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Trip Around the Sun

 

51 of 52 – The Muslims - again.

Have traveled about 573,000,000 miles - 1 week to finish the Trip Around the Sun.

 

Someone writes:

Refusing to lie is worshiping the truth?


Response:
Sometimes.

Usually - it is not refusing to lie - but just regarding truth as the end-all of value in life.

People who constantly insist that every little thing be literally true limit their walk in life quite a lot. Often, they are not happy.

A child, for example - who must go to school and contradict his classmates concerning the tooth fairy or Santa Claus, is much socially handicapped.

Or, in the extreme, a child who is not allowed to pretend. "I'm a fireman," he says, and Daddy says, "No - you are not a fireman - you may be someday if you want to - but now you are just a little boy." That's all true - but this is the worship of truth, and very damaging to the little boy.

There's nothing wrong with truth. Usually, it is the best way - but when we say "always," it is much like worship.

 

 

The Visit: Islam – The Muslims

 

This is a “Prayer Schedule” for January of this year. The times are slightly different for other months. These prayers are the deep-bowing kind – to the ground. Six times every day at exactly specified times.

 

 

January

Date

Fajr

Sunrise

Dhuhr

Asr

Maghrib

Isha

1

5:38

6:51

11:52

3:15

4:53

6:06

2

5:39

6:51

11:53

3:16

4:54

6:07

3

5:39

6:51

11:53

3:17

4:54

6:07

4

5:39

6:51

11:54

3:18

4:55

6:08

5

5:39

6:51

11:54

3:18

4:56

6:09

6

5:39

6:51

11:54

3:19

4:57

6:10

7

5:39

6:51

11:54

3:19

4:57

6:10

8

5:39

6:51

11:55

3:21

4:58

6:11

9

5:39

6:51

11:55

3:21

4:58

6:11

10

5:40

6:51

11:56

3:23

5:00

6:13

11

5:40

6:51

11:57

3:24

5:01

6:13

12

5:40

6:51

11:57

3:24

5:02

6:14

13

5:39

6:51

11:57

3:25

5:03

6:15

14

5:39

6:51

11:58

3:26

5:04

6:16

15

5:39

6:51

11:58

3:27

5:05

6:17

16

5:39

6:50

11:58

3:28

5:06

6:18

17

5:39

6:50

11:59

3:29

5:06

6:18

18

5:39

6:50

11:59

3:29

5:06

6:18

19

5:39

6:50

11:59

3:31

5:08

6:20

20

5:39

6:50

11:59

3:31

5:08

6:20

21

5:38

6:49

12:00

3:33

5:10

6:22

22

5:38

6:48

12:00

3:34

5:11

6:23

23

5:37

6:48

12:00

3:35

5:12

6:23

24

5:37

6:48

12:01

3:36

5:13

6:24

25

5:37

6:47

12:01

3:37

5:14

6:25

26

5:36

6:47

12:01

3:38

5:15

6:26

27

5:36

6:46

12:01

3:38

5:16

6:27

28

5:35

6:46

12:02

3:39

5:17

6:28

29

5:35

6:46

12:02

3:39

5:17

6:28

30

5:34

6:44

12:02

3:41

5:19

6:29

31

5:34

6:44

12:02

3:41

5:19

6:29

 

Can you imagine this – 6 times a day – and must be done right on time – no matter who is talking to you at the time.

 

 

This was my second visit with Islam – the Muslims. I wanted to go to see if I could get a feel for how they are dealing with the war.

 

Leona and I and Leona’s Dad attended a meeting of Veterans of India and countries around India. Bill Fisher had invited us to attend with him. Leona’s Dad is a veteran who served in India. I left early to get to this meeting with the Muslims, but not early enough to get there on time. I was compromising a little for the two meetings.

 

So I was about 15 minutes late. They were all on the cloth layments – which I noticed this time were laid at an odd angle in the room. I took off my shoes – and put a chair near the others and sat to listen and observe. Several men gave me little gestures of welcome – they remembered my last visit.

 

I’m sure this angle of the cloth was the same the first time, but I had not noticed it. I think their direction was such that when situated on them, the men – and women on separate ones – were facing in a certain direction. I’ve always had a good sense of direction – and this didn’t appear to be exactly East. I think the facing is to a particular place. That’s if we were to travel on the curved Earth in as straight a line as the sphere allows. When we point North, we say it’s toward the pole, but, of course, we’re really pointing into the sky, and our straight line would miss the pole by almost 4000 miles. It must be assumed that prayers travel in a curved path. To really point at the pole, we would have to point at an angle downward into the dirt. (We may also thus assume that prayers do not travel well through solids, since we do not point ourselves that way. I have noticed that when we consecrate oil, we always take the lid off. This must be because, again, prayers do not penetrate solids. It’s nice to have multiple religions confirming our beliefs. This is not trivial. I know this because I once saw the oil consecrated without removing the lid, and the young Elder was asked to do it over.

 

The leader was speaking – Last time the first part was in a foreign language – and then English – my lateness put me about right for the English part.

 

Koran is stories inviting good with also stories of those who have done good – and also with stories of those who have done bad – stories about bad people. We should stay away from wicked people.

 

(I have heard this teaching also at home. I always wonder what advice we would give to those bad people – with whom do we think they should associate? Obviously, not with us – and certainly not with our kids. I guess that leaves only other bad kids for their social interaction.)

 

The end of these wicked people is very painful – while the end for good people is wonderful. The stories are not imaginative or fictitious.

 

Of all the “scriptures,” only the Koranic version is correct – it is the only one that has been properly preserved.

 

There are valuable lessons to guide our contacts. Allah guides our lives for us to have mercy, piety, and good deeds.

