Islam students at LUC

Archive for October 2011

In class, the lecture about ascension to Allah (Islam, Iman, Ishan) reminded me a lot of the ascension to God you find in Catholic teachings. I had a déjà vu moment while in class, it felt like I throw back to philosophy learning about Aquinas and the ascension to God. It was interesting to see another similarity between the religions, especially one that wasn’t tied to history but a mutual belief and explanation for something.

I have really enjoyed reading the Chittick texts, it breaks down each of the levels in the ascension (Islam, Iman, Ishan) even further which I find fascinating. I have been flipping through my old philosophy notes while reading to compare and contrast the two a little more. I think this has been my favorite theme of the semester so far. However, I was curious about one thing, why in this text is the spelling Koran is used rather than Qur’an, like we use in class and in the other books we’ve read so far? Is it just a stylistic thing or is there a difference in the two spellings? It might be a dumb question, but I was curious after seeing it in the Chittick’s text.

When searching the news about a current event involving Islam, I came across an article titled ” Feldman: Islamist Victory in Tunisia a Win for Democracy” the article was extremely interesting and the journalist did an excellent job at explaining why the Islamic party won rather than the secularist who started the revolution. However, the part that is infuriating are the comments that people leave at the end of the articles. While there are some that are intelligent, a majority of the comments are filled with hateful comments. A lot of the comments made are similar to the hateful comments we’ve talked about in class and and in seen in class movies. A lot of what is said is really sad, not only because of how cruel they are, but how uneducated the people who are making them are. Maybe if they would spend more time researching issues, instead of commenting on discussion boards of articles, they’d be a little more informed.

In response to rockh66 about the state of Libya, I haven’t been following what has been going on in Libya since Ghaddafi’s death, though I should be. That’s really interesting that Ghaddafi’s executioners want to make Libya and Islamic State, while they violated Islamic Law. I agree with you comments on the matter and that this could cause problems later down the line. While I think there were extenuating circumstances in why they executed Ghaddafi without trail (such as getting caught up in the chaos of actually finding him), they should proceed with caution to ensure that they’re passions don’t disrupted their political and social goals.

 

 

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It was cool in class today how we talked about how the tongue is the interpretation of what the heart really wants. For instance, if I were to say, “I want to get McDonalds,” that would really mean, “I want to get food,” which would really mean, “I would like to provide nutrition for my body, so that I may live.” It seems like a silly interpretation, but it is actually, in fact, true.

In the Chittick reading, it was interesting to find a definition for Islam. It means, “to turn oneself over to, to resign oneself, to submit.” It seems there is a lot of meaning behind this word. I feel that in Islam, there are many deeper heartfelt meanings to everything, and I find that beautiful about this religion.

This week, I read about the changing governments in the Middle East. Many are seeking a balance between Islamic law and modernity. One of the main debates is between banning and allowing polygamy. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for the governments.

In response to rockh66, first, you’re friends with Prof. M on Facebook? That’s pretty awesome. Anyway, I agree that it is important for these future rulers to be aware that they need to keep the image of Islam positive, especially in this current atmosphere. Although it should not be a number one priority, I think that it is important for them to keep that I mind.

Last class we talked about the three levels of faith (Islam, Iman, Ihsan). It was really interesting in breaking down the progression of belief and how they apply to everyday life for people of faith. I felt we touched on many good points on how people interpret faith and how individuals are able to find God in their own ways. Doing the exercise exploring the extend of peoples’ beliefs was interesting as we all struggle with what to believe and not believe. Experiences go a long way but even with that, many who have not had or seen confirmation are hard to convince.

In the readings, the developments of the interpretation of faith and the Kalam gives a great historical context to the development of the faith and institution. It was interesting to me in figuring the relations with other world religions in the regions as the various theologies were rooted in the early philosophical thoughts of the time. Looking into reason, revelation, and experience as they give different tiers to the interpretation of faith gives different understandings of how to manifest faith.

In my Global Issues class we’ve been reading Looming Tower which follows people involved in the lead up to 9/11. Along with this we are looking in to Islam and the various sectors of belief that influence populations through out the middle east, especially the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It has been very interesting following up with what we’ve been covering and our readings with the progression of these individuals’ stories, especially Osama Bin Laden.

In response to the remodeling of MET, it makes me think of the different mediums that we learn about people and cultures different from our own. Art being a universal language that transcends all boundaries I feel gives a great opportunity for understanding and acceptance.

I wasn’t able to come to class last week but I got the notes and the topic we talked about is really complex.  The connection between law and spirituality is really complicated. In Islam the sharia is both the law and the religion that rules the country. Many people might be offended because of this because of the law of separation of church and state.

The vision of Islam talked about the connection between Islam and the history. I found it really interesting that the quran tells stories about the history of Muslims and other prophets. I feel like that gives Muslims a great perspective of the Islam’s history and other rules that are in Islam.

