What I Did
The second reading is a passage from Among the Believers. It is an account of a visit to Qom, a holy city. It describes the trip there, and more importantly the interaction between people once there. The passage describes some laws from Islam, such as the fasting during Ramadan, and the veiling of women. The narrator at one point is unsure that he could be passed off as a Muslim due to the amount of laws and rituals he would not be aware of. Thrown in here and there are different perspectives on the Islam tradition. The story takes place during a revolution, while major changes are taking place.
These passages also relate to the class discussion we had about how people seem to embrace the Islam tradition. The narrator described himself as a religious seeker. He was welcomed by Muslims regardless of his previous religious experience. In class we discussed how the laws were not a hindrance, but instead a blessing since there were no questions about how to behave. The veiling of women was favored by the women since it freed them from always being examined by men. In the second passage everyone was happy, even under the strain of the laws.
"All religions divide" is the one phrase from class that jumps out at me after reading the second passage. The story involves Muslims that have different slants on the Islam tradition. The story takes place during a revolution where major changes are taking place in the religion. This passage shows us the view of a religion dividing from within.
Certain pieces from the reading from the Qur'an were things I recognized from the Bible. The story of the flood and Noah's Ark, for example. Allah was described as all knowing, forgiving, and merciful. Those descriptions fairly well match the Christian view of God. Every tradition seems to overlap in some way with others. Perhaps religions are not as diverse as they first appear.