I’m currently going back through it as one of my sources for a comparison study of Christianity and Islam. If I understand the book correctly, Dr. Sarker hopes for us to love Muslims more as we come to understand what they are really going through. That has definitely happened to me.
There are many differences between Christianity and Islam. The one difference that breaks my heart the most is the different understanding about who God really is. As I understand it, God to a Muslim is very similar to the idea a Christian has…except for one important notion. Our God (Christians), is a god of love. Actually, one biblical writer states it this way, “God is love.”
For us, Love is the premier characteristic of who God is. Lest we misunderstand what we mean by Love, lets clarify. Love is only properly understood through the action God took that exemplified it. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son…” Sound familiar? Love is not an emotion one feels when their “loved one” approaches. It is sacrificial, regardless of whatever emotion or circumstance we might be going through at the moment. God is Love, and he loves us unconditionally. He loves his followers, and the unbelievers. He loves the good guys and the bad. God sent his son for all of us, regardless of race, economic status, etc. God is Love. God is steadfast in his love…
However, God is not portrayed that way in the Muslim’s scripture. God is Supreme! God is All Powerful! God is All Knowing! God loves his followers, but hates the sinner. To some extent God is capricious. God may change his mind on what is right, thus needed for Muslim salvation, and what is wrong. God doesn’t unconditionally love anyone.
My heart breaks for the Muslims in our world. It is a life without hope, without anchor, without assurance. Just a fear that on judgment day, the scale may not tip in their favor. They don’t have a God of Love.
That is what we have to offer them. This is what we have to offer the world.
It is great to be a Christian!