Kristina’s Experience of Understanding Islam

Over the last year I have taken part in a course called Understanding Islam.  It has been a privilege to learn and be educated by a great team of diverse speakers both from Muslim and non-Muslim backgrounds. Some have been ordinary every day people like myself sharing their faith and life experiences.  We have also heard from and spent time with a local Imam and others in leadership roles.  Our non-Muslim speakers have been a variety of people who have worked closely with Muslim communities both here in the UK and/or overseas and around the world. Each session has been beneficial to me in a unique way and I feel it has equipped me to love and build better relationships with my Muslim neighbours.

Islam means submission to God and a Muslim is the one who submits.  This means to obey and surrender all to God.  Between our Christian faith and Islam we have so many similarities and of course there are some significant differences.  I have been truly fascinated to learn what the Qur’an teaches about Jesus.  The Qur’an refers to Jesus using the terms “the Word of God” (3.45, 4.171) and “the Spirit of God” (4.171). It also describes Him as a sign to all people and a mercy from Us (Q19.21). He is also referred to as “Messiah Jesus son of Mary who will be held in honour in this world and the next” (Q.3:45-46) but we must bare in mind that the Islamic meaning of the word Messiah translates as “messenger” and yet the Hebrew meaning is “anointed”.

This particular quote stood out to me the most and has stayed with me since I first read it because the Qur’an then says that Jesus spoke to them as a baby when Mary first returned home with Him, which was a miracle.

“I am a servant of God.  He has granted me the Scripture; made me a prophet; made me blessed wherever I may be. He commanded me to pray, to give alms as long as I live, to cherish my mother. He did not make me domineering or graceless. Peace was on me the day I was born, and will be on me the day I die and the day I am raised to life again.” (Q19.30-33)

I have most benefitted and enjoyed going back through the history of the last 100 years and learning about the political events that have taken place, which I knew very little about.  I have to say, I was hurt and ashamed to learn how our leaders of the past and the people who have been in the position to make important decisions have represented our country so poorly and deceptively. I truly feel my generation has such a lack of understanding of these catastrophic events that are still effecting and causing so much disunity in our modern lives and world today. Therefore, I really urge you to read and research. A good place to start is Sykes Picot, but be vigilant and always check your source so that what you are reading is not biased or untrue.

As human nature goes we usually fear the unknown and in my experience those who fear people of the Muslim faith have often had very little or no contact at all with them. Brothers and sisters I ask you please do not be fooled by the media and the message that it all too often portrays. Step out in faith, build bridges, break down walls and barriers as you were sent to do and you will find that you share more together with your Muslim neighbours than what sets you apart. For we are all God’s children. I do believe this amazing course will run again and I really encourage you to put yourselves forward for it and find new exciting revelation from God and what He has in store for you.

Written by Kristina Druce

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