(Kathleen K. Duff serves on the Diocese of Albany’s Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. She is a campus minister at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School in Schenectady, N.Y. A version of this column first appeared in the Albany Times Union.)
(RNS) This year during Ramadan — the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar when Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad — I was in solidarity with my Muslim sisters and brothers throughout the world by reading the Quran. But here’s the thing: I am a Roman Catholic.
My copy of the Quran, with more than 1,700 pages, has sat on the top shelf of my bedroom bookcase among other sacred texts for 14 years. Typically I would use it as a sporadic reference and resource to better understanding Islam, reading a few short passages at a time.
However, this Ramadan something at the core of my being was calling me to read the Quran in its entirety. And so my monthlong Ramadan journey began.
Each day and evening, the prayerful poetry in the Quran held me in a meditative mode of peace as I read without being aware of the passage of time.
When I finished reading a week before the end of the month, I felt as if the Quran was almost endless, reaching beyond the confines of my calendar days. I didn’t want to read the last page. I didn’t want to be finished.