Al Fatiha

When I first opened the Quran and read Al Fatiha, I was struck: out of all the Holy Books I read—the Bible, the Mahabharata and Baghavad Gita, the Book of Mormon, and others—none began like this, with such comprehensive worship of God, and such a thorough explanation of the belief system itself. Alhamdulillah!
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perfect for us our light

Here’s a good dua for Martin Luther King day, from Surah at Tahrim (66:8):

رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

rabbana atmim lana noorana waghfir lana innaka AAala kulli shay-in qadeer

Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.

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“We’re all skulls”

Thanks to Jon Wilkening and his Monday Morning Dispatch for 1/8/2018, I watched the American Master’s episode on Richard Avedon recently. At 1:00:10, Julius Lester says, of one of Avedon’s portraits of his elderly father

We’re all skulls. And I look at that photograph and I see his skull. And then I wonder, what if we went around and related to each other as if we were all skulls, and we’re all going to die, and whenever we die, it’s going to be too soon… Everything else is irrelevant. Race, religion, gender, all the squabbles we get into is irrelevant to the fact that, in the end, we all look alike: we’re all skulls.

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Flip the Script

When it’s time to pray, what do you say? How do you feel? Is it a chore, a bother, something to get out of the way so you can get back to whatever it is you’d rather be doing? When the time for prayer comes in, do you say have to pray, or do you want to pray?

Maybe it’s time to flip the script. Continue reading “Flip the Script”

a full tank

Caroline’s gas light came on about halfway home today, and so I stopped and filled up before heading home. As I left the gas station and zeroed out the tripometer, I saw the full gas gauge and felt such a sense of possibility: just think of all the places I could go on this fresh tank! What wonders await?

It’s a somewhat smaller, less consequential, but relevantly similar feeling to what the New Year used to bring, and quite similar to loading a fresh roll of film, or shooting with a new camera. Alhamdulillah for these new beginnings, these new openings, fresh starts. Continue reading “a full tank”