Islam students at LUC

Archive for February 11th, 2013

We have been talking a lot about Muhammad’s journey and all of his life’s struggles.  I found it captivating how he would constantly preach.  No matter how difficult things got for him he would keep preaching, because it was God’s only demand of him.  Generally Muhammad had four approaches to handling his troubles: passive resistance, active resistance, confrontation, and forcing peace.  He faced a lot more political challenges than I would have expected, such as the political strategies used to prevent him from preaching in certain areas, this caused him to make political negotiations in order to continue his reaching.  Muhammad became very familiar with political strategies and used unusual tactics, such as using unarmed pilgrims in battles.  It’s hard to imagine being put in his position, fighting against a majority population to teach them what you believe to be right.  I have a hard enough time talking in front of people; I cannot imagine doing so with so much backlash and lack of support.

 

In response to minnimonmon and runswithflyingmonkeys: I agree that my favorite part of this class, other than learning in depth about a religion I have little background on, is that our professor wants us to broaden our perspectives not just about Islam, but religion in general.  Going into this class I was unsure if I would be the only student who does not have a Muslim background or if this would be a terribly difficult class due to my lack of knowledge. But I have quickly learned that this class is taught so that I can understand the religion and culture for a lifetime, not just short-term for an exam or quiz.  He opens our modern minds to old time situations asking our opinions and perspectives and relates the course to more modern ideas that we might find as an easier connection to a certain idea or story.  I am pleased that this class is not a repetitious old style lecture class, it is interactive and understandable. 

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During class week, we learned about the three wars, BADR, UHUD and AHZAB.  It was amazing to see how 313 people could defeat an army that was three times bigger with having a strong will and faith but an army of 1000 could not defeat double the army due to a lack of will and faith. Putting things into historical context, I now understand how prophet Mohammad got involved into politics to save the followers.  Treaties were made in order to make peace. I learned how the treaty of Hudaybiya, although unfair, was advantageous because it allowed Muhammad to preach all over the peninsula and gain more followers.   A bigger following allowed prophet Muhammad to march back into Mecca.  In the end it all worked out because of strong will power. I also didn’t know that Medina was first called Yathrib.

Adding to minnimonmon’s comment I also like this class because Professor Mozaffar allows us to think for ourselves and empathize with the situation being described.  In the middle of his stories this week and last week, he would stop and ask us what we would do in that situation.  It allows us to put ourselves in the situation and make sense of why something happened or why such an action took place.   Professor Mozaffar not only tells the stories, he puts them into perspective.

Blog 3

This past week completed the life of Muhammad and began talking about the Qur’an.  As with last week, I already knew most of the information, however this class gave me a fuller picture of the life of Islam’s Prophet.  As a kid, I learned about the treaty of Hudaybiya and how the Quraysh gave the Muslims such unfair terms yet the Muslims agreed.  I liked how in this class Professor Mozaffar asked us what we thought of the treaty.  Honestly, if I was a Muslim during that time, I would have agreed to the treaty too.  Even if it was skewed to favor the Quraysh more than the Muslims, this was the first time the Quraysh were willing to offer anything to the Muslims.  This was the most the Muslims were going to get, so it makes perfect sense why they agreed to it.  While I don’t at all resent the Muslim education I grew up with, I like that this class is allowing me to form my own opinions of history rather than totally victimize Muslims and force me to feel sympathetic without really understanding the whole situation.

In response to :  I also find the life of Muhammad incredible.  I think the fact that he never backed down in the face of so much adversity is what made people follow his message.  The Quraysh took everything away from him, yet he continued to preach.  This can only be because he truly believed his message was the truth and just the fact that he survived after so much must have been really inspiring to the people he meets in Medina and around Arabia.  From what I know about Islam being Muslim myself, I think people also found Islam appealing because of it’s teaching that all humans are equal in the eyes of God (this explains why a lot of Muhammad’s first followers were women and slaves).

This past week we finished discussing the story of the Prophet Muhammad and began to preface the Qu’ran. Amongst being one of the most revered religious icons of Islam, Prophet Muhammad also spent a great deal of his life settling a land in which Islam, as a religion, would hold its roots and its first true followers. He was able to defeat the Quraysh in a manner that he felt was the most peaceful way possible.  As the Quraysh suppressed Muhammad and his followers, he led them to push back through passive resistance, active resistance, confrontation, and finally forced peace. Despite the fact that many Muslims lost their lives in battle and disputes with the Quraysh, Muhammad never seemed to back down or lose sight of the vision of God. I was touched by the perseverance and strength Muhammad and his followers held throughout all of the perils brought upon by the Quraysh even through the lowest points where the odds did not seem the slightest bit in their favor. Ultimately, Muhammad’s story is one that conveys the message to his followers upon ‘how to conduct social change.’ He did not leave the earth until his task of conveying the message of God and leaving his followers with the holy book of God (the Qu’ran) was complete.

 

In response to bigmooch914:

I also found it very intriguing that the strength of faith and belief in a higher power or ideals can surpass many of life’s other attachments. I was also drawing similar parallels to individuals like Martin Luther King and Ghandi in my head during Professor Mozaffar’s lecture. It seems like there is always a fine line between doing whatever it takes to uphold your beliefs, and also doing so in a peaceful manner. I feel like the motive behind the resistance faced by the Prophet Muhammad along with these other highly influential historical figures comes from the resistance to change and fear of the loss of certain identities within society. Sadly, most societies are so single minded, that any change or deterrence of the norm naturally holds negative connotation in the minds of most individuals.