This is the third installment of the hard questions series.
For a Muslim believer, the Qu’ran is the eternal word of God that exists in heaven in the Arabic language. In this form it is the holiest document that they have, it cannot be translated and must remain in Arabic. When the Qu’ran is translated into another language, say English, it must be called “the meaning of the Qur’an.”
There are many stories in the Qu’ran involving biblical characters and prophets, including Noah, Abraham, John the Baptist, and Jesus. The problem for Christians is that many of these stories do not agree with the biblical narrative. For example, in the Bible, Noah speaks very little, he is a man of action, not speech. But in the Qur’an, Noah is a prophet, so he speaks quite a bit more. A further example is details about Jesus’ childhood, not found in the Bible, such as Jesus speaking as a baby in the cradle.
Though the Qu’ran does not lead people to a saving faith in Jesus, we can look for bridges or signs of redemptive revelation that point us to truth found in our own Scriptures. Some have compared the Quran to the crescent moon (an appropriate symbol!). It is dark in the middle, but there is light around the edges. If we believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world around us, and that He is revealing truth, then we will find traces of his presence everywhere, including in other religions. This is a natural bridge for us to work with. By appreciating this aspect of the Qu’ran, and learning about these bridges, we will be better equipped to share gospel truth with our Muslim neighbor. For example, in the Qu’ran Jesus is mentioned far more often than the prophet Muhammad. Jesus is declared to be the one prophet who is without sin. Jesus performed miracles, and he will return on the Day of Judgment as Judge and intercessor. These are all bridges that can be used to lead people to explore the truth of the Bible and the Bible’s revelation of God’s one covenant of grace throughout the Old and New Testaments. By focusing on the rich narrative of the lives of the prophets found in the Bible and the many prophecies of a future Messiah, we can point people to Jesus, the Prophet, Priest and King.