Sharia poses a challenge to Western societies because of the constant pressure in Muslim communities to implement it and expand its area of influence. For many Muslims in the West, secular law lacks legitimacy, especially in the realm of family law. A recent survey showed that two-thirds of British Muslims would prefer to follow sharia in cases where United Kingdom law conflicts with Islamic law.
The right to religious freedom, including the right of individuals to change their religion, is taken for granted by most people in the West. But in Islam, people are only free to change from a non-Islamic faith to Islam; they are not free to change in the opposite direction. All schools of sharia (Islamic law) agree that adult male Muslims who leave their faith should be killed. In line with this view, the majority of Muslim scholars, past and present, hold that apostasy from Islam is a crime carrying the God-prescribed penalty of death.
Traditional Islam assumes that it is impossible for a Muslim to live in a society governed by non-Islamic law. The world is considered to be divided into two parts: (1) the “House of Islam,” where Muslims have political control and sharia (Islamic law) is enforced, and (2) the “House of War,” where Muslims must fight against non-Muslims to establish Islamic political power. Muslims scholars of old often advised that Muslims living in the House of War should migrate back to the House of Islam – meaning back to Muslim states. Radical Salafi scholars still recommend this option to Muslim minorities today.
Meet Mary and Nasima, two fictional characters whose dialogue will introduce us to the Muslim fast of Ramadan. The women work side-by-side at a homeless shelter. Mary, a devoted Christian, is a longtime employee, but Nasima has been on staff only for three months. Though Nasima looks outdated with her headscarf and long, modest outfits, Mary takes a liking to Nasima. Nasima is compassionate, reliable, and quite religious. Soon Mary discovers that Nasima is a Muslim. She immigrated to the U.S. two years ago with her family.One day Mary struck up a conversation with Nasima.
Jesus’ command is clear, unmistakable and biblically sound. In Matthew 28:19, He instructs the Church to make disciples of “all nations.” The original Greek renders “all nations” as “panta ta ethne.” This is a direct and obvious reference to ethnic groups. The word “proximity” carries the thought of being near to a particular place, specific time or certain relationship. Proximity theology looks at the Great Commission through the lenses of generational, geographical and relational views to gain a fresh perspective in providing an adequate witness to all people groups.
Muslims know that they are not the only creatures on earth. Among the many other forms of life, they believe in spirit beings. They refer to these beings as the jinn. They also believe that some of the jinn are good and that others are evil. It is the evil jinn that Muslims fear the most. According to Islamic teaching, the evil jinn serve as Satan’s cohorts or legions. Their aim is to continue their rebellion against God by inflicting harm on people.