Islam students at LUC

Archive for August 2010

I really enjoyed comming to this class.  It brought up allot of issues going on in our time, and issue’s I have about my religion.  I walked away with allot and I appreciate everything we did.  About the last class I was really sad to not talk about Jihad.  I really think that is one of the biggest and most recognized words used in Islam today.  Overall this class is eye opening to allot of miss interperation we have in our media.  Im sure it clarified allot of issues for my classmates and myself.  I hope that whatever we got in this class will set in peoples minds and not be so quick to judge about a person of this faith.

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After reading some of Rumi’s stuff I got very interested in Sufism.  Its very beautiful how he revived the community by writing these works of art.  After reading allot of it sufism is a very peaceful and enriching way of going about religion.  They talk about letting go from this world and concentrating on the hear after.  It brings thoughts and process of Islam to the heart and a everyday type thing.  I am a suni muslim and to walk away from a certain sect in our culture is looked upon negativly.  But I dont see why I can’t be a mixture of the two.  I mean if you really think about it, religion of any kind should be mixed from both the law and the heart.  I believe that to purify your heart that is the way to go.

The discussion of Rumi carried over from one week to another. And, a couple other things noted in the Rumi discussions were everything has a place and purpose in this world. That good comes out of bad and we can’t get enough of God. We have to trust in God and this is evident in the section of Mashallah. We as individuals can’t get enough of God because we must reach out to Him and get closer. “When you are with everyone but me, your with no one. When you are with no one but me, your with everyone. Instead of being so bound up with everyone, be everyone. When you become that many, you’re nothing. Empty.” We must be ourselves and still have this longing for God. People and friends shall come and go, however, God shall always remain. If we deny God we may feel there is an absence and something missing from our lives. For God is the Almighty and All-Merciful. We must give our praises to Allah.

Rumi

Posted on: August 13, 2010

The overarching purpose in the Rumi poems is to connect and bring the reader closer to God. For instance, one of the things found was the heart over mind. The only way to experience and know God is through the heart, or the irrational. In Islamic belief the universe cannot explain God but the heart can. You cannot rationally prove God but by way of yearning you can connect to the divine. In the Islamic outlook the central yearning/longing that everyone has is for the divine and the heart is the chief of being and true judge that will intuitively connect us to God.  We find this in, The Soul’s Friend:  “Listen to your essential self, the Friend. When you feel longing, be patient, and also prudent…” Rumi poems seem very metaphorical and at times are some what difficult to clearly grasp as there could be different meanings.

The story of Joseph is one which is well known across religions. There are some differences between the Islamic version and the Christian version of the story. Reuben, the eldest brother, advised the brothers to throw Joseph into the pit and rescue him later. This wasn’t noted in the Qur’an. Also, Christianity seems to teach us that Joseph was a spoiled child who grew to a man of humility. The Qur’an however, describes Joseph as a man of high moral standing and character even in his youth. The spirit of the story of Joseph is one of forgiveness and reconciliation which pushes through through both versions of the story. Each version teaches its own lesson to its followers and more or less carries the basic ideas. More or less the story is about the lessons learned and maturity of a human being.

I was very intrigued by our discussion about what society or religion should work to protect, promote, and/or preserve. A lot of topics were mentioned by several groups. I think overall, people have a basic idea of what is important and not important. However, some of things were quite interesting. When Professor Mozaffar opted to take five basic items from the list as to what we should protect, it was quite a challenge. In some respects, certain topics overlapped each other and wouldn’t make sense without the other. Law, order, and justice for instance. I think some important things are honesty, morality, knowledge, and compassion amongst other things. I don’t think specific items such as technology or social security are items to protect. Personally, we have made due in the past without such things. These are more or less assets and additions to the world in more recent times.

The Qur’an is really unique due to its repetition and themes. Rather than a story or entire time line of events, the  Qur’an focuses on revelations and messages. There seems to be a vast amount of consistency in the Qur’an. The Qur’an contains poetry and prose as well as surahs and  ayahs. For example, while reading through the Surah’s there are messages with are incorporated throughout several other Surah’s. The main themes within the Qur’an are stark reminders of what is expected of those who follow God. The basic beliefs of the Qur’an is that it is the word of God and  conveyed through Gabriel’s speech to Muhammad. Quite interesting considering Gabriel is my guardian angel. Also, the Qur’an is preserved word for word and not imitated.