Stepping out of the mosque and into the bright Mediterranean sun, we headed for the sheikh’s office on the far side of the courtyard. After we sat down (with the door kept open for modesty’s sake), the sheikh offered me some grapefruit juice. Then I asked him what he thought was the most important message of Islam.
“Love,” the sheikh said.
Love? Was he kidding? The message that Islam seemed to be broadcasting these days was one of violence, jihad, and hate.
The sheikh cited a Sufi Muslim who said that if our hearts are filled with love of God, there is no room for hate. Then he quoted one of his favorite verses from the Qur’an in which God says He created all religions so that people would understand one another. The best religion of all? The one that honored the others.