Islam students at LUC

Archive for April 2014

This week was interesting in the sense that everyone’s skit was not quite what I had expected them to be. For my group in particular, we had some headbutting ideas but eventually came to a conclusion of how to present the story. People’s interpretations were all over the place, from funny to serious to very literal, and I think it was important to get every groups’ take on the concept. The story of Joseph is not one that I am familiar with at all, even after reading it so many times and performing our interpretation of it, but some people seemed more at ease with the story (particularly Muslims and Christians). It is interesting to see the two religions work together in understanding the same story.

In response to swats1224, I agree that it was good to have all of the lessons from each skit really driven home and in a number of different ways. Like I said before, the story is not one that is familiar to me so it was really intriguing hearing so many different ideas and lessons come out of the same story we all read. Overall it was a great learning experience and I really enjoyed taking part in the group project because of the many different ways of thinking.

This week in class we watched 2 different movies! One thing that I really enjoy about this class is the movies. Not to say that I don’t enjoy the lectures – I do, but the movies that we watch in this class are so different than any movie I would personally choose to watch. They are also very educational yet interesting and are able to keep my attention. We finished “Kinyarwanda” this week and I have to say that compared to the other movies we have watched thus far in class it is very different. This movie centers on a very serious subject: the Rwandan Genocide. While the genocide is kind of an afterthought compared to the character’s personal stories, it was interesting to see how it affected their lives. After the main girl’s parents are killed, she shies away from the boy that she likes because, while she is obviously sad, she is also scared because she knows that he is part of the tribe that is killing people.

 

In response to coolgamekid15, I think that you are right about the state having chosen to interpret Islam a certain way in the movie Wadjda. Looking at the women in other movies such as A Separation and even Koran by Heart, none of them covered their entire body. Wadjda was a good example of how, while different countries practice the same religion, there are differences in the state and how that certain state chooses to interpret the religion. It is something that I have never thought of before but this movie was a good indication that this actually happens around the world in different religions. I thought that this aspect added greatly to the movie and really showed how Islam was an important part of the character’s lives.

First of all, wow, what the hell, why can’t I be as awesome as these kids are? I think it was really amazing that these kids can recite the entire Qur’an by memory before they can do multiplication (which I still can’t do), but it was very upsetting to hear that Nabiollah was essentially illiterate in his native language. While I appreciate the dedication to Islam that these children and their families have, it is weird to see that Islam is their absolute top priority instead of insuring that their child has a good and well-rounded education. Overall I was very impressed by the coordination the Muslim world has in order to arrange a competition like this and also the children’s abilities and bravery.

In response to dranny23, hearing that your friend had also memorized the Qur’an in high school is still a stunning feat for me to imagine. After seeing how many people in my class alone had memorized the Qur’an or at least parts of it was impressive. It reminded me of when I joined the fraternity I am in, how each brother is expected to have our creed memorized and to recite the creed at any time. That was challenging enough, memorizing one small paragraph for recitation. It’s impossible for me to imagine the skill it must take to remember not only the words but also the correct pronunciation for everything.

In week 12 of class, we broke into groups and worked on different chapters within the Rumi: Book of Love. I was unsure what to think of this book as the title “Book of Love” can give off a lot of different meanings. However, when I finally did look into the book and saw that it was comprised of poems, I was very surprised. Each of these poems could have many different interpretations and it was interesting to hear all of the different interpretations that were brought up. Many of these poems do not explicitly talk about Islam or how it is important to be close and devoted to God. However, when looked at more closely and analyzed, it is easy to see that these poems are all talking about lessons that the Islamic people should learn in order to live a life closer to God.

 

In response to alizlemon, it is very true that the group activity helped with understanding the text in Rumi. When dealing with new information, it is always very important to hear other people’s views on the matter. After this, the meaning can become quite clear! I also agree that Children of Heaven was much more lighthearted than some of the other films we have watched. While the main characters family deals with poverty, they do not let this get them down and continue to try their hardest to find work and go to school. I especially thought that it was funny to see the young boy and girl running to each other between their school days. They both had to run a good amount and it was funny to see how quickly they would get to each other, take of the shoes, and leave each other again, all running.

I’d have to say that this past spring break was definitely one for the books. My good friend SirJeffers and I, with two other friends, lived the good life in Phoenix for a solid week. And while I admit that I was definitely caught with a beer more than I was without one, me and SirJeffers did have plenty of talks about Islam and what Muhammad must have felt like being such an inspirational person. While climbing mountains in the desert outside of the city, SirJeffers and I could all but feel the angel Gabriel there with us passing along the word of God. While the sunburn was definitely not pleasant, living life on the edge of society (I lived in a flip home and slept on the floor) was an experience where, at times, I felt only Allah could save me and cleanse me of the corrupted life I lived that week.

In response to Youngboy420, I am deeply sorry that you had to shovel your sidewalk this winter spring break. Next year, maybe take a spiritual vacation to the desert oasis that is Phoenix, Arizona and maybe you, too, can experience life on the #fringe and meet Gabriel too.

My spring break was pretty amazing. I had the opportunity to spend about two weeks in Cairo, Egypt. The experience was obviously very eye opening as it was my first Middle Eastern country. Obviously, Egypt isn’t in the greatest state right now so there was the threat of violence when I was there. In the context of Islam, I noticed how big of a presence there was. It seemed like some sort of symbol of Islam was everywhere. Whether this was the Quran on almost every dashboard of every car I saw, every store playing a recording of the Quran or hearing it being blasted late into the night. Of course, I completely became immune to the call to prayer by the time I was leaving. It really became of everyday life. One of the things I was told about the city was that it took years and sometimes decades for building’s construction to be completed, but mosques would go up in a matter of weeks. It was one of the first things I noticed after I landed. It was almost midnight when I landed and there are very few street lights so the drive back wasn’t thrilling, but every mile or two I would see the green glow of a mosque. The people in Egypt were amazingly nice. I know another large aspect of Islam that we didn’t discuss too much of hospitality. Everyone was very kind and very welcoming. Although, it was a very different experience in the Islamic markets. There are so few tourists because of all the bombings that the vendors are extremely aggressive due to their lack of income. It was really uncomfortable, but also very understandable. The Islamic market (The Khan-el-Khalili) was definitely my favorite part of the trip.

During last weeks class we all got into groups and performed skits on the Book “Rumi the Book of Love.” I really enjoyed doing skits to act out the chapters and poems of this book, and i really liked to watched everyone else’s skits because it was fun how they interpreted each of them as well. I think through interpretive learning is the best style of learning personally because i learn the most from it. I found this book of poetry to be very fascinating and unique since it was much different from the other books that we have read in this class.

In response to , I agree like i stated earlier as well, that through interpretive learning and hands on learning, makes for a much more interesting and effective way of learning. It helps me to engage more in the subject that we are learning about, and i am very grateful that i took this class. I really enjoyed how professor mozzaffar taught the class, because through this technique and style of teaching, i have learned so much, and I am sad that the class is now over.