Saturday, August 22, 2015

Influential Muslim Women

“As a result, many Jews believed, as did some of the prominent Greek women and many men.” Acts. 17: 12

 I was surprised receiving an evite from Dr. Amal to a Muslim women’s party. Wow! My friend is really with it with all the latest technology, I thought. The time arrived and I felt a twinge of apprehension. I wasn’t accustomed to mixing with people with such opulent wealth. Beautiful Arab ladies, bubbling with childlike joy, stepped into the posh home, glad to have a night out with their women friends. All of them except one were doctors from the Middle East and North Africa who were nearing completion of their medical specialty studies. They were bright and energetic. They carried themselves with confidence and an air of elegance. Most of them were young mothers juggling family, studies, and being on call. The tasty foods, laughing, games, and dancing made the evening come alive. “What do you do, Joy?” each would ask as I moved among them. “I teach the Bible to anyone interested,” I answered. There would be a pause of silence. It took a little while for each of them to process my occupation. I wondered what they thought.

“What do you think of us Muslims?” one vivacious Arab doctor asked. “Are we like other Muslim women you’ve met?” I assured her that I found them very intelligent and beautiful. And that I loved being around all kinds of Muslim women. I didn’t tell her that, behind the high level of education and prestige, fear of the evil eye and jinn affect many Muslim women, whether highly educated or illiterate, rich or poor. It wasn’t long ago I visited an Arab medical specialist in training. For the entire three hour visit she had loud taped chanting of the Qur’an droning in the background. “I get afraid of the jinn,” was her reply when I inquired about it. “It makes the jinn go away.”

It has been an eye opener to be friends among some of these hard working influential Muslim women.  How my heart longs to see them become influencers for spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. As I listen to their stories I realize the doctors, especially, are privy to hearing about a lot of fears and anxieties from another class of Muslim women who come to them for medical treatment. An impression I frequently pick up among Christians is that we view all Muslim women as downtrodden, controlled, abused, and victimized. Certainly there are many who  fall into that category but there is also a significant number of powerful, influential Muslim women professors, doctors, researchers, government officials, property owners, owners of private universities, authors,  engineers, and architects. I have met quite a few of them. The more education they receive the more likely they will not be as suppressed or victimized.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness a modern day influential Lydia of Thyatira or see some Muslim women, like those prominent Greek women Paul wrote about, blaze new trails for the Kingdom of God? Let us not generalize negatively about Muslim women; especially those living in democratic countries. All need the Savior.

Dear heavenly Father, please bring salvation to some influential Muslim women and use them powerfully for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.