Love your Muslims

There have been several things pressing on my heart lately, but I think one of the most painful ones is the fact that a lot of people nowadays are afraid of Muslims. I am a follower of Jesus. I am NOT afraid of Muslims. I cannot give into fear. Allow me to elaborate.

If you happen to be reading this blog for the first time, I began writing in an attempt to speak my own mind into my own confusion. I enjoy writing down my thoughts, and I have logs for many things. I also wanted to document my spiritual journey.

While I began writing, I was  living in India, and I was best friends with a Muslim woman. I love that Muslim woman dearly, and I love her family. Not a single day passes without me thinking about them, and praying for them, but we are not in good terms with each other anymore.

I don’t believe Islam is true. There was a point last year, however, in which I could have probably become Muslim. For the first time in my life I was challenged to think outside my Westernized Christian bubble, and evaluate whether or not the Bible is reliable. Maybe it had been corrupted. I had to come face to face with questions, doubts and spiritual confusion. Did Jesus really died on the cross? Was He God incarnate or just a mere rasul (prophet)?

And all this confusion was easy to dismiss on a every day basis – at the beginning at least. I spent most of my time with my Muslim family. They became my family. Even tough there were Christians around, these Christians told me to stay away from the Muslims because they were gonna hurt my feelings. I was from the West. I did not know these people.

In the aftermath, they did hurt my feelings. But I hurt them, too. Unfortunately, we both hurt each other deeply.

So whenever I talk about Islam, Muslims, politics, and so on… I am very careful to remember that there are true stories and real people involved here. It is very easy to dismiss Muslims as our enemies, and to talk harshly about them when you don’t have a Muslim face that you can call your own – if that makes sense.

No. I am not an apologist for Islam. I believe Islam is a false religion. If Muhammad wanted to come up with a new religion of his own, then good for him. He would have not been the only one doing that. You also have Joseph Smith. But if he claimed to be a prophet in the line of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then Muhammad was a false prophet.

This freedom of speech cost me a friend.

I expressed my concerns about many practices allowed in Islam that I could not even begin to wrap my  mind around it. I called ISIS Islamic. My friends, of course, took offense. According to them, ISIS was not Islamic and Islam is a beautiful religion. So something “broke” between us. And that’s that.

There is a point to be done here. And it goes beyond my feelings, or even my friends’ feelings. I personally believe that the problem the West is facing is this: Nobody wants to confront the real issue.

If you confront the real issue, you are called a bigot. Most Westerns are ignorant about Islam.  We think that all people around the globe share our Judeo-Christian values (regardless of whether you are a Christian or not). And I also see ignorance in the Muslim world. I hope it is ignorance or denial because it would be so devastating if it is straight up lying.

Sunni Muslim, Raheel Raza published a video recently about the rise of Radical Islam. She is very boldly asking for an open, honest, fact-based conversation regarding these issues. She recognizes the fact that most acts of terrorism today involve Muslims in one way or another. So she calls for a discussion not about Islam, but about Radical Islam, and how it affects us all.

If you are following the news then I’m sure you’ve heard about the fact that the terrorist attack in San Bernardino could have been stopped. But the people who noticed suspicious activity never called the police because they didn’t want to be seen as racially profiling.

I hope you really watch the video first, because I’m writing about things that are said, and statistics that Mrs. Raza provides.

Mrs. Raza comments on the fact that she doesn’t need Ben Affleck – or any other celebrity – to defend her religion. I applaud that. It’s interesting to watch Ben Affleck saying that people who criticize Islam are racist. Islam is not a race. Not only that, tough, I seriously wonder if Ben has ever read a Quran in the first place.

In the other hand, Mrs. Raza does acknowledge an issue that not even the President of the United States can acknowledge: That ISIS is Islamic. She calls it Radical Islam. And she needs protection from the radicals in her own religion.

Now, she has a different perspective than that of my friends, of course. But the main issue here – in my own mind, anyway – is this: Why do Radical Muslims want to kill her?  Is it just because she is calling them radicals? Or is there anything that inherently goes against what these radicals are doing?

These are the circles presented in the video.

  1. Violent Jihadists wake up in the morning wanting to kill all non-Muslims. This is ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, etc. These are the people behind The Boston Marathon bombing, San Bernardino, Paris, and of course, 9/11. This amounts to the smallest circle.
  2. Islamists want many of the same things as the jihadists, but they won’t kill people. They use the political system for Islam to raise up to power. I think this is one of the issues happening in America right now. Mrs. Raza calls out CAIR as an organization that tries to politically and legally silence everyone who speaks against Radical Islam.
  3. Fundamentalists are the most disturbing circle, according to Mrs. Raza. These Muslims won’t kill people and won’t overthrow governments, but they do hold beliefs about human rights, women, and homosexuals (among others) that are deeply troubling.

Who are these fundamentalists?, Mrs. Raza asks. I personally think she opened a can of worms with that question.

She continues.

In 2013, a poll of Muslims in 39 countries revealed that 27% agree with the execution of apostates. That amounts to 237 million people. Do you think that is a radical belief? I personally know three people who have a story like this.  In the same poll, 39% of Muslims believe in honor killings – if your wife is an adulterer – which amounts to 345 million Muslims. That is A LOT of Muslims.

I want you to pay close attention to this, and I quote Mrs. Raza,


These numbers paint a picture about the Islamic world that is increasingly out of step with the modern world.


