In the middle of the confusion of the war on terrorism is the question of the nature of the religion of Islam. Some say that it is a peaceful religion at its heart, that only the fringe extremists are bent on war.
One side claims that "jihad" means a personal struggle against evil in one's behavior. Others claim that it means conquest of the part of the world that is not Muslim, by whatever means necessary, including acts of terror.
Both sides refer to specific passages in the Koran for support.
For the soul winner, these are not the important issues. Bible believers are asking, "How can we reach Muslims with the gospel which will solve their struggle against evil?"
One way involves God's love. The biblical concept of God loving the sinner, is foreign to Muslim thinking. To them, Allah is "compassionate" and "merciful," but only to those who obey him.
Their relationship to Allah is not as father and son but more as master and slave. Allah is not pictured in the Koran as a loving Creator, longing for an intimate relationship with man.
Biblical concepts found in John 3:16, 1 John 4:6-10 ("God is love") and in the Lord's prayer where we address God as "Our Father" are nowhere found in Muslim thinking. Muslims memorize the "99 beautiful names of Allah," but "love" or "loving" is no where in that list.
Author Robert Morey writes, in The Islamic Invasion, "The love of God is the chief attribute of the biblical God as revealed in such places as John 3:16. God has feelings for his creatures, especially man.
"But when we turn to the Quran, we do not find love presented as the chief attribute of Allah. Instead, the transcendence of Allah is his chief attribute.
"Neither does Allah 'have feelings' toward man. That concept is foreign to Islamic teaching. That would reduce Allah to being a mere man -which again is blasphemous to a Muslim."
"The greatest difference between the two faiths is the
personal quality of God," writes Emir and Ergun Caner in
Unveiling Islam. "One must love Allah in order for Allah to love that person in return. In Christianity, God loved people first in order to secure their salvation"
The story that Jesus told of the prodigal son illustrates a side of God that is foreign to the followers of Allah. The Koran states flatly that "Allah loves not those who reject Faith" (surah 3:32).
"The Muslim can be totally sure that Allah will never restore a believer who has rejected the faith of Islam," writes Caner.
Like Bob Williams does in the tract, Who Cares, we must show the Muslim that Allah offers "no love, no sure forgiveness of sins and only empty dreams of a false paradise." Only Jesus, the God of the Bible, loved us while were yet sinners, offering sure forgiveness, and eternal life with a loving heavenly Father.