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Juz’ 2 – True Followers of God

Today’s Juz’ covers Al-Baqara [2]:142-252.
The themes discussed in these ayat include: (1) the direction of prayer; (2) religious pluralism; (3) judgment of unbelievers; (4) forbidden meats; (5) rules for Ramadan; (6) rules of military engagement; (7) rules for Hajj and ‘Umrah; (8) rules for marriage and divorce; and (9) the Divine election of Saul and David.

 

Ramadan Mubarak.

 

My aya (verse) for today is Al-Baqara 177, which provides a spiritual profile for the true followers of God:

“Goodness does not consist in turning your face towards east or west. The truly good are those who believe in God and the Last Day, in the angels, the Scripture, and the prophets; who give away some of their wealth, however much they cherish it, to their relatives, to orphans, the needy, travelers and beggars, and to liberate those in bondage; those who keep up the prayer and pay the prescribed alms; who keep pledges whenever they make them; who are steadfast in misfortune, adversity and times of danger. These are the ones who are true, and it is they who are aware of God.”

 

Ofttimes, people view religion exclusively through the lens of theological distinctions. While doctrinal distinctions do inform a person’s faith, this verse reminds us that those who know God will be so filled with love that they will extend a helping hand whenever they see a need. A parallel passage in the Tawra also reminds us of these essential spiritual ingredients for true followers of God.

 

Listen:

“Isn’t this the fast I chose: to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke; to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, to bring the poor and homeless into your house, to clothe the naked when you see him, and not to ignore your own flesh and blood? Then your light will appear like the dawn, and your recovery will come quickly. Your righteousness will go before you, and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.” (Isaiah 58:6-8)

 

Prayer:

In the Name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate, please help me to become a true believer. I accept that my faith in You must manifest itself in practical acts of love towards all whom I have the means and ability to assist. In Your Holy Name I pray, amen.