--not to support Louis Farrakhan, the NOI, nor even the Islamic faith--but to stand together to make a positive statement that Black men can unite!
Some Christian churches still invite and/or allow Minister Farrakhan to preach his "survival of Blacks" message from their pulpits. They do this to allow their church members to hear about the "self-empowerment" of Black Americans. Although Farrakhan's message focuses primarily on the economic issues of the Black community, his underlying theology differs radically from biblical Christianity. In fact, the Nation of Islam denies the very foundation of the Christian faith--that Jesus Christ is God. OFFICIAL BELIEFS OF THE NOI:
Although the NOI is separate and distinct from Orthodox Islam, it still borros freely from Islamic teachings. In evry "Final Call," the newspaper of Minister Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, you'll find "What the Muslims Believe." Here are eight (of the list of twelve) of those beliefs, with theological implications, compared with what the Bible teaches.
NOI: "1. WE BELIEVE in the One God Whose proper Name is Allah."
BIBLE: There is one God (Deut. 6:4), but three distinct Persons in the Godhead--the Father (Romans 1:7; 15:6), Jesus Christ the Son (Matt. 3:13-17), and the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3, 4, 9).
[Right here we can see the most fundamental, irreconciliable difference between Christian faith and Islam as Christians that Allah and our God are not the same God, and can never be the same God, which many mistaken Christians believe; yet Muslims teach that Allah has no Son, and Allah and the Holy Spirit are not one God either. Muslims do not rcognize the Holy Spirit as part of the Godhead. So Muslims exclude the Son and the Holy Spirit from the Godhead. Also, Allah is also not the Father God we know, as Allah is no father at all, having no Son. Yes, he supposely created humanity, but He is not the Heavenly Father, he is distant from his created beings, so much so that they can never count on him letting them into heaven. Muslims teach that Christians worship three gods, not understanding that Christians do not believe in three gods but in a Three-Persons God, as the Bible reveals Him.--Ed.]
NOI: "2. WE BELIEVE in the Holy Qur'an and in the Scriptures of all the Prophets of God."
BIBLE: The Bible is "inspired" by God (2 Timothy 3:16), it is "inerrant"--without error (john 10:35; 17:17) and "infallible"--incapable of being in error (Mark 12:24; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). TGhe Bible is the FINAL revelation from God to mankind. The Qu'ran mentkions the Bible (Surah 2:136), but the Bible does not mention the Qur'an.
[This alone ought to send up a big red flag for ALL Muslims; the Bible predates the Qur'an by over fifteen hundred years, for most of the scriptures in fact, and it DOES NOT mention anything like the Qur'an, though it is full of prophecy of things to come! Prophecies that are infallible, too. There can be no superseding the Bible scripture. The Bible is complete! It is finished. Revelation says so--attested by Christ the Living Word, Who proclaims to all men and all times that HE IS THE FIRST AND THE LAST, THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. You cannot get more complete than that! He is the First Word and the Last Word. Nothing supersedes Christ, nothing, not Mohammed, not the Qur'an. It cannot be, or God is a liar, and God is truth, and it is man that is the liar!--Ed.].
NOI: "WE BELIEVE in the truth of the Bible, but we believe that it has been tampered with and must be reinterpreted so that mankind will not be snared by the falsehoods that have been added to it."
BIBLE: God is the originator of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16), God superintended the writing of Scripture (2 Peter 1:21), and God protects and preserved Scripture (Matthew 5:18). Since God went to so much effort to make sure we got the Bible, it also makes sense that He would make sure His words are preserved for all generations of readers. NOI: "WE BELIEVE in Allah's Prophets and the Scriptures they brought to the people."
BIBLE: "All Scripture [the Bible] is given by inspiration of God, and is p;rofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). God has also spoken to us through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1,2.
NOI: "5. WE BELIEVE in the resurrection of the dead--not in physical resurrection--but in mental resurrection. We believe that the so-called Negroes are most in need of mental resurrection; therefore, they will be resurrected first."
