Islam students at LUC

Archive for January 2014

This week in class we finished the film on the Legacy of the Prophet. I found the entire walkthrough of his life to be very interesting. I also liked how the film talked about each major event that occurred in detail to give the viewers a better insight. After the film, we discussed the details and specifics of the Quran. I think the tradition of orally passing the words of the Quran is something special. There are many people to this day, that memorize the entire Quran and I think that’s an incredible task to accomplish. We also discussed the way the Quran was given to the Muhammad through Angel Gabriel, and sometimes directly from God.

In response to alizelemon, I agree with how poetic the words sound when recited. I also don’t know the meaning when listening to the Quran but the rhythm and poetic tone comes together so well and it’s just nice to listen to. It’s also nice to sometimes listen to different reciters and compare the differences in pronunciations and rhythm because each person has their own individual rhythm and tone in which they recite.

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This week was very interesting. My classmates and I finished watching the documentary on Muhammad. The documentary in itself was very informative. I learned aplenty about the Prophet of Islam. One point that was interesting to me was that he told his people not to worship him as a God. He told to the people to follow his message and believe in Allah as the only true entity to worship. Muhammad said that he is only a man. He was only 40 years old when he received the message from God through the angel Gabriel. The only part i wished they talked more about is the revelations Muhammad received. Although they do show some verses of the Quran, it would have been better to give more to justify what was happening. After watching the documentary, our class had a discussion about the Quran and we listened to it. We talked about the language of the Quran which is Arabic. I learned that Arabic had over 400 dialects and that the Quran was revealed in the language of Bedoins of Hijaz. We talked how the Quran was not focused on history, but it focused on lesson. Our class learned about the definition of Surah and Ayah was and what the difference was between these two words. I look toward next week as an interesting lecture as this week’s class was.

In response to coolgamekid15:

 The class was nice this week! The discussion about the Surah and Ayah was great. The Quran and its 114 sermons is the direct word of God through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. The Quran cannot be imitated and it was preserved as soon as the Prophet of Islam said it. The Quran was also revealed in small segments throughout the time when Muhammad came to be known as the Messenger of God. So the Quran is from God to Muhammad which in turn Muhammad told his people this message from God. The people then transcribed into writing and verbally memorized which made it be preserved for all these years. 

This week’s class involved finishing the movie on Islam and the prophet Muhammad’s life and was very interesting. I was particularly engaged with the video and its portrayals of Muslims in America. The scene in which the nurse played the reading of the Qur’an was very beautiful and moving to see the connection and peace that a religious text can bring to people, especially in trying times. In conjunction with the segments of the Qur’an that we listened to in class, I was able to understand the beauty and poetic nature of the work, even if I couldn’t decipher what was being said. Another aspect of the movie that I enjoyed was the depiction of the Haj taken by Muslims. Again, the level of devotion and religiosity that such a journey requires is truly admirable. I look forward to studying the Haj more closely and understanding the significance of the Kaaba in Mecca.

 

In response to redskittlez: Having never heard the Qur’an read aloud before, and not coming from a Muslim background, I was really quite amazed at the beauty of the Arabic and the formation of the Ayahs and Surahs. Even the variation in the different readers was impressive, although I think that I enjoyed the reader who held the vowels at the end of each phrase the most. Largely, in my (albeit brief) studies of the Bible, I had never found that same melodic beauty in any of its verses. Granted, I’ve never listened to it in its original language, but the formation and structure of its verses don’t seem as intentionally melodic as those verses from the Qur’an that we listened to in class. I’m wondering if that is a product of the material in and of itself or of the language that it was produced in. 

The most enlightening part of the class I found to be when Prof. Mozaffar began lecturing about the style of the Quran. I never had thought of the Quran being composed of “114 sermons.” A sermon indeed does not tell a straight story or focuses too much on the detail. It only gives you what you need and the lesson you need to take away from it. Likewise, the chapters of the Quran seemed to be framed in a similar fashion. Another item I had not known was the definition of “ayah.” For me, I always assumed that “ayah” meant verse. So, for example, “ayah” 1 would be verse 1. However, “ayah” has the additional meaning of being a sign or a symbol. And each sign/symbol is pointing you to God. Lastly, the goal of the believer is to return to the state of being in which that individual sees every sign as a sign of God. This reminds me of the Jesuit provision of “Finding God in all things.” Literally everything could be a sign of God if one has a strong enough faith to see such signs.