If this is true, if the Islamic world is out of step with the modern world, I am without words. Mrs. Raza talks about an Islam that will crumble at its foundation would the radicals Muslims think like she thinks.

Mrs. Raza basically is speaking against Allah and Muhammad. It may sound complicated – it was very confusing to me at the beginning. It was all the more confusing, of course, because I was studying Islam to see if I would join Islam. I was studying Islam very carefully. I learned about its claims, the application of those claims, its pillars, and so on.

The more I studied, the more I understood that the Quran is supposed to be the final, clearest revelation from God. Islam is a religion that has been perfected. Allah in the Quran is done with the Jews, and the Christians. Allah wants everybody to be Muslim. Muslims are the best of peoples. Of course, I believe with all my guts this is false, but these are the teachings of Islam. These are things that if you read the Quran, you can easily see for yourself.

Being a Muslim is not as simple as the Western Muslims claim to be. Yes, it is very easy, but it is not that simple. It is not only  a “Do good and hope for the best”- religion. Islam means submission.

Being a Muslim means that you submit to Allah. The more you dig, tough, the way in which you submit to Allah is by obeying his commands and Muhammad. Allah revealed the Quran (according to Muslims). The Quran then, it is NOT a revelation like Jews and Christians talk about the inspiration of the Bible.

For a Muslim, the Quran is the actual word from Allah. Allah dictated verbatim his words to Muhammad through an angel. So the Quran is NOT one more revelation, it is the final revelation. According to Islam, Jews and Christians corrupted everything and messed up everything, and so that’s why Allah had to send the Quran and Muhammad – to correct everything and everybody.

Now, before I continue, these allegations can be “easily” dealt with and proved false. I am passionate about the field of Muslim-Christian apologetics. But to understand ISIS, terrorism, and all the events happening around the world today, you need to understand that this is a war that began some four thousands years ago. It is mostly religious. Politics are thrown into it, of course, but at the core, religion is key.

Nobody seems to be addressing that – religion.

Our politicians do not want to talk about religion, and some presidential candidates are talking nonsense as if dropping bombs will stop this. More violence won’t solve the problem. I seriously wonder if sweet Ben Affleck understands this.

Mrs. Raza’s numbers reveal that 281 million Muslims in THE WESTERN WORLD approve of amputations, whippings, stonings, and corporal punishment. These Muslims believe Sharia Law should be the law of the land. Does that sound crazy to you? Does that sound radical?

Of course not all Muslims approve of this, and she makes that clear distinction. But I ask, of those who approve, why do they approve?


By silencing the debate on radical Islamist beliefs, we abandon our own core beliefs on truth, free speech and tolerance. And we abandon human rights in favor of political correcteness.

– Raheel Raza


Hats off to Mrs. Raza. I think she has started a much needed discussion.

I am a very curious person by nature. Maybe that’s why I got into college wanting to be a scientist. I was always fascinated by Chemistry, and atoms, and Biology and what not. I ask too many questions.

When I was in India and began asking my friends about Islam, they told me to read the Quran – they even bought me one big Yusuf Ali commentary. And when I began questioning about the Sunnah of Muhammad (the things he said and did), they were quick to say that I should not bother with that for now. They encouraged me to only read the Quran to see how beautiful Islam was.

I did read the Quran, and I didn’t think it was beautiful. I saw a god who claims to be the God of Abraham, but that god did not love like the God of Abraham. And I freaked out, of course, because now I was confused. Who was the God that I had submitted my life to? The God whom I had surrendered my life to was NOT the god of the Quran.

There are many technicalities about calling Him YHWH or Allah, but if you are a follower of Jesus, and have studied the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as I have, you can immediately recognize their personalities are very different. I saw similarities in both faiths, of course, but I got very curious at the differences. I had to learn about it. If I had been mislead into Christianity because of my upbringing -like my friends said- I needed to know.

I honestly wanted to follow after God. I was honestly confused. And after my friends told me the Bible was corrupted – which was very early into our relationship –  I got sucked into hundred of hours of studying and learning, both about Islam and Christianity. I had seen the light of Jesus, but I never actually asked for evidence. So I was seriously seeking for the truth. But the more I asked my friends, the more resistance I encountered. They never flipped, but at the same time, we never openly discussed things that troubled me deeply about Allah and Muhammad.

When we did talk about it, it was always superficial. She was so passionate about Islam that even when the evidence led me to Christianity, she got upset. She said I was never really looking for the truth. According to her, if I had, I would have become a Muslim. So our friendship ended on the basis of me attacking Islam in my blogs, and misleading people to Christianity.

If I didn’t respect Islam, I didn’t respect her.

This is why it is of utmost importance to know – as followers of Jesus – that Muslims are passionate people. They love their religion and they love Muhammad. They are very religious people. And even if they are not, it doesn’t matter. They love Muhammad. Deeply.

I am also very religious. Of course, Jesus is not a religion, but you know what I mean. In this life, my goal is to become Christ-like. I will never achieve it to perfection, but day by day, that’s my aim. In a similar fashion, a good devout Muslim wants to imitate Muhammad in all aspects – that’s their goal.

That is why, besides the Quran, Muslims are also guided in their religion by the Sunnah of  Muhammad. Islam, as a religious system, is based in these historical sources. Yes, the Quran is very important, but for a devout Muslim, Muhammad is as important. That is why the first pillar of Islam is the Shahada, the confession that There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet. You are not a Muslim if you don’t believe this.

