Remembrance of God – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“There are those whom neither business nor striving after gain can turn from the remembrance of God.” (Qur’an 24:37)
“The friend of God buys and sells in the market and marries and takes part in social interaction and never for gets God for a single moment.” ~ Abu Said ibn Khayr
The term “remembrance of God” has always been difficult for me to understand, let alone practice. Something gets lost in the translation. Remembrance implies that something has been or might be forgotten. . .

Come to Know One Another – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“O humankind! We created you from a single pair of male and female persons and made you into nations and tribes that you might come to know each other.” Qur’an 49:13
“O God, You Have created this, I, you, we, they, to play the game of adoration with Yourself.” (Rumi)
The Qur’an is clear about the issue of diversity. God purposely created the human family with diversity, just as the rest of the natural world is filled with an infinite variety of shapes, colors, forms, and manifestations. . .

Justice — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Be just; this is closest to being God-Conscious.” ~ Qur’an 5:8
“Behold! God enjoins justice, and the doing of good, and generosity towards one’s fellow beings.” ~ Qur’an 16:90
“When an orphan cries, the throne of God shakes.” ~ Hadith of Prophet Mohammad
God’s command for justice here on earth is no small matter. Although God is the final judge of all affairs, we as human beings are also called to be just in our dealings with each other. . .

Small Watches of the Morning – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Pray in the small watches of the morning.”(Qur’an 17:79)
“No one knows what makes the soul wake up so happy; maybe a dawn breeze has blown the veil from the Face of God.” (Rumi)
There is a mysterious power in the early hours of the morning, just before the sun rises, when the entire world seems to be at rest and silent. This is when God is said to be waiting patiently to hear from his supplicants, but so few seem to be speaking to Him at that time. . .

Faith — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Allah has caused faith to be dear to you and has made it beautiful within your hearts.” (Qur’an 49:7-8)
Allah says: “Take one step towards Me and I will take ten steps towards you; walk towards Me and I will run towards you.” (Hadith)

Faith can be likened to a seed that Allah has planted deep within the heart of each and every one of us. We cannot create Faith, only Allah can create it. . .

Invisible Realms – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“They ask thee concerning the Spirit. Say: ‘The Spirit is by command of my Lord. Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you.’” (Qur’an 17:85)
“There is traffic and trade in the invisible realms.” ~Rumi
How can I write about the Spirit when only a little knowledge of it has been communicated to us human mortals? That would be presumptuous, indeed. . .

Honor and Protect the Earth — Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Assuredly the creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of humankind. Yet most people understand not.” (Qur’an 17:37)
“The earth is like your mother; honor her and protect her.“ ~Hadith
Although Allah makes it clear in the Qur’an that humankind is a very high station in His creation, and that we were created to be his “viceregents on Earth,” (Qur’an 6:165), He also makes it clear in many other verses that all the creatures and natural features of the earth were created with the purpose of honoring and glorifying their Creator. . .

Cleansing the Heart – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“God will not change the condition of a people unless they change what is in their hearts.” (Qur’an 13:11)
“All your life, O Ghalib
You kept repeating the same mistake
Your face was dirty
But you were obsessed with cleaning the mirror.” ~Mirza Ghalib
This is one of the most unsettling quotes in the entire Qur’an, as far as I am concerned. Those of us who believe in God, expect and want God to be Omnipotent, willing and able to change anything and everything according to His Will…

Our Bond With God – Commentary by Sally Jo Gilbert de Vargas

“Do not sell your bond with God for so paltry a price.” (Qur’an 16:95)
“Say, what has seduced you away from your most Generous Instructor?” (Qur’an 82:6)
One aspect of the Qur’an which has puzzled me for a long time are the references and metaphors made to economics, such as the quote above, “Do not sell your bond with God for so paltry a price.” There are many such verses in the Qur’an that refer to buying, selling, and even loaning to God…