In response to pbandjtime00: I too was interested in that discussion between the daughter and the father. I didn’t understand for a couple minutes why the father was opposed to his daughter wearing the hijab. I personally thought at the time that if the daughter wants to wear the hijab then that is her choice completely. Her family should fully support her in that choice. However, I came to realize that there are a lot of other variables at play. The daughter’s father was looking at those other variables, the other concerns that would/should go into such a decision. If as a father I have a daughter who wants to wear the hijab, I honestly don’t know how I would react. I think it would be a “heat of the moment” reaction; when it happens, then I will know. My gut is telling me that I would definitely support her in her decision, but I don’t know how specifically I would act and respond.

 

In class this Wednesday, we finished the movie on Prophet Muhammad’s Journey and also discussed some important terms when talking about the Quran. Although the movie was not as thrilling as Argo, I found it very inspirational. I felt as if I could connect to the speakers because I feel that there are days where I feel disconnected from my own faith as well. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Indian, etc. we all have days when we all feel like atheists. This documentary made me realize that if you carry your religious identity as a burden, and not a simple lifestyle, you are basically wasting your time. The speakers in the movie were never trying to advocate Islam in anyway, but were trying to use their knowledge of Islam to bring religious tolerance. As discussed in class, all our faiths are woven together, but they all just have different beginning and ends, and it’s important to take time and understand them. Another thing that we discussed in class that I really enjoyed was taking different perspectives from people about one main thing or idea. It really was interesting to hear the responses from classmates that come from different parts of the world.

In response to dtvloyola, I agree with your response in regards of the way the Quran is written. I really found it neat how the Quran is written as short, collective sermons rather than narrative stories. I think it is really cool how we discussed it in class as well, because I have always wondered why, but never had an answer for it. I also agree with the discussion on how everyone has similar values just different faiths. I think this is important because we all value the same basic necessity, but our faiths are what separates us.It is pretty obvious that it would be hard to bring these faiths together in harmony, but one day we will be able to see how our values as humans should define who we are rather that our religious affiliations.

This week we finished the documentary about Muhammad. I found it really Interesting that he was not considered a divine being, like I had previously assumed. I enjoyed that he was just a good man who was chosen to carry this message, but he isn’t supposed to be put on a pedestal. He also was strongly opposed to being put on a pedestal, which seems like it would have been difficult to avoid. Despite that, it is obviously him being a normal man was very taken away from his messages. We also learned about the Quran. I really enjoyed the part about it only being disproven if something more true comes along. This was a really interesting concept and also seemed somewhat vague and subjective. I’m sure if I knew more of what the Quran actually states, it would be clear how these message that were responses to very specific things happening in a time and place are able to transgress this time and place and hold true today. Obviously, this concept isn’t much different than the bible, but it seems much more policy- based.

In response to safafriix3,
I think you raise a really good point about his daughters and I don’t think that’s irrelevant at all, especially with the reputation Islam has with women. I never knew the reasons behind the multiple wives and they did a good job de-bunking the myth if it being lust driven and selfish. Yet it would have been interesting knowing how the women felt about the issue, or who they were in general. I feel the same goes for his daughters. I would have really been interested ok their views on the religion allowing multiple wife’s. I also would have liked to know more about the influence the women had on his political agenda and actions. It’s a shame that was left out of the story. I do think it’s interesting that he has a reputation of a family man because it again shows that he’s just a human and not divine.

During our second week of class, we finished up the movie about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (S). He is the perfect example of an ordinary man in moral decorum, and this is proven by the Muslims who try to live their lives by his example. Based on the examples from the movie, Muslims in America try to be model and charitable citizens for the community, good parents, good kids, good siblings, good coworkers, good friends, and so forth. Like the prophet Muhammad (S), they do their jobs humbly and diligently. As the fire marshall mentioned, Prophet Muhammad (S) said, “You want to serve God? Serve his people,” and that is why he choose a job that saves people as a service. Also, as the hijabi nurse from Michigan gave a presentation to the new employees about sensitivity of cultural differences, she presented herself in a sincere and humble manner.  How she presented herself with positivity to the new employees removed any previous generalizations made about Muslims. It proves that by just having positive attitude and doing charitable duties to the community gives everyone else a chance to notice what the religion Islam really means and not by all the negative publicity done over the past decade. It is a reminder that by shaping a community to be unified, helpful, and comfortable, you have to shape yourself to be the model citizen. By doing so, you can influence other community members to do the same.

In response to redjohnlives: I completely agree with how jihad had been completely blown out of proportion by the media as well. Struggling with one’s own desires for the sake of God is the “greater jihad” while the “lesser jihad” is fighting for the sake of God. The terrorist attacks that have been done the past decade have been against the rules of jihad because they cannot kill innocent civilians, like in the 9/11 attacks. Muslims were represented through examples of extremity because there was a lack of understanding of what people know about Islam and the duty to be peaceful, not violent. However, those generalizations can be eluded by education of the religion and the duties of the Muslim, and who they try to model themselves after.