BIBLE: The Bible teaches a literal, physical resurrection from the dead for all who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior. (Matthew 28: 1-6; Mark 16: 1-6; Luke 24: 1-7, 36-48; John 2:19-22; 20: 1-9; I Corinthians 15:35-44). NOI: "6. WE BELIEVE in the judgment; we believe this first judgment will take place, as God revealed, in America..."
BIBLE: Jesus Christ alone has been given authority to judge the world (IJohn 5:25-29). Those who trust Christ as their Savior will not be condemned, but will be examined based on their works (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). For the followers of Jesus, heaven is not about salvation, but rewards (I Corinthians 3:12-15). Those who do not trust Christ will be condemned and judged (Revelation 20:11-15). The world is already under God's general judgment,a nd the only way to escape is through Jesus Christ (John 3:16-19, 36).
NOI: "8. WE BELIEVE in justice for all, whether in God or not; we believe, as others, that we are due equal justice as human beings. We believe in equality--as a nation--of equals."
BIBLE: The Bible teaches freedom, justice, and equality for all (Amos 5:24,Micah 6:8; Matthew 22:17-21; Luke 10:25-37; John 8:32-36).
[THERE IS NO BREAK HERE IN THE TEXT, THIS IS THE ORDER GIVEN--Ed.]
NOI: "12. WE BELIEVE that Allah (God) appreared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited 'Messiah' of the Christians and the 'Mahdi' of the Muslims."
BIBLE: Jesus Christ alone is God and the true Messiah (John 8:24, 58; 10:30; 14:6-9; 20:26-28; Titus 2:13).
THE QUR'AN VS. THE BIBLE...CONFLICTING CLAIMS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
JESUS AS THE SON OF GOD
Qur'an: "Jesus the Son of Mary, was no more than God's apostle (Surah 4:171), "Those who say 'The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son,' preach a monstrous falsehood" (19:88-92).
BIBLE: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." (John 17:1-5; Galatians 4:4,5.
JESUS AS CRUCIFIED ON THE CROSS AND RESURRECTED FROM DEATH
Qur'an: "They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him...They did not slay him for certain. God lifted him up Himself" (Surah 4:157, 158).
BIBLE: "Christ died for our sins...was buried and ...rose again on the third day..." (I Corinthians 15:3-8). Also Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19, 20.
JESUS AS MEMBER OF THE TRINITY
Qur'an: "Unbelievers are those that say: 'God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary..." He that worships other gods beside God, God will deny him paradise" (Surah 5:72,73). Also 5:116.
BIBLE: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image..." (Genesis 1:26). Also Matthew 3:16, 17; 17:1-5; Acts 1:1,2; 10:38.
Qur'an: "Warn those who dread to be assembled before their Lord that theyhave no guardian or intercessor besides God..." (Surah 6:51) also 5:75; 6:70; 10:3.
BIBLE: "And thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). Also luke 19:10; John 3:16; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8; 6:23; 10:9, 10.
JESUS AS GOD
Qur'an: "The Jews say Ezra is the son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God. Such are their assertions, by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are! They make...the Messiah, the son of Mary, Lord besides God; though they were ordered to serve one God only..." (Surah 9:30-31).
BIBLE: (Jesus said) "I and the Father are one" (john 10:30). Also John 1: 1-3; 8:24-58; 20:28; Titus 2:13.
WHAT THE QUR'AN TEACHES ABOUT "SIN" AND "SALVATION":
According to the Qur'an, the "Sin" of Adam was merely a slip. "Satan removed them (Adam and Eve) and brought about their banishment (from the garden)...Then Adam received commandments from his Lord, and his Lord relented towards him..." (Surah 2:36-38). Muslims believe Adam's sin affected only himself and did not result in the Fall of mankind. Thus, there is no "Sin," only "sins."
Salvation to the Muslim is associated with works and fate. Every Muslim who hopes to escape the judgment of Allah must filfill the works of the Five Pillars of the Faith (Qu'ran: Surah 10:108, 109).
FIVE PILLARS OF THE FAITH:
1. "Shehada": A recitation. "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah." ("Shehada" means "to bear witness.")