 

(But is that refusal to associate mercy – or judgment?)

 

He told the story of Joseph – who feared Allah and remained pure.

 

My dear brothers and sisters, read it, and reflect on it.

 

If we are sincere, it gives belief, guidance, and success. If we are not sincere, the Koran does not guide us.

 

Certain verses are not meant to be translated by human beings. (!!!)

 

(I wondered – then why are these verses included? And next he answered that question.)

 

If humans try to translate these verses, it is a test for them.

 

If a child approaches the Koran, it will guide the child at a child’s level. It will also guide at any other level – no matter how high.

 

(I’ve heard similar about the Bible and other scripture – I don’t know exactly what a “level” is. I do know that much that is important cannot be learned there – algebra, for example.)

 

If someone quotes one verse and asks you what it means. Do not answer. Verses do not have meaning by themselves. Tell them you will do some research and get back to them.

 

(I know about this – they will not as a rule get back. I prefer to read the other germain verses at the time – and get as much understanding as is available from the current source.)

 

We need the wholeness of the Koran. It must all be studied – not a verse at a time.

 

Important – When we pray to Allah, it is a deeply spiritual exercise. We must do it correctly and with spiritual readiness. He feeds us. He helps us daily. He rewards us. He loves us. We hope He will be easy on us at the day of judgment.

 

We Muslims are living for eternal life. Allah is with us as long as we are truthful and honest – and spend our money daily for Allah. We do not know when we will die; we must do it every day. We must pray at all the designated times with no wavering.

 

It is simple truth. Good people will be rewarded; bad people will be punished – both in this life and in the next.

 

(I have been much rewarded, so by this doctrine, I must be a very good person. Can we do this in reverse this way – measure the goodness of a person by observing that person’s blessings? Our five children all grown up happy and responsible – our seven little grandchildren – each one thinking grandma and grandpa are the best – sweet little dog that loves us – sings for us – and plays soccer – a hotrod - man, it doesn’t get any better than this.)

 

(One of our old Bishops told me that we have good kids for an entirely different reason. He said that God looked down – saw Chuck Borough – and said, “No way – you can’t send any hard-to-raise kids to him – he’s not capable – so they sent me easy ones.)

 

(A woman in the book “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” was told by her minister when her child died, “God knew you had the strength. Otherwise He would not have given you such a hard thing.” She says the thought she had was, “Oh – if only I were a weaker person, my child would still be alive.”

 

Act as courageous Muslims. Trust ONLY in Allah – in none else.

 

Have no preoccupation with the world and worldly needs.

 

We need good Islamic teachers. We should challenge ourselves to become such teachers. Strengthen me and correct me, Allah.

 

Help all Muslins to become well after wars are thrust upon them.

 

And now the language changed – and I had no power of the interpretation of tongues that I was aware of.

 

He faced the way the carpet (or cloth) indicated. Now all were facing the same way with him – with him in the front.

 

He was singing a prayer. Bowing by all was deep and repeated – face to the floor.

 

(And the formal meeting was over. Now it will be time to eat lunch with them – and talk. Since I could not understand the most emotional part of the talk, I would try to glean a little at lunch.)

 

 

(Several had recognized me – and were glad to see me back. One insisted on paying for my lunch. We sat together at the table for the men. The women always are separate from the men, and had their own table across the room. (I really would like to talk with the women – but it doesn’t appear an easy task. They do say hi – they shake hands and are friendly – but a religious discussion is probably out of the question for an outsider – maybe even for an insider – I don’t know. I have not yet seen a single serious word exchanged between a man and a woman.)

 

(I listen to see if I can hear any of what the women are discussing. They are very quiet – and it appears to be only social in nature – while the men are arguing religion and politics.)

 

An elderly man at the table (probably in his nineties) said, “Pray that Allah will give men some brains!” He touched his head on both sides. These were the first words as we sat down – after the talk.

 

(The Interpretation of Tongues would have been a lovely gift for the Trip Around the Sun. I should have started the trip on my birthday. Instead I have the Gift of Contending.)

 

(There is a hymn, by the way, that advises contending for the truth. I do think contention is a wonderful thing, so long as we love also. So I will be grateful for my “gift,” and not covet another.)

 

He continued, “The twentieth century has been the worst for killing. Look at all the wars.”

 

Someone else said, “But whatever happens, we thank Allah for it.”

 

“What,” I said, “We thank God or Allah for everything – even bad things?”

 

He said, “Absolutely – for every single thing.”

 

I asked, “If I have a child who becomes a heroin addict, I thank God for that?”

 

“Absolutely.”

 

“If my wife cheats on me, I thank Allah for that?”

 

“Absolutely – that’s what I would do.”

 

I paused – I had trouble believing what I had just heard.

 

Then I said, “But if I am grateful for something – then I want it to continue - - don’t I?”

 

(And this is when I learned a lesson about what this is about.)

 

He said – with the considerable agreement of all the others – “If you have an appendix which is breaking – and it is hurting – then when the surgeon removes it – cuts you open and removes it – you are grateful – correct?”

 

“Yes, “ I answered.

 

Then he said, “But you do not want the surgery to continue, do you?”

 

“When Allah brings a test to us – it is for our betterment – but we do want the test to end when we have learned what is needed for our progress.”

 

“If my child is addicted – or my wife cheats on me – I want that to end – but I am grateful to Allah for whatever purpose He had in allowing it to happen.”

 

(Later – I thought of questions on this subject that I would like to ask. For example: “What if the Jews took over all of the Arabic nations to expand Israel – would you thank Allah for that?” Maybe on the next Sun Trip.)

 

51 of 52 – The Muslims - again.

 

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