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.
Young adults reading the Qur'an in West Java in Indonesia [Photo by sirius bintang via Flickr]
Day 16 || Reading: Qur'an 18:75 - 20:135
Rendering from Qur'an 19:16-21
Here is the Qur'anic version of The Annunciation. Like the Biblical account, you get a sense of Mary's deep trust in God: "I take refuge in the All-Merciful." In Luke's gospel she says to Gabriel, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." Alongside her trust, however, are the questions, and in both accounts she is revealed as a person not afraid to ask the angel of God a question. What courage -- and what righteous audacity. The example is a strong, quiet faith with sincere, brave questions.