God’s Love for Muslims
Learn to Communicate Biblical Grace and the Good News of New Life to Islamic People
This enlightening manual on reaching Islamic people for Christ is presented in three sections
- The Muslim Faith
- What Muslims Believe about the Christian Faith
- How to Help Muslims
Full of vital information, it is at the same time a real ‘page-turner’. Here is a wealth of counsel from a pastor with many years of experience preaching and broadcasting in an Islamic land. It will greatly equip readers for effective witness.
About the Author
Ibrahim Ag Mohamed is now Assistant Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in central London.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Muslim Faith
What Do Muslims Believe?
What Do Muslims Practice?
Part 2: What Muslims Believe About the Christian Faith
Salvation – What Muslims Think
The Trinity – The Muslim Dilemma
The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ: Approved but Misunderstood
The Title ‘Son of God’ – The Great Confusion
Christ’s Death on the Cross: Fact or Fiction?
The Scriptures – The Great Misconception
Was Muhammad Foretold in the Bible?
Allah – Is He the Same as God?
More about Pastor Ibrahim Ag Mohamed
|‘The book I had burned came and burned my heart’: Ibrahim’s story|
Undaunted by the visitors who constantly drop-in to see him, Pastor Ibrahim Ag Mohamed patiently meets each request as it comes. A need for food, church concerns and personal matters: he gives each the same gentle care and compassion. Sharing what he has with others is what Ibrahim does best.
His calmness and impartiality flow from his family roots. He belongs to the Tamasheq people, the nomadic shepherds of theSahara known to the outside world as the Tuareg, and it was among them that he learned the art of contentment. There was “nothing to covet, because there is nothing there,” he recalls of his upbringing in the desert.
One of the highest values for nomadic people is freedom. The freedom to go wherever they want, do whatever they want, whenever they want is basic – essential, even – to their way of life. But Ibrahim advises Westerners to shed any romantic ideas they may have about it.
“It is a hard job to be a shepherd, to be a nomad,” he says. “I was following my father since I was three or four years old. This is when the training starts for boys.”
Being independent from ‘society’ is hard work.
Forced into Government School
The life he was accustomed to fell apart in 1970 when the government initiated a policy of forcing Tamasheq boys to attend national schools. Because of their strong family bonds, and the fear that these schools would eradicate their children’s Tamasheq language and culture, parents tried desperately to disguise their male children as girls. But when Ibrahim was five, he was found without his disguise, captured, and taken away to a government school where his life changed dramatically.
During his schooling he learned French and English and also came under the influence of Islam. Required to commit the Qur’an (or Koran) in Arabic to memory, he was compelled to believe its tenets unquestioningly, though he did not fully understand them.
As a young man, Ibrahim was one of a group who burned Bibles and any Christian literature they could find. According to their beliefs, these writings were the corrupted Word of God, and therefore should be destroyed.
One day Ibrahim found a Gideon New Testament belonging to a cousin who had become a Christian several years earlier. Now his cousin’s life had changed in ways that he admired and his cousin also prayed in his own Tamasheq language, demonstrating it was possible to communicate with God in one’s mother tongue.
Finding a New Testament
So Ibrahim began reading the New Testament himself, and as he did so two things struck him: first, the genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel outlined a history he was familiar with, including such names as Abraham and King David. Chapter after chapter drew him in and his interest grew.
“I was sitting alone,” Ibrahim remembers. “And I stood up and said, ‘Lord, you are telling me to come. I am coming.’”
That moment was very powerful for him: realising he was a sinner separated from God, he rose to his feet in repentance to meet the Lord.
“The book I had burned came and burned my heart,” he says.
A hunger to understand the Scriptures led Ibrahim to attend the Evangelical Baptist Bible School in Gao, north eastern Mali. After four years there, he went on to study at a seminary in England.
The deeper he went into the Bible, the more he could see how suited it was to translation. Unlike the Qur’an, its words retained their power, losing none of their impact in translation. So he began to conceive the desire to translate the Bible for his own people. Then they would know that they were not ‘forsaken by God’ (the meaning of the word ‘Tuareg’), but that he loved them.
Language School at SIL in England
Ibrahim went on to attend linguistic courses at the SIL school in England. There he met a young Polish woman named Gosia and they soon discovered that they shared interests beyond Bible translation. The two were married in Poland in 1994.
Toward the end of his SIL training in 1993, Ibrahim accepted a call to be a pastor in Gao. At the same time, he joined the Tamasheq translation team and began translating the Book of Acts.
Gosia, too, joined the Tamasheq translation project, at first typing revisions of the translation but later using her administrative skills as project manager, finance manager and fundraiser. She has maintained her links with churches in Poland and with Wycliffe’s partner organisation there. When she and Ibrahim and their daughters visit her home they encourage the church there to pray for the Tamasheq. Polish believers have also provided some funds for the translation project.
And when they are in Mali , Ibrahim can often be found at the edge of town, visiting those displaced Tamasheq who can no longer support themselves. Severe droughts in the 1970s and ’80s drove many Tamasheq from the desert to the outskirts of Gao. Their loss of freedom was devastating. No longer nomads, but not landowners either, they now earn a meagre living for themselves and their families tanning hides and making trinkets to sell.
Ibrahim distributes food from the church to the displaced Tamasheq and encourages visitors to buy their wares. He prays for them and reads to them from the newly published Tamasheq New Testament.
Ibrahim’s ministry is holistic: he identifies with the spiritual and physical needs of his people. “Even we who are believers, we are only pilgrims on this earth,” he says. “We are called to settle one day in eternity, so we will not be just wanderers.”
And on that day, these nomadic desert dwellers, the Tamsheq, can be free indeed.