Today, I was fasting. And as is usual during this holy month, my focus is more on prayer and reflection than on my newsfeed and my mobile. I woke up and I spent a little time reading the Quran. A verse I read stuck in my head throughout the morning. It was about the Quran itself, and how some people read it. It says “the perverse at heart eagerly pursue the ambiguities in their attempt to make trouble and to pin down specific meaning of their own.” It made me think of ISIS.
Then I spent a few lovely hours talking about Islam with my brother-in-law, who as a recent Muslim is fasting only his second Ramadan. We talked about the fasting of the body and the fasting of the mind. I am watching a wonderful series of lecture about mindfulness and being in the present, and how ending negative suffering through these means are very much rooted in Islamic thought. We talked about spirituality, and the wonderful universal messages that Islam has to give to the world.
Then I prayed.
Five times a day we call out to “The Lord of mercy, the Giver of mercy.” These are the words we use to describe God in our prayers. We ask him to “guide us to the straight path, the path of those who You have blessed, those who incur no anger, and who have not gone astray.” It is a beautiful and peaceful prayer.
I read some more Quran, and it gave me a sense of peace.
Then I turned on the news.Read More