Islam students at LUC

Archive for March 2010

The poetry in Tulip in the Desert really gets you thinking about the different aspects of our lives and the feelings and things associated with it. It made me realize that human beings today unlike in the time of Iqbal take a lot for granted. Several of these poems speak of companionship and heart and knowledge and the longing for it. In present times we may have all of the above and just look over it as if it does not impact our lives or that we can do without it. However, as most come to learn once these things are gone we were better off when we had them. It completes us to have the knowledge to complete our studies and finish our classes. When we combine that with our hearts and the passion that we have for pursuing a career it makes all the struggles that much better. And when we have someone to share all the success with it allows for the accomplishment to be that much more worth it. Iqbal’s poetry really gets you thinking about this stuff and makes you appreciate where you currently stand.

Tonight in class we discussed Tulip in the Dessert and the idea of “calling.”  I definitely believe that all individuals have a yearning to do something specific to their interests and talents, and this motivates us to go to college or to pursue a particular career.  In a more general sense, I also believe that all individuals have a desire to know the answers to questions concerning human existence.  Why am I here?  How did I get here?  Etc., etc.  Man is a “seeker of secrets,” but the secrets are hidden from his view.  Last summer I read a book called Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (which I highly recommend, by the way).  Wright discusses what he believes the future holds based on his interpretation of the Christian Bible.  He argues that there are truths we can know, but the New Testament provides Christians with “signposts into a fog.”  I always thought this was an interesting and rather relieving analogy.  I definitely believe that there are absolute truths I can cling to, but I also know that I do not, and cannot, have all the answers.

Although they can be frustrating, I always find the skits interesting and enlightening. Acting these books out is a unique way to make ancient Islamic literature applicable to twenty-first century culture. Going over how your group plans to present rather intangible ideas in a concrete way helps me to understand what the authors of these texts were trying to say. I have mentioned in previous blogs that I find it interesting that many of the themes discussed by ancient Muslim writers are universal, or at least generally applicable. Doing the skits has been a fun way to try to interpret the texts assigned for class through a twenty-first century lens and perhaps also through the lens of different religious backgrounds and worldviews. It’s a good way to end our class discussion on each book because each group is able to present their own interpretation of different sections of the text. The skits help to tie things together.

The skits were very interesting and funny, but the skits performed last week cannot be compared to the first ever performed skits. There were some really good ones, but I did not really like the other ones. It seemed like the actors in the scenes were just waiting for the time to pass buy so that they will be done with their skits. Compare to quizzez, the skits are not easy  to perform though either, but there is more better chance not to loose points from grading. In addition you can also show the class some of your acting skills and creative thinking while not loosing points which you would loose more easily in the Quiz. Therefore, stop complaining about the skits and come up with more better ideas for the future skits. Yes, there are I think at least two more skits left for this class. And it is a great way to get some extra credit points too!!!

First of all, the book contains very good poems and provides very good explanation of each of them. But I still wonder why the author (or the collector of poems of this book) Mustansir Mir choose this as the title for this collection of poems of Iqbal.  I really like the section on Personalities which reflects on the works of very famous philosophers and provide their basic summary in just couple of phrases. I guess this is indeed the beauty of the poets to express their entire ideas in very few words.I this section, Mir collected the peoms of Iqbal that covers Abu Bakar, Omer, Nanak, Shakespeare, Rumi and Geothe, Locke, Kant, Bergson, and Petofi. Petofi was one of the new writer that was introduced for me in this section.  Even though I learned about the history of Hungary and Magyars before, I never heard the same Petofil before. But it is interesting to see that many countries have national anthem that was written by some great author/poet like Iqbal.

I thought the heaven discussion was interesting. I really do agree that the heaven thoughts from movies make heaven seem like a normal place. When in fact it is going to be a beautiful place to live in if hopefully we all make it there. I cant really say what I imagine heaven to be like. Because we never saw a mental picture of it. but most likely people would say the color white is in their head and everything they want. But there many things that we want right that we might not get in heaven. For example I believe I heard that in heaven you do not see your friends or family. Unless I am mistaking. So, lets say you want your friends and family in heaven but you cant see them, then your not getting what you want. But of course no matter what if you make it to heaven God will fulfill your dreams hopefully.

I think the skits were funny. I don’t know why some people would want harder skits. Which means harder grading. Skits are suppose to be easy and fun and for enjoyment to educate. Overall they were nice to watch but I do think they should not be harder. My favorite probably was Jojo skit during his intimidation because he did it so well. I kind of don’t fee like doing anymore skits just because I feel like I am running out of funny ideas and what not. Also, when I am up there I always find a way to change the skit to a humorous plot just because it makes the crowd more awake and ready for more. I think thought we should try something else instead of skits like project or small group discussions. I just feel like we are all nervous up there and feel like we are going to cry.