As Christians, our adoption by God into His family is the most lavish of blessings and a demonstration of His love. “In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will” (Ephesians 1:5). As adopted children, we are given the full rights and privileges of sonship. We are delivered from the penalty of sin. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit guaranteeing our inheritance. And “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him, we cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15).
In contrast, Islam means total submission to the will of Allah. The Islamic Unity Society explains, “To totally submit to the Will of Allah is to succumb to that superior status of Allah’s Lordship and to obey as would an obedient slave his wise master.” Al-Islam proclaims, “Slavery is the key to sanctity. The title “slave” is the best of titles.” Muslim scholar, Nouman Ali Khan, explained it this way, “slavery to anyone other than Allah is humiliation, but slavery to Allah is an honor.”
Submitting to Allah includes five basic acts which are considered mandatory by Muslims. A list of these five acts or pillars as they are known in Islam are found in Sahih al-Bukhari:
Allah’s Apostle said: Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
- To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle.
- To offer the (compulsory congregational) prayers dutifully and perfectly.
- To pay Zakat. (i.e., obligatory charity)
- To perform Hajj. (i.e., Pilgrimage to Mecca)
- To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.
The first pillar is a confession of faith called the shahada. The confession, “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadur rasoolu Allah” is to be declared in Arabic and must be said with conviction and an understanding of its meaning. The first part, “there is no god but Allah,” declares that only Allah can be worshipped and that Allah has no partner or son. The second part declares that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. It should be noted that you do not become a Muslim by simply pronouncing the words. The oral declaration is a reflection of the belief that is held in one’s heart.
The complete shahada does not appear in the Qur’an. It is actually found in Sura 9:31 and in Sura 33:40. As soon as a baby is born into a Muslim family, these words are whispered into his ears, and if possible, a Muslim is encouraged to repeat the words as he is dying.
The idea of Allah having a son is blasphemy in Islam, so it stands to reason that the thought of the God of the Bible granting sonship to Christians is outlandish to Muslims.
As a child of God, our relationship with the Lord is not characterized by a fear of losing our relationship; we have been bought with a price! We enjoy a personal relationship as sons and daughters. For Muslims, being a slave of Allah means they obey out of fear of punishment and passively do what they are told. As a slave, they do not have a personal relationship with Allah.
We pray, “Father God, remove the blindness of Muslims by opening their eyes and giving them hunger and longing for a relationship with the True and Living God. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, bring many Muslims during this Ramadan season into Your heavenly kingdom.”