Islam students at LUC

Archive for February 6th, 2013

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Posted on: February 6, 2013

This week in class, we continued the discussion of Muhammad’s life. We went through the many battles and struggles that the Prophet (pbuh) encountered when trying to spread the message. From the story of the hijra to some of the most famous battles Muhammad fought in, we ended the discussion on the Treaty of Hudaybiya. I personally enjoyed learning about the various battles. It was interesting to note that in the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims lost because their love of this world overcame their love of God. It was as if God was teaching the Muslims a lesson, that this world is not worth it in the long run; only bad things come from loving this world too much. What I also found interesting was the fact that many people probably began converting to Islam for the wrong reasons, which I feel kind of defeats the purpose of Islam. Just because you say you believe in something, doesn’t mean that you actually believe it in your heart. What these people didn’t realize was that God knows every intention and every belief of every person, whether exposed or withheld. This actually reminds me of a story I was told when I was younger. Three brothers were given a sweet and told to eat it where no one could see them and no one would know. Two of the brothers went to their respective hiding places and enjoyed the sweet, but the third brother couldn’t find a place where no one could see him because he knew that God was always watching. This fact should make us all more conscious of our intentions and actions. We closed class talking about the revelation that Muhammad received – the Qur’an.

In response to seatowntochitown, I also find the story of why there are five prayers to be interesting as well. When you talked about whether God knew all along, I think He did. I mean, if we agree that God is All-Knowing, then it only makes sense that He would have known. It also makes sense that He planned it all out to demonstrate just how merciful and lenient He can be. I’ve actually had a somewhat similar discussion in regards to saying prayers to God. We may think that asking God for a good grade on a test or something is going to sway God in our direction, but God has already planned our fate, so praying to Him won’t technically make a difference. However, God also knows that we are going to pray to Him for a good grade or whatever, and His knowledge of this affects what our fate will be. So I guess what I’m really trying to say is that although God has everything planned out, He has taken into account our actions in this life.

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The topic of religion in government came up in class last week. Many people disagreed with having religion in government. Most are concerned with the fact that minor religions would get oppressed in the process which is understandable. However, religion is already sewn into the government and politics of America. Presidential speeches end with “God Bless America.”  Our dollar bills say “In God we Trust”. The pledge of allegiance says “one nation under God.”  There’s no escaping it. Even dating back to the colonization period, people came to America to escape religious prosecution.  They were on a quest to find a “perfect religion.” Ironically however, many people were punished for not practicing the puritan way. American exceptionalism is still prevalent today. It’s the idea that 1) America is freer and morally superior. 2) God gave a special mission to America (to remake the world) by spreading political, economic and moral values around the world. This mission is still practiced today as America becomes involved around the world in doing so, spreading the mission given by God. Is that not religious? In presidential speeches, America is still referred to as “a city on a hill” which is a phrase used in Jesus’s Sermon on the mount. Reagan last used this phrase in describing America in his concession speech.

When compared to other developed countries, America is the most religious. Yet America is still one of the most democratic nations in the world. This would weaken the argument that religion in government is frowned upon. I agree with the idea that although religion creates many conflicts, if you take religion out completely it would create even more problems.  I agree with @audiblechimp that religious beliefs can shape moral concepts. It seems that laws originate from religious beliefs.