ISLAM'S WORLDWIDE REVIVAL
(Part One in a series on Islam from Forward magazine)
La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadu Rasool Allah.
—There is no deity except God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.1
This is called the Kalima and is the Islamic confession of faith in a nutshell. They are the first words that every Muslim baby hears and they are often the last words a Muslim utters upon his deathbed. For nearly one billion people this is not merely a doctrinal creed—it is the foundation for every facet of their lives.
The Islamic faith is not simply an exotic Arabic religion. For many centuries it was virtually dormant, but over the last 50 years it has awakened and is spreading worldwide at an almost unprecedented rate.
If the Lord's "Great Commission" is to be fulfilled it is essential that we, as active, concerned Christians, understand what Islam is. We must know both how to relate to the Muslim, and how to "contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3), "with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15).
Josh McDowell, well-known Christian author and apologist, has succinctly summarized the situation:
There was a time when only specialized Christian missionaries needed to be able to defend the gospel of Jesus Christ against the attacks of Islam. Today every Christian has an opportunity and obligation to present the gospel effectively and in Christian love to the Muslims who have permeated our Western society. When your neighbor, your mechanic, your favorite basketball player, your employer or employee, or even your children's friends could very well be Muslims, the need for proper understanding and an effective Christian witness is abundantly clear.2