Islam students at LUC

Archive for April 2013

This week in class were were supposed to divide into groups to discuss the Rumi book.  I didnt own this book, but luckily people donated books to our group.  Actually, first I was with one group, then they disappeard so I joined another group and switched the chapters I was reading.  We read two chapters that dealt primarily with emotions and the need to open yourself to emotions because by opening yourself to emotions you are opening yourself to God.  One poem spoke of grief and how its ok to let yourself feel hard emotions like this and fall, because you will learn about these feelings and grow as a person from it.  In my opinion, a lot of the poems to me if I didnt know were about God and stuff, would seem more just like regular poems, and I think a lot of them were really beautiful poems. 

In response to jpu1994:
I like the idea you took from your chapters about everything happening being a good thing.  I think it is good to think of things in this way because everything has trouble in their lives and it is good to have a positive outlook on life.  Applying this to your life would make a lot of situations easier to deal with and would help you make better decisions when bad things happen because you know that ultimately everything is supposed to happen and can be a good thing. 

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It was interesting to learn about the 5 pillars of Islam.  The 5 pillars were the declaration of faith, 5 daily prayers, fasting in Ramadan, annual charity, and pilgramage.  I had never known that there were 5 pillars, but I had heard and seen some of these being done, such as the daily prayers and fasting in Ramadan.  The annual charity was interesting to note and I think it’s a great idea that they do.  Giving away 2.5% of someones income to charity is a part of Islam that I guess I just thought was interesting to learn and is a cool idea to do.  Another thing that was interesting was the pilgramage.  We looked at pictures in class of this, and it is incredible to see this many people all in one spot doing a prayer, it was kind of awe-inspiring to see.  We also mentioned 5 aspects of spirit, being moment, day, monthly, year, and lifetime.

 

In response to nighthawk26,
I also after learning about the 5 pillars have respect for Muslims who practice this because some of these are difficult to do.  The fasting seems difficult since you cant eat during the day, and the giving away of income is a good reminder to help those less fortunate than yourself.  I also think that praying 5 times a day seems like a lot, and I wonder whether or not most Muslims actually pray 5 times a day.  But I remember going to a graduation party for a friend of mine who was Muslim once, and in the middle of the party they had a section of the room for prayer because it was a time of the day when they all needed to pray as part of their 5 times a day. 

On our last night of class we talked about different Islamic sects and other Islamic branch of groups. We also discussed current events namely the Boston bombings. I thought that our last class did a great job of ending with some interesting points, and I really liked that our Professor opened up the floor to discuss anything. I enjoyed learning about the “actual” differences about Sunnis and Shi’ites. I also thought that the Nation of Islam website was really eye-opening. I had heard of the Nation of Islam, mainly because of Malcolm X, but I had never really looked into any of their beliefs, so I enjoyed gaining some more background information! When our professor brought up the Boston bombings up for discussion, I was a little apprehensive to hear everyone’s reactions towards the fact that the perpetrators were Muslim. As a Muslim, when I heard that the two brothers were Muslim I remember thinking “oh great, here we go again”. I was very taken back by how awesome people were in taking into account that just because these guys were Muslim, Islam is a terrible religion. The actions of a few Muslims do not represent the actions of ALL Muslims.

 

In response to jpu1994: I too hope that people have learned to not accept the actions of a few to be proportional to the actions of many! I also agree that so much attention is always given to the perpetrators who commit awful crimes, granted I’m sure it mainly to alert the public that the perpetrators are no longer at large. I think that the most attention should go to the victims; they were the ones who lost their lives for no reason. When our professor asked us to name the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy, and no one could, but when he asked about the attacker in that incident and people knew really bothered me! The victims should never be forgotten and the culprits should certainly NOT glorified!

In this class we discussed the bombings in Boston and how it was going to affect the Muslim world. I hope that people have learned from the 9/11 attacks that just because a person commits a terrible act of violence does not mean we have to blame the entire community in which they were involved in. There is also a lot of talk about another conspiracy with this and I think that we should be more focused on the victims. The news has been terrible as always and have glorified the culprits and left the victims with nothing. This is disappointing to me and continues to happen whenever a tragedy occurs.

In response to nighthawk, I agree that learning about those different aspects of worship of Islam were interesting to learn about because I also had never heard of the Sunnis or the Shias. I found this discussion rather difficult to follow because I had no prior knowledge about any of these and I could not add any input due to my naivety. However, I think it was still good to talk about and learn about. 

Blog 12

Posted on: April 30, 2013

In this weeks class we dove into the book and separated it into chapters by group. My group had chapters 19 and 20 which was very interesting for many reasons. The reason that stuck out for me was the fact that everything happens is a good thing. It gives me hope in my life because after reading those poems I know that even all the crappy things that happen to me are benefiting my life because the events are helping grow as a person and helping me become stronger and able to face more. I think this is a very important message and is something that everyone should consider because every person goes through rough patches in there life and it can seem life the end of the world but really they are getting stronger. I am going to be using this advice and applying it to my life whenever I am going through some trouble because I will feel better about it and will know that I am getting stronger.

In response,  to marshall12mather, I also think that the fact we are getting closer and closer to God as our life progresses is a really powerful message. It is also nice to hear that once we die we will be in the light of God. I think everyone should hear this message because maybe it will give people more hope in their own lives and a greater incentive to be a better person and to help the people around them who are less fortunate. 

I thought last weeks class was really helpful in learning much of the ritualistic actions which Muslims complete throughout five different timelines- daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and in a lifetime.  Learning these five pillars put in perspective how devout Muslims are to God and their religious beliefs.  Hearing that Muslims are to give away 2.5% of their earnings to charity yearly was interesting and more defined than in other religions; giving a certain percentage as opposed to giving any number to a charity.  I presume it helps followers truly appreciate all that they have and how much they can give away.  Learning that Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day also makes me think about Muslim devotion.  As an outsider, I feel like I would be inconvenienced by this pillar, however, if I was raised Muslim, I’m sure I could prioritize these prayers.  Praying five times daily is probably also a great reminder of why they are on earth and what their purpose or goal in life is, especially since it is one of the oldest oral traditions.  I have a lot of respect for devout Muslims after learning about the five pillars and the time it takes to commit to these beliefs.

In response to minniminon, I like how honest you are about your opinions on fasting.  I’m not at all an expert, but I have heard of articles stating that fasting can sometimes be a good thing for the body.  I also know there are ways to eat before and after to ensure your body still gets the right daily nutrients it needs.  As for your comment about the mental toll fasting takes on a person, I think it’s a good thing.  Since Muslims are expected not only to abstain from eating and drinking, they are also discouraged from getting angry when fasting, which is a remarkable test of discipline.  Like you said, being deprived of food makes it very easy to get irritable or angry, but if Muslims are expected to control their anger when fasting, that makes it much easier to control anger on normal days when they are fully nourished.  It may be a difficult task to make people fast for an entire month, but it does all have a purpose that I as a Muslim see as worth the hours of hunger.

 

6

Posted on: April 30, 2013

Blog number 6

In class this week we presented our group skits.  My group performed James Bond 007, I think our group worked really well together.  Aside from the corrupt judges this was one of my favorite classes this semester.  The amount of different interpretations that were given throughout the class really helped to understand the story better, they were also entertaining.  It is much easier to learn in an exciting atmosphere like we had today.

 

In response to Marshallmathers, I think the class today was the best class as well. I think it was much easier to work in a group and bounce ideas back off each other. I think we should do classes more like these every time.