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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
288 pages
Jul 2004
Kregel Publications

The Unseen Face of Islam: Sharing the Gospel With Ordinary Muslims at Street Level

by Bill Musk

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


For millions of baby boomers, "I Dream of Jeannie" brought many chuckles, but to millions of Muslims, perhaps three fourths of all Muslims by some estimates, genies (jinn) are no laughing matter. Dr. Bill Musk takes us into the world of folk Islam, to the world of the evil eye, genies, sťances, saints, and love potions that trap millions in fear. Then he leads readers toward power encounters with Muslims that will actually meet their felt needs.

Musk starts the early chapters with engrossing stories of Muslims entrenched in superstition and occultism. He captures the characters and circumstances so well that you wish he would finish their stories. Following the story, he discusses the specific occultic practice taught in the story from the popular Muslim viewpoint. Then he describes Biblical teaching on the subject.

The second half of the book lays a philosophical foundation for understanding the mindset and for developing effective ministry to Muslims. He presents fascinating analyses of the sociological role of z‚r spirits in the lives of Muslim women, and of the "evil eye" in maintaining economic parity in what is perceived as a limited economy. His discussion explains why some people in these regions are reluctant to accept progressive technology and aid from missionaries.

Musk expresses no condescension or ridicule of the popular superstition and real fears of the people. Instead, he exposes the rationalistic Western viewpoint that falls short of Biblical teaching on the spiritual realm. He explains why so few missionaries succeed with Muslims without spiritual "power encounters."

Whether fictitious or true, Musk's stories compel reading. His philosophical foundation enlightens the reader beyond Islam's official theology and explains the real fears and needs of the people. His teachings on Christian missions challenge and convict. He also includes two appendices, a bibliography, a glossary, notes, and an index.

Though possessing a doctorate, Musk understands common Muslims. He has worked with several evangelistic and missions enterprises, including Middle Eastern ministries. He preaches in a multi-ethnic Anglican church in London. Anyone interested in ministering to ordinary Muslims, even Muslims living in the West, should read this book. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

The purpose of this book is to help Christians to become better acquainted with ordinary Muslims, in order to share Christ with them. Many, even most, ordinary Muslims live in a complex, mysterious world of which outsiders know little: the world of jinn, the evil eye, the hand of Fatima, the covenants of Suleiman, shrines, saints and festivals, curses and powerful practitioners of the occult. It is colourful, complex, full of human hopes and fears, and far removed from the Islam of the mullahs--or the newspaper headlines. As Dr. Musk penetrates the surface levels and ritual and legalism he demonstrates that most Muslims express deep needs in their daily living.

This new edition, reworked to include insights into folk Islam from around the Muslim world, retains the original structure while including new, contemporary illustrations of the relevance of such insights for Christian mission.