Islam students at LUC

Archive for February 2015

This weeks lecture was very interesting regarding both the film regarding the genocide Rwanda and the meanings of the 5 pillars of Islam. I was mostly interested by the form and spirit of Ramada. I knew of course of the fasting, but I never knew the true reasons behind the fast. I find it very fascinating the whole idea of finding ones faults and working to fix them. It is something that is beneficial for everyone in my opinion so I thought it was an awesome idea. The other five pillars form and spirit was very interesting and very straightforward actually. It would have been interesting to hear more about individuals that have to practice alms giving all day with every ounce of their being like he mentioned. The movie was really cool so far. I have never seen the Rwanda story from this point of view and i am interested to see where the story goes next time in class.

In response to 

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this week in class we discussed hadiths and basically how they have been saved or recorded. I think that it is super interesting how each hadith has recorded the exact chain of people that it was passed from. I do think that it is very important to have authenticity especially because there are so many hadiths about the Prophet, but it is really amazing that each hadith is supported by who it was passed from and how to keep its authenticity. Its also really interesting how there are so many critiques for this. Now a days you can find so many hadith books or just google all hadiths, but imagine how much time it took to figure out all the people that it took to make one chain. Also just how people identify if a hadith is reliable. I think it is also amazing that there was so much noted down about the Prophet, and how he walked, talked, ate, and just about everything he did. without these things, muslims would not have characteristics to follow.

in response to jvia329 I agree with you that just learning about how scholars and spiritual leaders put in a lot of effort to keep the reliability of the hadiths shows the devotion that people have to islam. I never knew that even though some hadiths weren’t reliable that they would not be deleted, but stored somewhere because it could have been what the prophet had said or done. this is how much respect they had for the prophet. It is definitely astonishing to me to see that people were this devoted to following the right islam and if it honestly wasn’t for these people who put all their work and effort into compiling all these hadiths, it would make it harder for muslims to understand things that are not mentioned in the quran.

In the past weeks we have been sporadically covering the Qur’an and all its elements. We have covered subjects of its foundation, its religion, it editing, its compilation, and many other things. Yet the Qur’an is considered the most sacred and most important text in the Islam religion but there are other texts that are considered significant in the religion as well. The Hadith are a complex and unique in its kind type of text. They are a collection of anything the prophet (Muhammad): said, done, or witnessed. This is what astonishes me the most. To see such devotion to one man and his entirety to every detail, just shows how much his connection to the divine, gave him a spiritual position amongst not only his companions but also every follower of Islam. Even more so is the outmost respect that scholars and spiritual leaders have to every word of the Hadith, regardless of its authenticity. No matter if a narration would be considered not reliable it would not be deleted because of its meaning and simply because of who said those words; the prophet. A great amount of time is spent in the organization and accuracy of these narrations this also proves that the people who are truly devoted to Islam have to find what truly is true and what is not in order to live in the right path and fulfill their lives they way Muhammad and God truly meant to.

In response to klydethe3rd; seen here:

“Watching Kinyarwanda and the role religion played in uniting people who are facing genocide made me think about the general role religion plays in sectarian conflicts.  Often, the hatred of another religious group is ostensibly motivated by some interpretation of religious orthodoxy, but I’ve noticed that sometimes religious identity is used to reflect not a specific doctrine, but some ethnic, political, and/or tribal conflict not connected to scripture.  One example is Northern Ireland–the republican Catholic minority was discriminated against, being seen as a cultural and political threat to the loyalist Protestant due to their belief in a united Ireland, and thus you had 1969 riots and Bloody Sunday and the thirty-year conflict known as the Troubles.  They weren’t shooting and bombing each other over the nature of the Eucharist or the infallibility of the Pope, but they both saw the other religious group as alien and menacing, and still do.  I do not know much about the sectarian conflict in Iraq, but imagine that it is of a similar stripe.  If it were entirely or even primarily religious, it seems odd that groups like ISIS would not sympathize with Sunni Kurds.”

I agree with klydethe3rd, Kinyarwanda was a very powerful documentary because it made me see an issue that in the world that is not that common. Genocide is a very big thing in these countries of Africa and not a lot of people have knowledge about this or have even heard of it. What I think is even more powerful of this documentary is not only its message but the way they decide to approach it. Typically, we are seeing the perspective of the victims but more so we get to see the way the perpetrators feel. You get to see how they are ashamed and genuinely repent of what they have done. It is very hard for them to even publicly acknowledge the fact that they murdered even a single human being. I believe its depressing that religious freedom is still not universal. The war can be rooted back to religious expression and belief, yet it is not the religious institutions that have instigated these wars but it is human nature/flaw that started the war.

