Islam students at LUC

Archive for May 2015

Blog #11:

Posted on: May 10, 2015

In class this week, we discussed more about Islamic themes of spirituality, justice, and law but we also incorporated The Book of Love by Rumi. Spirituality is a very powerful ‘thing’ in Islam, it has levels but it also depends on time, and as both increase or get higher, your spirituality is greater; meaning that, you are closer to the divine. Yet, for there to be an innate good which is being closer to the divine there also has be an evil presence. It doe snot necessarily have to be evil but there has to be an opposite side of being good. This was the most interesting aspect of class because we were introduced to the villain in Islam, one who is waging a war against God (Allah). This villains mission, we will call him ‘the devil’, is to make humans feel as if God has abandoned them, by doing so the devil pushes human kind’s faith away from God therefore succeeding in his waging war against God.

In response to audirs7 I also found the topic of Islamic transformation and seeing the divine as how you see yourself. I believe this is attributed to the Ihsan, which is the highest level of faithAt this level the individual sees the divine through himself, you believe that he is responsible for everything and that he is omnipresent. In addition to seeing the divine as you see yourself you also worship Allah is if you were seeing him, of course this is not possible, but even though you can’t see him you believe so. By believing in his presence, you also believe that regardless there not being a physical presence he is always looking at you. Such high levels of faith reflect how close someone is to the divine; at Ihsan one is at the highest level possible seeing Allah through yourself, interconnecting it with your deepest and truest self.

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Blog #10:

Posted on: May 5, 2015

Going back to my last blog post; this week we expanded on the milestones discussed in last class, Islam, Iman, and Ishan. We also touched on the role of time in the Islamic paradigm and we learned that it actually has a very important role, more so than in other religions. Time has a very important influence because the religion itself and a lot of its traditions are based around time. This week we managed to finish A Separation and thoroughly enjoyed it, even though the way the events unfolded was a bit different than I expected, i though it did a beautiful job in representing the reality of life. The question of what is justice can be easily asked after this movie is watched. As third party bystanders we can easily identify wha we think would have been the most “fair” result but is that truly justice, or was justice truly achieved once the movie finished? Defining justice can be done objectively but ultimately I think that when it comes to socially developed terms each interpretation varies even slightly.

In response to freefly37, after our trying to think of ten defining moments in my life, it got me thinking, as well as it got you. Life is truly defined by moments we choose to be the ones that define use. Even now looking back to my senior year of high school all I can think of are off specific moments I chose to store and tag as defining. These moment do not necessarily have to be happy or good moments they can also be harsh and sad memories, but they do define an individual. Because I wanted to stay positive and not define my life with sad moments when asked to make a list if I had to write down a sad moment I decided to write whatever the learning experience was and I would classify that as the defining moment. Just as freefly37 feels his life has been defined by new experiences i believe mine has been defined by all the learning experiences in my life after memorable events, both happy or sad.

Blog #9:

Posted on: May 5, 2015

This week in class we covered the role of justice and its presence in the Islamic paradigm. The importance of justice, in every aspect, is way more important than what I previously thought. In the Islamic paradigm it transcends to everyone and it requires everyones participation. Aside from the lecture, we started a film called A Separation, which was about the internal and external struggles of a family during delicate situations that unfold throughout the story line. We see how each character evolved through the events occurring, from the daughter to even another family that had nothing to do with them at first. A beautiful work was done creating this movie, because it demonstrates the reality of every day difficulties and even atypical events, and how a family must either break down or break through even stronger. Professor Mozaffar asked us to focus on the role justice played in this movie and how the portrayal of Muslim people varied from the portrayal of Muslim people in the film, Argo. 

In response to theoblogger295, I too found justice as defined in the Islamic paradigm very interesting. We Westerners when we think of justice we think of legal justice pertaining to a governing body that sets laws and determines a set of rules. Yet, I believe that justice is more than everyone getting what they deserve or keeping the scales balanced. Justice for me is about actually distributing equal happiness and aiming to attain a society where social and economic disparities don’t exist; a just society is a good society, that does good for everyone not only for a certain group of individuals within the society. The Islamic Paradigm states a just society would provides it people security, food and shelter, protection from religious persecution (allowing everyone to practice their religion freely), and safe trade. I personally think this view of justice would benefit a society in greater ways than those of a society merely focusing on legal, administrative and technical issues.

