Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Qur'an-Minded

As I write this the sun has risen at my house and I begin day four of fasting for Ramadan. I am fasting one day at a time. Last night I broke the fast at the Muslim Educational Trust. A new friend, Waddah Sofan (who I interviewed last week about the Nakba), invited me to a lecture and Iftar.

The lecture was given by Sheikh Hassan Lechhab who is the President and co-founder of Tayseer Seminary in (wait for it), Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville consistently is voted one of the most "Bible-Minded Cities" in the country year after year by Barna Group. It was number nine in 2017. My friends in the Tri-Cities, Tennessee (Johnson City, Kingsport, Bristol) will be happy to know they beat out Knoxville this year. Chattanooga is the most Bible-Minded once again.


Dr. Lechab is connected with the Muslim Community of Knoxville. Maybe one day, Barna will discover that Knoxville in addition to being Bible-Minded is also Qur'an-Minded. Why not? Personally, I think it is a virtue to be "minded" about a lot of things.  My new favorite quote is from Aristotle, 
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
You never know what you might accept as reflection, study, and experience shapes new thoughts and ideas. First, however, is to allow your mind to entertain--that is give space to--a new thought. Sheikh Hassan spoke about verity. Truthfulness. Truthfulness of speech, of character, and of will. Speak the truth is the first order, that is not telling falsehoods. Deeper than that is to be truthful in character, that is have your ethics match your truthful speech which I thought similar to my other favorite phrase of late, truth is in order to goodness. Then verity or truthfulness of will is the highest, that has to do focusing one's life on the truth of Allah or God, which I think of as being humble so that we never allow smaller truths to become our god to the extent that they shut out Truth that is larger and more beautiful. 

Yep, that is me the Christian Atheist pondering the Truth of Allah. You never know where the wind might blow you, my friends.