Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hoskins on the Hadith

From the conclusion of Ed Hoskins’ article in the Oct 2011 Issue of EMQ, What Muslims Really Believe—The Islamic Traditions (requires subscription):

To Muslims, the hadith are familiar stories that play a practical role in their daily lives. By tapping into these, we have a bridge that makes spiritual conversations relevant and accessible.

I conclude with five thoughts.

1. The hadith fill in the gaps of understanding left blank by the Qur’an.

2. In my field-testing, I found no significant gender, geographical, or language ability differences. Well over ninety percent of all Muslims were familiar with my randomly-selected hadith.

3. Knowledge of the Islamic traditions can give us greater understanding and compassion for our Muslim friends and acquaintances. It did both for me.

4. Using the hadith builds near-instant rapport and facilitates deeper sharing. Every time I mention one, I get a smile. That’s rapport which opens the door to greater sharing.

5. Bridges for communicating biblical truth abound in the hadith. The traditions are packed with topics like the “golden rule,” “control your temper,” “God looks at the heart,” “blessed are the merciful,” “feed the hungry,” “separate me from my sins as far as the east is from the west,” and many more. To date, I have thirty-eight single-spaced typewritten pages of these.

More can be found in Hoskins recent book A Muslim's Mind: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Islamic Traditions (2011).

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