Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mosaic of Muslim Women

Jesus' words: "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." John 3:17

The statistics are staggering. We share the world with approximately 800 million Muslim females which includes babies, girls, and women. One out of four females is Muslim. It’s hard to get my head around that reality. The Church has a huge challenge to reach out to them with the love and message of Jesus Christ. That’s not easy because overseas many of these females are living their days within their four walls with social restrictions. There are others, though, who are going to universities and working as professors, doctors, nurses, and engineers. In western nations we can have much more access to Muslim babies, girls, and women -  often alone, with them, too, since frequently their extended families are overseas. We have unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reach them. Rarely, in Pakistan, did I ever have an opportunity to visit with an individual Muslim woman. Her extended family would be present which made it more challenging to have fruitful spiritual conversations. Nevertheless, God is raising up Christian women to invest in Muslim female lives in both overseas restricted countries and in western nations. It is God’s kairos moment and Christian women are responding to His call. I grew up in the Islamic country of Somalia, ministered for ten years among Muslim women in northern Pakistan, and have been engaged with Muslim females for nearly twenty five years in Canada.

It is easy to love Muslim females. It’s okay to love them. After giving the chapel talk at a Christian college a young man came up to me all out of breath. He was so relieved that it was okay to love Muslims. He thought that no one else loved them; that he was the only one and didn’t want anyone to know as he thought that was not allowed. I’m not sure where Christians read that verse in the Bible but I assured him that God loved the whole world and demonstrated it. Wisdom says that Christian women should reach out to Muslim females and Christian men reach out to Muslim males. That is culturally and socially acceptable to Muslims. Maybe not for us who don’t understand such segregation but they feel comfortable with this.

There is a mosaic of Muslim women in western nations. Sometimes we make generalizations and perceive them all as one type but this is erroneous. Just like there are different types of Christian women so there are different types of Muslim women. It is helpful to understand the mosaic. There are Muslim women who are nationalistic, religious, secular, superstitious, mystical, and traditional. Some are a mixture of these traits. Like us they laugh, cry, get sick, enjoy parties and fashions and have babies. They wear different kinds of dress, eat different cuisine, speak different languages and come from different economic and educational strata. But the three things they have in common are a belief in Allah, in Mohammed, their prophet, and the Qur’an, whether they have read it or not. The next six posts will help you to understand Muslim women better.

Dear heavenly Father, I need to increase in Your love for Muslims. In Jesus’ name, Amen.