Badaliyya is a movement based on the concept of BADAL (an Arabic word for "Substitution" or "Ransom". The inspiration comes from the "understanding" that interreligious relation, is primarily a movement of LOVE - a PASSIONATE LOVE that moves one to offer his/her life that others may have life and life to the full. It is a movement of self-expenditure... The model is Jesus Christ in the cross who paid the price by being a RANSOM for us! Bapa Eliseo "Jun" Mercado, OMI
All of us experience tension in our lives: tension in our families, tension in our friendships, tension in our places of work, tension in our churches, tension in our communities, and tension within our conversations around other people, politics, and current events. And, being good-hearted people, we carry that tension with patience, respect, graciousness, and forbearance – for a while!
Then, at a certain point we feel ourselves stretched to the limit, grow weary of doing what is right, feel something snap inside of us, and hear some inner-voice say: Enough! I’ve put up with this too long! I won’t tolerate this anymore!
And we let go. We let go of patience, respect, graciousness, and forbearance, either by venting and giving back in kind or simply by fleeing the situation with an attitude of good riddance. Either way, we refuse to carry the tension any longer.
Mature parents put up with a lot of tension in raising their children. Mature teachers put up with a lot of tension in trying to open the minds and hearts of their students. Mature friends absorb a lot of tension in remaining faithful to each other. Mature young women and men put up with a lot of sexual tension while waiting for marriage. Mature Christians put up with a lot of tension in helping to absorb the immaturities and sins of their churches.
Men and women are noble of character precisely when they can walk with patience, respect, graciousness, and forbearance amid crushing and unfair tensions, when they never grow weary of doing what is right.
But all of this will not be easy. It’s the way of long loneliness, with many temptations to let go and slip away. But, if you persevere and never grown weary of doing what is right, at your funeral, those who knew you will be blessed and grateful that you continued to believe in them even when for a time they had stopped believing in themselves.
Selected Text:“Go on your way; behold, I am sending you
like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one
along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household’.”
(Luke 10: 3-5)
Reflection:The mission or the ministry is no bed of
roses.The demands are great – carry no moneybag,
no sack, and no sandals! The disciples of the Lord are sent like lambs among
wolves. And their first message is ‘Peace to this household.’Yes, the disciples are PEACEMAKERS! www.badaliyya.blogspot.com
DHIKR SIMPLE METHOD
Dhikr is an Arabic
word that means remembrance.Our dhikr
prayer is remembrance of God’s Words and Deeds.
1st step: Write the
Dhikr in your heart.
2nd step: Let the
Dhikr remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the dhikr silently
as often as possible...
3rd step:Be attentive to the disclosure of the
meaning/s of the Dhikr in your life.
Selected Text:“Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ They said in reply, ‘John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ Then he said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter said in reply, ‘The Messiah of God’.”(Luke 9: 18-20)
Reflection: Today, each one us is being confronted to answer that same question, “Who Jesus is in our lives…? There is NO more escaping behind the ‘rug’ of rituals and formulas! Jesus Christ is the source of life and the forgiveness of sins. Trough him we receive life in its fullness. See www.badaliyya.blogspot.com
By Fr. Eliseo ‘Jun’ Mercado, OMI –
I have spent almost a whole life in the
study of Islam and the Qur’an.I know
that my Muslim friends revere the Qur’an as the very WORD of God. I continue to
see their devotion to the Word and I continue to respect and admire their
reading of the Qur’an.My Muslim friends
who are spiritually inclined meditate on the WORD and they become what they do
recite.Others have taken Shayks to
guide them in the understanding of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an according to the spiritual
tradition has a latent/obvious meaning (dhahir) and a hidden meaning
(batin).Perhaps to make us understand
this tradition, the more familiar terms would be a literal meaning and spiritual.It is the spirit of the Word of God that
mystics (sufi) discern in their meditation of the passages of the Qur’an.
When we speak of the literal meaning of the
Qur’an, I refers to the 114 chapters or Suras in a ‘performative’ language that
the readers are called to accept the Message and submit themselves to it.The Qur’an as we have it is NOT arranged in
the chronological order, that is, from the early Meccan period to late Meccan
to Medinan periods.It would appear,
except for the Opening Chapter, the Qur’an is arranged from the longest
chapters to the shortest ones without reference to chronology.It is left to the ‘exegetes’ (Tafsir) of the Qur’an to determine whether
these chapters are early Meccan period or late Meccan period or Medinan
period.This is important since the
latest revelations amend or even abolish the early ones if they are NOT in
consonance with each other.