In Egypt there is still a lot of riots between the Christian and Muslims. The Christians still are demanding certain rights for their churches in the city. Unfortunately that have been a few deaths as a result of these riots. I always thought the Christians and Muslims got along peacefully but these times are becoming more hostile and things are getting a lot more threating to innocent lives.

To response to Islaminthehouse, I just recently learned that death is detailed topic in Islam. Death is perceived as a written fate and not an accident. People’s death happens for a reason nothing is by chance. With this is mind muslims learn to accept the deaths of their loved ones and know that this is God’s wish.

One thing I found to be particularly interesting in the Chittick reading was the speaking about the word Qadar. Its etymology is very unique because the translation of its root is powerful, and Qadar is translated as to determine its measure. This caught my attention because it ties into a point Professor M brought with his mentioning about the constant debate between fate and free will, because it is something that is mentioned greatly in the Quran and many Islamic teachings.

What I was really interested in during class was Professor M’s points about Law and Spirituality and how they tie into Islam. By opening the discussion first about what we see as spiritual and the broad definitions it encompasses. I think its important to distinguish between spirituality and laws in this day and age where there is an emphasis on the separation of church and state etc.

Something interesting I found online was PRof. M’s status on facebook about how the people who executed Ghaddafi without a trial are also the same people who wish to rule Libya as an Islamic State. I found this to be not only ironic but problematic, because if the future ruling power is already taking contradictory actions, this could prove very bad in later situations everytime the government finds it suitable not to abide by Islamic Law. This would then reflect poorly on Islam during a time where Islam’s image is so frail.

In response to Theo195002 I think its very great that the Met museum is reopening in a post-911 NYC. But this surprises me that there hasn’t been much protesting and propaganda against it. The Ground zero mosque on the other hand has received much controversy and difficulty in its whole process, even though its supposed to serve as a community center. ITs pretty interesting that the mosque which will function as a community center for non-muslims and muslims alike is being detested, whereas an art museum displaying purely muslim art reopened without so much as a whisper.

Searching for Islamic movies, I came upon an interesting website (http://islamicmultimedia.blogspot.com/) that contains many movies and documentaries. Personally, I love watching movies and thus this is a great way of learning more about Islam. The first featured media is unfortunately is audio only but it is about how science evolved throughout areas of the middle east.

In response to bourne1, I completely agree that France’s law prohibiting the ability to wear a burqa is blasphemy. Let’s be realistic, how is wearing a baseball hat any different than wearing a burqa. Yes of course a burqa has religious connotations but that should have nothing to do with the restriction of wearing it considering neither has ever hurt anyone.

In class this week, the most important topic we discussed was the transition from Islam to Iman and on to Ihsan. As one progresses, they cannot regress and they become a better overall person including their characteristics, their service to others, manners, and naturally their closeness to God. Once at the level of Ihasn, the individual’s perception of the world becomes similar to a movie, in which God is telling them what to look at, how to understand it, and what the meaning of it is.

The reading in chapter 5 under “The Grave” was interesting because it mentions how perceiving death as an accident is completely contrary to the way of Islam. This is because the Koran often states everything is fixed and thus the way people die is equally fixed. With this is mind, it would seem there would be no point of taking responsibility or having any care for what one did considering this fixity. Ultimately the Koran advises against this way of thinking.

Last week in class we talked about spirituality and religion. When we were talking about character and manners, my opinion differed from most of the class. I don’t think you can have outstanding character and bad manners and vice versa. I think they both tie in at some point and having impeccable character includes having just as good of manners. We said that character meant being honest, humble, and kind. A person with bad manners goes against good character because they can be condescending and deceiving.

Chapter 7 of The Vision of Islam focused on the third dimension of Islam, Ihsan. I enjoyed reading this chapter because it is definitely something interesting to think about. Having such a deep faith in God is beautiful and intriguing. Murata says, “If God does what is beautiful through creating human beings, human beings have the obligation of doing what is beautiful in their relationships with God and other creatures.” This makes a lot of sense and it’s clear that Ihsan is a difficult place to get to and that it requires a lot of devotion and will.

The talk about Jinn in class got me very interested in learning more about them. I’ve never hear of them or knew anything about them. I started reading and researching the history of Jinn and what they mean to the in the Islamic faith. Apparently most Jinn cannot be seen by humans, but because they have free will, they will be judged on the Day of Judgment.  They are mentioned in the Quran and have been worshiped at some point. The Quran teaches its people not to worship them and says that the devil is a Jinn. A lot of what I learned about them is fascinating and I’m planning on reading up more about them.

In response to coexist313 I also find it very immature and upsetting to see people dress up making fun of a nation or religion. I find It very offensive to see people dressed up as priests, nuns, and jesus. It’s also very wrong of people to dress up as “terrorist”. It’s highly inappropriate mockery that a lot of people take offense to and find hurtful.