Eid Mubarak! May there be justice and peace (in Assam as much as in Bangalore, in India as much as in Germany), a day full of celebration (among loved ones and among the wretched of the earth), and may God answer your prayers.
Which He sure will. Or won't He? This question figured prominently in a number of deeply engaging conversations I had during the last weeks, and was implicit in most others to the extent they concerned Ramazan. It came up in many different ways: how can I live a good life, and why don't I? How will God look upon me - now and on judgement day? And most frequently: will He answer my prayers? That I am confident that He will is a scandal for many of my Muslim friends. Often it seemd, in fact, as if our shared quest for solace leads straight into the key theological, ethical and spiritual difference between Islam and Christianity - which in turn prompted me to finally write this post (which had been lingering in my mind for quite a while anyway).
Let me clarify at the outset, however, that I do so from my own Christian standpoint without any missionary or self-righteous intentions - doing so is just plain inevitable, since the quest for solace - and the hope that God may answer our prayers - is necessarily an existential one. I am, however, not interested to start a petty sectarian turf war, and I am sure God is great enough to stand above narrowmindedness. (I am also sure that this is a very Islamic statement to make, by the way - as will become clear soon.) What I rather hope to accomplish today is to reflect upon some of my conversations and observations during Ramazan in Lucknow - by posing some hard and pressing questions.