Islam students at LUC

Archive for November 18th, 2015

Today in class after discussing about the four main responsibilities of society, I realized the simplicity in the logic of it all. I think often times we forget how caring for those around us can be a simple process if we peel away the layers that coat the simplicity. Looking at what society owes, essentially, itself, it seems as if the four obligations ought to be what we naturally want to strive for and ought to strive for. It often makes me wonder why kind of world it could be if we thought simply, understanding the complexities without resignation. Especially with what has been going on in the world, it might be the time to turn to simplistic thinking and take away the fluff, the layers, and the fear to ask what are we failing to guarantee for our society and what can we do to provide that.

In response to , I like how you brought up the various cultural differences at play within a majority Muslim religious state. This reminds me of the recent CNN video with two news reporters asking a professor about the “Muslim” countries with the professor constantly reiterating the fault in calling and categorizing a country as a “Muslim” country. There is much more at play when it comes to dynamics between women and men related to culture and religion. I have had this conversation multiple times with my parents asking them how they see religion being separated from culture, or if it can be. It has been a constant struggle and value exchange between my parents who were raised in Pakistan versus my brother and I who were raised here. Although we can label ourselves as “American Muslims” or “Pakistani Muslims,” it’s hard to look past the labels to see what values we have gained, what we might have forgone, and how that plays a role in religion.

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The meditative exercise we did this week to learn about the body, mind, and heart was so very fitting in light of the attacks and tragedy in the world recently. My heart hurts. My heart hurts for Paris, for Beirut, for Palestine, for Kenya, for students of color at Mizzou, for Ferguson, for Syrian refugees, for our entire world. My heart hurts for the Muslims across the world and here in my own community who are subjected to so much unjustified, unwarranted, and unacceptable hate from the Western world, from ignorant bigotry. My mind and my body could not protect my heart this week. There was too much hate, too much hate on my Facebook newsfeed, in my daily conversations, on the news, on my campus, on Yik Yak. How can people possibly think that what the world needs in the face of despair and violence is more anger and hate? My heart hurts to hear that leaders in our country are attempting (illegally) to close borders to people searching for safety and healing. Where is our humanity? I am just confused and sad, honestly.

I needed that meditation on Monday. I needed time to breathe and clear my mind and cleanse my heart. I needed that meditation to make room for more compassion. Too many people have filled their hearts with anger and prejudice and haven’t left any room for love. Thank you to all my classmates for reflecting in solidarity with Paris, Beirut, Kenya, and so many others in pain right now.

This week in class, we went over the different aspects of justice and how they play a role in our society. We first defined what justice is (equilibrium, putting things in their proper place), and then we broke it down into four different categories (shelter & sustenance, trade & travel, security from fear, and religious observance), and discussed what are the just and unjust aspects of each category. For example, for shelter & sustenance, we said that having reasonable access to health and shelter would fall under the just category, while having difficult access, like food insecurity/desert, would fall under the unjust portion. What this is saying is that every person should be able to have some sort of access to food, regardless of the quality & quantity, because it is not fair/just for society to allow there to be people out there not to have this basic need (access to food) in their lives.

In response to sunkissed23, I really enjoyed reading what you had to say about the Malcolm X movie that we are currently watching. Much like yourself, I knew a good amount of what Malcolm X’s background was before watching this movie, but I really did not know how he became this way. It is crazy to see a person go from being a gangster, robbing people, doing drugs, consuming large amounts of booze and women, to become a completely different man. Malcolm has now become, after being inspired by one of his fellow inmates while he was in prison, a civil rights leader, mainly focusing on Islam within the black community. I agree with you that Islam would most likely not refer to the white population as harshly or harshly at all as Malcolm makes it seem in the movie so far. Even though I know how Malcolm’s life came to an end, I am curious to see how the remainder of this film plays out.

Last week we finished watching the movie Wajda. Apart from the comedy, it shunned light onto very important aspects of the modern “Muslim” countries. Recently media criticized the role Muslim women in Saudi Arabia upon restrictions placed on them in terms of driving. At the time, I did not think of it as a big issue. However, watching the state of women’s rights relative to what I am used to, it was a massive shock to me. It appeared as if women were placed in a big prison even though Quran explicitly states that Men and Women are equal in Islam. Saudi Arabia considered a big Muslim state is still smaller compared to Indonesia with a higher number of Muslim majority and yet they have almost equal rights for Women.

In response to @asaphamzi, I think he/she brings an excellent point. Its great to have faith in God but one should faith in themselves as well. Going back to the quote “God helps those who help themselves”. Its a common mistake all believers make at some point in their life. They get into this fallacy that they can leave everything upon God to fix it and get them a happy life. However the opposite is the true. God according to how I view it is more of an uninvolved creator then an involved creator. He has given all of us free-will to do whatever we like and at the end get judged for whether or not we chose the right path.

In class this week we did an exercise that proved the point that our mind and body is a protective shield to our heart. I never thought of the mind-body-heart relationship that way, so although this was a long exercise, it proved an interesting idea! We then continued to watch Malcolm X. The movie is interesting as Malcolm learns and preaches certain Islamic beliefs and views; however, the Islamic ideas seem to be altered by Elijah Muhammad. My opinion thus far of Elijah Muhammad is not very positive, as he seems less interested in spreading the message of Islam and more interested in his growing image in the community. Nonetheless, my understanding of the Nation of Islam is very minimal, so this movie is giving great insight on how the ideas were spread. I am excited to learn how Islamic traditions are followed and what differences lie in their ideologies.

In response to falafelsandbiryani, that was a very interesting question! First of all, it’s just crazy to me that kids nowadays are so smart and insightful, and they come up with such imaginative ideas and questions. I remember when I was that age and the most creative thing I would do was play pretend with my Barbies. Anyway, after deliberating the question for a few minutes I came to the conclusion that memories are opinion. Memories are personal accounts of historical events. They are influenced by the emotions a person feels at that time. Therefore, any account of any event, or any memory is a person’s opinion because it is influenced by their personal experience of the event. But nonetheless, great question for a ten year old!