2. "Salat": Ritual daily prayer five times a day--before sunrise, at noon, afternoon, at sunset, and at night. This involves kneeling on the floor and bowing in the direction of the holy city of Mecca. On Friday at noon, Muslims are required to gather at the mosque to pray.
3. "Zakat": Paying alms, giving 1/40th of personal income to charitable causes [what a tightwad religion Islam is, 1/40th is a mere pittance, no wonder why there are so many poor, sick, undernourished, downtrodden Muslims, which I saw myself when I first went to a Muslim country--Ed.]
4. "Sawm": Fasting between dawn and sunset throughout the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim lunar year, or late January).
Pilgrimage to Ka'ba in Mecca. This involves circling around the Kaaba seven times, kissing the black stone, then going about a mile to the Wadi to throw stones at the devil.
ISSUES AND ANSWERS
No matter how subtle the approach may be, the arguments (against Christianity) of the Nation of Islam are built on four bedrock beliefs. Being aware of them will help you understand an NOI member's beliefs, and how to respond. "CHRISTIANITY IS THE WHITE MAN'S RELIGION."
Answer: The first Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament was done in Alexandria, Egypt [the same city where Christian churches and the congregations during services are being bombed by Muslim fanatics in January, 2011--Ed.], between 250 BC and 150 BC. Since Egypt is in north Africa, a major portion of the Bible was first translated in Africa. It was not the work of White men. Also, the 66 books that make up the Old and New Testaments of the Bible were agreed upon by AD 300. Some scholars believe that many of the church fathers who helped make those historic decisions were Black men, or certainly not Anglo. Black church historian Dr. C. Eric Lincoln claims that at least nine of the twenty most prominent early church leaders were Black: Clement, Origen, Athanasius, and Cyril (all from Alexandria), Augustine, Tertullian,Cyprian, Dionysus, and Didymus.
Acccording to Dr. Norman Geisler (A Geneal Introuction of the Bible, pp. 284, 285, 543-547), the first "Anglo-Saxon" Bible was not published until about AD 700-1000, at least 400 years after the books of the Bible had already been decided. The King James Bible was not published until 16ll, and it was published by a group of scholars, not by King James of England. His name was attached to the translation to make sure that the project would be "protected" and that the new version would be printed.
"THE BIBLE HAS BEEN CORRUPTED."
Answer: Was the Bible corrupted--changed by enemies of the truth in critical places--before Muhammad was born or after he died? If it was corrupted before his birth, then that would also make Muhammad a false prophet, because in the Qu'ran heclearly stated that the Bible was the Word of God, "revealed to you from your Lord" (Surah 3:48; 5:68; 6:114-115; 10:64), and that "the Torah...enshrines God's own judgments" (5:43). If the Bible was already corrupted before Islam was established, then Muhammad was sadly mistaken about its value.
If the Bible was corrupted after Muhammad's death, it would be easy to prove such changes had been made. Since the Bible has been distributed in many languages long before Muhammad's time, any later corruptions could be easily found by simply comparing ancient translations. No such disagreements exist.
And just when would the White man have changed the Bible? The church councils didnot rewrite the Bible, instead they met to formulate beliefs based on the Bible as it was already written. The fact that there are many versions of the Bible does not prove its corruption either. After all, there are also different versions of the Qu'ran--the Sawood, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, Pickthall, and Al-Madinah, to name a few--plus various translations into many languages, yet Muslims do not claim that it has been corrupted as a result.
"JESUS WAS ONLY A PROPHET"
Answer: Both the Bible and the Qu'ran testify to the miraculous, virgin birth of Jesus (Bible: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:30-35. Qur'ran: 3: 45-47). No mere prophet, including Muhammad, ever claimed to be born of a virgin, but Old Testament prophets spoke of one who would be born of a virgin who would be able to save people from their sins (Acts 10:42, 43).
"CHRISTIANITY IS A SLAVE RELIGION."
Answer: According to the Hadith (the Muslims' second holiest book) Muhammad was a slave owner. Islamic nations were some of the first nations to enslave Blacks. Muhammad showed a racist attitude in the Hadith...he said that to think of a Black woman was an evil omen, and he referred to Blacks as "raisin heads."
