City of Brass

City of Brass


in NYC robbery, Mohammed spreads Islam at the point of a gun

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is one of those amazing stories of the raw power of simple piety and compassion:

Storekeeper Mohammad Sohail was closing up his Long Island convenience store just after midnight on May 21 when — as shown on the store’s surveillance video — a man came in wielding a baseball bat and demanding money.

“He said, ‘Hurry up and give me the money, give me the money!’ and I said, ‘Hold on’,” Sohail recalled in a phone interview with CNN on Tuesday, after the store video and his story was carried on local TV.

Sohail said he reached under the counter, grabbed his gun and told the robber to drop the bat and get down on his knees.

“He’s crying like a baby,” Sohail said. “He says, ‘Don’t call police, don’t shoot me, I have no money, I have no food in my house.’ “

Amidst the man’s apologies and pleas, Sohail said he felt a surge of compassion.

He made the man promise never to rob anyone again and when he agreed, Sohail gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.

“When he gets $40, he’s very impressed, he says, ‘I want to be a Muslim just like you,’ ” Sohail said, adding he had the would-be criminal recite an Islamic oath.

“I said ‘Congratulations. You are now a Muslim and your name is Nawaz Sharif Zardari.’”

Technically, the storekeeper Mohammed Sohail did spread Islam at gunpoint! But of course it was his compassion and forgiveness for his would-be assailant that really softened the criminal’s heart.



  • freelunch

    Amazing. It is sad that those who so loudly proclaim how Christian they are so willing to vote for elected officials who don’t care if our fellow citizens have no money or food in their house.

  • christine

    I agree with you freelunch. What is even more heart breaking is to know that elected officials would rather help out multi billion corporations to stay afloat, would rather spend billions of dollars attacking other countries because they see them as different from themselves, instead of putting that money to better use by feeding and clothing the poor in their own country. How does a country have the right to tell other countries what to do, when they are guilty of ignoring the needs of their own citizens??

  • Saja

    Stories like this make me so happy that I decided to convert to Islam 2 years ago.

  • Shuja

    For a story of compassion and care like this, your headline: ‘in NYC robbery, Mohammed spreads Islam at the point of a gun’, really sucks. It further epitomizes the ignorance of the Western World and the Christian thought (if there is such a thing; and I smell that in this headline) of what Islam really is. In a broad sweep your headline suggests to an unsuspecting reader, who has little time to go into detail, that Islam is spread at the point of a gun – a lie that the Orientalists of the Western Europe have been using for centuries to poison the hearts and minds of the West and the rest of the World against Islam. I think you should reflect on this, conclude then retract and apologize.

  • RulesNAgreements

    AsA..& Praise be to Allah{SWT} I love to read stories like this,masha`Allah! Because this is the very thing we as Muslims & muslimahs should be doing and some dont because of fear of what others will think or say,or do.I pray Allah{SWT} will bless this Brother & his family with many Barakats,insha`Allah for his kind act & spreading some knowledge.Praise be Allah AsA

  • ahmed

    great story, here is the video version
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yG7NEBoLh6Y

  • Abambagibus

    Those who prefer to walk a narrow and windowless hallway are advised to read no further than further. But, to those who read on and know not, let it be rightfully taught that Compassion and Forgiveness are at the core of Christian teaching. Indeed, they are the core. Can you forgive me for making a point rendered dull by minds rendered dull by the darkness of a narrow and windowless hallway? With the exception of wherever anti-Christianity obstructs it, Christian Charity, born of and bearing Compassion and Forgiveness, is constructively borne throughout the world.

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