The largest number of stories I've posted on EP deal with the individual words I love and with quotes I carry in my mind and heart. I began collecting quotes at about age 30, and I have several hundred that I've committed to memory. Most are attributed; some are contested or anonymous, but they all resonate with me. That's why I can remember them: they offer me comfort and meaning, and make me look at the world in new ways.
There are a couple of quotes I hold dear that are from the Qur'an, which I've read more than once, in English translation. I'm not Muslim by faith, and it isn't the tradition in which I was raised. I advocate no particular organized religion here. All of the world's major religions offer a message of peace, love, justice, and mercy, certainly Islam prominent among them. The sacred texts of each of the word's major faiths are inspiring. I had hoped to one day have enough command of Arabic to read the Qur'an the way the faithful are encouraged to pray, but I honestly don't know if I will ever get there. I've barely scratched the surface of Arabic, Japanese, and Greek. If only I had four lifetimes...
So here they are, my words today. They've remained private for about 15 years. I don't quote any sacred texts openly or in public. It isn't really allowed in the modern workplace, and, again, I'm not here to convert anyone to any particular faith. So, within me they remain, but they keep coming to the surface. I think these words. My mouth forms to speak them. No sound emerges. Today, I write and post them.
" Happy shall be the man who keeps himself pure, who remembers the name of the Lord, and prays." (The Most High)
"A messenger of their own was sent to them, but they denied him. Therefore, the scourge smote them in their sins." (The Bee)
The parenthetical references are to the suras, or chapters, in which these statements appear.