According to a UN Commission, many Islamic nations still hold slaves today. Even now in Sudan and Mauritania, Muslims take Blacks as slaves and ship them to nations like Saudi Arabia. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, U.S. Black soldiers complained that Saudi Arabians owned Black slaves.
Islam--an Arabic term that means "submission."
Muslim--"One who submits," and is the name given to one who submits to the teachings (religion) of Allah.
Qur'an (Koran)--The Arabic word meaning "recitation" or "thatwhich is to be recited," and refers to the collection of revelations(Islamic scriptures) given by Allah through his archangel to Muhammad. [Since the Bible does not say God did anything like what Allah is said to have done, they cannot be the same God. Besides, Muhammad is not a prophet in the Bible, he is totally missing in the Bible. And the Bible does not have any passage in which Gabriel imparted the "visions and teachings" that Mohammed claimed to have received from the angel Gabriel; lastly, the Bible is not the Qu'ran, has no knowledge of the Qu'ran, and "submission" to Allah is totally alien to the Bible. For these reasons alone, there is no connection between the God of the Bible and Allah of the Qu'ran and "his prophet Mohammed. To say as some do, that Islam is a sect of Judaism and Christianity, doesn't hold, because Islam is too great and grotesque a mutation to have developed from Judaism and Christianity. As cults do, they have to begin with something, so they borrow some features from Christian doctrine and theology, but they cannot incorporate the true God as he is revealed in the Bible and authoritatively only in the Bible, so they make do with a concoction of man's own imagination and Adamic, idolatrous religiousness--with no doubt generous Satanic influences and contributions of false doctrines and delusions and lies and twisted reasonings, even in some cases, as with Mormonism and Christian Science and the Church of Scientology, falsified history, pseudo-science, and science fiction, respectively. The "Church of Scientology," for example, began with a science fiction book about extraterrestrial races, and then was expanded by the science fiction writer from that into a religion known for terribly aggressive money-making and witch-hunting practices directed against any member who seeks to leave the cult. For those reasons many countries have banned the Scientology cult. Whatever they start up with, all cults must depreciate Christ in order to set up shop. So too with Islam, it depreciates Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, to a secondary prophet, one of many prophets that are all less than Mohammed, the supreme prophet of Allah. When it does that, it ceases to be a sect, and is exposed as a thorough cult with a false Christ who is an inferior status prophet. This is not a bad representation, it is a total distortion that has nothing to do with Christianity or the One True God of the Bible. --Ed.]
Hadith--Arabic for the "collected traditions." The Hadith is considered the Muslims' second most authoritative book after the Qur'an. [The Bible contains no knowledge of the Hadith either!--Ed.]
Caliph--The Arabic word for "successor of Muhammad."
Imam--A pastor-like "prayer leader." Muhammad--A common Arabic name, given also to the Founder of Islam. Muhammad (AD 570-632) was born in Mecca and claimed to be the last prophet of Allah.
Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims--The two main sects (divisions) of Islam, with 80% being Sunni Muslims today. The division arose over a leadership dispute after Muhammad died. [Adherents of these divisions are willing to bomb each other's mosques, leading to great loss of life. Saddam Hussain's Sunni-based Baathist regime in Iraq massacred and tortured hundreds of thousands of Shi'ite Iraqis, and he even used chemical warfare weapons against Muslim Kurdish villages, killing thousands of men, women and children-- all Muslims but of the Kurdish ethnicity. The Religious Wars of the Middle Ages are long over, when various Christian churches and sects, and the Protestant churches against the Roman Catholic Church, warred and multitudes were slain on both sides. Except for the sporadic persecutions by state churches on "dissenters" in England and elsewhere over two hundred years ago, you don't see Presbyterians today going after Baptists, or Lutherans going after Pentecostals, bombing each others churches and killing people. Why? The question is not being asked today anywhere in the media world-wide, for Muslims are not the ones being slandered today, as Fidel Castro recently observed in a most amazing and candid interview in 2010; no, he says, it is the Jews who are slandered and blamed for everything (and we might also add it is Christians who are also slandered and blamed, whenever the Muslims are rioting and attacking Christian churches in Asia and the Middle east. Since there is no peace between the divisions of Islam, can peace ever be expected in the Muslim world, or even if the whole world were to become Muslim? Yet Islam is popularly equated with peace, when it has done nothing from its inception to deserve that commmendation.--Ed.]
