Islam students at LUC

Archive for April 2010

I must say that I really enjoyed this class. Overall, I think it was one of my favorite literature classes that I have ever taken. Not only were the topics discussed in class interesting, the structure of the class was very effective. I’ll honestly say that I would get lazy with the readings. Yet I always seemed to understand the reading material. I particularly loved the class discussions each week. They were filled with insight and very engaging. I was not a big fan of performing in the skits, but as I mentioned before I would have rather done the skits than do quizzes. The skits themselves were quite enjoyable, despite the uneasiness that most of us felt performing in front of the rest of the class. Then there was the final. I loved how professor Mozaffar took us into consideration by not making it too difficult. He seems like one of a few professors who realizes how stressful finals week can be for us students.

Throughout this course, we have touched upon a wide variety of topics, including what love is, what heaven is, and most importantly what literature is. These are questions that are not typically dealt with in ordinary classes, thus it made this class quite unique and interesting.  I felt like everyone was involved in the discussions, which made it easy for me to pay attention every single minute of each class. It is safe to say that there was rarely a dull moment throughout the course. There were even moments outside of class when I found myself asking the questions brought up in class. For example, I found myself being asked to describe what love is by a friend. I immediately thought about what we talked about in class and gave my own opinions on the matter. I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself being asked a question that came up in class at some point in the future. When I am asked, I’ll be ready to answer.

Majnun’s devotion to Layla was describes as varying adjectives such as selfishness, obsession, beautiful, crazy, and everlasting. And for the most part, I agree with all the terms. However, like others who posted, I was kind of confused about how this book is related to god at first. Then I began to notice that Qays’s undying devotion and constant worldly sacrifice for the love of Layla is analogous to many peoples’ relationship with god. He is consistent with faith and repeatedly looks to the idea of her presence and support as a reason to live, to survive. He sacrifices his family, wealth, his home, and a real healthy future to completely immerse himself in “love”.  A type of love that is extremely important in Islam towards god. However, in a way, it seems like Majnun commits a type of shirk-“Minor shirk could be to rely on the cause instead of the creator of the cause”. I feel like he gets frustrated with the separation between them so much that in he in turn becomes a majnun for this “love”  because he realizes it will never be tangible or a reality, at least in this world. Therefore, he finds solace only in constant remembrance which is similar to the devotion to a diety through dzikhr.

So, I was looking up information and the background of mohammed iqbal to better understand Tulip in the Dessert and came across an amazing quote that was supposedly attributed to iqbal, “if we are resolved to describe islam as a system of superior values, we are obliged, first of all to acknowledge that we are not the true representatives of islam”. I was completely in love with that quote, so much that i sent it all to my muslims friends in a mass text. Anyways, I thought the quote was thought-provoking because sometimes, especially in class,  I feel like we evaluate and over-examine every phrase or theme to the very last detail so much in that it loses its transcendental quality that is important in spirituality. To connect the quote to this idea; i feel like sometimes concepts in spirituality is truly inexplicable and as mere humans, we should step back from making conclusions and overly examine everything to last inch of detail because we ultimately miss the point of accepting a higher deity, part of it being accepting the unknown and the intangible. We cant run around acting like we know everything because we’re pretentious college students who think we’re “cultured”, or “intellectual”, but anyways just a thought.

I thought this was a really interesting discussion and it related some what to another class of mine.  We were talking about the quote “God is Dead” In thus spoke Zarathustra.  The statement is defiantly not anti-religion since Nietzsche, in this writing, seems to find a lot of good in what religion can do for a person.  At its best it makes people exam themselves and try to be the best.

In class we were discussing how people are lazy in modern times, which relates back to how the devil can over take people.  We were talking (in the Christian sense) about how Religion makes it easy for people to sin.  With confession and prayer people can be forgiven right away.  Nietzsche stresses that people have to always be in pursuit of a higher good for themselves.

The devil is asking for a better man.  Even though the devil is boasting, there could be a truth.  Humans have forgotten how to strive to be the best.  It is easy for the ‘Devil’ to take over lives because people settle.

I think the last class on how everything is related was really interesting.   Through the class I was wondering the same thing.  They all did have a didactic element, for me they all had a calming effect. The first two were defiantly related and were the most difficult to read.  I think this was because they had the most connection to a divine figure.  They were trying to prove the realness of this higher power.  The next two stories as life lessons could leave more up to interpretation.  I think I took more away from these short verses then any other readings. That is saying a lot; usually I find short poems to be cheesy.  For the most part I think if people took the time and read the literature they all had good points to make even if one was not religious.  I think the theme of fate, in all the stories is really important even, if you don’t believe in it.  It teaches one not to worry and just that not everything is in your control.

We discussed on Monday night what is literature? what is west ? east ? Muslim world? and all of the themes related to the readings but i felt it was somewhat  a late topic. I mean we should have discussed these topics or ideas before we ventured into the readings and then at the end re discuss them to see if there was any new thoughts or change of mind to what we had already set our minds on.I’m kind of sad that there are no more classes, random skits and all these priceless Fares moments. all good things must come to an end i guess but i will miss it a lot. this was by far one if the most entertaining \ educating classes i have enrolled in. Money well spent paying for it even though it wasn’t mine.