Interestingly, tough, my friends sometimes teased me about becoming a Muslim. And even when I told them I could not say it from the heart, they said it didn’t really matter. I could become a Muslim. The conviction would come later. Who knows? This happens all the time. Muslims in the Middle East are very attractive. Women are beautiful and men are handsome. Then you hear them speaking Arabic. You wanna marry these people! Who cares if you believe it from the heart? You just become a Muslim!

Devout Muslims, tough, do pray what Muhammad prayed before eating. They end up the fasting in Ramadan as he did it. The enter the bathroom as he did it. When Muslims want to grow in their faith, they are encouraged to actually study these traditions. They are encouraged to read the Sunnah and Sirah of the Prophet (his life), and all this literature that for the most part is available online.

I highly recommend you read the book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Qureshi. It will give you a glimpse into the deep love and reverence that Muslims have for their prophet. Lots of feelings and emotions. Lots of passion. Zeal.

For me, a question was of main importance. And it seems that it is precisely the question that everyone seems to avoid. What kind of life did Muhammad live? I was considering becoming a Muslim so I needed to know what kind of beautiful pattern of conduct I needed to imitate. My friends always described me a Muhammad that was very similar to Jesus, and they told me about beautiful traditions. But I was never surprised by this. It was great that their prophet helped the poor, or the widows or the orphans. But I followed Jesus. I knew beautiful. I knew peaceful.

I hope you are following my train of thought.

Being curious as I am, I found another video by Mrs. Raheel Raza. She is interviewed about her opinion on what exactly drives radical Islam. She says that the short answer is an ideology that the radicals are using to hijack Islam. According to her, the radicals are turning Islam into a political ideology, and brainwashing people.

Hijacking means taking something that is not rightfully yours, and make it your own. Simple example, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven“.

Hijacking Christianity would be killing people in the name of Jesus, as this contradicts exactly what Jesus said and what Jesus did. A sad example of this are the Crusades, and events that lead to the Holocaust. I am aware of my unfortunate Church history.

But when Mrs. Raza talks about radical Muslims hijacking Islam – making it into an ideology -who am I supposed to believe? What Muslim is telling me the truth? The radical Muslims who follow Muhammad to the iota – living their lives as he lived his life – or the moderate Muslims who tell me the violence Muhammad exercised was only for a period of time?

According to Islam’s most trusted traditions – Bukhari and Muslim – Muhammad died cursing the Jews and the Christians. Only for a period of time? Muhammad hated their guts until the moment he died. I won’t link you to anything. You can Google it very easily. This is the era of information – thank God.

In the video, Mrs. Raza assures her interviewer that the Quran doesn’t say anything about killing people.

Are we reading the same Quran, Mrs. Raza?

I don’t see compassion towards the People of the Book. I only see how Muslims are the best of peoples. And how Jews and Christians are the worst of creatures because we don’t follow Islam. Google it, seriously. And read a Quran.

You see, this is what I don’t understand. Is Mrs. Raza purposely lying or she just doesn’t know?

Radical Muslims are living the Islam Muhammad lived. Mrs. Raza talks about abandoning core values of free speech.  Free speech? There was no free speech in Muhammad’s time, Mrs. Raza! Muhammad had people murdered because they insulted him. Read about Asma.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mrs. Raza doesn’t know. Many Muslims don’t know. She talks about a political ideology that is like a cancer. Yes, it is like a cancer. The Islam Muhammad lived was a spiritual, political and militant cancer.

So yes. Radical Muslims are killing people in the name of Mrs. Raza’s religion. Why? They do it because Muhammad said that he had been commanded by Allah to fight all the people until everybody testified that There was no God but Allah and that Muhammad was his prophet.

Does this sound like the Shahada? It is the Shahada!

Putting it altogether, Islam teaches that the Quran is the final revelation of God. Islam is the perfect religion. The Quran is a revelation from God himself to all people for all times. The radicals want everybody to be Muslim because that is what Muhammad was commanded to do. Allah only loves good Muslims.

And I am not defending the radicals. I am just trying to understand what drives their ideology. They are not really hijacking anything. They are just following the Islam that Muhammad left the world with. And that’s the problem right there – the sources are not consistent.

Use ONLY some reliable sources and you can make Muhammad into a saint. Islam is beautiful.

Use ONLY some reliable sources – as reliable as the first ones – and you get ISIS.

You see the reason why I think that closing the borders to Muslims is nonsensical? I think it is too late for that. I agree with increasing security, of course.  But banning all Muslims – that’s too much. Everywhere I look there is a Muslim somewhere. And God forbid the moderate Muslims decide to take some authentic haddiths literally, because if they do, all of us are dead.

I am not being pessimistic. I think I am grounded in reality. And that is the problem. The elephant in the room that nobody seems to address is the religion itself. 

Mrs. Raza. is also asked if there is a place in the Islamic religion  where it says that Muslims should partake in these terrorist acts. She never replies with an absolute NO. She replies that not in her understanding of the Quran. But what about the sound traditions in which Muhammad says he had been made victorious with terror?

Unfortunately, the radical Muslims can always point theologically and historically to their own sources to kill civilians, to kill Jews, to kill children, to kill homosexuals, to kill apostates, to kill people who mock Muhammad.

So when a Muslim tells me that Islam is beautiful, I believe that. You can make Islam be that way. But then at what point are you – as a Muslim – thinking that you know better than Allah? If the Quran is the last, clearest revelation from Allah, and you are commanded to obey Muhammad, how can you pick and choose what you want to follow?

