We fall so very short of the ideal

We fall so very short of the ideal March 27, 2020


Damascus Gate
Damascus Gate or, as it is known in Arabic, “Bab al-‘Amud” (The Gate of the Column), is my favorite among the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City. When I first lived there, mostly in the predominantly Arab Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in more modern East Jerusalem, it was the gate through which I always entered the Old City, and specifically the Arab Quarter, which remains my favorite of the old Jerusalem’s “quarters.”   (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


I’m grateful to Matthew Wheeler for calling two items to my attention that I think some of you will find of interest, as well.  If you can, go the Facebook page of “Abu Ubaidah (Faraz Sabeel Travels).”


Once you’re there, scroll down to his entry for 10:45 AM on 25 March 2020, which begins “Jewish shop keeper in Jerusalem playing Quran, when asked why said this is Gods word it will help us during this Coranavirus.”


Then scroll up just a little bit to the entry for 12:18 PM on 26 March 2020, which reads as follows:  “Another video of the Jewish shopkeeper listening to Quran during Coranavirus from Jerusalem.  He is saying there is only 1 God we all worship, May Allah guide him.”


I like these.  Jerusalem and Israel/Palestine would be a very different place if this kind of interreligious appreciation and tolerance were more widespread!  Indeed, the entire Middle East would be considerably improved.


But enormous problems remain.  Here is an example of just one of them, newly made even worse than it already was:


Mary Mohammadi, near a lake
I don’t know the ultimate origin of this photograph of the Iranian Christian convert Mary Mohammadi, but I hope that those who do know will not object to my use of it. Her case desperately needs to be better known. Pray for her.


“Iran’s Imprisoned Christians Face Yet Another Danger: COVID-19”


This essay examines a basis for a path forward, based on a common teaching of all major religious traditions, that would further peace and respect between those of different faiths:


“The Prophet’s Golden Rule: Ethics of Reciprocity in Islam”


One of my favorite Qur’an verses
Qur’an 5:48


In this context, it seems appropriate, once again, to share one of my very favorite passages in the Qur’an:


And we have sent the Book down to you with the truth, confirming what you already have of the Book and making it sure.  So judge between them according to what God has sent down and do not follow their whims away from the truth that has come to you.  We have made a code of conduct and a path for each of you.  And if God had willed, he could have made you a single community, except in order to test you on what has come to you.  So vie with one another in good works.  To God will be your return, all of you, and he will then inform you concerning the matters on which you disagreed.  (Qur’an 5:48, my translation)



Browse Our Archives