The Refugee Journey – A Quick Overview Of Muslim Beliefs And Practices

– first published on January 27, 2016
Una descripción rápida de las Creencias y prácticas Musulmanas

Many of the refugees coming from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are Muslim. It is important to understand what they believe.


  • ALLAH is the name for God. There are 99 names depicting Allah’s character. He cannot be known personally.
  • MUHAMMAD, the last prophet, is a descendent of Abraham through Ishmael. He was born about 600 years after Jesus.
  • The QURAN is a compilation of recitations given to the prophet Muhammad over 23 years.
  • The HADITH is a compilation of the sayings and actions of Muhammad. (to learn about the Islamic traditions read A Muslim’s Mind by Edward J Hoskins)(Hoskins 2011)

Muslim Practices: The Five Pillars

  • Repetition of the creed (Shahada): There is one God, Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God”. Saying this makes one a Muslim.
  • Prayer (Salat): 5 times daily, facing towards Mecca after the prescribed washing.
  • Almsgiving (Zakat): 2 ½% of their income goes to help the poor.
  • Fasting (Roza): during the month of Ramadan
  • HAJJ: the annual pilgrimage to Mecca required for every person who is financially and physically able.
  • JIHAD: internal spiritual struggle or holy war to advance Islam.

Muslims believe in God, Angels, Holy Books, Prophets, the Day of Judgment, and Predestination to do good or evil.

  • SIN- man is not sinful by nature and does not need a savior
  • SALVATION- good deeds must outweigh bad deeds to get to paradise (heaven). There is no assurance that a Muslim will get to paradise.

Theological Challenges

1967159893Muslim objections to Christianity:

  • “The BIBLE has been corrupted or changed”
  • “Christians believe in three Gods: The Father, Son, and Mary.”

Muslims will say they believe in Jesus, but what they mean is:

  • “JESUS is only a prophet.” “Jesus is not the Son of God.” He is not divine.
  • “Jesus was not crucified.
  • “Jesus did not rise from the dead.” There is no resurrection.

Islam is not one monolithic block. For an excellent description of different types of Muslims and how to share Jesus with them see Don McCurry’s book, Healing the Broken Family of Abraham.

For more in depth study, refer to “Key Theological Challenges in Discipling Muslim Background Believers” by Ken Ferguson (Intercede, January/February 2016).

References Cited

Hoskins, Edward J. 2011. A Muslim’s Mind : What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Islamic Traditions. Colorado Springs, CO: Dawson Media.

McCurry, Don M. 2011. Healing the Broken Family of Abraham: New Life for Muslims. Colorado Springs, CO: Ministries to Muslims.



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One Response to “The Refugee Journey – A Quick Overview Of Muslim Beliefs And Practices”

  1. […] groups moving across the globe, the need to understand is greater than ever. In the article, “The Refugee Journey ­– A Quick Overview of Muslim Beliefs and Practices” Donna Krstulovich provides basic facts about Muslim faith and […]

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