This is something that also applies to Christians, by the way. We pick and choose all the time. And when we do, we are in rebellion – we are hypocrites. Jesus speaks against that. The Quran also speaks against hypocrite Muslims, by the way.

So there have been articles about Islam needing a reform. I’ve been following them. You can read the article here. And you can read the actual Reformation Document here. I admire these people as a non-Muslim. But in my non-Muslim eyes, after the knowledge I have acquired – which is not extensive – I see this declaration, and I cannot see anything other than these Muslims contradicting very specific statements in the Quran and the Sunnah.

I am not saying these Muslims are not real Muslims. But when they demand rights and a reform that flies in the face of Allah’s specific commands in the Quran, and some of the things Muhammad did and say about women, criticism, human rights, inheritance, anti-Semitism, apostasy, among others… It all sounds beautiful to the Western world. But to the radicals it sounds like blasphemy. And that’s why they want to kill them – Mrs. Raza included.  These Muslims have been Westernized.  These Muslims want values that the Judeo-Christian West offers, but they are not the values of the Islam of Muhammad.

If people are serious about a religious reform, one thinks they would like to maintain some connection to their own religious traditions as a basis for that reform. That is actually what happened historically with the Protestant Movement and the Catholic Church. The Reformers went back to the original message that Christ preached. We went back to the Bible alone. We broke away from man-made-tradition, and the selling of indulgences, and what not. .

But the Muslim Reform Movement seems more interested in establishing a connection with the non-Muslim Western world as the basis for their reform. And this is the sad reason why there seems to be little, if any, support coming from the greater Muslim-American community for this small group of aspiring reformers.  It is only attention from the non-Muslim world that will sustain the Muslim Reform Movement. Sadly.

Going back to Mrs. Raza, and her question about the fundamentalists – who are the most disturbing – I read an excellent article by  Hussein Aboubakr.

Hussein was told in his childhood that every day that passes on the Islamic nation without a caliphate is a sin. That the failures and miseries of the Muslim world started the moment they gave up conquests and wars against the infidels. That their prosperity depends on conquering new lands, converting new believers, looting new resources and enslaving more women. He was taught that a Jew is essentially a demon in flesh and that it was their destiny as good Muslims to kill them all.

Where is this anti-Semitism coming from? Read the Quran, people!

Hussein talks about many parts of the Muslim world that are intolerant towards free speech, criticism and reform. Human rights are not observed in most of the Muslim world; women’s rights, homosexual rights, minority rights, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of belief… Execution of apostates, women who are not allowed to drive, sexual segregation, persecution of liberals and journalists, homosexual imprisonment, and persecution of non-Muslim minorities are all common themes almost in all Muslim countries. Many Muslim countries use public beheadings, hangings, lashings, stonings and chopping of limbs  as an accepted form of punishment.

This is not news for us, sadly. Hussein makes a point, tough. He says that while the vast majority of Muslims may frown upon ISIS and Al Qaeda and may be horrified by their acts, they will still approve of many human rights abuses. He is talking against the same things Mrs. Raza is speaking against.

He says the Muslim world is dominated by bad ideas and bad beliefs. He says the majority of Muslims have no principle objections to application of extreme violence, subjection of women and minorities, prosecuting if not killing homosexuals and confiscating personal freedoms.

And I ask again, and again… Where do the bad ideas and the bad beliefs come from? Why are people in positions of authority like Mrs. Raza so eager to deny or even hide that both – the great things in the Muslim world and the bad things in the Muslim world – all come from the same place?

Mrs. Raza says she is not a leader, but she is. She HAS a voice. People listen to her. Hey, nobody is interviewing me…

Do you see now how this is almost impossible to talk about? Everybody attacks the radicals, everybody says there is a problem, and that we need an honest, open discussion. But the moment you start asking questions and confronting the real issue all hell breaks loose. And people get hurt.

I lost a friend because she felt I should keep my mouth shut. I couldn’t. I loved her. My love for her demanded me to speak out. I cried asking her to stop feeling guilty over not being able to fast during Ramadan. I had feelings for these Muslims!


We label as moderate Muslims everyone who is not trying to kill us regardless of that person’s actual views. Moderate Muslims rush to warn about Islamophobia and unjust western prejudice against Muslims. Almost in every single occasion that Islamic terrorism is mentioned, Muslims’ first action is to defend their faith. They assert over and over how peaceful and beautiful Islam is. They are obsessed with their religion and care about it more than they care about stopping murder in its name. It should be clear that this kind of obsession is just another form of fundamentalism.

-Hussein Aboubakr


Remember that according to Mrs. Raza, the most disturbing circle was the fundamentalists. They won’t kill anybody, but they agree with the punishments, and in some ways, they justify them. I am afraid to say that I think the fundamentalists are for the most part the sweet, moderate Muslims.

They might agree out of fear, or out of conviction, but they do – for the most part – have radical ideas. They just don’t act on them. I was confronted face to face with hate for Jews and Christians because we are greedy for oil. I was told no Muslim would ever want to be my friend because I was gonna let them down. The conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the hate for the West and Israel are very real. And of course, Sharia Law is the answer for all the problems you see around the world – or at least in Pakistan.

And the funny thing is I never expected these things. I didn’t know any better. I had never been friends with any Muslim whatsoever. But Muslims are passionate people. I love her dearly. I don’t hate her. She is so zealous for Allah. Oh, my God, what I wouldn’t give for Christians to be as zealous for Jesus as she is for Muhammad… And I’m sure she loves me. I spent most of my time with them. I ran to their house whenever they needed me. I made life with them. My children miss her children, and they talk about them on a regular basis.

