Ernie Rea was chatting wiht some Muslim experts the other day on 'Beyond Belief' (heard via the R4 podcast). They were supposed to be talking about Madrassas, but I wasn't connecting with it, until they talked to a Pakistani arts festival director, who was a strong Muslim believer as well. (I can't quote directly as I don't have the podcast any more as iTunes has been too efficient.) He said that the Prophet Mohammed said that the struggle (jihad) with others is over; the remaining struggle (jihad) is with ourselves, to make ourselves pure. It was following the Russian invasion of Afghanisation that religious leaders declared the war against the Russians to be a jihad, and it has been applied progressively more since then.But good to see a point of similarity with Christians - acknowledging that our lack of purity (could say our 'sin') is the main problem, not other people. I think I detected a difference as well, though. For the Muslim, it is indeed a personal struggle; for the Christian it can be (and should) a struggle but with the aid of God the Holy Spirit, as often we are almost powerless to change our characters.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. [Romans 8.26]

AuthorJonathan Clark