When the Apostle Paul traveled around Athens before his encounter at the Areopagus in Acts 17, it is said that "he carefully scrutinized the objects of their worship." That is to say, he did not come into town with Gospel guns blazing with no idea about who he was talking to, or what they really were thinking. Of course, prior to that he had done his studies in the Hebrew Scriptures and learned in the school of Christ. It is a fools' errand to forget the second and to only focus on what people of other religions believe, think, and how they feel.
That said, a letter written to the Christian Post in Pakistan in 1993 provides a valuable window into which the author who signed off as a 'Pakka Mussalman'—or a "true, blue, Muslim"—thought about what was most important about his religion and what marks define it. *Note that he throws in a lot of Urdu phrases, but bear with it.
Mankind is divided into two broad categories: Muslims and non-Muslims. Muslims are the Party of God (Hizb Ullah); non-Muslims are Party of Satan (Hizbush-Shatan). Muslims living in Muslim country (Darul Islam) are enjoined to enlarge the ideological and territorial frontiers by word of mouth, by pen and by sword (Jehadbil lisan, jehad bil qalam and jehad bis saif). Muslims living in land of kafirs (Darul Harab) will keep alive their spiritual ties with the Muslim nation which is world-wide and will obey the edicts of the Khalifatul Muslimeen.
A Muslim's first loyalty is to the Muslim Umma; he is Muslim first and anything else afterwards....
A Muslim is a Mujahid (Holy warrior) from mehad to lehad (cradle to grave); the whole globe is his territory and his place of worship (masjid). Iqbal: Momin ke jahan ki hadd nahin hai; Momin ka jahan har kahin hai. (No place is out of bounds for a Muslim; all territories belong to him.)
The above is only a short list. Take your pick. A true Muslim is a fundamentalist; no more no less. Let the kafirs call him so. Who cares! Sufis, beware! Signed: 'PAKKA MUSALMAN' Lahore.
So what is this 'PAKKA MUSALMAN' saying?
- He uses the classic Islamic divisions of the world into the territory or house of War, and the territory or house of Islam, but he uses the term "party." Same kind of idea.
- He shows that Islam is to be a missionary religion and to use all means at its disposal
- He shows that although Muslims might live in areas where there are many non-believers in Islam [=kafir], still they must obey the "edicts of the Khalifatul Muslimeen" or the rules of the Muslim Caliphate
- He shows where ultimate allegiances lie, and that according to Islam "the entire world is his oyster"
- He is proud to be a fundamentalist
- Does 'PAKKA MUSALMAN know what he is talking about? How would you know?
- Does it make any difference to your outreach strategies if you know what 'PAKKA MUSALMAN is saying?
- If a Christian had to write a similar letter asserting the core of their faith, what would its contents be?