The only reason I haven’t joined in the frantic hunt for hand sanitizer this virus season is because I already have more than I’ll use. I’m a grandma AND the wife of an endearing germaphobe. I carry the stuff in my purse, along with a travel-sized package of germ-annihilating hand wipes. I make sure I’m able to sanitize well, no matter whose sneeze I’ve just neutralized …or when my concerned hubby might ask if my hands are clean.
Before our current pandemic it had never crossed my mind that the alcohol content of sanitizer must be 60-95 percent to meet the necessary criteria for clean. It was a fact that didn’t seem to matter much before now.
The need for hyper sanitizing has brought to light something else I had never experienced before. Some Muslims are seeking on-line advice regarding the legit use of sanitizers, since Islam forbids any consumption of alcohol. What drives this minority of concerned Muslims is whether or not having it on their hands might interfere with their effective processes of ablution, or pre-prayer cleansing rituals. Prayers done correctly, according to the tenets of Islam, are deeds that carry a lot of weight on judgment day. Prayers done carelessly won’t meet with Allah’s approval.
Praying matters to Muslims. Be assured that the Muslim medical and clergy communities are quick to respond that yes, high potent virus killing sanitizers are permissible and completely necessary. Using them won’t hinder their preparatory ablutions; on the contrary, it may save lives.
Given the fact that we and Muslims are all lathering our hands in the sanitizing goo these days, what if we made it more than a dutiful cleanse? What if every time we did so, we made it a point to pray specifically for the Muslims who rely on their own righteousness for any spiritual hope they might have?
We could pray this way:
Jesus, thank You for the privilege of praying for Muslims. Help them see You at work in me and in others. Be present in our words and deeds, as we lovingly tell them how You long to wash away their sins and give them the free gift of eternal life with You. Please, cause them to believe. Amen.