What Have We Done, Lately?
“About 10 years ago, the Lord placed a burden on my heart for Muslim women. I was on a short term mission trip to France. Our main goal was to minister to North African Muslims, living in France. It was a life changing experience for me! The Lord used that experience to show me the desperate need that Muslim women have for Christ!”
I ran accross this post today and I just thought to myself – you know, this is really sad. Why does a woman who has every tool within Islam to fight oppression against her need Christ? I mean it’s not like she’s not going to find verses in the bible which make her property, justify beating her or punish her in the worst possible way for adultery.
And you know, it isn’t even this misconception, this willfull ommission of pertinent information in this regard that blew my mind away, it was this:
Also, try visiting your local Mosque…they will welcome you if you come as someone who is interested in Islam! Be careful to honor their wishes regarding women to be covered and modest and remember that women worship separately in the Mosque, often they will have a separate entrance for women!) My husband and I have had many interesting experiences and adventures at the local mosques in our area! Little did we know that we had visited one of the most militant mosques in the US! (but that requires another post!) My point is to try to interact with Muslims in your area and get the Good News out to them! Ask the Lord for wisdom and discernment for when to share the Gospel with them, to know when the soil has been properly prepared for the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Also, before embarking on your own personal ministry to Muslims try reading a few books on Muslim ministry. This will give a deeper understand of the religion and mentality of the Muslim! They are a complicated and fascinating people!
Wow! Wow! ~shaking my head~ I mean wow! Did I read that correctly?
And you know what – I’m not going to get into all of the problems within that text. Instead, I’m going to post an excerpt from a letter that a friend of mine wrote to our local leaders:
Unfortunately, this is a tiny exception. Most masajid are not catering to the needs of our community. It is no longer sufficient for the masjid to be only a place of worship, dry lectures on Quran and hadith, Sunday school, disputes over elections, or a social club for retired immigrants. In addition to these activities, it is now long overdue to establish professional counseling services which address some of the social ills of our communities, including issues of depression, death in the family, breakdown between parents and children, drug/alcohol abuse, divorce, domestic violence, and defending our faith from enemies who spend 24 hrs. / day trying to create doubts in the minds of the average Muslim about Islam.
In addition, our masajid have to be welcoming to a broader spectrum of the Muslim community. These means creating a space for people with different views and perspectives on our religion. In addition to the younger generation, let’s not forget those Muslims who teach Islam at colleges and universities who have no connection to the masjid, even though they are believers and have expertise about our faith.
Unfortunately, gender barriers and ideological barriers have kept a large portion of our community away, including the younger generation, many of whom were raised or born in America. They include couples of mixed marriages where one of the spouses is non-Muslim, or those who have not attended regular worship services for some time. They also include a significant number of single, professional women (doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, law students, and medical students, etc.) who do not have institutional support for a better understanding of Islam or to further strengthen their iman.
We have to allow space for people who are not on the same religious trajectory as the few individuals who sit on masajid boards. Why? Because some people come to Islam late in their lives. Others leave and come back to Islam during the course of their lives. Others come from homes where Islam was not taken seriously. Should they be ignored by the community? Alhamdulilah, others come from practicing and committed families and remain within the boundaries of our faith. All of these people should feel comfortable and should be welcomed with open arms from the masjid. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. How would a teenage Mark Hanson (Hamza Yusuf) be treated at some of our masajid while he was searching for the Truth? What about a young entertainer like Cat Stevens? Are we presenting the best that Islam has to offer to these people while they are seeking answers to fundamental human questions?
That’s it. I want you to ask yourself what you are doing for your fellow Muslims, what your community is doing in regards to these issues. I don’t just want you to ask yourself those questions, I want you to act upon these issues, ask your communities to act upon these issues. If your community doesn’t offer these services then I want you to actively become involved in volunteering your time to abuse centers, suicide hotlines, medical clinics, soup kitchens and I want you to become familiar with all of the pain out there and then I want us to take care of our own .. because if we don’t, someone else is readilly willing to do it for us.
If you know of a Muslim organization that provides these services write a post encouraging those that visit your blog to volunteer their time. I’ll be doing one in the near future.