Mohammed sat staring into the distance. His face was long. His eyes: concerned. “In Islam,” He spoke—almost to himself, “no one know if they will go to heaven or to fire . . . In Islam, God wants you to work so hard, not have fun, and do everything right for Him and maybe you can go to heaven. Christianity is so different . . .” His eyes searched for hope as he unconsciously shook his head back and forth. “It is so different. Christianity and Islam—they are not the same, they are so different,” he said yet again.  His hands rubbed his face and went through his dark hair as he tried to crunch the numbers. In silence, hopelessness settled in upon him. “In Islam,” he said, “No man can help you for your sins. Each man must do enough good for himself to pay for his sins. This…Continue Reading
traveling well in the islamic world
Over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to and live in several Muslim-majority nations. While I’ve loved it immensely, I’ve also watched fellow Americans struggle with the shift. Some of them were hung up on fear, others on assumptions, but all of them probably could have had a better time if they’d had better information. Here are some of the tricks I’ve picked up for enjoying all that the incredibly diverse Islamic world has to offer. 1. Fear Not. As a young woman, I don’t think I’ve traveled anywhere without someone expressing concern about my safety, but this worry seems to go off the charts when I spend time in Muslim-majority countries. People ask if I will have to wear a hijab or even a burqa, neither of which have ever touched my head. They ask about persecution, terrorism, and jihad. They ask me if I really…Continue Reading