As a follower of Jesus, unless you don’t love these people for real, unless you don’t understand their feelings, their culture, and their way of thinking… unless you don’t put yourself out there to serve them and love them genuinely, there is little to talk about this world conflict that we see in the news. Muslims are in the news all the time, but they also just want to be left alone and live their lives. If you want to make a difference in their lives, you have to learn how to be able to relate to them.

Love them. Get to know them. And also understand this, the Christian love is not to be a silent, cushy-feeling. There is a minister who works with Muslims, and he says that Muslims on a regular basis are surprised at how confident he is. Muslims expect him to be weak, and silent, and not being able to defend his faith. These are ideas that Muslims honestly hold about Christians. Jesus was meek, but make no mistake. Meekness is not weakness. Jesus confronted people. Paul confronted people. Read the New Testament.

If you really care about a person, you eventually would like to share your faith, wouldn’t you? I would. And maybe this is just me, because this is my passion. You have to be prepared to defend your faith, tough. Always. But you also have to come to terms with the fact that opposition will come as a natural result of you preaching Jesus – specially to a Muslim. The Gospel offends Muslims. The Gospel is offensive by its own nature.

In a more practical way, what does it look like to love Muslims? I seriously believe that you do need to understand what they believe, and why they believe it.  You need to be willing to approach them in the first place. No fear of Muslims whatsoever. I highly doubt each one of them is carrying a bomb under their shirts, you know? And get to interact with them based on where they are coming from. Ask questions. Not every Muslim is the same – at all.

I was buying some things the other day, and a sweet young girl was helping me. She looked Middle-Eastern, you know. This is not racist, okay? People begin speaking Spanish to me when they see me at the stores. I look Hispanic. I am Hispanic – so what? So she was wearing a necklace with some words on it, and I asked her about it. She said it was in another language.

Then I asked directly, “Are you Muslim?”. And she looked so relieved, like a weight lifted up, and she began telling me how she had no idea what the prayer said. Her mom makes her wear it for protection. I told her it might well be a short Surah (Chapter), and she looked at me like I was this crazy person. She said she had no idea about the Arabic language, or about what the book said.  And then,  she also told me how she doesn’t like covering her head. She is an American girl. Born and raised in America by Pakistani parents.

She was beautiful. She could have been my younger sister. She just wants to work and go to college perhaps… what do I know? I am telling you, if you are a follower of Christ, you have nothing to fear. Reach out to them.

And be prepared. People are often afraid of what they do not know. You do have to know about Islam, I believe. Be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. At the same time, recognize that Muslims are like sheep without a shepherd. Be compassionate. And learn to defend your faith historically.

Here is where Apologetics plays a role. Of course, you can always love them and serve them. It is not your job to convince them of anything – that’s the Spirit of God’s job. But if they are zealous, they are gonna try to convert you before you try to convert them.

The world of Muslim-Christian apologetics is amazing. I love it. I wish I had more people around me to talk about it. My husband is sick of it – pretty much. I love building a case for the historical Jesus, and his death and Resurrection, and studying the claims about Islam. It is fascinating – to me anyways – the fact that Textual Criticism is a science that assures us of the reliability of Scriptures. The arguments can go back and forth forever, but at the end, it all points to making a personal decision based on the evidence you have.

Muslims, tough, for the most part, are lovely people. No kidding. I feel more comfortable now approaching a Muslim at the store, and having a conversation with them, than I am with an agnostic or even and atheist. Muslims have offered to cook for me, and they are nice to my children. And you know what? I miss my friend, but her words resonate constantly in my mind…

If only these people knew who I am, they wold probably not want to be my friends, because I am going to let them down. 

And I have to make a choice. Every day. I have to decide whom to listen to. Am I gonna listen to my friend, or am I gonna listen to the Ex-Muslims who tell me I should stop calling her my friend? They told me she was never my friend. She spotted me as a weak Christian and saw an opportunity to convert me. There are many blessings from Allah when you convert people, you know… or so they say.

But I choose not to listen to anybody but to Jesus. And He loves her. He died for her. He died for me, and for all the Muslims that I see around in my neighborhood. So I choose to have the mind of Christ, and I approach them anyway. Of course, I learned my lesson. I will keep it at chicken tandori, and masala chai for as long as I can 🙂

Also, there are great rewards to all these experiences. My children see me loving people. My four year-old is so funny. She asked me the other day at church if the pastor was an ex-Muslim (he had a long beard). And she has more theology in her little mind that what I had at age 30. She praises Jesus and calls Him YHWH, and on a regular basis, tells me I should stop praying for my Muslim friend.


Mommy, you hurt her. She hurt you. She will always be a Muslim. She cannot be a follower of Jesus because Momamad [Muhammad] told her. I just want to play with Muslims.


And I knew she was referring to my friend’s son. They were best friends at school. And my heart sank. But you know what? I actually ended up talking to my daughter about how God loves answering even the most impossible prayers. So, who knows? Maybe one day, she will leave Islam, Insha’Allah.

These interactions help me to teach my children about apologetics, ground them in the Christian faith, and my Savior Jesus. I am showing them what it looks like to follow Him will they choose to trust Him as their own Lord and Savior one day. These experiences are preparing them to go into the world ready to love people as Jesus loves people.

If you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, nothing can separate you from the love of Christ. Seriously, the worst thing ISIS can do to you or to me is to kill your physical body, but your soul is secure. And I know not everybody feels as I do, but I only want to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be with Muslims, you know?

