Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 17th, 2008

I was reading this poem of Rumi’s and at first I was slightly confused by the poem, and perhaps, I still am.  Rumi describes two angels who were conceited and in awe of their own immaculateness.  They thought of mankind as somewhat inferior and berated them for making such errors in judgment and for indulging in disbelieving practices.  God, told them that they’d make the same mistakes if they, Harut and Marut, had the same qualities. So they fell from heaven and eventually made the same mistakes as the humans did. However, since they were angels, God did not really punish them for they were still actually angels, only commanded by God.  Sounds kind of paradoxical.

This is what I got from Rumi’s version of the story.  However, I did research a little on the story and found that in fact, his view of the story is not the most widely accepted one.  The most widely accepted version is that they were angels sent down to test the people of Babylon’s faith, warning them about the dangers of sorcery and magic. According to most, they (Harut and Marut) did not fall into the temptation of mankind; however, some of mankind in fact fell into the temptation of sorcery, although it was considered disbelief.  Still, an interesting story.

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i think anyone who is muslim is lucky.  i think finding a love marriage is what people today should do, but that if arranged marriage was still acceptable in catholic culture, i would do it.  You never have to worry about finding someone to spend the rest of your life with and you can decided if you like them or not before hand, so the guy has as much say as the girl.  Not that I am against love marriages, but this seems more worry-free.  Also, if you are more religious that most people than you never have to worry about marrying someone who has more relaxed religious views.

I find it hilarious that non-muslims think of arrange marriages as the most absurd process ever. Honestly, as a Muslim myself, I do not understand how arrange marriages last. In Muslim culture people find love marriages ridiculously modern as we, todays generation, think of arrange marriages being ridiculously old-fashioned. Parents today who have been living in America for over 20 years now, including my parents, prefer having their kids marry the person of their choice. It is a matter of self-respect for the parents. They think it is their last DUTY towards their child. And after the marriage their son or daughter are now on their feet and parents now can rest in peace since they have fulfilled all their worldly duties. Just so I make myself clear, this is not at all a religious thing (muslims should have arrange marriages). The girl gets an equal chance as the guy to reject their parents chosen partner before anything is fixed. And there are many muslims who marry the person they love and have known before they got married. It is just a matter of how parents accept change. Some parents like being the dictators and some actually are open-minded!

arranged marriages are something of a nuisance in some people’s eyes, and for others it is the only logical step. personally, i think the practice is dated and needs more consent from the marrying parties (mainly the dude and the gal) however, as mentioned earlier, it does, statistically, lead to more successful marriages. this is also because divorce is not something which people try to rely on, being culturally frowned upon and all. my sister is actually getting married this july. she met her fiance through a mutual friend and they both became interested in each other. after being on a number of dates and knowing each other for a couple of years, they figured it was time to make it official. since both party’s parents were aware of the interest in each other, they arranged for a formal invitation of my sister getting married to their son. after this occasion comes the engagement, then the marriage, etc. etc.

so even though it was mostly a love marriage, the arranged part does come through because of cultural context.

arranged marriages are not uncommon among Muslims of various cultures.  I read the previous post about the Turkish friend and was not surprised to hear that they got engaged after just a week.  someone i know never even met the girl he got married to.  his mom met a girl, she liked her a lot for her son, and after the kids spoke to her and her family, everyone had agreed upon it.  so they wound up getting married within one week from then.  i know it sounds crazy, especially in America, but it’s not uncommon at all.  and surprisingly, statistics show that the divorce rate for arranged marriages is lower than that for love marriages.  strange, huh?

I posted a few entries about Islamic holidays, marriages and a post about people being beaten for dancing. So, are there any other Muslim customs or traditions? For example, in the article about the people who wear beaten for dancing, it said they were doing a traditional dance. So are there any other dances that are performed, any songs that are sung or simply food that is prepared? I know the food thing is kind of general and varies by region but I have no clue. Are the 5 Pillars considered to be the Muslim customs and traditions? For some reason I am really interested in the tradition side of things. Thanks for those who have responded!

I really don’t know anything about the Islamic weddings, but I have a Turkish friend who told me how the marriage was arranged between him and his wife. Basically his family chose the girl, and then they arranged for the two of them to meet and to talk to each other. After couple of hours of talking, they were engaged the next week. And after they got married. I know that a lot of people know about the marriage arrangements in Islam, but when I was personally told the story, I don’t know I got schocked that it was done so fast. I don’t know, I don’t hear stories like these very often, so it was really interesting for me to learn about my friends marriage procession.