Dear Christians: I Wish You Could Meet My Muslim Friends

(To my Muslim readers: you are most welcome to read this or any blog post I write. But this post is especially for my Christian readers. I want them to see a little bit of what I see – the beauty of you, my Muslim friends.)

Dear Christian readers,

I know that many of you don’t know a single Muslim person – not one. Some of you have fears, doubts, and suspicion so you don’t engage in conversation or dialogue or friendship with any Muslims. I so want to see that change!

Part of my purpose in creating this blog is to break down walls between Muslims and Christians. To build bridges between us.

In this blog post, may I tell you about some of my Muslim friends? (I have chosen not to use their real names here.) I want you to see what I see – incredible people that you would love – if you just took the time to meet them.

I Wish You Could Meet Abbas – An Auto Repair Owner From Palestine
Abbas is one of the kindest, gentlest, humblest people I have ever met. He tries hard to help his customers in any way he can. Abbas and I have had long conversations about life and faith at his auto repair shop. I have attended Friday prayers at the mosque with him (so I could observe) and met his large family. I have eaten at his father’s home in Palestine. He tells me that he loves me and I know he means it. I say the same and he knows that I mean it too.

I Wish You Could Meet Ibrahim – A Student From Saudi Arabia
Ibrahim and I have had excellent conversations about life in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, about American politics, about Israel and Zionism, and about our faiths and our families. I have seen pictures of his wonderful family and heard of his father’s love for western jazz and blues music. Ibrahim is an incredible listener. He thinks before he speaks. He speaks softly but with real impact. His absolute openness to talk about potentially controversial topics is so refreshing. Both of us look forward to our next time of dinner and conversation together.

I Wish You Could Meet Husam – A Baker From Palestine
Husam is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. When my wife and I first met Husam about 7 years ago, he was working two jobs: baking early in the morning at his bakery/restaurant for 4-5 hours and then working in a hospital for 8 hours each afternoon and evening. I have eaten at his home in the States and stayed with his family in their home in Palestine. His hard working wife, sons, and daughters are like family to me. If you could see Husam’s smile, hear his warm greeting, and experience his strong bear hug, you would love him like I do.

I Wish You Could Meet Laleh – A Student From Iran
My wife and I met Laleh while taking a group of international students to a winter ice sculpture event. We immediately found her to be a very sweet, warm person. Later that evening, she invited us to have tea with her at her apartment. She shared her joy at going on the hadj to Mecca as a teen to “admire God.” She said about her time on the hadj, “When I was in Mecca, I realized I had fallen in love with God all my life.” We could see in Laleh’s eyes that she really loves God. We know He loves her too!

I Wish You Could Meet Farah – A Student From Palestine
My wife and I first met Farah and her two sisters – all of them in their twenties – when they worked for their father in the bakery. Like their father, they worked long and hard hours. I have been in their home visiting their father when Farah came home from a long day at work or at her college where she studies medicine. She always smiles and greets me warmly, asks about my wife, and quickly begins helping with cooking or cleaning in the home. She is an exceptional young lady in every way.

I Wish You Could Meet Samir and Walid – Cooks From Yemen
These young guys make great mac and cheese, fried chicken, and gumbo! When I come in to their restaurant (owned by a Lebanese family we also know), they always greet me warmly with big smiles. Samir is married and has one child – a little boy he has never met! After a time at home for the wedding and time together, he came back to the U.S. to work to send money home. His wife has since given birth and he can only see pictures of this amazing little boy – now about two years old. Walid is a hard working guy who also attends a local university in our area. He is so intelligent and well-spoken and he might be reading this blog post!

I Wish You Could Meet Yousef – A Biologist From Syria
I met Yousef while he was a student at a local university and President of the Muslim Student Association there. We built friendship over time and we had the idea to have an “I Love Muslims Day” at his university. When I e-mailed him about it, he said he wished I had told him in person so he could hug me! He said he had tears in his eyes! He was really touched by the event – as were many other Muslim students. You will not meet a kinder, more respectful, more humble young man than Yousef.

Finally, I Wish You Could Meet Khaled – A Barber From Jordan
Khaled is not just a barber – he is my barber! This guy and the other Arab barbers in the shop are amazing with hair and beards. Khaled’s wife is still in Jordan after several painful years of awaiting a visa. He is able to go home to see her twice a year. They have 4 girls together and a new baby boy is on the way! Khaled always says to me, “I love you too much, Mr. Mark.” I know he means, “I love you so much.” For sure, I love him too.

These are just a few of my Muslim friends. I am blessed to have so many more. To my American Christian readers I just want to say, take the time – make the effort – to meet a Muslim man or woman. Get to know them. Ask about their family. Their home country. Ask what they miss about home and what they like about here. Most of all, show them love.

I wish you could meet my Muslim friends!

4 thoughts on “Dear Christians: I Wish You Could Meet My Muslim Friends

  1. I am delighted to read your post here, Mark. I knew you a few years ago when we both lived in the western US. I remember you being a person of great warmth and love. You still are. But it’s not just your love. What you describe here is a love of people who are all incredibly gifted, amazing individuals who reflect the image of our Creator, our Heavenly Father God, who created all of us, whatever our faith or lack of faith. Your heart of love for Muslims reflects the heart of God- who sees people, all of us, just as He made us. He sees us each of us as the gifted, wondrous individuals we are, members of families and parents that normally care for us, work hard to provide for us, and love us all they can.

    I have also had the privilege of meeting many Muslims, in the US and now in the Far East, where I currently live and work. I have had three different Muslim roommates in the past. Two of my closest friends have been Muslims.

    Today I greeted a wonderful young man from Turkmenistan, one of the friendliest students at the university where I teach. Last Friday I comforted a visiting professor, a Muslim from Sub-Saharan Africa, who just lost 4 family members due to violence in his country.

    I deeply respect the spirit of hospitality common to most Muslims. I respect their generally deep hunger and longing to worship God, and their deep respect for their holy book, the Quran, and for the holy book of the Christians and the Jews, the Bible. Many Christians do not show the deep reverence for the Bible that many Muslims do.

    To my fellow Christians I want to say, ask God to open your eyes, to meet your Muslim neighbors and to see them with the heart of God.

    Mark, thank you for being a wonderful example and inspiration to your fellow Christians here. What an encouragement!

    • RS, your kind, warm, honoring words made my day!

      If any love shines through me, it is God living inside me who is shining out to others. I love 2 Corinthians 4:7. It says,

      “. . .we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

      It is wonderful to hear of your experiences of friendship with Muslims where you live in Far East. Oh how I wish more Christians would do as you say: open their eyes, get to know Muslims, and see them with God’s heart!

      What a difference it would make in our world!

  2. Dear brother mark I’m touched by ur love and respect u have for my muslim brothers and sisters I’m a muslim sister from south africa I have many christian friends too and so does my children.my daughter is married to a revert and she is friends with revert ladies that take her as a sister algamdulillah.thank u once again

    • Latina,

      What a joy to hear from you as a Muslim. It is my sincere hope that Muslims will find this website blog, read it, and respond. How did you find my blog?

      I want you to know there are Christians who really love Muslims! We have definite differences in what we believe – some of them are actually quite big. But. . .we can love each other, be friends, talk about what we have in common and what we don’t. We can speak with both honesty and respect about what we believe. Right?

      God bless you!

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