Folk Islam - What Is It?

Hump Day - Day Of Prayer For The Muslim World Vol.108

"Islam and Animism live in neighborly fashion on the same street in the same mind."
Samuel Zwemer (a longtime American Missionary to Muslims)

Though it is very difficult to measure accurately, it is estimated by many that between 70-80% of Muslims in the world operate with a worldview of Folk Islam over Orthodox Islam. Folk Islam can be found from one end of the Muslim world to the other.

Defining Folk Islam
Folk Islam is an umbrella term collectively describing forms of Islam that incorporate native folk beliefs and practices. As a for instance, most of the rituals performed at the Hajj Pilgrimage were practiced by native Arabs PRIOR to Islam's beginnings!

Folk Islam vs. Orthodox Islam
  • Folk Islam primarily deals with daily realities. It is considered to be the "lived experience" of being a Muslim. Folk Islam has greater concern for protection and success in this life.
  • Folk Islam is dominated by fear, curses and struggles.
  • Folk Islam practitioners rarely attend Islamic worship services, read the Qur'an or observe Islam's 5 Pillars.
  • Orthodox Islam is more concerned with Qur'anic practice - how to  please Allah and preparing oneself for the day of judgment.
  • Orthodox Islam practitioners see Folk Islam practitioners to be in desperate need of reform!
Folk Islam - Living In A World Of Power
Everything in Folk Islam relates to power! This is manifested in some of the following ways:
  • Use of Magic or sorcery
  • Trust in and power encounters with the spirit world (for health, healing and life decisions) and even spirit possession!
  • Shrines venerating Muslim saints, dervishes or Jinn
  • Ecstatic rituals
  • Trust in "power" objects like amulets and charms. Even the Qur'an is used as a "power" object!
Folk Islam - An Example Of Practice
If a Muslim woman seems to be unable to give birth to a boy, she may purchase a charm, visit and make an offering at a saint's tomb or seek a blessing from a marabout to change her fortunes.

Today's Prayer Points
  1. Pray that laborers of the LORD who are thoroughly trained in spiritual warfare would be sent to Muslims practicing Folk Islam. May these gospel laborers be given strong prayer covering!
  2. Pray for demonstrations of the Spirit's power and Jesus' love to cast away fear among those practicing Folk Islam (I Corinthians 2:4-5; Acts 8:6-8; I John 4:18).
  3. Pray for courage for people in the grip of Folk Islam to reject idols, rituals and dark practices and embrace Jesus (Ephesians 5:11).
Why The 10/10 Prayer Initiative?
Below is a 2 /12 minute video provided by some friends showing why we should all be praying for at least 10% of the Muslim world to come to Christ by the end of 2027.

Thanks again for praying with us. Loving intercession for these people will move the heart of God to begin Spirit led movements among them!

Dream so big only Jesus can make it happen!

Jay & Marsha Crenshaw
e3 Partners
Directors Muslim Outreach USA/MECA

Crenshaw Support
Fearless Love



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