By Imam Khalid Latif
Ramadan is the month in which it is said the Qur’an was revealed to mankind. Like most scripture, the Qur’an is essentially providing principles, commands, prohibitions, and parables to its reader for the purpose of elevating and moving them closer towards God. To me, one of the most remarkable aspects of it is the insight it gives the readers towards ethical conduct. Verse after verse speaks about the importance of good character and gives specific instruction on the type of behaviors that are not necessarily tangible, but still have heavy consequences nonetheless if adopted and acted upon. Things like refraining from lying, cheating, and gossiping and embracing principles of honesty, generosity, diversity, and excellence are often mentioned.
It is not to say that Islam has ownership of these values, but to me it makes sense that what we hold to be revelation from the Divine would make mention of them.
When I was around 16 years old I started to go through a process of exploration in regards to my own spirituality. I was fortunate to meet warm individuals who embodied a different type of kindness than I had been used to when dealing with religious community. It wasn’t that people were necessarily mean to me, but no one also was deliberately nice. I think it’s important to reflect on — not doing wrong and doing right are both important to do. [Read more...]