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Dar al Islam Notes August 2014

Page history last edited by kay hones 6 years, 5 months ago

Wednesday July 30

Caught the Super Shuttle to SFO. I had the boarding pass on my phone & I really like being pre approved cuz I can just breeze through the security!

That gave me plenty of time to wander around Gate 79 with heavy bags (I think the laptop weighs about 90 pounds!)

Flight to Albuquerque was a couple hours...one of those little tiny planes.  They announced if anyone wanted to check bags at gate as the overhead compartments were really small-LESSON never pay to check bag, wait for these announcements at the gate!!!

Albuquerque Airport has some really interesting shops but I had to hurry past to find the van going to Dar Al Islam. Several people were waiting right at the bottom of the escalator to Baggage-YES- I found them & I was the last arrival so we went to the van.  And then it was like 99 hours to Abiquiu!! Well about 3 but felt like 99!!

The US 285 highway runs through many Indian Reservations.  We stopped for gas & Karima said it was cheaper $3.28 cuz Indians paid less for gas supply.

We passed a few casinos.  We passed by Santa Fe (the half way point!) & saw sighs for Los Almos. The mountains are at the horizon & the huge sky is filled with those gigantic fluffy white clouds. Filmmaking is the major industry in New Mexico along with tourism.

Finally we turned onto a one lane dirt road.  Karima pointed to a small road winding up a hill.  she told us we could buy Shirley MacClaine's home for a mere $18 million-a psychic helped her come up with the price. 

On the other side of the little dirt road is a home of Marsha Mason the actress.  She has done extensive gardening, flowers, herbs but the field was filled with hay bales now.  She is also moving back to New York for Broadway.  As we turned up the road we also saw the Plaza Blanca rock formations that Georgia O'Keefe painted on the left.

Then we turned right into Dar Al Islam. 

"Imagine looking across the lush Rio Chama River valley towards a juniper studded mesa site framed by surrounding layers of arid hills and arroyos. Off in the distance are snowcapped mountains lingering among scattered clouds across an azure sky. You see the cream-colored, domed roof line of the Dar al Islam mosque and madressa float above and merge into the landscape. Designed by world-renowned Egyptian architect, Hassan Fathy, the mosque and school are only part of the well-equipped site which includes a lecture hall, residential units and offices."

We got out of van right at the door & I am in Room 2 with about 10 teachers from Alaska, Virginia, Chicago, Arizona, etc. several teach at the college level. Room 2 has many bunks-nice sturdy handmade but luckily we do not have to go on top bunks this time!! There are also red lockers & some study tables. 

After I unpacked & put stuff in locker I tried to rest a while but then I explored since we were not meeting til 6:30 for dinner. Of course I found the library & media room right away. All the doors have beautiful carved designs & the building has lots of adobe & exposed wood beams. I will take lots of photos.

Dinner was a white noodle & vegetables dish (Logan would have loved the broccoli).  Then we went to the library courtyard for introductions. The courtyard was covered by a mosquito net BUT they still snuck in!

As we sat there the sky changed from blue to grey to dark grey.  I will write more about the people when I take out my sheets so I spell names correctly.

They told us about outdoor showers so I had to try that! Well actually it is a building with 4 doors & each has a nice roomy shower. But it is all enclosed-I had visions of little rabbits & coyotes sneaking in! It was super dark & the sky was beautiful.

I went to bed about 10 pm & got up at 6 (5 SF time!) to shower again & then to write this.  

Today we have breakfast at 7:30 & then start program at 8:30 til around 8 or so tonight with some breaks.

So I will get going now & tell you about Thursday in New Mexico later..hopefully no snake stories!!!


Thursday August 31st 

The meals are served on tables in the main hall, then we eat in a small room with a very long table.

Around 8:30 I headed out to the building where the lectures are presented. 

It was cool around 70, not the inferno I was expecting.  I took some photos of the buildings & the mountains & some of the plants growing around the dirt road. There are 21 teachers at this program. The lecture building is large & has 4 fans that make it very cool..like we need a jacket cool!!

Today Dr. Mohammed Shafi began the program with a reading from the Qur'an page 342 Verse 160.  He read in Arabic & then in English. I have to do more research but he mentioned the authoritive Qur'an was translated in 1920s.

Ola Mohammed who is an immigration attorney in NY talked about Common Phrases in Arabic. These are used by non Arabic speakers, too. I have the list but I can't pronounce any of them!