Blog #8:

Posted on: May 4, 2015

In class this week, we covered what was in my opinion a very interesting subject. Every class we explore more and more aspects of Islam and its foundations and this week we talked about three very important elements of Islam. Professor Mozaffar introduced us to the three milestones of Islam which are Islam, Iman, and Ihsan. I found the stage of Iman the most interesting because it is all about reforming one’s world view. The exercises performed in class were done in regards to these milestones. Iman is all about controlling the mind and being able to block out society and all its clutter; we tried to in some way achieve this in class by doing exercises in which we tested our mind and out abilities to control it. For some it was difficult and for others it was not, even though this was just a simple example, what Iman states is that an open world view and full control of the mind are achieved the closer you are to the divine and to surrendering.

In response to theoblogger91, I also found the film Kinyarwanda quite touching. I had read about the Rwandan genocide but never had I experienced it with such a gruesome and cold reality. The film generally portrayed the side that suffered the atrocities of the oppressive force but something atypical was included in the film. One of the story lines that tide the entire film together was that of previous soldiers involved in the genocide that had taken many lives and done horrible things. Suffering and pain was seen not only from the oppressed but also the perpetrators. Some of the men involved greatly regretted and repented for their acts, yet some could not deal with the guilt and as we saw in the movie one of them decided to take his life. The effectiveness of this film is clear because we do not only gain great understanding of the suffering families and their situation but we also learn of the suffering of the other end.

Blog #7:

Posted on: May 4, 2015

It is quite funny that when the professor allows us to write about whatever we want I have the hardest time thinking of what to write and how to write. Maybe its because our blog is very focused on our class material and what we think of it and how we respond to what our classmates think of class material, and vice versa. I am normally not a person that writes a lot, at least for pleasure I mean; when it comes to classwork I do what I have to do. To make it easy on myself I will just write about my favorite soccer team: F.C. Barcelona. I know that some people might not know the team, or some people might not even know anything about soccer at all but I am only going to talk about the team’s current situation. Barça (the most popular nickname or short name for the club), did not have a good season before the 2014 World Cup, not only was it the time period before the world cup so players are naturally a bit more reserved to give their all to their countries team, but also the team itself was adapting to a different coach and the loss of some vital players. Carles Puyol, possibly the best defender to ever play in the club retired in a very quite and inconspicuous manner, we decided to sell an important midfielder (Cesc Fabregas), a forward that we could have exploded more (Alexis Sanchez), and again we hired a new coach (Luis Enrique). As a former Barça himself the expectations were set up high, we bought some defenders (some acquisitions were harshly criticized by the fans due to the age of the players) as well, a very talented midfielder, and Luis Suarez. For those of you who don’t know, Suarez was involved in a lot of controversy when it came to football. A player with his history is normally a liability and some fans were skeptical. To keep it short, the start of this season was not the best but the team has finally adapted to the coaches system and the chemistry is off the roof. We are the only Spanish team that still has a chance to win the treble, and we are already in the local cup’s final. The treble consists of winning the Champions League, the local league the team is in –in this case “La Liga BBVA”, and the local cup –in this case “La Copa del Rey”. Hopefully, the team and the players deliver and we have an amazing season filled with trophies and wins. On March 22nd, Barça will be playing Real Madrid (I bet some people know this team) our biggest rival in history and in Spanish football. This game is very very important since they are only one point behind us in the table, a win in our favor would put us 4 points ahead and after the 22nd of March there are only 6 calendar dates left for games (meaning 6 games left for each team), there is literally no margin for error anymore.

In response to notbeyonce1019, I completely understand how you feel. This semester and the one that just passed haven’t been easy. My grandfather passed on October of last year and it has had a significant toll on my family. Not only emotional but also financially because he was very sick and spent a lot of time at the hospital. Yet, I have learned that life goes on and the only thing you can do is, adapt and progress. I too identify with you when you say that you have been procrastinating, especially when you’re around family and friends. I see them so little that whenever we have a chance to see each other we try to make the best of it and my mind is only set in hanging out with them and making the moments count. This is something about myself that I wish I fixed; I wish I was a bit more motivated and on top of my things in order to avoid heavy stress during moments it could be easily avoided.