My Muslim friends, there is a practice you have that I truly enjoy, very much admire, and heartily appreciate. When I ask how you are (“Keef halak?” for men, or “Keef halik?” for women), you always answer the same wonderful way:
“Alhamdulillah.” (“praise to God” or “thanks to God”)
You always. . .give thanks. . .to God!
I love it!
Did you know that the Bible also encourages followers of Jesus to always praise God, to always give Him thanks? No matter what. In every situation.
Here are a few verses about that:
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 18, NLT).
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Paul’s letter to the Philippians, chapter 4, verse 4).
Let us follow the example of a man loved by both Muslims and Christians – (David):
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises” (the Zabur – the Psalms, chapter 34, verse 1).
“I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. . .I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever” (the Zabur – the Psalms, chapter 145, verses 1-2).
Whether you call yourself a Muslim or a Christian, are you praising and thanking God today?
No matter what?
Postscript: dear Muslim friends, while it is vitally important for us as Muslims and Christians to talk about the significant differences in our respective faiths (such as how to get to Paradise – a huge issue!), it is also important for us to talk about what we have in common.
Thanking and praising God is something we can enthusiastically agree upon and use to build bridges between us for further discussion about who God is, why Jesus came to the earth and. . .how we can get to the place we all want to go – Paradise!