Long Island’s Les Misérables: Muslim Storekeeper’s Generosity Leads to Robber’s Redemption

This Christmas season, the most inspiring story may be one involving a Muslim store owner. It is the Long Island version of Les Misérables and Jean Valjean is played by a distraught robber in a convenience store. In May 2009, a man wielding a bat barged into the Shirley Express convenience store just as it was closing and demanded money. The owner, Mohammad Sohail, was too fast and grabbed a rifle and pointed it directly at the man, who fell to the ground weeping that he was just trying to support his family. Sohail believed him and gave him $40 and a loaf of bread. Sohail later received an apology note from the man and $50 in the mail.

Sohail said that when he pulled the gun (which he never actually loads) that man started to cry and said “I’m sorry, I have no food. I have no money. My whole family is hungry. Don’t call the police. Don’t shoot me.” He felt sorry for the man.

He explained that in his religion, Islam, it is important to show mercy. The man was so struck by the act of kindness that he asked how he could become Muslim and recited a prayer for conversion. Sohail gave him the name Nawaz Sharif Zardari.

The man ran off when Sohail, a Pakistani American, went to get him some milk.

No criminal charges, no trial, and no police. Just two men who seemed to have worked out a situation and saved a lot more than some costs to the penal system.

For the full story, click here and here.

10 thoughts on “Long Island’s Les Misérables: Muslim Storekeeper’s Generosity Leads to Robber’s Redemption”

  1. Hopefully the name of the store in the article is not the store’s real name. With the mention that the store-owner never actually loads the gun, there are those who might think of a more injurious response than falling to their knees weeping… sadly.

  2. I hate that in the America we’ve become that we have to mention the shopkeeper’s religion.

  3. He explained that in his religion, Islam, it is important to show mercy.

    Wait can this be the same religion that we are being taught is so wrong? Jihad this, Jihad that.

    Wow, I am not sure if I were under the same set of circumstances I could have shown my faith that I profess. Someone robbing me….Nah, just shoot the bastard and let God sort out the rest is what we are taught.

    I had a client one time that was shot dead for a few dollars. He was the same type of Muslim merchant that would loan, give and or not charge you if you needed it. Alls you had to do was ask. I, the community and family was very saddened by his death.

    This is a true act of valor, now on both sides.

  4. “Good Muslim? Who cares in the end. Good human.”

    And THAT, dear friend, is why you are Buddha. Well put.

  5. Christa,

    It’s called “a sense of humor”. Jesus had one as did Mohamed. You should look into it.

  6. there are extremely good & pious individuals in every religion. That does not mean all are good or pious.

    A single example of virtue does not make a trend, but it does give one pause for thought.

  7. Buddha,
    “Jesus . . . might be so impressed . . . that He’d just give Mr. Sohail a nice buzz and omit the middleman?”
    Are you implying that in your vision of heaven even a person as kind as this would need Jesus to get him up there?
    Or are you saying that Jesus would, in thanks, get this man drunk without drinking?
    Either way, I am a little concerned.

  8. Can we get this story on every newscast, every pundit’s chatfest–especially on Fox and in every newspaper?

  9. I recall not only Mr. Sohail’s generosity and compassion, but his bravery as well. And by the return of the money, I’d have to add excellent assayer of people to Sohail’s list of good qualities.

    The next time any of you clowns from ANY religion want to pimp yours out as being “superior”, you should ask yourself if you could do what Mr. Sohail did. Good Muslim? Who cares in the end. Good human. Without doubt. That’s what matters. Jesus would buy this man a drink if Sohail drank, but knowing Him, He might be so impressed with this act of selfless kindness that He’d just give Mr. Sohail a nice buzz and omit the middleman. Just in time for the holidays.

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