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 dorothysegal via Flickr
Day 24 || Reading: Qur'an 39:32 - 41:46
Rendering from Qur'an 40:7-9
On face value, this scripture appears to give a glimpse into Paradise -- with the inhabitants thereof worshiping God. They are also seemingly praying for the believers on earth, that they will attain God's forgiveness.
Essentially their prayer starts and ends in praise, proclaiming God as the one who encompasses all things in His mercy and knowledge, who triumphs and provides the triumph. At the end of the day, being shown mercy is to have experienced the victory.
Christians and Muslims may differ significantly regarding how God has won this victory and how He makes available His mercy. But is there any doubt that His mercy is what we so desperately need?