My new neighbor is Muslim

Who are our neighbors? Why are many people scared of Muslims? What do they believe? How could those terrorists claim they were Muslim?

Prejudice is born in ignorance.  Acceptance is born in education.

"El prejuicio nace de la ignorancia mientras que la aceptación proviene de la educación".

Muslims are just like you and I in the fact that they have families, love, eat, learn, work, study and live. If you want to know about plumbing ask a plumber and if you want to know what a Muslim believes ask one so I did.

Last night I went over to introduce myself to our new neighbor Osman and he explained that each of his children have 3 names so when you tell someone your name it also tells them the name of your father and your grandfather as well.He is from Africa and in his Country over 95% of the people are Muslim.

Osman plays soccer and is about 30 years old, I say about because he does not really know how old he is since his parents died when he was young and he does not have a birth certificate or anything.

Osman said they believe that Jesus Christ was a Prophet and not the son of God. He said they believe that Jesus will come again out of heaven at the Judgment day and they believe that many bad things will occur before that day as far as disasters.

Osman told me that many things are considered sin in his religion:

A. No taking anything into your body that will change how you think and some of these things include: Smoking, drinking, drugs etc... He said that Coffee is ok and so is Tea.

B. He said that Worshiping other Gods is the worst sin and then I believe he said taking of innocent life and then having sex outside of marriage and then abortion is also a bad sin.  Osman told me that eating pork is also wrong and should not be done.


They pick their own leader or Imam and normally it is a Shake which is an older person that knows all about the religion and is very wise. Sometimes shakes are young as well. He said there is no ordination like a Priest etc....

The women meet in a different area in their Mosque and they take their kids for the festivals and take their older children around 6+ to the prayers and such. They also wash before worship or reading their Quran. (Koran)

Muhammad was a Merchant and an honest man and he did not like the things the people were doing and he would go up into some caves to be away from those things and one day God sent Gabriel to him and Gabriel said READ and Muhammad said I don't know how so Gabriel read to him and this went on and Muhammad came and told his wife what the Angel Gabriel had read to him and he also taught the people and over 100 years later the believers got together and wrote the teachings down which became the Quran.

If I have gotten any of this wrong I welcome corrections. I spent about 2 hours with Osman last night and I have read many of these things in the past but it was good to hear it from a believer.

He spoke of two sets of Pillars that their faith is based on and what they need to believe in and do.

5 Pillars of Islam

1. Testimony of faith with a belief in only one true GOD

2. Prayer - They pray five times a day and it takes about 5 min each time. While I was with him his app from his phone went off and the verse came on for a call to prayer.

3.  Zakat or charity. They give 2.5 % of their income away and there is another amount that is given as well. This is very important to them and they believe they will be rewarded for this after the judgement day.

4. Fasting

5. The Pilgrimage to Makkah - only if one can afford to do this and still take care of your family. They get there and shave their head but they don't have to shave their beards. It is a custom for the mean to grow beards when they can. They keep their mustaches shorter for purposes of cleanliness. They also do HAJJ while there which includes several activities. They try to make this trip at least once in their lifetime.

Then Osman spoke of the Six pillars of Faith "Basic Islamic Beliefs"

1. Belief in God (That he is all powerful and you should not worship anything or anyone else other than God)

2. Belief in Angels

3. Belief in God's revealed books

4. Belief in the Prophets and messengers of God.

5. Belief in the day of Judgement

6. Belief in Al-Qadar: - This last one is best to have the whole explanation written out.

Muslims believe in Al-Qadar, which is Divine Predestination, but this belief in Divine Predestination does not mean that human beings do not have freewill.  Rather, Muslims believe that God has given human beings freewill.  This means that they can choose right or wrong and that they are responsible for their choices.

The belief in Divine Predestination includes belief in four things: 1) God knows everything.  He knows what has happened and what will happen.  2) God has recorded all that has happened and all that will happen.  3) Whatever God wills to happen happens, and whatever He wills not to happen does not happen.  4) God is the Creator of everything.

Long ago I learned a lesson in life that I have tried to teach my children as well. In any religion there are good and bad people so you cannot judge the religion from just a few people in the church. In the Catholic Church you will find both good and bad and this would go for any other church as well. In any Group of people you can find both nice and mean people although some groups such as the Quakers may be more tolerant in some things than others.  We need to be very careful about judging Muslims by what some bad people have done that claimed to be Muslim. Osman has 3 very cute kids and a beautiful wife. He has been in the US for 8 years and he speaks English quite well. His wife has a harder time with English and his children speak both English and Somali.