Advertisement

Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord

Why This Muslim Appreciates Ash Wednesday

In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord

The most important period of the Christian calendar has now begun: Lent, which began with the Imposition of the Ashes on Ash Wednesday. All throughout the world, Christians had the mark of the cross placed on their forehead with this passage of scripture read:

Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return (Genesis 3:19)

While not partaking in this religious ceremony and season, I can – as a devout Muslim – nonetheless appreciate the message. The Qur’an has the very same passage, in fact. It is in the 20th chapter, in the midst of a dialogue between Moses and Pharaoh (emphasis added):

Advertisement

Said [Pharaoh]: “And what of all the past generations?”[Moses] answered: “Knowledge thereof rests with my Lord [alone, and is laid down] in His decree; my Lord does not err, and neither does He forget.” He it is who has made the earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways [of livelihood] thereon, and [who] sends down waters from the sky: and by this means We bring forth various kinds of plants. Eat, [then, of this produce of the soil,] and pasture your cattle [thereon]. In all this, behold, there are messages indeed for those who are endowed with reason: out of this [earth] have We created you, and into it shall We return you, and out of it shall We bring you forth once again. (20:51-55)

Advertisement

To me, this shows even further that our traditions are so very similar; much more similar, in fact, than they are different. Of course, our differences over the nature of Jesus Christ are huge, but that does not mean that we cannot see past our differences and focus on what we believe in common.

Both of our traditions worship the God of Abraham; both of our traditions love and honor Jesus Christ; both of our traditions teach that we shall be resurrected from dust to face judgment for our actions.  Both of our traditions include periods of fasting and reflection: the Christians have Lent, and we Muslims have Ramadan (which will start June 27 this year). Both Lent and Ramadan include rituals of sacrifice on the part of the believer in order to attain a greater spiritual strength and closeness to God.

That’s why this Muslim can appreciate Ash Wednesday while not partaking in its rituals. Would that more Muslims and Christians around the world learn to appreciate each other’s traditions and see them for their commonalities. Our world would be a much better place.

Previous Posts

Being A Believing Doctor In The Intensive Care Unit
In the Name of God, The Extremely, Eternally, and Everlastingly Loving and Caring This past week, we commemorated "Critical Care Week" at our hospital, which celebrates the women and men who dedicate their lives to taking care of the sickest ...

posted 7:50:38pm May. 15, 2015 | read full post »

"Go And Cling To Her Feet, Because Paradise Is There."
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Everlastingly Loving and Caring The title of this post is the response of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to a man who expressed a desire to perform jihad in the path of God. It is likely that ...

posted 4:08:56pm May. 08, 2015 | read full post »

Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary Reminds Us That Evil Comes In All Forms
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Caring I scanned the major headlines on a news search engine today, and there was barely a mention of the Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred on this day 20 years ago. ...

posted 12:31:15pm Apr. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial: Tsarnaev Should Not Be Sentenced To Death
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Perpetually Loving and Merciful The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to enter jury deliberations this week. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the jury ...

posted 9:45:19pm Apr. 06, 2015 | read full post »

A Doctor on Doctor's Day
In the Name of God: The Extremely, Eternally, and Infinitely Loving and MercifulToday is National Doctors' Day, and all around the country, hospitals and medical offices are celebrating by thanking the thousands of physicians that work hard ...

posted 5:32:39pm Mar. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.