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Face to the Floor: How a Buddhist American woman opened her heart to Islam

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Artwork by Nada Farhat

 Omar stood on my doorstep, smiling and peering at me through square, outdated glasses. He placed his hand over his heart in a traditional Muslim greeting and stepped inside. His disabled son shuffled in too with a mischievous smile, as if the joke was on us, dragging half his body behind him like heavy luggage. A friend of my Libyan-born husband’s, Omar had lived all over the world but moved to our hometown to care for his elderly father, whom he visited each evening in a nursing home. That afternoon he sat cross-legged on our living room floor in pressed pants and a collared shirt, drinking tea and having a passionate conversation with my husband about politics, social justice, and Islam.The headlines often linked Islam with violence, but Omar was one of the most peaceful people I had ever met. I wanted to know what made him so humble and patient, what inspired him to care so deeply for the oppressed and take such good care of his family, and, when I asked him how he was doing, to respond with a smiling “Alhamdulillah”—“All praise is due to God”—as if every bit of it was a blessing.So when h …

This entry is tagged with:
IslamConvertBuddhismKrista BremerHamza YusufSufism

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