While doing Healing On The Streets today a Muslim man came over and asked what we were doing. I explained who we were and why we were there. He told me he worshipped not at the local mosque but at a house nearby. The lady I was with said:”well, we worship the same God, don’t we”.
I then engaged him in conversation and highlighted ( for the lady’s sake) some of the differences that reveal we do not worship the same God. I pointed out that Jesus says:”love your enemies, do good to those that hate you”, whereas Mohammed incited his followers to violence, which the Muslim man didn’t deny. In his defence he went on to point out the violence perpetrated by some prophets in the Old Testament. I didn’t dispute that, but we were comparing Jesus and Mohammed, not Old Testament prophets and Mohammed.
He agreed that Allah was a God of love, and that he is one God. I then asked him “who did Allah love in the millions of years before he created either men or angels?”. Since Allah was “on his own” for aeons of time, he couldn’t love anyone since no-one existed apart from himself. He maintained that Allah loved people before they existed, when he was planning creation. This seemed to me a thin, abstract argument. The Christian God on the other hand had always existed as a plurality, in a family relationship of mutual love. The Bible says: “I, the Lord, do not change”. If our God changes not, then the God Allah who changes to become a God of love after creation is not the same God Christians worship. Other points I raised included: many details such as Jesus’ birth, tribe and place of birth were foretold by prophets. This was not true of Mohammed. Jesus did miracles, Mohammed did not. None of my points found acceptance in his mind, sadly.
We packed up at 1pm and moved to our rendezvous point to be picked up by car. While standing there, a man with a can of beer in one hand and two cigarettes in his other asked us who we were. We told him and he explained he was out of prison on license. He had a injury to his wrist so we prayed for him and blessed him. He appreciated it and went on his way.