Communicating Salvation to a Muslim

(O'Neill Marais) #1

Hello RZIM Community

I have a friend who is a Muslim, I proposed to him that I would like to know more about his beliefs and that I would like to periodically ask him questions about Islam. I thought that this was a subtle way to communicate Christian truth to him.

The first question I asked him was on salvation in Islam. There were two points he made that I would like to address in my reply.

  1. That Muslims do not believe in original sin.

I am trying to form a reply based on old testament scripture to show the basis for original sin (since the Qur’an affirms the old testament as the word of Allah) and that works can never bring us to righteousness in the eyes of God.

  1. That Muslims believe in works as the path to paradise.

As my friend put it 'No one else pays for our sins, WE pay for them ". I would like to speak into this remark and show him that we can never pay for our sins.

I would dearly appreciate some counsel on these two matters.

(Carson Weitnauer) #2

Hi @oneillmarais, these are great questions! And your example is an inspiration to me and other members of Connect. I’m going to invite the @Interested_in_Islam group to join the conversation in case they have any particular insights. Also, you may be interested in the upcoming 2019 Understanding and Answering Islam conference to become better prepared for dialogue with your friend - we’re live-streaming it in Connect: Upcoming: Understanding and Answering Islam 2019 — Individual and Group Livestream

(David Vermaak) #3

Defending Against Islam Resources.docx (23.2 KB)

Hi @oneillmarais,

I’ve attached a doc with various resources that I’ve come across as I start exploring apologetics against the Muslim faith.

First off, welldone on taking that step of faith brother, and caring about your friend enough to start discussing these things with him.

Always keep in mind that God wants your friend to believe in Him as the agenda, and not that you need to be right as the agenda. This approach will allow for you to be mindful of Gods guidance in the process, and also keep being a reminder to you that your conversations need to be clothed in love and gentleness. When it’s about us getting someone to believe what we want them to believe, it can get messy. There is a time for straightforwardness and hard truth in a very direct fashion, Jay Smith is someone who has this approach, but it’s with Muslims who want to debate at that level with him.

Your greatest ability to show your friend Christ is through relationship, through the Holy Spirits enablement, and this is done through genuinely caring about him as a person, which you seem to do!

Original sin:
“If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated term: when their term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His servants.” Sura 35:45

The Qu’ran pays some lip service to the idea of “Original Sin”.

I’d ask him what he thinks about that passage.

Also, I know Abdu Murray has asked many Muslims if they were Adam or Eve (The Qu’ran deals with this story : Sura 20:114-124), would they have eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? It would seem that the overwhelming response from Muslims has been “yes”, because they don’t believe that they are perfect.

The question then would be, if your friend or any Muslim by their own admission couldn’t obey 1 rule (That was the only rule/law to mankind at the time), how is it mercy for God to provide humanity with more laws when they couldn’t obey one. Man by himself is incapable of obeying God, and is and always will be rotten at the core, without God.

Sura 35 agrees that Allah would destroy every amoeba on the face of the planet for what mankind deserves. How does living a life of attempting to do good works change that? Nothings changed in the equation, because every single one of us is still deserving of that same death, with or without the laws. The only answer can come from something that is outside of us, that is disconnected from mankind, or it will carry the same stained and corrupted stench with it. And that is God.

Now it could be argued that the God of the bible did the same (providing the 10 Commandments), but 2 thoughts around this:

  1. He provided a real and current means to wipe away that sin through sacrifice in the Old Testament, and it was not by man’s efforts that He was reconciled back to God, but by a way & means God provided because man out of his own efforts can never please God. Therefore sacrifice was an extreme display of grace and mercy.

  2. In knowing that man could not save himself, God knew He would have to provide the ultimate & eternal sacrifice through God the Son, Jesus Christ. He had to provide a way for man to be made spiritually alive, for him to be transformed from the inside out, because at his core, man is sick and depraved and can never seek God out of his own volition. So Christ came to fulfill the law- Matthew 5:17.

The bible very clearly explains the origin & nature of mans heart, something you, me, and your friend can relate to.
Matt 15:19 & Romans 5:12 speak to this.

As for the 'No one else pays for our sins, WE pay for them", I would again use the Sura 35 passage and say that that seems contradictory to what the Qu’ran says in some places and then others. Also, it’s a great way to position Christ into the story, knowing that man is incapable of paying for his own sins, outside of death, Jesus Christ paid for the Christians sin, and we have a personal relationship with Him, and He would like to have one with your friend.

We don’t have to wait to see if our good deeds have outdone our bad ones, we know the good deeds can’t change the wickedness that stirs in every single one of us. But Christ’s pure and perfect love can save us from the consequences of our sinful natures, all we have to do is believe that He has done that, and then we have a guaranteed eternal life in paradise.

This is obviously just a starting point, but I hope it helps a bit.



(Tiago de Carvalho) #4

Dear @oneillmarais,


Below resources from previous topics:

(O'Neill Marais) #5

Hey @David_Vermaak, thank you so much for the response. I felt the same need to be mindful in my responses to him, we engaged a couple of times in verbal conversation but it became a bit hostile. I think I wanted to be right more than I wanted God to speak a truth to him. That is also why I thought a measured responding platform like email would be better. So thank you very much for affirming that.

Thank you for the reference in the Qu’ran, I found some other passages that also give credence to original sin in the Qu’ran. I will try and set the stage to show him that it is only by grace that we can become righteous before God, and both the Qu’ran and the Bible indicate original sin. We can never work our way out of it.

P.S: Are you South African?, your name definitely has a South African flavor to it.

(O'Neill Marais) #6

Hello @TC85, thank you for the resources. I found an extremely helpful series on salvation in

(David Vermaak) #7

Hi @oneillmarais!

My apologies for the delayed response!

Only a pleasure!

Yes, I am, born and raised in Johannesburg, came over to the USA 2.5 years ago.

How about you?



(O'Neill Marais) #8

Hello @David_Vermaak, I was born and raised in Pretoria. Small world isn’t it? Well, it is good to have met you.


O’Neill Marais