I have noticed something interesting in my discussions with various Muslims. In contrast with Mormons, with whom I also have a lot of experience, Muslims do not aggressively try to interest people in their religion. Although of course it partly depends on personality and how comfortable someone is approaching others on matters of deeply personal interest like religion, Muslims in my experience do not talk about their religion like Mormons do.
For instance, in 1991, missionaries approached the door of my mother’s house and asked if we were interested in finding out more about their religion. They took an active role in explaining their belief system, in great detail. The Mormons have what they call missionaries. Men leave home when they are 18 to travel to other places to teach their beliefs. In fact, unless a man has physical reasons for not going, it is highly encouraged and expected that they go on a mission, as they call it. Women are not similarly obligated, but if they want to go when they are 21, they can (men are usually 19, I believe, when they embark upon this experience).
On the other hand, I have asked many different Muslims for help in trying to understand their religion but I have not had much luck in that area. I have been directed to various YouTube videos, and I have a copy of the Quran, but that is about the extent of the help I have been offered. Even people who seem very dedicated to the religion of Islam do not seem as interested in spreading their knowledge like I have seen Mormons do.
This is not to say that anyone is doing anything wrong. There are a couple of reasons I can think of why this might be so. It could be the language barrier. The Quran is in Arabic, and perhaps students for whom English is a second language do not feel comfortable discussing it with English-speaking people for fear of making a mistake in an important area. Another possibility I have considered is that perhaps they feel that the Quran is the best source to consult since, unlike the Bible, it has not been interfered with by humankind. Also, there is the reason I noted above, which is possibly that they are shy to discuss something so personal with someone from another culture.
Still, I find it interesting that there is no official program in Islam for spreading the good news of the beliefs that they hold. Hopefully someday I will find someone who knows a lot about the religion and who is excited about sharing it because there is nothing more exciting to me than gaining knowledge.
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