The prophet recited the Qur’an in much the
same way as the prophets of old (OT).At
the outset, the prophet sets to say that the message he proclaimed is precisely
the same as that proclaimed by the earlier prophets before him.Basically, the themes are the following:
· 1. There is but one God and NO
· 2. There is life after death;
· 3. The people will be judged by
God and God alone;
· 4. At the last day, they will find
themselves in paradise or in hell depending on the way they lived their lives;
· 5. All creation is under the
authority of God referred to mas al-Rabb (the Lord), Allah (the God), al-Rahman
(the Merciful One) and al-Rahim (the Compassionate One) – and there are 99
names of God but the four mentioned above are much inuse in the Qur’an;
· 6. The prophets before him
proclaimed the Message to their own people and they bare all heavely books –
the Tawrat (Torah), the Zabur (the Psalms) and al-injil (the Giospel).
Having explored and meditated on the
Qur’an, I canno help but observe similar verses and prophets with all the
revealed Books – Tawrat, Zabur, al-Injil and al-Qur’an.A simple enumeration of the most important
characters both in the Biblical and Qur’anic traditions, we have the following:
Adam (25 times);Nuh/Noah (33 times);
Ibrahim/Abraham (69 times); Ishaq/Isaac (17 times); Ismael/Esau (12 times);
Lut/Lot (27 times); Yaqub/Jacob (16 times); Yusuf/Joseph (27 times); Musa/Moses
(136 times); Harun/Aaron (20 times); Dawud/David (18 times); Sulayman/Solomon
(17 times); Zakariyya.Zachariah (7 times); Yahya/John (9 times); Maryam (mother
of Jesus 34 times) and ‘Isa/Jesus (25 times as Ibn Maryam or son of Mary and 11 times as al-Masih/Messiah).
Of the 25 prophets named in the Qr’an, only
4 do not feature in the Bible. These are the following: Ahmad (1 time);
Muhammad (4 times); Luqman; Alexander; and the seven Sleepers.
It will be good to mention (for our
Christian readers), at the outset, that the Qur’an firmly rejects the idea that
Jesus/’Isa, often designated as Son of Mary, as the divine Son and does the
same with the idea of Trinity.Q 5, S 73
speaks: “Those who say that God is a third of three speak of blasphemy. There
is no god except the one God.
Nevertheless, the Qur’an speaks of God’s
Word (Kalima) and God’s Spirit (Ruh). I also speaks that “al-Masih ibn Maryam
is God’s prophet and His Word (Kalima) that He addressed to Maryam and a
spirit(Ruh) from God.The Qur’an also admits the virginity and
unblemished motherhood of Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Messiah.Quran 5: 110 speaks of Jesus speaking the
cradle to defend his mother’s virginity.
For Christians who are familiar with the
early Ecumenical Councils from Nicaea (325 AD) to Ephesus (431 AD) to Chalcedon
(451 AD) would easily the Christological debates. (In Nicaea, they grappled
with the concept of “same substance as the father and the son. In Ephesus, they
grappled with the concept of Mary as ‘Mother of God’ or ‘Mother of Christ’. And
in Chalcedon, they grappled on the 2 natures (Human and Divine) in the person
The matrix of the Qur’an is NOT from the
pagan Arabs of the Peninsula.The Qur’an
is directly revealed and it asserts that it is in line with the proclamations
of earlier prophets, albeit in this instance in the Arabic Language.This is a complex subject though a lot of
study has been made through the centuries.Suffice to cite the great work of ‘Irfan Shahid, Byzantium and the Arabs
(5th, 6th Century and 6 volumes, Washington: Dumbarton
Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1984-1989-1995).
Of course, one could cite the Christian
settlements in the Peninsula, particularly at Najran (now in Southern Arabia).
The Christian Church at Najran with their Bishop, in fact, paid the prophet a
visit after the conquest of the whole Peninsula.They belonged to the Christian Monophysitism
(one nature of Jesus Christ – human).In
much the same way, we can cite the Jewish settlements in the Peninsula,
particularly in Yathrib (now Medina) during the time of the prophet.One can also cite the Christian Empire of
Ethiopia that gave sanctuary to the fleeing Muslims from the persecution of the
Meccans. The Christianity in North Africa, at the time to the present belong to
the Coptic Christian Church. In much the same way, the Byzantium Empire (the
Eastern Roman Empire) belong to the Orthodoxy.The Christian Arianism rejected the idea of the same substance for the
Father, Son and Spirit (Council of Nicaea).Jacobite and Nestorian Christian Christianity rejected the two (2)
natures in the person of Jesus thus they are referred to as Monophysite
Christians (mono-physis) during the Council of Ephesus. And the Coptic
Christianity of Egypt and the Greater Ethiopia resulted from the Council of
Chalcedon (see the work of Christian Julien Robin, The Peoples beyond the
Arabian Frontier in late Antiquity in HF Dijkstra & Fisher, nside Out,
Leuven-Paris: Peterts, 2014).
