When I first saw this posted last night, I have to admit that I wanted to cry because it left me very discouraged. He seems like he’s clinging to Islam far tighter than he ever did before the marathon. I mean, he’s accused of committing these terrible acts because of Islam, but he drank alcohol, smoked pot, and partied, and his mother and brother got on him a lot for not praying as much as Muslims should. But now he’s doing his prayers, fasting during Ramadan, reading the Qur’an, saying things such as “Everything will be okay. Allah is with me,” and requesting Islamic literature.
Simply put, Jahar seems to be moving in the opposite direction from where we want him to be. He’s moving further toward Islam rather than closer to Christ.
After talking to two other Christians who love Jahar, however, I realized that in the long term, there is actually encouragement to be found in this update.
Jahar is searching for something to cling to, for a solid rock to stand upon in the midst of the storms of pain, loneliness, sorrow, suffering, etc. that are descending upon his life.
Right now, understandably, he’s running toward Islam because that’s all he’s ever known. But what about when he pursues Allah and hopefully finds that there’s something missing and feels like he hasn’t found whatever it is that his heart is really searching for? In that moment when he begins to search for something else, his seeking heart that seems to be a disadvantage right now becomes an advantage that works heavily in Jahar’s favor.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, pray that Jahar’s delve further into Islam will only leave him empty and longing for something more—something we know can only be found in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)