The Basis of Faith

Both Christianity and Islam have foundational texts. For Christians, it is the Bible; for Muslims, it is primarily the Qur’an. 

Christians believe that God gave the Bible through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to more than forty authors. These authors wrote over an almost 1600-year period from three continents in three languages. Despite being written by different authors, the Bible does not contradict itself, and external texts are not necessary to practice Christianity.

The words of the Bible have been well preserved. Israel’s religious leaders created a system to ensure the accuracy of copies of the Old Testament through meticulous proofreading techniques. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered between the years of 1947 and 1956, are in substantial agreement with the Old Testament throughout the generations proving that the text has been preserved and kept the same. The accuracy of the New Testament is proven through dated copies and writings of the Church fathers. In fact, these writings contain over 38,000 quotations from the New Testament, making it possible to reconstruct the entire New Testament minus 11 verses.

In Islam, the Qur’an is considered to be the actual words of Allah dictated to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel over a 23-year period. Muhammad recited these words to his followers and instructed them to write them down on various materials such as palm leaves, bones, and stones. The words were assembled into the Qur’an after Muhammad’s death. This resulted in different versions of the Qur’an. The differences sometimes slightly affected the meaning but did not change the basic ideas of the Qur’an. Almost twenty years after Muhammad’s death, Caliph Uthman established a committee to produce an official version of the Qur’an.

The Qur’an’s chapters (or suras) are not in chronological order but are organized by length, starting with the longest, except for the opening chapter. It consists of 114 suras which read like an Arabic poem. Although the Qur’an has been translated into many languages, Muslims are encouraged to read and recite the Qur’an in Arabic, its original language. The Qur’an is also divided into thirty equal parts so that Muslims can read a portion each day during Ramadan.

The Qur’an states around ninety times that Muhammad is the perfect Muslim, so in order to properly practice Islam, a Muslim must worship Allah as Muhammad worshipped him, which is why external texts (the hadith and sira) are a vital part of Islam. The hadith are reports of Muhammad’s teachings, deeds, and sayings compiled generations after his death. As the Islamic website “whyislam” explains that without the hadith, the Qur’an does not make sense. The sıra is the biography of Muhammad. Together the hadith and sira make up the sunna (Muhammad’s way of life and legal precedent). If all a Muslim possessed was a Qur’an, he could not practice his religion.


  • By reading the Bible, we read words that bring God’s life into our hearts and understanding, bringing joy and peace. For Muslims, reading the Quran, which is more of a “duty,” does not bring hope and joy to their lives. Pray that during Ramadan, Muslims will be curious to see what is in the Bible, the true Word of God, and be drawn to read its life-changing message.

Christians: Be Prepared

According to Open Doors 2023, World Watch List, more than 360 million Christians around the world suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith. 5,621 Christians (approximately 15 per day) were killed last year for their faith. 89% of those killed were in Nigeria as Islamic jihadi groups, such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), attempt to eliminate the presence of Christianity in the nation. 

Since Open Doors began their World Watch List thirty years ago, the number of countries where Christians suffer persecution has almost doubled. Although we tend to think of Christian persecution as overt acts of violence or discrimination against Christians, persecution can include hostile words and actions, and increasingly Christians, even in Western nations, are experiencing persecution. 

1 Peter 3:8-22 speaks of Christian persecution and instructs believers on how to respond. “…Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:14-15).

Peter directed believers to have a deep personal relationship with Christ and to be able to respectfully explain their faith clearly to others. Being “ready to give an answer” is a natural response to being in a close, loving relationship with God. We naturally defend those that we love because we know them intimately. In order to be prepared, we need to first study and meditate on God’s Word and develop a strong prayer life. 

Our relationship with God, however, goes much deeper than an emotional response. Our faith is based on truth – and the crux of that truth is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s these core truths where Christianity and Islam differ, and as we go through the next few weeks, we will be looking at those truths so that you may be able to better direct your prayers and be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have.

Why pray for Christians during Ramadan? Because the lifestyle of Christians is one of the top reasons Muslims come to know Christ. Other reasons include the spiritual truth that is contained in the Bible and Biblical teachings about the love of God. Pray for Christians to draw closer to God and develop a deep personal relationship with Him so that their lives reflect Christ in all that they do. Pray that Muslims will see the difference in the lives of Christians and be drawn to the Truth.

Finally, rejoice that God is answering prayer. Open Doors reports that persecution lessened in nations like Qatar (falling 16 places in the World Watch List) and Egypt (falling 15 places) in 2022. Other smaller drops in persecution occurred in Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, and Jordan. 


  • A primary reason there is the persecution of Christians by Muslims is (1) they have never met a faithful Christian to influence their lives, and (2) they are taught to “kill the infidel.” Ask our Lord to open their eyes to hatred and to see that true followers of Christ want to be their friend.
  • More Muslims have come to Christ in the last 15 years than combined in the previous 1400 years of Islam. Pray they will have a longing for spiritual things and have dreams and visions of the Lord Jesus, bringing them to salvation.