Blessed are the Pure in Heart: Muslims, Ritual Purity, and the Gospel

Muslims tend to be obsessed with ritual purity. Islam demands this obsession for the person who wants God to hear their prayers. This blog post aims to explain this obsession and discuss the implications of this obsession for sharing the gospel with Muslims. I believe that understanding and framing Scripture in terms of purity issuesContinue reading “Blessed are the Pure in Heart: Muslims, Ritual Purity, and the Gospel”

Folk Islamic Rituals #9: Devotional Images

This blog post is the ninth in a series on South Asian folk Islam and its rituals. Click here to go to the first of these articles. Understanding the rituals of Folk Islam provides insight into the beliefs and practices of folk Muslims. This understanding helps us to make disciples of folk Muslims. I hadContinue reading “Folk Islamic Rituals #9: Devotional Images”

Folk Islamic Ritual #8: The Evil Eye

The folk Islamic worldview focuses on spiritual powers that are always present around us. In the view of folk Muslims, some of the most common opposing spiritual forces are jinn, demons, and the evil eye. Jinn and demons are similar but distinct. Demons (usually called Shaytan or Iblis in Urdu) are evil and more powerful than jinn. In contrast, jinn function as troublemakers who cause misfortune and trouble. The English word “genie” derives from the Arabic root jinn. Muslims often attribute tripping or other accidents to jinn. Another spiritual force is the evil eye.

The Seven Works of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is God’s empowering presence in our lives. Here are seven works that the Holy Spirit wants to do in your life.

Folk Islamic Ritual #7: Mystical Uses of the Qur’an

One Muslim understands the Qur’an to be the source of truth from Allah, while another uses the Qur’an most as a magic book to overcome spiritual forces in their life. Many Muslims simultaneously use the Qur’an in both of these ways.

Folk Islamic Ritual #6: Zikr and the 99 Names of Allah

One way that folk Muslims seek to interact with this spiritual realm is through protective amulets called tawiz. Another common practice is called zikr (Arabic dhikr), which often uses the 99 names of Allah.

Pauline Emulation in First Thessalonians

“You yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6 It is my conviction – and that of many missionaries – that missionaries should emulate the apostle Paul in their missionary work. Paul intended for TimothyContinue reading “Pauline Emulation in First Thessalonians”

Folk Islamic Ritual #5: Tawiz (Amulets)

This blog post is the fifth in a series on South Asian folk Islam and its rituals. Click here to go to the first of these articles. Understanding the rituals of Folk Islam provides insight into the beliefs and practices of folk Muslims. For some, it is strange to explore the worldview of folk Muslims.Continue reading “Folk Islamic Ritual #5: Tawiz (Amulets)”

Sharing Jesus with South Asian Shias

When Islam first spread to South Asia, it spread through Shia Muslims, first to the Sindh and then to the area around Lucknow. The father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was a secular Shia.[1] Today, Pakistan and India have significant Shia populations of at least 20 million per country.[2] Despite this large population, there are almost noContinue reading “Sharing Jesus with South Asian Shias”

Five Barriers to Engaging Muslims with the Gospel

In 1791, William Carey published An Enquiry, effectively launching the modern missions movement. His argument was that Christians needed to take up the Great Commission by forming mission boards to launch missionaries to the nations. Carey led the charge by going to India in 1792. In An Enquiry, Carey detailed the greatest centers of lostness in the world,Continue reading “Five Barriers to Engaging Muslims with the Gospel”