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Allah and the ProphetTruly There Are SignsGather Us TogetherSteadfastness and CompassionStories of the Prophets

Qur'an/Gather Us Together

Meditation and Reading taken from The Quran, a new translation, by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
All other text is by Cynthia Stewart

Today's Themes

One of the great teachings of Islam is its call to universal brotherhood and sisterhood. All believers, we are told, stand as equals; neither wealth nor race nor education level can cause disparity within this unity. This sense of equality, especially of racial equality, has long been a beacon of light in Islam for many.

This sense of universal brotherhood and sisterhood is based in a belief that Islam is the truly universal religion. The Qur’an tells us over and over again that Allah has sent prophets to all nations with the same message: that the “only true religion in Allah’s sight is complete submission to Allah” (3:19). The message may get distorted by followers over time, but something of the essence remains in all religions, and all religions can bring forth believers: “If they repent and keep up their prayers and pay the alms, then they are your brethren in faith. We make Our messages clear for people who are willing to learn” (9:11). The message is to all, for all, from the One who is the All: the divine is one, and humans stand as one before him.

The passages in today’s reading and meditation have been adjusted slightly to increase clarity and make the language more inclusive, but the meaning remains unchanged.

The benediction is based on the very lovely verse 27 in Surah 31.

In all the sections on the Qur’an, I have substituted “Allah” for Khan’s translation, “God”.

Words used in this session:
surah – chapter of the Qur’an

Call To Worship

We believe that each person has worth and dignity,
and that every being is part of an interconnected web,
yet so often we turn our gaze to the visions that divide us.

Let us here be ever mindful of the infinite ties that hold us with a universal bond:
our planet, this atmosphere, atoms and quarks;
our desires, the need to believe, the move toward love;
our hearts that beat the same;
the simplicity and necessity of our breath.

Come - in our worth and dignity and interconnection, let us breathe deeply together.

Meditation

[Humans! Allah has] created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes, so that you might come to know each other. The noblest of you in Allah’s sight is the one who fears Allah most.

          Surah 49:13
          (Wahiduddin Khan translation)

Reading

     Allah has ordained for you the same religion which He enjoined on Noah, and which [He has] revealed to you, and which [He] enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus, so that you should remain steadfast in religion and not become divided in it. What you call upon the polytheists to do is hard for them; Allah chooses for Himself whoever He pleases and guides towards Himself those who turn to Him…
     So call people to that faith and hold fast to it yourself as you are commanded, and…say, ‘I believe in the Book which Allah has sent down, and I am commanded to do justice between you: Allah is our Lord and your Lord; we are responsible for what we do and you are responsible for what you do. There is no contention between us and you. Allah will gather us together, for to Him we shall return.’

          Surah 42:13, 15
          (Wahiduddin Khan translation

Benediction

If every twig and branch
      of every tree in every forest
            throughout the wide, wide world
                  were carved into pens,

And every drop of water
      in every river and sea
            and all the wild, wild oceans
                  were dyed into ink,

And if all of these pens
      filled with all of this ink
            were used to write down

All of the visions and declarations of holiness
      that the world has ever known

Still it would not suffice
      to tell of all the holiness
            that the divine has inscribed into the world.