Answer by Michelle
Not long ago, we had dinner with some Muslim friends of ours. We were treated with such kindness (and, I might add, served a wonderfully delicious meal!). We enjoyed a meaningful discussion about the importance of marriage in today’s society. Evidences of their faith were present in their home. I could tell that Allah meant much to them, and that family was important to them.
And we were important to them. I felt that they would give us the shirt off their backs if we needed them. (In fact, I still have a sweater loaned to me that day; it was a cold day for which I was unprepared!) I felt loved, cared for, respected. It was wonderful. I left with a happiness as we rejoiced in our common beliefs, in our desires to try to do and be good, and with a strengthened friendship.
While, of course, Mormonism and Islam have doctrinal differences, I have been impressed with so much goodness I see in Muslim people in general. I respect their dedication to God, to family, and to values and principles that I believe can strengthen individuals, families and societies. I am grateful for those of other faiths as well who also live lives of goodness, faith, solid values, and service.
Readers might be interested to note that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes partners with Islamic Relief to help provide relief to those affected by natural disasters, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti. As another example of working together, see this article on our website that has a story about Mormon and Muslim women working together in a spirit of service. We as members of the Mormon Church appreciate the opportunity and blessing to work side-by-side with our friends of other faiths such as Islam to serve and help those around us and to take a stand on important issues of moral import.
I found this article that may be of interest to those wondering more about Mormons’ view of Islam (and/or can help LDS Church members understand more about Islam).
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**Please note: The answers in “Ask a Mormon Woman” reflect the thoughts, perspectives, and experiences of individuals. Although here at Mormon Women: Who We Are, we strive to have our content consistent with the Church’s doctrine and teachings, we do not speak officially for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For official information about or from the Church, please visit www.mormon.org or www.lds.org.
Edited to add: In writing this post, let us clarify that we separate out the radical approaches to Islam from the practice of individuals within and with the faith who are living good lives and doing good. Please do not misunderstand this post as validating or not being aware of or believing in or supporting radical Islamic beliefs that would include controlling or forcing anyone to join Islam or stay a Muslim. Free will is a central part of the Mormon faith. We do appreciate opportunities to look for commonalities with other religions and joining with people of good will everywhere to help care for those in need.
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A very well-written article with a great message … great job!
I appreciate this message. We should be cultivating respect for that religion. Mutual understanding will help us all approach Truth.
This post captures beautifully the goodness of the Muslim people, and a Mormon woman’s experience with their kindness and hospitality.
It can be easy to forget that all religions that worship an almighty being have much in common with each other. Most people, regardless of their religion, want the same things we do–love, approval, appreciation, validation, and a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Thank you for this warm and touching reminder of that!
Of all the religions in the world, Islam is one I can really admire. There’s a great song by Native Deen that I just saw the other day (a Lutheran minister friend of mine pointed it out). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAfUMfCtcDA
I am not one to call good evil or evil good. But I do believe that we have more in common with people than we have different. We need to join together in our communities to stand for marriage, to stand against pornography and anything that threatens the family.
I’ve took a world religions class a few years ago, which gave me the opportunity to visit a Sikh gurudwara and a Muslim mosque, which were both great experiences.
There is a lot we can learn from others about Christianity. I actually think I learned more about my own religion than I learned about Hinduism, Jainism, and all the others combined during that 16-week course.
May we take on the idea of Namas’te: my favorite translation of which is, “The Divinity within me perceives and adores the Divinity within you.” We are all God’s children.
Nice comments by all.
Only I hope everyone understands that almost all religions can say about ‘what good things to do’ or ‘what bad things not to do’, but fail in the most important aspect of any religion – To understand and recognise THE CREATOR . Most of us are rather satisfied with just the basic niceties and do not go further to analyse.
my best wishes to all
Worship the CREATOR, not the creation
I loved your article. I am Muslim and have been meeting with other women who are missionaries for several weeks. I feel like we have so much in common. Do you realise that the LDS are one of the few faiths that really treat us with respect? Thank you.
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am grateful to know that you feel respect from LDS members. Your comment really warmed my heart. I agree with you — I think we have much in common, and I appreciate when we can appreciate that. I think there is so much good that can be done when people of different faiths can build on a foundation of common values and beliefs.
Best wishes to you, and thank you again.
In the meeting this morning, I learned that I could be weeks from baptisim, having completely given up on practicing Islam. This is potentially very dangerous were I to approach other Muslims about my conversion, so I am really prayerful right now about doing that.
In Islam, the man may have 3 wives, and while not much is said about that, in the US, any Muslimah knows that it is a common practice. Mostly Muslims just ignore that law.
I don’t know any woman who likes the idea. Still it was practiced for a time in the Old Testament, and has been a continuous practice in Islam since the days of Muhammad PBUH. So, I have prayed about it and tried to imagine the context in ancient times where such a practice would be permissible. The only thing I can think of is that in those times, many of the men died in wars, leaving wives and children abandoned.
I know that officially the Salt Lake LDS prohibit the practice.
As far as I know, in Islam, mostly, the wives do not know of each other, and when they find out, there is big trouble. So, while it is legal, it is not really accepted in the society.
I would ask that you pray for me in my seeking a place in the LDS church. I am old enough that I will not seek a husband again, but several of the members have councelled me to be open to marry again.
It’s good to hear from you again. You will definitely be in my prayers. I hope you can feel that you do have a place! Please keep us posted on your journey, and let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do in addition to prayers.
I made a video about this very subject about a year ago! http://youtu.be/fXs0gp3jWo8
I’m sorry, my english is not good, but I hope that you can understand me, well, I’m mormon and I loved this article, my boyfriend is muslim and we have plan to marry, then I was worry for the differences between both religions, but when I read this, really this help me so much, I know that us (the mormons)we practice religious tolerance because all talk about God and He is so gentle and respectful about my beliefs and I love him, thank you very much for so wonderful article!!!
