The parable of the Prodigal Son(Luk 15:11-32) can be specifically valuable for the Muslim because of its emphasis on God as a loving Father who welcomes his son back home and forgives all the wrongs that have been done to him.

It can also help Muslims to see the difference between worshipping God as a servant (as the Muslims seeks to do), and worshipping God as a son. The parable suggests that he is not content to be worshipped by slaves but rather that we are his sons.

The parable has no ending: We are not told whether the older brother accepted his father’s invitation. God gives us the option to accept or reject his invitation to live as sons who recognise and love Him as Father.

The parable of the Prodigal son speaks of a man who had two sons. One went away with his part of the inheritance and wasted it in faraway places, until he had spent it all. Working in a pigsty “he came to know himself”.

He seriously and honestly assessed the situation. He had an “afterthought”. The Bible calls this word “repentance”.

It went somewhat like this. The young man made a resolution “I will(a) arise and (b) go to my father and (c) say to him “Father I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no more worthy to be called your son”. All he wished was to be a servant to his father, instead of living under bondage in a pigsty, starving”.

This resolution was very good indeed (perhaps we have made such a resolution ourselves). But it was not enough. The young man in our parable carried out his resolution:”he (d) arose and (e) came to his father.”

Much to his surprise the father was waiting and looking out for him. More surprising still, he was recognised by his father in spite of his total depravation.

Earlier, he had ridden away confidently, but his expectations of successful, happy and fulfilled life did not materialize. He returned as a filthy, stinking vagabond.
Even so, his father ran to meet him, embraced him and kissed him!

The son could hardly stammer out his confession, before his father
(1) had clothed him in the best robes (covered his dirt),
(2) put a ring on his finger (indicates his acceptance as a son again),
(3) and put shoes on his feet (only free men were allowed to wear them). Then,
(4) he ordered a feast to be prepared for “this son was dead, and he is alive again – he was lost and is found”.

From all this we learn that our heavenly Father, knowing our circumstances, expects nothing more than our return to Him with a broken heart over our sinfulness. The “after-thought”triggered this off.