Just love people, and thank God for His gift of Salvation in Christ. Specially during this season.

Merry CHRISTmas! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not fair...

Not fair – Part 2

“Aren’t you afraid?”, I asked my husband. “I know you are sick of me with all this, but I need to hear from you. What do you think? Don’t you care about going to hell?”


Sweetheart, you are looking for something that you will NOT find. You are looking for proof that what you believe is true. You won’t find that. The only thing you will find is information that will enable you to make a decision – a sensible choice. I made a choice a long time ago to follow Jesus. I read and I chose. Can I prove it? No, but I still choose to believe it. That’s faith. Go running, it will help you clear your mind…


He is right, you know. I don’t know how it happened but I have committed so much of my time to find information about Islam and Christianity for the last six months. It probably started after the Bible-corruption talk I had with my Muslims. They are my Muslims and they will always be. But my husband is right. I will never be certain of anything. These things are not very likely to be settled scientifically. All I can do then is to make an informed decision. If I end up going to hell, I cannot blame anybody but me, I guess.


A Muslim is a person who submits to God. Any human can be a Muslim if he believes in one and only one God AND he leads a good life by submitting to that one God.

A non-Muslim, by definition, is a person who does not recognize God as a Sovereign Law giver Who rewards the good and punishes the bad.

OnIslam.net


The duty of Muslims is to do more good deeds and minimize evil deeds. That’s how they hope to attain salvation. Again, bear in mind, only in general terms. So on the Day of Judgment, Allah will judge them and ask them about each single deed that they did in this world. If the scale of good deeds exceeds the bad deeds, by Allah’s mercy they will enter Paradise.


Allah has written down the good deeds and the bad ones. He who has intended a good deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds to seven hundred times, or many times over. But if he has intended a bad deed and has not done it, Allah writes it down with Himself as a full good deed, but if he has intended it and has done it, Allah writes it down as one bad deed

– Prophet Muhammad

Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim


In Islam actions are judged on the basis of intentions. Bad actions are not necessarily bad. Actually, good intentions in themselves have become good because they are based on the right philosophy or the right belief. Personally, I don’t think that would fly with the Jesus of the Bible. They might fly with the Muslim Jesus in the Quran, but not with my Jewish Husband. I have been so angry with my children that I have felt like throwing them out of the window. That is murder according to the Jewish Jesus.

When Jesus walked on this earth, He elevated the standard of morality to a higher level than The Law of Moses. In Matthew 5:22, Jesus says that you shall be subjected to penalty (bound, guilty) if you get the kind of anger (irritation) that focuses on punishing your offender rather than punishing the moral content of the offense (that’s me with my children). Not only that, if in contempt you call someone a moron, a fool, a stupid idiot – anything that puts into question his “brains” – you are risking going to gehenna (hell). Keep in mind that Jesus is talking to his twelve closest men, and to a whole crowd of people.

I am telling you people, following Jesus is creeping me out. This is a Jesus I had never seen in these eight years. This man is NOT a pushover. But then He forgives, and says that there is no greater love but to give your life for your friends, and He dies willingly. So Jesus calls you out when you sin, but then He dies for it. I think trying to explain how He embodied grace AND truth is impossible for me as a human being.

According to Islam, though, even if I felt like killing and thought about it many times, it doesn’t count as a bad deed. It actually counts as a good one because I didn’t follow through with the murder. Of course I was confused, so I asked my friends. They told me to read the Quran first, and to stop messing with the hadiths. Haven’t they realized they got me into this to start with?

 So to make things clearer: Muslims follow the Quran, the Sunnah and the hadiths.

  1. The Quran is their Holy Book.
  2. The Sunnah are the religious practices that were established by the Prophet among his companions, and have passed to them by the consensus of generations.
  3. The hadiths are narrations that are attributed to the companions of the Prophet who narrate a statement or a story about Muhammad or related to him.

According to some Muslims, the Quran and the Sunnah remain as their primary sources to understand Islam. But there are other Muslims who only follow the Quran and disregard the Sunnah, so you see them arguing on the web about this. These arguments do not even include the hadiths. There is a whole process for determining if the hadith is authentic or not. But a good rule of thumb is to go with Sahih al-Bukhari since it is recognized by the overwhelming majority of the Muslim world to be the most authentic collection of sayings of Prophet Muhammad. After that, Sahih Muslim is the second best collection. So for now, I’m sticking to those.


He who obeys the Messenger [Mohammad] has obeyed Allah

– Quran 4:80


Were am I going with all this? Well, it has actually crossed my mind the idea that if Islam is the true religion, I have to dump Jesus as my Savior, acknowledge Him only as a prophet, and embrace the Seal of the Prophets: Muhammad. If I am going to be a Muslimah, I’m gonna have to give it my best shot because No Savior means it all depends on me. My salvation rests on my shoulders, and of course, Allah’s mercy.

As I’ve seen, though, there is no consistency in how Allah punishes sin. Sometimes He wipes it all away, sometimes He does keep track of your wrong doings. This, of course, has me all confused because Allah in the Quran does not display the same character that Allah in the Bible displays (which has given me headaches for the last 6+ months). Seriously, it is hard to keep track of my children on an everyday basis, how am I supposed to keep track of my deeds with God?


Whoever says, ‘Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi,’ one hundred times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea.