I found this week’s lecture of Hadiths and the Prophet’s first followers very interesting. It blows my mind when i think of how many hadiths there are in the world, and its astonishing to think that some people have hundreds and thousands of these chains memorized. I found the stories of how the first followers of the Prophet took such great inspiration from all of his actions very interesting. The followers modeled their behavior to follow his. For instance, the Prophet started to wear a ring, and soon, all of the men that prayed with him wore the same type of ring. Furthermore, the story of how angel Jibril visited the prophet in the middle of the desert was very fascinating and thought provoking because the Prophet was very kind to everyone that he crossed paths with, and wanted them to truly understand Islam. Even thought it was a test, and even if the Prophet might have even been suspicious of it being a test, he still wanted the wanderer to humbly understand the main tenets of Islam.

In response to @thekidthatlikesblue and @stonebridge26, i also found the discussion of the five pillars and duties of Islam very intriguing. I also agree that even thought there are just five pillars that a Muslim must abide by, they seep into and bridge together almost all aspects of one’s lifestyle and choices. For instance, fasting, which is the pillar that requires one to abstain from food or drink from dawn till sunset in the month of Ramadan, is no walk in the park. As a Muslim, I always found(and still find) this pillar to be the hardest to follow. Fasting has always been exceptionally challenging for me because it takes such strong discipline, planning, and dedication, and I am not the best at any of those things, especially during the summer months. I also give mad kudos to the Muslims that are able to maintain fasts for an entire month, and are able to go about their daily lives and do things normally as if nothing was different. One day, I definitely want to be able to grow to the point that I can fast for the entire month of Ramadan, and not miss a single day.

Watching Kinyarwanda and the role religion played in uniting people who are facing genocide made me think about the general role religion plays in sectarian conflicts.  Often, the hatred of another religious group is ostensibly motivated by some interpretation of religious orthodoxy, but I’ve noticed that sometimes religious identity is used to reflect not a specific doctrine, but some ethnic, political, and/or tribal conflict not connected to scripture.  One example is Northern Ireland–the republican Catholic minority was discriminated against, being seen as a cultural and political threat to the loyalist Protestant due to their belief in a united Ireland, and thus you had 1969 riots and Bloody Sunday and the thirty-year conflict known as the Troubles.  They weren’t shooting and bombing each other over the nature of the Eucharist or the infallibility of the Pope, but they both saw the other religious group as alien and menacing, and still do.  I do not know much about the sectarian conflict in Iraq, but imagine that it is of a similar stripe.  If it were entirely or even primarily religious, it seems odd that groups like ISIS would not sympathize with Sunni Kurds.

In response to freefly37, I also personally find the devoted lionization of the Prophet to be at least slightly off-putting.  I feel that it is unhealthy whenever an individual is put on a pedestal to the point where the person is no longer seen as a complex and flawed human being, capable of doing bad deeds and saying bad things.  Not only are you unable to properly assess that person’s attributed words and actions, you are denying them of their individuality and their person-hood.  It is normal and totally fine to admire another person and look to his or her  example for inspiration, but I think it is important to acknowledge that that person has had a unique and complex experience, just like yourself.

During the first portion of class we discussed the 5 pillars of Islam as well as the importance of Hadiths. We talked about the importance of knowing the origins of the hadiths and the steps taken to verify their authenticity. This is so importance because of the number of people following the Sunnah of the prophet. One aspect of this week’s movie that completely shocked me was that there was mistrust between the religious leaders. This was so surprising because of the nature of this movie focusing on genocide. I think that a topic like this one is when your religious beliefs and faith should not be a divide or even really through about, rather all energy should be focused on saving as many human beings as possible.

In response to drcucumber21 I also found myself impressed by the amount of work that goes into verifying the authenticity of the hadiths. I also agree with you that I am excited for the next Ramadan. After hearing that it is during the first 10 days that our true personality comes out really surprised me and scared me. It made me try to think back to the past Ramadan’s to see what I was like. All I could remember was that the first day is the most difficult, because it is the day in which I am most hyper alert to what I say, and what I do. This is because it brings to light what I need to actively avoid and work to change during the next month.

This week in case we discussed the Hadiths. I learned that the actions, likes, words of the prophet Muhammad were recorded in the Hadiths. This tradition developed into a science through the studying the train of transmission enabling scholars to authenticate chains and hold people accountable so they cannot lie easily. Over hundreds of years scholars tracked down and investigated people that maybe able to tell them facts about believe involved in the chains so that they could rule out if two people in a given chain could have meet or been in the same region. All of this was done to authenticate the validity of the Hadith. I found the lengths that these scholars went to before the time of Internet and Google search to be astounding. This practice brings to light the devotion felt by followers and scholars alike to emanate anything the prophet may have said or done, because it brings them closer to the Divine.

In response to Jahnteller’s blog post, they rose a very interesting point by specifically pointing out the fact that this science evolved and continued through many generations of devoted scholars. The carrying out of previous generations work further emphasizes the significance and commitment to verifying the life of the prophet so followers may act in similar ways. Followers whole-heartedly believe that the prophet is perfection in a human being so they go to great lengths in order to imitate him. This also calls forth the extreme love for the prophet followers have. Learning that this practice still occurs today makes me wonder if followers today feel the same devotion to learning about and personifying the prophet in their everyday lives. Based off the accessibility to Hadiths online, I would guess that it is as important today as it was in its origins.