Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 2nd, 2015

This week we talked about the zeal in religion with respect to four lions. Zeal by definition means “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” However its the cause that matters the most. Four Lions although a satire gave great insight into the so-called zeal according to some self proclaimed religious people fighting for God’s cause. It did great service to Islam and to any other religion for that matter by showing the true psyche of an extremist- basically a big majority of people who end up going the extremist route are very confused people with little or no purpose/direction in life so they try to fill that void by finding calling in religious extremism (something that makes them feel not like a failure). The beauty of Satire is the message underneath all the sarcasm which most times is a no-b.s. truth. 

In response to @batakanushak, it was interesting to hear your comparison of the three tiers in Islam to that in Hinduism. From the popular belief and I may be absolutely wrong (please correct me if I am)- In hinduism is it possible to ever leave our level? For example if you are born a dalit, would you always be a dalit or can you raise yourself to Brahman level? In Islam there is a strong emphasis on personal qualities and attributes over what you were born as. So climbing the three tiers is absolutely up to you as a Muslim.

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This week in class was one of the most profound days of class I have ever been to. We ended up finished up the movie. This movie was a British dark comedy that has been one of the funniest yet saddest movie I have ever seen. I can sense the bits of irony and remorse on the characters faces (Omar and his brother). That being said, I learned a lot more from this movie than I ever though possible. I admit that the swearing was a bit much and over done but it was still very informative and got their point across. Terrorism today is one of the most talked about forms of violence that has been in the world. From all across the globe. This goes to show that stereotypes and labeling takes it toll throughout the globe. We have to ensure that we take into consideration that NOT ALL MUSLIUMS ARE TERRORISTS. I can’t express this explanation enough. I feel that this isn’t the whole problem. I want to state that this movie showed us a lot of people are “confused”. By that, I mean half of them don’t know what the meaning and purpose of jihad is and take it for granted. They are killing and being killed by their religion. It is sickening to see people get ridiculed and tortured by this thought process.

I am responding to @ambiguoustraviesa today. I feel that we are on the same page with your post from my post. The heart, mind, and body are represented as one. That the ways of the Islamic paradigm is not being worshiped and not respected as it should be respected. To be within inner peace, I feel that everyone should respect all religions and worships your Gods. That’s being said, that means to respect everyone’s culture, religion, and philosophies. Once that gets taken care of, we can finally understand why the ignorance spread throughout out nation to that of the ignorant people in our society. We need to start spreading the word of peace and prosperity, not to make fun of and kill other religions that is making no sense and just killing people left and right. It is not fair for those who respect all religions and then get disrespected all around the globe.

I really loved the movie The Four Lions. I thought it was hilarious and well done and made me extremely uncomfortable at parts. I was a little sad that they all ended up dying (especially Waj) but overall I felt it necessary for the movie. I also loved the cameo of Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought his police officer character was funny and it was interesting that they weren’t just making fun of Muslims but non-Muslims too. The inept police officers who accidentally shot someone were another example. I looked it up on IMDB and I guess this was one of Benedict Cumberbatch’s earlier movies before he was super well-known. Overall, I felt the movie was really poignant. Also, I’m not sure if anyone else noticed it but Kanye West actually remixed the song that was playing at the ending on one of his albums, so that was kind of funny for me to hear.

In response to amygardnerw, I feel similarly about religion. I feel it is such a personal experience and certain traditions or practices don’t work for every catholic or other faith. It should be about what works for you. I had a lot to say in class about Episcopalianism and I didn’t realize how passionate I was about the church I was raised in. I’m not particularly religious at all, I’m still trying to figure out what I believe, but I do really like the core values of my church. We’re accepting to gay people, women can be preachers, etc. I feel like it’s really an open faith with a solid emphasis. In class it was cool to learn about other traditions from other faiths, I would like to experience some of them. I particularly wouldn’t mind the one where you get to eat food – food’s gotta be one of God’s best works, in my opinion.

I really liked the movie Four Lions. I thought it was hilarious and it made people laugh at things that no one should laugh at but that was the best part. At first I didn’t know how I felt about it and didn’t know if I should laugh or not, but I realize now that it was all to show just how stupid the mentality of terrorists really is. The ending was pretty sad, just because I was hoping that the terrorists would realize what they were doing was wrong. But overall it was a good movie and it forces people to laugh at things that are serious.

In response @reginaphalange104, I also had a tough time with focusing when we were focusing on each sense. My mind would wander onto random things at first but eventually I got the hang of it and would keep focus. I liked that we did that exercise because it really teaches that the smallest things actually make a big difference. Each sense is so important and I feel like I don’t use them to the best ability that I can. After doing that in class I’m going to try to be better at paying more attention to each sense.

During last week’s class, we talked about the 3 levels of faith in the Islam: Islam, Iman and Ihsan. As a Muslim, I was always familiar with the distinction between Islam and Iman. I knew that the Islam or a muslim meant submission, obedience or entering into peace. I also knew that Iman or moumin was this higher level of piety. A Moumin person is always radiating or glowing as a result of their strong devotion. Also, a Moumin person has a high level of security that people start to feel secure when they are with them. However, I was not fully aware of Ihsan, which represents perfection and beautification. In addition, it was interesting to learn how “Islam” requires something from outside to compel you to submit, for example if one feels pressured culturally or the fear of Day of Judgment. Also Ihsan expresses the inside and outside communication and interaction with god. Finally, one of the most intriguing point in which everyone can relate to today is that if your longings,desires and thirsts are quenched with materialistic things then you have a weak connection with god. In today’s world, we have so many distraction and temptations, which further distract us from our core and values.

In response to amygardnerww, I also enjoyed watching Four Lions. I feel like this movie depicts important themes through its black humor. It also shows how terrorists are human and may also be misguided and unintelligent. Futhermore, this movie also illustrates how one doesn’t need to be “conservative” in order to classify as a terrorist. As we have seen, Omar is a very progressive man with poor leadership skills and an incorrect interpretation of Islam or “jihad”. His main concern was to be remembered as a heroic figure who died with purpose.

In lecture this week we talked about the three levels of faith in Islam.  These levels are named Islam, and Iman, and Ihsaan.  As a Hindu, I found this topic to be interesting because it is very similar to Hinduism as well.  The majority of the individuals that practice Islam are part of the bottom tier, no matter how long they have been practicing.  When Mozaffar drew the diagram on the board representing how many people are a part of the Iman and Ihsaan tiers I was surprised because it showed how only a select few are able to reach these higher levels of faith.

In response to asaphamzi I agree with your comments on the movie Four Lions. The movie was able to debunk a lot of stereotypes towards conservative Muslims like Omar’s brother.  I did not like the ending of the movie because I felt that Omar knew what he was doing was not right yet he went along with his plans to “go to paradise”.  Overall the movie was funny and also eye-opening towards the topic of jihad.

This week in class we did a number of activities that isolated our senses. These exercises proved to be difficult. We also talked about supplication. There are two types of prayers: prayer of the heart versus prayer of the tongue. In class, we were asked to write down a list of things that we long for, things that make us feel vulnerable, and lastly, things that make us feel secure. I felt that this was a deep exercise as it forced me to think about what I hold the closest to my heart. We talked about how the tongue interprets what the heart seeks. There are so many layers that sometimes we don’t even know what we truly desire. This made me realize how important it is to analyze my duas. At the root of each prayer we make, there is an underlying meaning or desire.

This week in class we talked about the three levels of faith which are Iman, Ihsan, and Islam. Like @koalabear93, I had never heard of Ihsan as well. It was interesting to see what each level of religiosity meant. Islam is about progression. Each level gets you closer to Allah.