Islam students at LUC

Archive for April 2012

Blog 14

Posted on: April 27, 2012

Last Thursday was our last class of the semester. We finished talking about the five pillars of Islam, and I thought it was pretty cool how everything is by a time period–day, month, year, lifetime. Before class ended, people shared a few Jinn stories. It was interesting to see the divide in people who believe these stories and people who don’t. I believe that since we can’t prove them nonexistent, it is possible that these things are true. That being said, I also believe in the power of the human mind. Anything that seems real to you is real as far as you’re concerned.

In response to ilovegoodreads, that article about the 12 religions in 12 months is really cool. I think that it is a true way to see life from many different perspectives in a short amount of time. It must have been a massive time commitment to learn about so many religions to be able to practice them and experience them in the fullest way you can with only a month. I feel that something like this would show a person how similar many religions really are, and how crazy it is that some religions hate each other. I bet it was a really great experience.

During the last Islam class, the topic of Jinns came up. People gave their personal stories about Jinns. For example, one student spoke about how she was in a drug induced coma and when she woke up, she remembered certain details about her family that she couldn’t have known unless she was awake and witnessing it. I have always been a skeptic of Jinns, but this really scared me.

I think that the supernatural just leaves more questions than answers. There are certain answers that Muslims can never answer. You know, the typical “what does Allah look like?” questions we’ve all been asked growing up. When my grandmother passed, I visited her three days before. She was on life support, and she kept signaling the number three. Obviously, she passed exactly three days later. I refuse to allow myself to think about these things. I feel as though if I can’t perfect myself in this life, I don’t deserve to flirt around with the deeper, unexplicable facets of eternity.

Blog 13

Posted on: April 26, 2012

I didn’t expect last class to be the last class so I was kind of sad but other than that class was cool. I thought the Jinn story that Mozaffer told was pretty cool. It was one of the first Jinn stories I was told and wasn’t even scared of. Overall I really liked the class because while one was being taught the Islamic Paradigm one was also taught to reason, think and question for themselves. I liked how the material was presented in an engaging manner so you would think about it for yourself as well.

In response to alphabum 359 I would have to say although I do agree with your reasons behind Hijab and why you think its beautiful I would have to say the beauty of hijab goes far beyond the exterior. I think that because the act is external many people link it mainly to appearance but I feel the real beauty of it lies in the fact that you are doing it for your creator. Even though wearing Hijab is a physical act it is highly linked to ones spiritual self. I feel that there is immense spiritual value in modest dress, and often these values are lost in the din of arguments about whether or not hijab is for or against women’s liberation. I know that for me personally I think of wearing Hijab as always being dressed for prayer and this helps bring a prayer like focus to ones life. The act of being dressed for prayer helps remind me of Gods continuos presence in the world and therefore guides my actions accordingly.

El Fin

Posted on: April 25, 2012

This is out last blog of this class and I feel that this should be a reflection blog. While watching the movie What a billion Muslims really think I found the very line of the documentary to be very powerful “….engage the world based on facts not fear.”  This quote is extremely powerful in the sense that it this is exactly why I took this class. Many people fear what they do not understand and though I was not afraid of Islam I had no understanding or prior knowledge of the religion. Therefore, I had no ability to engage with others about this subject and I must admit that this class has opened my eyes to the Islamic world and has granted me the opportunity to be lifted up from ignorance into a realm of (general) knowledge. I wish we could have covered more information but for a introductory class I feel that this class has was structured well and touched on many different aspects within the various regions of Islam. Religion classes can be dull and most defiantly a touchy subject when you are surround by a group of strangers whose religious beliefs are very diverse. However, I must say that this class has went beyond my expectations. My peers were respectful, interesting, fun and engaging. The class and its incorporation of lectures, movies, “theatrical interpretations”, class discussions. informal blogs and formal papers was the perfect amount of variation in order to study religion. The professor was knowledgeable beyond my expectations not only within Islam but also with other religions. I am thankful that I was able to listen to his/your lectures (bonus points 🙂 but it’s true. The books, since I read and understand cover-to-cover all 4 books plus online readings, were diverse and at times difficult but nonetheless engaging. I will miss this class and look forward to encouraging other to base their opinions on facts rather than fear. 

Posted on: April 25, 2012

I must say that this class has been very insightful and an amazing learning experience. Last class which was our final class, we discussed the importance of the five pillars of Islam and how they ultimately connect an individual to the Devine. Yet, what popped in my mind in regards to our class discussion was the works of charity and the reason people give to charity. We spoke a lot about selfishness and selflessness. One of the five pillars requires a Muslim to perform an annual Alms and thus is it done with the idea of selfishness or selflessness? I honestly feel that no matter the reasons of why a person does a charitable act in the long run that act will go for good. I do believe that people do good because they want to at least feel like they are paving their way to haven and I truly see nothing wrong with that- good is still being done which is benefitting a person or persons in need.

I have truly taken a lot from this class and have a better understand on what Islam is and what it stands for.

In the news front I found an article from Al jeezra called, ‘Why Arab Women Still do not have a Voice’

Amal al-Malki, a Qatari author says that she is largely skeptical of recent developments and says, if anything, the Arab Spring has only highlighted the continuing “second-class citizenship” of women in the region.
She argues that despite some progress made, Arab women are still largely absent in the public arena.
“We have no voice. We have no visibility… And I am telling you, this is why women’s rights should be institutionalised, it should not be held hostage at the hand of political leaderships who can change in a second, right? Governments should be held responsible for treating men and women equally.”

To my fellow classmates who are Muslim women, do you agree and feel the same way in that Arab women still do not have a voice in this day and age?

 

In response to wclark1 and some others as well, I find it really interesting how they feel that after confirmation, there isn’t really much left to Catholicism.  I appreciate how they feel that Islam and its five pillars are interesting and refreshing.  It truly is a sign of respect when others view your religion as important and that is something I really enjoyed about this class.  Despite coming from many different backgrounds, I feel like all the people in this class got along and were able to flourish as an intellectual group and not only learn about Islam, but learn to appreciate its intricate beauty as well. I’m definitely gonna miss this class.

Continuing on with the intricate beauty of Islam, one thing that I find separates Islam from many other religions such a Judaism or Hinduism, or even Buddhism for example, is that it spans over multiple cultures.  When I was younger, there was a radio station program called “El Mensaje” which translates to “The Message” in Spanish.  It was a Spanish language radio program that educated the greater Southern Texas area about Islam. The Catholic Church estimates that about 100,000 Hispanics leave the faith each year. About half of those, find Islam with the majority in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois.

I have to admit that I had two very good classes this semester, and this is for sure one of them. I really appreciate the way the material was passed on to us by the professor. Coming from a land that surrounded, and have, a big Islamic influence in it I saw how little I know. Even in Israel, despite the conflicts, any Jewish person knows that Humus you eat at the Muslim cities, and not the Jewish.

 

In Israel yesterday, we remembered the soldiers who died to protect Israel. This day is very important to us and has a lot of people to many people, especially people who lost their beloved ones. I heard over the news that an extreme Islamic group is planning on going to damage this memorial stone, where 10 Israeli soldiers were killed in the 1967 war, in Sinai. I felt really bad, and I asked myself why they would want to do something like that. After learning about how much Islam is a peace religion, to see these extremists, and the way they behave, makes one want to not believe in religion, in any of them.

In response to foxtrot2012, religious discrimination will always appear, and will always be towards something different. And every time that something bad will happen, and one religion will be involved, somehow, the people will aim all their hate towards that religion, unfortunately ignorant people see very narrow. I wish any discrimination will stop and we will all live in peace.