Peace Scientists work for peace

Islam and Me

I fasted over Ramadan. SJ Dodgson MJoTA v10n2p0828

Islam is a complex religion that is the state religion in over 40 countries. Followers of Islam are known as Muslims, and as is the case when states take over religions, Islam looks very different in each country, and has more or less cruelty.

The heart of Islam is a peaceful religion, and its original revelation should never be morphed into a war cry or call to execute victims of rape or a means to oppress women and make us chattels to be bought, sold and murdered.

The heart of Islam is practiced by many of my Muslim friends. I try myself to follow its tenets, because Islam is the logical progression from Christianity, just as Christianity is the logical progression from Judaism.

At the heart of Islam is the understanding that we all matter, and we are all responsible for our own actions and that prayer and fellowship can help us onto a path that leads us to do good for ourselves and others. At the heart of Islam is the concept is one shining, overarching light, Allah, the same light that Judaism calls Jah-weh and Christians call God.

I like to see myself as a Muslim Quaker: a follower of the Light that was flicked on for us to see by Jesus. I fasted over Ramadan, which was a wonderful month-long bonding experience.

As a Quaker, I try to make my whole life a prayer, so praying 5 times a day, in a quiet, non-observable way, is not a hardship.

I will not ever make a pilgrimage to Mecca, I would probably not be allowed to, and I don't like the way Saudi Arabia holds this site hostage. I am not a fan of Saudi Arabia anyway, which should not come as a surprise.

Monetizing religion I believe is evil. A community paying someone to lead them spiritually is another matter. I certainly approve of that, although we do not do this as Quakers. We contribute for the upkeep of meeting houses. My mother's family has been doing that since the late 1600s, and I am extremely comfortable in following the religion of my mothers.

Day 5 of Ramadan, May 2017

Tonight I will break my fast with soy beans, beets, potatoes, radish greens I harvest from a bed outside my office, and flax seeds doused in avocado oil.

I am growing soy beans and potatoes in beds that my youngest son prepared in March; the potatoes are already two feet high and flowering; the beans are starting to flower.

Beets: I planted some seeds three weeks ago, and was delighted to see that shoots coming out of the ground are pink! Which makes the patch easy to weed. I have the beets in one half of a bed in the middle of the back garden; the other half is cauliflower.

Flax seeds: I need to plant them, I will do so in pots.

I have planted an avocado seed in a pot; I have done that previously and a tree has grown, but not for more than two years. This time it will get its own pot.

I planted a bed with carrot seeds, but I only see two carrot plants growing. The blue jays and sparrows and cardinals got there first. Or perhaps the squirrels or chipmunks. I saw a chipmunk dive into a small teapot where I am growing marigolds, I imagine he and his friends are responsible for the holes that appear in the beds.

I first planted peas two years ago, they were choked out by weeds. Last year with my broken leg, my peas did well inside the house but died before I could plant them in the ground. This year I planted peas in pots in early March and left them outside, and they are doing well. I planted some peas in a bed in the front, and they were growing, but every time a plant grew more than an inch, my resident extremely fat rabbit sat on it. And ate it. I suspect that is why I am not getting any sunflowers growing.

So many threats to plants trying so hard to grow from seeds. Too cold, too hot, not enough sun, too much sun, not enough water, too much water, being yanked out of your comfortable earth bed by birds and mammals, being sat on. Goodness. They only want to live in peace and grow.