Friday, May 20, 2005

A Sufi's View of Alleged Desecration

One of my favorite websites is Beliefnet. It addresses all the great religious traditions from every perspective and posts readers' comments on every article. Many of those comments are thoughtful and eloquent. One of the most thoughtful and eloquent comments I've ever read there was posted by someone who identifies his religious affiliation as Sufi. Sufis are Muslim mystics who value direct religious experience over dogma, love over righteousness. This man is commenting on an article about the Newsweek story concerning the alleged desecration of the Qur'an by interregators at Guantanamo Bay. I wrote about this myself in a recent entry. This man makes some of the same points I did, but how I wish I could have expressed them as beautifully as he did!

A book is paper, its words penned in ink. It is no more and no less holy as a form than any other.

Reverence is paid to the source of wisdom and knowledge that is communicated through a holy book to the heart and mind of the reader. If a person desecrates the book it is the deficiency of the person who desecrates that is shown, and is no cause for any other reaction but pity towards the person who does it.

Neither Mohammed, nor Allah, nor the faith of a Muslim is diminished by the blashemous act of a non-Muslim. Allah is more than any form, including the Qu'ran. Reverence is reserved for the One, and mercy towards those who need it is the best response.

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