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4 ways to love your Muslim neighbor

What does it look like to be part of a community that seeks to bless Muslim people?

Here at OMF we long to learn more about all the people God has made. What we learn helps us to love them better.
So what does it look like to bless Muslim people? It can seem daunting to connect with people of different faiths and backgrounds and it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are four easy ways to get started:

1. Listening

‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…’ (James 1:19).

‘Let the wise listen and add to their learning…’ (Proverbs 1:5).

The Bible encourages us to be good listeners to God and to those around us. By listening to our Muslim friends and neighbors we can show our love and care for them and learn more about their experiences. Many Muslims love to talk about their religion and are delighted when people want to hear more! Generally Muslims also have positive attitudes to Christians, especially those they know are faithful, friendly and respectful. By listening well we can better understand their situation and beliefs.

Learning to listen well is a great skill. Show a genuine interest in your Muslim friends’ faith. Take time to ask good, respectful questions, to truly listen to their answers.

Why not try…

Asking respectful questions about your Muslim friends’ faith and beliefs. A great way to start these questions is, ‘I’m wondering…’ and then keep going. Be curious! And really listen carefully to their answers. This will help you ask good questions.

2. Understanding

When we focus on what divides us, true understanding is hard to reach. However, when we seek to get to know our Muslim friends, we soon discover they are people with similar concerns and questions to us. Also, as we seek to learn more about our Muslim friends’ religion, exploring what they believe and why, doors open for greater love and understanding.

Remember that whatever we know (or think we know) about Islam, there’s no substitute for getting to know Muslims in your area. There is significant variety in the experience of Muslims from different backgrounds, as well as different traditions across the various schools of thought in Islam. So be ready to learn more from Muslims in your area.

Why not try…

Opening up about the challenges and struggles you face in living out your faith in the modern world. Many Muslims have similar concerns to us, as Kadeem’s story shows.

3. Blessing

Simply being hospitable goes a long way. A cup of tea, a chat, shared food are all good ways to bless our friends and neighbors. These simple acts create opportunities to listen, learn and love our friends.

Why not try…

Inviting friends for a meal or a cup of tea, or accepting an invitation to their home or even to an Iftar meal at Ramadan from them as Muslims are very hospitable. This is a real honour, and not an invitation to be refused. We need not fear being involved in anything that compromises our faith – we will not be asked to pray to Allah, or to join in Islamic worship.

4. Love

The Lord Jesus calls us to love our neighbours. All of them. As we get to know our Muslim friends, our common challenges and struggles in the modern world allow us to help one another through them and hear their concerns. There are opportunities to offer practical help and support one another. We do not need to be fearful to speak about what the Lord means to us in our everyday lives and what we are learning about him.

Why not try…

Looking for practical ways to show love and support to your Muslim friends. This can be simply helping meet practical needs. Many Muslims in our areas may never have known the love and support of a follower of Jesus. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to bless them!

Next steps

Will you be part of a community seeking to bless East Asia’s Muslim people?

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