Forgiving others’ mistakes is one of the great teachings of Prophet Jesus.

“Love your neighbor like yourself. When someone slaps you on one cheek, give the other cheek. Go an extra mile.”

If I could only master these three commandments of Jesus, mentioned in the Bible, I would be a long ways ahead in purification, I thought nearly 30 years ago. But how do I start?

After years of search for God and the right religion, I found Christianity, and thought it was finally just the right religion for me. I began taking Bible lessons and found myself intrigued with all the red sentences that were supposedly Jesus’ words.

I began memorizing them.

The above three sentences caught my utmost interest and made me pray to God, asking Him to enable me to embody these commandments in my life and in dealings with others, as difficult as they might be.

He surely gave me a chance, I never forget.

I was on my last days of preparation to move to Hawaii from Northern California with my two small kids. My housekeeper, who lived with me for a couple of years, was also preparing to travel back to her home in Southern California.

I sent her out for some errands, and as I was running and getting tasks done, I saw from the corner of her half open suitcase something that looked familiar. I opened the suitcase, only to find nearly all my jewelry, precious stones, and other valuables in her suitcase.

I was shocked. The first thing that came into my mind was to call the police. Then I remembered my daily prayer asking God to enable me to live these words of Jesus.

Knowing she would return any minute, I had to make a quick decision as how to deal with her.

Which of the three commandments of Prophet Jesus could I apply with her, I asked myself, love her as myself? She was not a neighbor. Give the other cheek? Well, doesn’t quite fit. Go an extra mile? This is the last option and must be the one, I thought.

Soon she returned, and found all the stolen items in the middle of the floor. She looked at them and looked at me with shock, wonder, and was speechless.

“Why?” I asked.

Going the Extra Mile

She said, “I noticed since I started working for you, some who worked for you stole from you while getting a salary. But I only got salary from you. So I thought I might help myself as well.”

“Go an extra mile, Raya, go” I kept telling myself. I calmly walked toward the jewelry, took out my wedding ring and a bracelet my mother had given to me, and handed her the rest. I then took her to her bus, gave her pocket money and her salary, and a book about Jesus’ love and sent her off.

She cried and told me she will never forget me, ever.

I thought, the one deserving credit was not me. It was Jesus who taught me these treasures.

In my seven years of being among the Christians, I found them some of the most loving, caring, and honorable people. Many truly embodied Jesus’ teachings, and their actions were sincerely according to their scripture.

Had it not been for the confusion on Trinity, perhaps I would still be one of them today.

But this topic drove me to in-depth research of the issue, convincing me that Jesus never departed from the monotheistic proclamations other prophets delivered. It was man who invented confusing doctrines.

Alas, to my disappointment, I didn’t know where else to go. Checking Islam was my last option, and turned out to be the right path.

Islam teaches that God sent Prophets to teach all mankind the worship of one God, without confusing them with other man-made doctrines.

In fact, once I got more familiar with this great religion, I found all three great commandments of Prophet Jesus were also taught through the Quran and Prophet Muhammad’s teachings.

For the past 25 years, I have walked in the path of Islam, growing in love with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), without decreasing my great love for Jesus (peace be upon him).

By -Raya Shokatfard

First published in January 2010.