Sahih al-Bukhari

Whoever says, ‘La ilaha illal-lah wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahu-l-mulk wa lahul- hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shai’in qadir,’ one hundred times will get the same reward as given for manumitting ten slaves; and one hundred good deeds will be written in his accounts, and one hundred sins will be deducted from his accounts

Sahih al-Bukhari


Allah can do whatever He wants because He is God. God is God. The One and Only True God that Muslims, Christians and Jews worship according to Quran 29:46. So I think I owe it to myself to learn from Prophet Muhammad. It only makes sense that if he is a beautiful pattern of conduct (Quran 33:21) then I have to evaluate whether or not I want to sign up for Islam.

I am questioning things. I have to dissect the Jewish Jesus, the Muslim Jesus, Christianity, Islam, Muhammad, even Judaism and reincarnation. Anything goes in my search for truth, and I am telling you, it is NOT fair.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Not fair...

Not fair – Part 1

Now that my life is spinning around the internet researching for stuff, I have stumbled over the subject of Jesus as the ONLY way to heaven. Most people think it is unfair. Let’s say it is. I agree. It is unfair. It is very narrow. What I would like to know is exactly what fairness is. I cannot speak for everybody because I cannot know the heart of every single person in the world, so I will just speak for myself.

The very fist time I heard about a guy named Jesus had died for my sins, and that He loved me so much He wanted to help me with my life was when I was 12. I vaguely remember a friend of mine inviting me to this Protestant church in Mexico. Mostly I was hanging out with him, and then his parents took us with them to church. I don’t know how I ended up there, but I did. After the message, a gentleman asked us if we wanted to know more about Jesus. I raised my hand, but when someone came to talk to me, they saw that my parents were not there. They said they could not talk to me about Jesus because I was not with a responsible adult. Apparently, I needed my parent’s permission to hear the gospel [sarcasm].

Then, at age 20, a friend from high school invited me to church again. He told me about a guy named Jesus being amazing. My friend told me how he was a new person, and how this Jesus had rescued him from his sins and whatnot. Keep in mind I was Catholic, alright? I had been baptized as a baby. I was Christian. Is that what being a Christian means? Anyway… my friend stopped inviting me after I said no many times. It was wonderful that he had seen the light, I was just not interested.

My point is this. Of all the people who say Christianity is too narrow, that it is unfair that a loving God would only choose a person – Jesus – as the ONLY way to come to Him… Of all the people who refuse to come because the gate is too narrow… How many of those people really want to enter?  I ask because the narrow door was just an excuse in my case. The truth is I did not want to enter. I was very comfortable sleeping around. I might have known deep down inside me that God knew better and that having sex like I had candy was not good for me.  But who the heck cared? I liked it!

If you told me back then that the gate was too narrow and that the ONLY way to come to the Father was through Jesus, I would have objected. Of course. I would have made plenty of excuses. I’m happy Jesus works for you, but it’s not for me. I don’t think it’s a sin to have sex with my boyfriend, you know. After all, if we love each other, then it’s okay. It is not a sin if it’s done with love. I need to clean up my act before coming to God. Besides, it is unfair to other people. The way to the Father is too narrow. Why ONLY Jesus? 

You name my excuse, I would have given it to you. I knew there were things that might have been wrong with my life, but it was okay. I was happy. I never felt broken. Not all the time anyway. Sometimes I did feel lonely, but then I would just sleep around some more, and my loneliness went away. But my burden, my load, began feeling really heavy. I don’t know how it became heavy or when, I just felt really tired.

Being a disciple, a follower of Jesus, requires sacrifice. I wish I could tell you I am a disciple. For the most part, I am  trying to follow Him. But now that I am reading all this, and even doing a little bit of Greek here and there to understand the New Testament in its original language, I am scared of Jesus. I had always been like Jesus, Jesus, lovely Jesus, softy Jesus, but you don’t mess with Jesus. He said that if you wanted to be his disciple (to go after Him) you would have to deny (to disown, to repudiate, to ignore) yourself, to take up your cross, and follow Him. He doesn’t sound like a pushover. If the guy really died out of love for you, it is only fair He would demand obedience from His followers. The gift of salvation is free for anybody who wants to take it. But free doesn’t mean cheap. 

So I rejected the offer many times, mainly because I had no idea what the offer was. Tell you what, tough, unconditional love… you don’t walk away from that. I just couldn’t. So one day, I decided to walk through the narrow gate. I wish I could tell you I had objection for the door being too narrow, but I didn’t have excuses anymore. I had tried many things, but nothing seemed to change. So why not? I gave Jesus a shot. In faith, I asked God to help me change my ways, and my heart. I was ready for Him to do whatever He needed to do, I was done trying to figure out life on my own. And He kept His word. He helped.

But last night I couldn’t sleep at all. I was afraid. I was afraid I am going to hell for believing in Jesus as my Savior. I have been reading my Quran too much, you see, trying to make sense of all this. My Muslim friends told me to read it if I wanted to understand their religion. All this time, though, my husband has probably gotten the worst part. I talk constantly about all these things, about all I am finding out, about all the debates I’ve watched, and the latest news on Jewish and Islamic websites.

I know my husband loves me, but this definitely is not something he enjoys talking about – at least not for hours, like me. Hence, the blog. This morning I asked him, crying, if he was not afraid of going to hell for having confessed Jesus as His Lord and Savior eight years ago.


Seriously? We are going on vacation tomorrow. I am taking you to the beach for the first time in eight years. WE HAVE NEVER GONE TO THE BEACH. Do we have to talk about hell right now? Can you just disconnect your brain from all this until we come back?