In the period of the proclamation of the
Quran in Medina, it appears that an unbridgeable gulf emerged between the
prophet’s message and the Christianity that adhered to the dogmas of the early
major Councils (Nicaea, Ephesus and Chalcedon) namely that Jesus as the son of
God; the Trinity and Mary as the Mother of God. The late Meccan Sura 19, verses
88 - 93 express this ‘revulsion’: “ They say: ‘the All Merciful (al-Rahman) has
taken to Himself a son…’ ‘They ascribe a son to the all Merciful! No one in
heavens and the earth comes to the all Merciful except as servant (‘abd)!”
In similar vein, the Islamic Tradition
follows the Jewish feature that determines the essence of Islamic faith – the
Law or the Shari’a. Except for the more mystical tradition in Islam, the Law or
the Shari’a becomes the very heart of Islam. This is the reason why there is so much
concerns and cares for the legal/permitted (Halal) and illegal/forbidden
(Haram).This shows that the Islamic
Tradition, except again for the Mystics, doers NOT continue the revolution
began by Jesus and Paul with respect to the Law.
Kindredness between Jesus & Paul on the
one hand and the Mystics in Islam lies in the idea and concept of all-Merciful
and all-Compassion which becomes the very heart of religion.For the Ulama, the heart of religion is the
Law while for the Mystics, the heart of religion is Love.Paul in his letter to the Galatians (Gal. 2:
11) says: ‘No one is justified before God by the Law’. Again in Galatians 4:
6-7: “And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his on into your
hearts, crying ABBA! Father. So through God, you are no longer slaves, you are
children of God. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor
free; there is neither male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus’
(Gal. 3: 28).
For Christianity and for the more spiritual
tradition in Islam, the core of religion (Christianity and Islam) is NOT the
Law but Love – Love of God and Love of neighbors.Yet, there is MORE demanded for those who follow
Jesus Christ.This is expressed in the
saying: ‘’if your righteousness is no more than that of the Scribes and the
Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of God’. The ‘more’ refers to AGAPE – the communion of
love with God and neighbor.
Going back to the title… Yes, the Qur’an,
belongs to the Judeo-Christian Traditions thus it is Biblical, certainly.However, as true to the 3 traditions of
Judaism and Christianity, Islam develops its own tradition through time based
on the revelation the Muslim received.
In this difficult time of extremism and
fanaticism, it is refreshing to go back to the core of religion in all our
three religious traditions: Love of God and Love of neighbors.It is no accident, that in thenow famous Muslim letter to All Christian
leaders, the letter calls all to find a Common Word between you and us… and
that Common Word is LOVE! Albeit our differences and misunderstanding; albeit
our history that has been bloody; and albeit our often exclusive claims, we can
sit and work together on the basis of the common word between you and us… the
Love of God and the love of neighbors.
1.Bell, Richard. Introduction to the Qur’an (Islamic Survey 8) Edinburg:
Edinburg University Press, 1953.
2.Borrmans, Maurice. Islam as it understands itself. New York. Orbis Book,
3. H.F.Dijkstra & Fisher, Greg (eds.). Inside and Out: Interactions between
Rome and the People on the Arabian and Egyptian Frontiers in Late Antiquity.
Leuven-Paris: Peter. 2014.
4.Louis Gardet. Islamic Sufism. Paris: 1961.
5. Bilal Orfali (ed). In the Shadow of
Arabic. Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2011.
6. Christian Julien Robin. The Peoples
Beyond the Arabian Frontiers in Late Antiquity. (ibid)
Shahid. Byzantium and the Arab in the 4th, 5th and 6th
Century (6 vols.). Washington: D. Oaks Research Library & Collection, 2001.
8. Christian Troll & Hewer, CTR.
Chritian Lives Given to the Study of Islam. New York: Fordham University, 2012.
Short Reflection for 11th Sunday of the Ordinary Year (C)
Readings: 2 Samuel 12: 7-19. 13; Galatians 2:18. 19-21; Luke 7: 36 - 8: 3
Selected Text:“So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven because she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." He said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:
Reflection: In the gospel, Jesus directly challenges us by citing a sinner whose sins are forgiven, because ‘she has shown great love’. Jesus shows what truly matters, that is, love and compassion. Love of God and love of neighbor and acting on them both in words and deeds are far more worth than any rituals, holocausts and formulas. Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees with many faces. www.badaliyya.blogspot.com