40 days of reflection and inspiration. A reader for the Lent season with a range of young Muslim contributors.
I am a follower of Jesus. And I have for the most part of my adult life lived in - in some ways - rather diverse and multi-religious contexts. But while one shares laughs, friendships, and religious feasts with people of different religions, faith, just that: faith, is not always so easily spoken about. For me, this has also been the case when it comes to Islam. Living in 'these times', I have had a growing sense of distortion and imbalance between how often Islam is discussed in the public sphere, and how seldom the depths of personal Muslim faith is brought to light. As often is, we people are more inclined to talk about the collective, and maybe less comfortable with the personal (while faith often so intimately connects the two).
So, Islam For Lent is a commitment to explore the intricacies, the richness of Islam. It is a lent commitment because, to me, a posture of learning from those outside one's own established sphere (not for the sake of debate or 'comparative study', but simply learning, and decentering practice) is a core tenet of what it means to follow Jesus. And it's a lent commitment because a small act of stepping away from the 'centrality' of one's own religion may be more interesting than 40 days of cutting sugar or Facebook out of your life diet. And I am doing this through asking Muslims, first and foremost my own friends, about their faith, how it gives strength, informs daily lives, guides how they relate to others.