Muslims And Christians Can Walk Together As Men And Women Of God

There are many Bangladeshi and Indian restaurants in my region. One Muslim waiter said to me 'You are a man of God. Can you help me to be a man of God?'

'Do you say the  Salah? (the five times a day prayers)  I asked.  He did.  So I began reflecting more on these daily prayers which reflect the daily prayer stops of the first Christians. They can be recited togather by believers but they can also be a template for reflection and developing spiritual practices and character.  (I take a misunderstanding in the fifth prayer as an opportunity to expand our joint understanding).

‘We’ is, in the three monotheist religions, the divine image in every person. And so we bless every blessed  person the Lord has made.

Most Muslims pray the five times a day prayers which are known as Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (afternoon), Asr (late afternoon), Maghrib (after sunset), and Isha (nighttime), facing towards  the East. It is fitting that people of other faiths join with them in these prayers, These are the prayers with reflections:

1. (At Dawn or when waking) ‘God is the Greatest. Purity belongs to you, my God. And the praise belongs to you. Blessed is Your Name Your Majesty (Glory and Might) is Exalted, there is no deity but You. I seek Refuge with Allah from Satan, the accursed’. 

To rid ourselves of all that is impure means to rid ourselves of anything that is not authentic.  Where are we hiding, covering up, pretending, showing off, despising another or ourselves?   As the sun rises so we rise with the Sun of suns, the Light of lights.

2) (At or after noon) In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All the praises are for Allah, the Sustainer of all the worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful.  As the busyness of the day takes its toll, perhaps we accumulate strains, regrets, bad temper, self-concern …  let us reflect on false accumulations and lay them aside. ‘As the press of work pauses at noon, may Your Rest fill our beings.’

3) (Late afternoon) Lord of the Day of Judgment You alone do we worship and You alone do we ask for help.  Lead us along the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed Your favours, not of those who incurred Your wrath, nor (of those who) went astray! (Amen). Reflect on times when we have gone our own way.  What does it mean to journey upon the straight path?  To follow the course of duty. To respect each person. To have love in our heart for each creature and each person. To grow in insight, use our talents, and follow inspirations?

4) (After sunset) In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.  To you have We granted the Fount of Abundance. Therefore to your Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice.  For he who hates you, he will be cut off (from Future Hope). How have I failed to show mercy today? Help me to reflect your mercy. Fill me with your mercy even for people who live bad lives..

5)  (Night) Either before sleep or when you can’t sleep. In the Name of (that is, may I be filled with the spirit of) Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.  Say: He is God, One God, the Shelterer.  Think of ways in which God shelters and protects you from harm without and from harm within.

 You reveal to us that ‘We shall show them our signs’ (Sura 41:53). Your signs include love, joy, peace, patience, fortitude, forgiveness.  Think of other signs also. You show us your signs by giving love and receiving love, by creating and redeeming, by signs in heaven and on earth. Glory be to my Lord, the Almighty. God hears those who praise Him Our Lord. Glory be to my Lord, the Most High Sitting My God forgive me, forgive me. ‘He makes love and knows love from the inside out.’

God does not beget as human do. In all three monotheist religions God speaks as 'We'. God is not distant or monochrome, God is both the Hidden One and the Manifest One, the Originator and the Restorer, the Giver and the Abaser. The All-Merciful can express mercy within human life and within Himself. He is an Eternal Communion of Love.  Let us reflect this, and rejoice that the heart of God is Relationship, not only Rule. 'Help me reflect you in every person I meet and every word I say.'

'You are God who is Hidden and God who is revealed.  Thank you for revealing more of Yourself in human life'

The Prophet says Jesus is the only human without sin. Jesus is the prophet of the resurrection.  'Give me a foretaste of resurrection glory this night.  Reveal more of yourself to me in my dreams and in my waking, for ever and ever Amen.'

Posted at 21:40pm on 22nd May 2024
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