Ha aLLAH = the personification of evil and cursing in Aramaic. The followers of ha Allah the moon god deny that Yahushua HaMoshiach (Jesus Christ) is the son of YHWH (God)or that he literally died on a stake for the sins of the world. Mohammed is the chief prophet, not Yahushua! Joseph Smith would not even register as anything in their belief system. They are dedicated to the destruction of Jews and Christians and especially the state of Yisrael. You had better learn who these people are and what their plans are for the world. Mormons would not have a place in their world unless they renounce their faith and declare “There is no other god besides allah and none other messenger besides Mohammed” You are playing with fire here. Come to the one and only true EL YHWH and his only begotten son Yahushua to whom all men must bow the knee and confess as Master. Turn away from the false gospels, gods and prophets.
In writing this post, let us clarify that we separate out the radical approaches to Islam from the practice of individuals within and with the faith who are living good lives and doing good. Please do not misunderstand this post as validating or not being aware of radical Islamic beliefs that would include controlling or forcing anyone to choose to join or stay in the Muslim religion. Free will is a central part of our faith. Please also do not misunderstand it as believing in their faith per se. We do appreciate opportunities to look for commonalities with other religions and joining with people of good will everywhere to help care for those in need.
Thank you for an accurate portrayal of what Mormons feel about Islam. Notice I said “feel”, not “think” about Islam. We humans are very susceptible to feelings. It is a bit tougher, often unpleasant, even painful to “think.”
It was helpful to hear that you separate out the “radical approaches to Islam.” By that statement you reveal that you have little understanding of orthodox Islam – Islam the way Muhammad practiced it; Islam the way the Islamic Trilogy documents it; Islam the way Muslims practiced it for centuries to justify their conquests; Islam the way most Islamic leaders today practice and promote it; and the Islam today that is best known for intolerance, terror, mistreatment of women and generally vile and satanic behavior.
Among the many Islamic doctrines that are opposite of Christian teaching is the doctrine of “taqiyya”: deception or lies to defend oneself or to defend and promote Islam. There have been many Muslims in the US that have been thought to be “moderate” who have turned out to be every bit as venomous as those we call “radicals.” Hopefully you recall the lives of the 9-11 Muslims prior to their deed. They blended in; they were your nice guys next door.
Those Muslims who you swear are as sweet as pie may or may not be who they appear to be. Deception is Islam’s best honed skill set. Islam teaches to feign friendship but to make no true friend of an infidel (you).
Studying Islam since 2001, I have gradually learned that there is no “moderate Islam.” None less than the Islamic Premier of Turkey confirmed this. Islam is Islam. There are those who appear to be a “moderate Muslim.” This “moderation may be due to their apostasy – Muslim in name only out of fear or convenience. Or “moderation” may be their practice of taqiyya to deceive to protect and defend themselves or the cause of Islam. Those Muslims we call “radicals” are in fact orthodox and devout Muslims. They practice the whole counsel of Allah and Muhammad.
Why are 98% of all vile terror attacks in the world today committed by declared Muslims killing others while shouting Allahu Akbar, in the name of Islam? Wouldn’t you say that there is something about Islam that attracts these people and condones and promotes this behavior? Indeed, hundreds of Islamic texts promote intolerance, violence against the Jew, the Christian, the “infidel”. Islam, bottom line, is a violent Fascist ideology.
I was a Mormon for several years until I realized the naive affinity Mormons have toward Islam. Mormons are generally blinded by the many similarities the two belief systems have: New revelation, prophets, persecution, and many more.
We can be nice to Muslims, but we should not be naive about their world view, belief system, and Islamic ideology.
I for one would not want to be associated with a belief system that is promoting the vast plague of psychotic behavior as Islam is in the world today. If I were a true “moderate Muslim” upset with the course that my religion has taken (actually, from its inception) then I would disavow that association. To be “moderate” in Islam, one would have to disavow half of the Qur’an and other holy books of Islam – the half that abrogate the peaceful versus. That would be like Mormons disavowing Joseph Smith.
I hope these comments elicit more “thinking” than “feeling.”
I can think of people who would actually tend to agree with you more than I might, because there is no doubt that the extremist language is there in Islamic texts.
What you are sensing from me is more about respecting individual space to find one’s faith. I believe in a God who is very, very personal, and who engages people right where they are as much as they want to engage Him. I believe He has given us this life to navigate these kinds of questions. I respect your right to choose where you draw your lines in the sand. I understand perhaps more than you think I do about why you do.
And yet, my line of thinking is different. I cannot speak for my church as a whole; I have no authority to do so. Don’t overgeneralize my thoughts in this post to my faith (although it looks like you already have gone in that direction without my help). That you seem to want to put us Mormons all in a box concerns me.
Suffice it to say, though, that I think it is violence of its own kind to judge and dismiss a whole group of people, no matter what basis one may think one has. History is replete with examples of terrible wrongs done with this kind of thinking.
And where much good can be done by people of many faiths joining together, I will rejoice in that.
I do not know if this thread is still active, so in case it is, I thought that I would issue an update. I was baptized on January 29th, 2012 and continue to be active. It feels odd because I still feel very connected to Islamic culture, though am now Mormon. In looking at past church documents, it is clear that I can believe that the Qur’an is the word of God, and that Muhammad PBUH was a prophet and still embrace the book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a prophet. I thank God that he brought me to the Mormons.
I to was impressed. There are days i cry and owner about the world. It’s good to know your family is making an effort.
I am sorry I missed your comment, but wanted to say congratulations on your baptism.