For the next three days we will be in the first two-thirds of the next surah, Maryam 19:1-63.  Today we have some time to read, and the first thought will come tomorrow. 

In the meantime, consider listening to this podcast from Yasir Qadhi, resident scholar at the Memphis Islamic Center and instructor in the Department of Religion at Rhodes College here in Memphis.  In March, The New York Times Magazine called Qadhi “one of the most influential conservative clerics in American Islam” and that “arguably few American theologians are better positioned to offer an authoritative rebuttal of extremist ideology.”

Note that this podcast comes from the Calvary Episcopal Church Lenten Preaching Series from April 2011.  Admittedly, Calvary is a good bit more liberal than I generally am, but we should all read (and listen) widely, right?  Qadhi was the first Muslim ever invited to speak in the series, and the timing couldn’t be better. 

I found the first part of his talk to be a bit of a primer on Islam, and thus it was helpful.  The last part is a wonderful commentary on the many names of Allah from the last three ayahs of surah 59.  His beautiful recitation of the passage halfway through is worth a listen if nothing else.