– Dear Husband


Yep… that’s my husband right there. All our closest friends know this is him. He kept on talking.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Fear of death

Fear

I have only been VERY afraid three times in my life. You know, that kind of fear that overtakes you and you cannot sleep. The first time it was when I thought I had cervical cancer. I had been diagnosed with HPV, and the possibility of developing cancer was there. My mind is a very powerful mind. It takes me places where I know I shouldn’t go. It was fear what made me think I might have cancer. I went through a cryosurgery, and the lesions were taken care of. Ever since then, I have a very healthy cervix. I am not afraid anymore. But if I have to be honest with myself, when the time for my yearly pap-smear comes, I always grow anxious until I see it’s negative.

The second time I was very scared was when I didn’t feel my first child moving anymore around 30 weeks into the pregnancy. We rushed to the hospital and I was given steroids in case the baby had to be taken out. My amniotic fluid was at a very low-level, and I remember feeling alone. We decided not to tell our parents mostly because they were a thousand miles away from Houston. Literally. They were in Mexico City.  But I remember a sweet woman who came to the hospital to pray for me. At that time, we were doing a 30 week study of the Book of Isaiah. I was so afraid lying down in my hospital bed when she began praying over me. She did not pray for my baby to be healthy. She did not pray for my baby to stay inside my uterus. She did not pray for everything to be the way I wanted it. She prayed for God’s will to be done. Up to this day, that prayer has been the most difficult – and the most beautiful – I had been prayed over.

That day I realized that if I was going to follow the God of Israel, I had to agree with Him in many things, whether I understood them or not, whether I liked them or not. It made sense to me that sometimes bad things happened to good people, but there was nothing in this world that would happen to me if God had not allowed that to come my way. The problem with this statement, of course, arises with the different views people have of God. But I believed God was good all the time. I trusted Him. I knew Him. I knew He was for me and with me. So I was not worried anymore about the outcome. Of course, it was pretty sweet when they released me from the hospital with a big baby that I had to carry for ten more weeks.

The third time I was afraid happened just recently. A sudden pain in my back got me by surprise. I ended up with the gastroenterologist who suggested some lab work, an ultrasound, and an endoscopy. I was afraid of eating anything with fat, and guess what? Yes. I was afraid I had stomach cancer. My grandma died of stomach cancer so it was possible. My mind took me to scary places and I lost about 10 lb. in about two weeks. Even after the endoscopy showed only a mild gastritis – that I think everyone has- I kept on losing weight. I was eating even more than before, but kept on losing weight. I was afraid of dying.

I wanted God to help me. I just did’t know how He would do that. I remembered the two years that I went for counseling every single week. The lady mostly just let me talk forever, and she would just lead the questions, but I often ended finding my own answers. So I figured God had to be the best counselor. So every morning, before my children got up, or when they were napping, I made myself a cup of coffee and talked to God for hours. I asked Him to show me something, to tell me, to guide me to the root of my fear. If only I knew the root of my fear, then I would know how to stop being afraid. The Lord guided me through some Scriptures…


Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you;

He will never let the righteous be shaken.

– Psalm 55:22 of David


I was afraid for my children. I did not want to die because I feared they wouldn’t remember me. I would be such a distant memory. My oldest one was not even two years old, and my youngest was not even six months old. They would not remember the words I had spoken to them everyday. They would not remember about how beautifully they had been created in God’s image. They would not remember how infinitely they had been loved by God. As much as I tried, I couldn’t remember my parents at their age. The freshest memories of my parents that I was able to really remember (without looking at photos) were when I was about four or five years old. But I wanted to be remembered. How did I want to be remembered? That was the kind of mom I needed to be.

“I know one day this will be over. I will conquer it because you are helping me”, I wrote down. Yes, I keep logs of every single thing I have prayed. I need to remember God’s faithfulness to me. I often forget.

I argued with God – as if I could bargain – that maybe if my children were fifteen years old I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. I just wanted them to be saved. You know, I just wanted them to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior. Then it would be okay for me to die. But somehow, in my Christian psyche or whatever (we call it the Holy Spirit) I knew that was not right. Even if they were fifteen and they had decided on their own to follow Jesus as Savior, I knew I would still be afraid. My fear was that I wouldn’t be there to help them choose right all the time. It hurt to realize that this children were not my own as much as I wanted them to be. It became obvious to me that I had to teach them to follow God on their own. God showed me that even if they were thirty and, I was still alive, they could reject my faith. They could say they were Christians, but only God could see their hearts.


The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation.

– 2 Peter 3:9,15


Every person has the free will whether to choose to put their faith in Jesus as Savior or not. Once I realized I was not in control anymore, and that it was their choice and not mine, the fear disappeared. I had found the root of my fear: I did not trust God with my children.  The only solution possible was to trust God. I had to trust God to make Himself known to my children. God had been patient with me. What made me think He wouldn’t be patient with them?

Fear and doubt is something that you don’t make an appointment with, if you know what I mean. Nobody says, “Today, I’m gonna fear and doubt my salvation at 3 pm”. But I am afraid. Fear and doubt are gripping my heart like never before. I believe hell is real, and I used to believe I wouldn’t go there. But I am reading things and hearing things that have made me put into question every single thing I felt so sure about.

Jesus’ death and resurrection has been my hope. Without His resurrection every single Christian’s hope is futile. There’s the slight possibility that my faith is all a lie. But if not Jesus, then who?