As-aslaamu-alaikum--The word that the Muslims use for greeting, and it means "peace be unto you."
Jihad--Often referred to as a "Holy War." A Muslum considers it an honor to die fighting for his faith, or for the prophet Muhammad's name and honor. This is considered the sixth pillar by some Muslims. [For this reason, there can be no peace in the world as long as this pillar, and Islam with it, stands. Anyone who speaks against Mohammed, or is interpreted as doing so, must be annihilated or silenced. That means Islam must rule absolutely, with no dissent whatsoever, with no rivals whatsoever. There can be no co-existence between Islam and other faiths, as other faiths by their very existence call Mohammed and the claims about himself and his god Allah into question. That calling into question alone is forbidden, and so they must be eliminated or forced into silent subjection. Those who think there can be co-existence are extremely misinformed and naive, when they overlook the fact that Islam does not allow for it in its basic core beliefs. Fatwas (or religious blacklists and orders to the Muslim world to hunt down and kill particular people who are said to depreciate or dishonor Islam or Mohammad, even in a cartoon in a newspaper or magazine, are issued by clerics and bounties of thousands of dollars set on the heads of the publicly named "infidels". Who can be safe in the world with such a widespread, powerful, monied, witch-hunting religion as Islam in continuous operation? No one.--Ed.]
PRINCIPLES FOR WITNESSING TO A MEMBER OF THE NATION OF ISLAM
A. Understand who you are talking to.
Don't assume that all Black Muslims are in Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. In fact, out of the 1.2 million African-American Muslims in the U.S., a full 1 million are orthodox (Sunni) and don't evenregard Farrakhan as a true Muslim. Out of the remaining 200,000, only 10%of those are in Farrakhan's group. The rest are spread throughout the other Black Nationalist, or NOI, groups. [President Obama attended a Black Nationalist church in Chicago for 20 years, with a fiery Black Nationalist preacher, Jeremiah Wright, preaching all that time against America while promoting racism. It was claimed and named (fictitiously) a Christian church and denomination, but Wright was a so-called "convert" from Islam, though it is extremely hard to tell that he converted to genuine Christian faith, there is so little of Christianity in his racist, anti-American, and morally obscene, hate-filled messages to his "congregation" of followers, which included Barack Hussain Obama, his wife and family. Tapes of Wright's Sunday messages were readily available for sale, and they have been obtained and disseminated to news media since Obama's connection with the infamous "Reverend" Wright first became known, so he is not being misquoted (as some misforming people still claim to those who don't know Wright), there are far too many statements along this line for there to be any misinterpretation or mistranslation of his philosophy and religion--Ed.] Although Farrakhan receives a lot of media attentkion, he leads only one fraction of Black Muslims in America. Therefore, it is always wise to ask a "Black Muslim" to explain exactly what he (or she) believes and who he follows.
Many a door has been opened to witnessing to NOI members by Christians who live out their faith in a truly Christ-like manner. Paul's admonition tot he Philippian believers applies to our lives before NOI members today: Live in such a way "that you may be blameless and harmless...without rebuke (Philippians 2:15).
C. Never Denigrate Muhammad or the Qur'an.
It would be as offensive to a Muslim speaking disrespectfully about Christ or the Bible to us. Speak the truth in a loving and compassionate manner.
D. Pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare the heart and provide the right situation for witnessing (John 16: 8-11).
The Holy Spirit must convict any person of sin and of God's righteousness (the way of God) for any real change to take place.
E. Use the Bible (Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11).
God's Word will always accomplish what it is supposed to--its entrance into a person's life brings understanding (Psalm 119: 130). NOI members respect the Law of Moses, the Psalms and the Gospels as sacred books along with the Qur'ran. The Gospels are the best portions to start with, particularly Matthew and Luke. Let the Word of God speak for itself--it is your best tool. Remember, the Gospel of Christ is the only hope a member of the NOI has for salvation.
