When we meet a Muslim woman we should regard her first as a human beings, second as a woman, and third as a Muslim. Whoever she is, her perception of herself may be vastly different from this. Many Muslim women accept, without questions, the state in which they were born. They do not think of life as offering any alternatives.
The following three profiles illustrate the way that the world looks at a world renowned Muslim woman and how it views her illiterate unknown village neighbors.
In this fallen world, adversity is part of our everyday lives. Sickness, floods, accidents, untimely deaths--all means to be part of human existence. Not only do these adversarial situations tax our strength, they also challenge our sense of order, of right and wrong, and of justice. They compel us to try to protect ourselves from their grievous assaults. They demand an explanation. It is human to want to know why we face such trying situations. But how do we even begin to understand adversities in our lives?
The television camera panned the crowd of lively concert goers, all of whom were chanting and waving banners as they waited for their idols to appear on stage. I searched my screen for a female face. All ages, from 10-year-olds to their grandfathers, were represented at this particular concert--but they wee almost all male. If you go out to dinner in that same city, or to a ball game, you will find almost the same situation: it is the men and boys who go out in public. The women and girls gather at home for their entertainment.
For the Muslim, end-time events and life after death are clear and understandable. There are similarities to biblical teaching, but there are also distinct differences. In Sura 3:185, the Qur'an states: "Every soul shall have a taste of death; And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense." There is a popular view in our Western society today that everyone who dies automatically goes to heaven. The Muslim view of these important matters, based on the teaching of the Qur'an, is much closer to biblical teaching than these popular Western ideas.
I was about twelve years old when I first saw the saint whom the Murids of Senegal call master, savior, and even god. I was just a city block away from our house, on my way to school, when out of nowhere a crowd of Muslims rushed toward the Murid mosque near by. I learned later that word had gotten out that the spiritual leader of the Murid Muslims had unexpectedly come there for prayer.
Within minutes, I witnessed a scene that is nearly as vivid in my mind today as it was then. Amidst shouting and shoving, people pushed past me; some even leaped over me in their attempt to get closer to an old man being hurriedly escorted to a waiting car.