As salaam alaikum,
And a warm Ramadan Mubarak to all of my Muslims out there, practicing or no! Because a Muslim who is not currently practicing can easily turn into a practicing Muslim like that. Let me take this time to bear witness that I have been at various levels of practice throughout my adult life, and this is probably one of my low points. Allah (swt) always has space for us and will always anticipate our return, whether we're actually not practicing or not practicing as much as we'd like.
Because, as He told Adan as he was expelled from the garden, and as applies to us whenever we fall from a state of grace:
"[For although] We did say, "Down with you all from this [state]," there shall, none the less, most certainly come unto you guidance from Me: and those who follow My guidance need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve." (2:38)
So a blessed Ramadan for all of us who will seek guidance this month!
In order to keep myself up-to-date this Ramadan, I think I'll post my favorite ayat from the day's juz. The things that made me stop and think.
This made me think based on a recent conversation I had with my father about Christianity, and his thinking that it was "a shame" that I was not considering converting to Christianity:
"Say: "Do you argue with us about God? But He is our Sustainer as well as your Sustainer -- and unto us shall be accounted our deeds, and unto you, your deeds; and it is unto Him alone that we devote ourselves." (2:139)
It goes on, but it always got to me that basic thing that other monotheists often do not understand...we are all worshiping the same God. We may attribute slightly different characteristics to God in our limited understanding of Him through our theologies and ideologies, but we're attempting to approach the same God. My father believes that Islam is not the wrong way but that Christianity is richer than Islam and provides a better spiritual life. I beg to differ, but that's an argument that neither of us can win. At the end of the day, the most important is just that, that which my father recognizes...both of us, me and him, are trying to reach the same God, and we will independently be judged according to our efforts to approximate Him.
As always, different things resonate with us differently in the course of reading the Qur'an. This time around, all of the stuff warning the Jews and the Christians (and therefore, warning us, Muslims) against claiming one faith as the only ticket to Paradise and the Oneness of God regardless of monotheistic tradition stood out to me. Maybe I'll send them to my father...it's a little provocative because it speaks directly to him, but just so he knows what's actually in the book.
Anyway, time to sleep. I get to go to clinic for a full day tomorrow, and although clinic is lighter than say, a sub-internship, it's still a full day!