What Do Our Children Need to Know About Islam?
Of all the counterfeit worldviews in our society, Islam can be the most intimidating to present to our children. Much of our exposure to Islam involves news coverage of radical Islamic groups in the Middle East. But we also have many Muslim neighbors in our communities. What exactly does Islam teach? And how can we help our children gain an accurate understanding of this religion without imparting fear or prejudice against our Muslim neighbors?
Expose the Idol
We have already seen that anytime we want to teach our children about another worldview, the first thing we must do is expose the idol. What person or object has this worldview substituted for God? Identifying Islam’s idol is both simple and complex.
In one sense, it is easy to identify Allah as the false god Muslims worship. On the other hand, it can be confusing to identify Allah as an idol, as many within the Christian community have begun arguing that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Is Allah an idol or just another name for God? To help both ourselves and our children gain a clear understanding of Islam, we must look at the critical difference between Allah and the God of the Bible.
Contrast the Idol with God
Scripture makes clear that God is triune. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are distinct persons, but they are one united being (Deut. 6:4, John 10:30, 2 Cor. 13:14, 1 Peter 1:2). The three persons of the Trinity have always been in perfect, loving fellowship. This means that God is not just capable of love, He is love (1 John 4:8). The same cannot be said of Allah. Allah is singular. He is one being, one person. While he is capable of love, he is not love. Love requires both a subject and an object. In order to love, Allah needs a being outside of himself. It is no surprise that Islam does not focus on Allah’s love for man but on man’s submission to Allah.
We need to help our children see the difference between God, who is three-in-one, and Allah, who is singular. It is because we worship a God who is love that Christianity is focused on God’s pursuit of man. Though God does not need us, He loves us and works to reconcile us to Himself (Rom. 5:8, 1 John 4:7-8, 2 Cor. 5:18-20, Col. 1:19-22).
Once we have helped our children understand this essential difference between Allah and God, we can then help them see the connection between the worship of Allah and other Islamic teachings — such as those regarding origins, identity, and morality. For more information on preparing our children to interact with our Muslim neighbors, check out Unit Two in Foundation Comparative Worldview Curriculum.