F. Be persuasive and bold, but loving in your answers (1 Corinthians 13: 1-7; 2 Timothy 1:7).
The NOI may be very forceful about what it believes. But remember that sincerity and militancy do not equal spiritual truth (John 8:32; 14:6). NOI members believe they have found God (Allah), but YOU have God's truth in His Word...so "sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3: 15). Be prepared to answer an NOI member's objections with reasoning, not arguing (2 Timothy 2: 15).
Ask thought-provoking questions like "Do you have the assurance that God will accept you? What does the Qur'an teach about forgiveness? May I show you what the Bible teaches?" Don't bring up heaven, because no Muslim believes in heaven. [Muslims believe in Paradise, but it is not a holy and sinless Biblical heaven at all, it is a place of tropical-like beauty but primarily a pit of endless sexual indulgment and fleshy sensual carnality and harem like ease for the reward of only those followers whom Allah selects to enjoy the virgin sex slaves (houris). Those who slay "infidels" and die doing so automatically go to Paradise and are awarded 72 virgins each!--so the imams instruct the men in Islamic and now in Western countries. But the author is correct, it is unwise to bring up heaven, as it is not the primary issue and need of a Muslim, he needs the Gospel to be saved first, and then he can learn about heaven if he wants to know.--Ed.]. G. Deal with one specific issue at a time.
Instead of switching from one subject to another, stick to one issue until it has been dealt with thoroughly. When discussing issues with an NOI member, remember what Christianity teaches:
1. The "Allah" of the Qur'an is NOT the God of the Bible.
2. Muhammad was NOT a prophet of the God of the Bible.
3. The Qur'an is NOT the Word of God.
4. An NOI member does NOT have assurance of his standing before God.
Although both Christians and NOI members believe in the perfect holiness of God, your goal should be to convince an NOI man or woman of the following:
1. We (the human race) are imperfect and therefore cannot approach God unless God Himself does something about our situation, and He has done something.
2. Jesus Christ (who is not White) did lead a perfect life.
3. We can approach God and be accepted by Him only through the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Human works are inadequate.
Our job is to plan the see of the Word and to water it faithfully, then leave the results to God (1 Corinthians 3: 5-9). Any non-Christian will have a lot of thinking to do after they are confronted with the Gospel. Keep praying for those you witness to and learn how to apply Scripture to all kinds of situations. God can use you to communicate the gospel effectively and lovingly to NOI members, to Muslims of all ethnic backgrounds, and to everyone who does not yet know Christ as Savior.
RESOURCES FOR FURTHER STUDY
Books AN ANALYSIS OF THE HADITH. Dr. Robert Morey. 1992. The Research and Education Foundation, P.O. Box 250, Newport, PA 17074.
ANSWERING ISLAM. Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb. Baker Books, 1993.
HAVE YOU GOT GOOD RELIGION? H. Cross and D. Scott. Moody Press, 1993.
MESSAGE TO THE BLACKMAN IN AMERICA. Elijah Muhammad. United Brothers Communications systems, 1965.
THE ISLAMIC INVASION. Dr. Robert Morey. Harvest House Poublishers, 1992.
AUDIO AND VIDEO TAPES
DEALING WITH THE NATION OF ISLAM. John Davis, Haman Cross, and Carl Ellis.
INTEGRATED RESOURCES, 1994. 1-800-729-4351.
THE BIBLE; TRUTH OR ALTERED BY THE WHITE MAN? A debate between Khalid Muhammad and Rev. Chuck Singleton. Loveland Church. 13053 Baseline Road, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739. (909) 899-0777
ORGANIZATIONS Project Joseph, Rev. Carl Ellis, P.O. Box 16616, Chattanooga, TN 37416-0616
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION. 3827 W. Ogden Ave., Chicago, IL. 60623
Dr. Smith holds an MDiv from the International School of Theology and a ThD from Evangel Christian University of America. He served in Vietnam as a US Marine sergeant.