dispatches to and from

nathan f. elmore

Dispatches to and from faith, culture, and things in between

Ramadan Renderings/Day 11

I am a Christian pastor who works as a collegiate minister with the Virginia Baptists at Virginia Commonwealth University. One of my areas of vocational interest and spiritual work is Christian-Muslim relations, including text-centered dialogues or conversations. During Ramadan 2011, I read through the entire Qur'an, in English, via Tarif Khalidi's 2008 translation (Penguin Books). What follows is a personal, meditative rendering of the Qur'an portion of the day. This rendering is devotional in nature, not scholarly. And it comes in the form of textual observations, spiritual reflections, theological questions or poetic responses.

 

Photo by amado_samir via Flickr

 

Day 11 || Reading: Qur'an 9:93 - 11:5

 

Rendering from Qur'an 10:24

http://quran.com/10/24

 

As though yesterday it had never bloomed. Everything can change -- by God's command. Tarif Khalidi, in the introductory notes to his translation, says there are seven tropes of the Qur'an which are cited most commonly by its interpreters. Here, in this singular verse, the trope of parable is on full display. Our present human existence is compared to the rains that grow the earth; in an instant, if God wanted, green can go brown as though yesterday it had never bloomed. It is hard to miss the point. But how often do I labor under the delusion that I am in control of what makes the earth go around?

 

Photo by johnnyalive via Flickr