We had a short break then at 10:30 Maria Dakale talked about the Historical Links of Judaism, Christianity & Islam.  Lots of interesting points that would be good for students, i.e.,

* there were lots of Jewish & Christian tribes in central Arabia

* Islam revelations are  in Arabic language 

* 25-26 prophets mentioned in Qur'an & most are also in the Bible. 

* When Adam & Eve left the garden of Eden they went to Arafat, mountain plains but then ended up in Mecca.  There was a KABA (I think temple?)

but eventually was destroyed in Noah's Flood BUT then Abraham, Hagar & Ishmael went to Mecca & built it up again. Then later Mohammed who is decsened from Ishmael built Mecca building again!!

* Abraham was the most important prophet-Muslims speak of "creed of Abraham"

"I am no new thing" that their beliefs go back to religion of Abraham

* Important to know CONTEXT of verses in Qur'an...what is historical references, not just read & take a face value

* People of the Book: Jews & Christians (not Zorastarians-guess they got lost in history!)

Ended with Verse from Qur'an 5:48 "for each of you a law & a way" that each of the religions had their own theology BUT each group were supposed to compete at doing good deeds!!!

Then we had lunch (salad & potato salad?!?) & a Break til 3:30.

Susan Douglas talked about a wealth of resources for students. Teaching about various world religions IS standards based! Web & other resources are online:

Berkeley Center @ Georgetown; online art museums; World faith thru the arts; Harvard Pluralism Project; PEW Center religion in Public Life;  World History for US All UCLA Edmund Burke; this has landscape lessons & check out 5.2 & 5.3 lessons; Calliope magazine ages 9-14; View from the Edge-dynamics of urbanism in spread/growth of Islam; cultural interactions- Islam a means of diffusion: crops, technology, arts EXAMPLE Arabic numerals are based on Hindi numbers that were adapted into Arabic written on paper from China & write about Greek mathematical theory & used by Italian accountants & then spread thru Europe!!

Cities of Light-Islamic Spain free classroom film

Teaching with the Arts MoMA-discover Islamic art; Getty; MET; Smithsonian

University of Texas Austin has great podcsts "Not Even Past" by Christopher Rose

Bridging Cultures Bookshelf (NEH/ALA??)

Prince among Slaves

MEOC (I review picture books for them- Yes Yvea & Daniel that was one of those boxes of books!!)

Contemporary Issues & UNC Chapel Hill Where is the Middle East?

AND then at 4:41 p.m. we had lots of thunder & lightening & rain!!!

When we walked back to the main building it was sprinkling but the ground was soaked & they had warned us about flash floods!!

I was nervous to use the computer or phone & left them unplugged all night.  We had a light dinner of chicken & vegetables  with rice then we went over to hear about th Qur'an with Dr. Gavin Pickins.  He introduced himself: originally from England & lives in Middle East.  He has a ton of degrees & tons of teaching experience but all of a sudden ALL the power went OUT! And there we were in the dark!! They rigged up some emergency lights & Dr. Pickens write on the board & eventually the lights came back on. He meticulously talked about Qur'an...compared to other monotheistic religions & described the parts of Qur'an-part written in Mecca & part in Medina...he will speak on other days...

My notes are a little scattered!! Yeah I was totally in the dark.

OH they gave us 6 books and a Qur'an & I am thinking how will I cart them home when they told us last night they can ship the books to us!!!

Well finally at 8:30 p.m. we came back to the bunk room 2 & I was thinking...hmmm....what to do: read one of my murder mysteries, actually read some of the background material, go to the outside shower even if raining?, or...but before I could think any further ALL THE LIGHTS went out (hey it does sound like a murder mystery!)

The electricity came back early in the morning (around 4 a.m.) Interesting I did not even think about a rain coat or umbrella I was too worried about being too HOT!

Well I took a shower in a teeny tiny shower around 6:30 - it would only be big enough for Logan!!  And now I am thinking of checking out breakfast...the program starts at 9:00 a.m. Because of the rain I am thinking I will just stay here over the weekend..not try to go to Santa Fe & face flash floods!!!...besides we are going into Santa Fe one afternoon as a group...

If it gets stormy again I will probably not be using the computer...DRAMA...

But I will take notes (hopefully not too scattered) & will continue to let you know if there are snakes, flash floods or anything else unexpected in New Mexico!!!

Miss you!


Friday August 1, 2014

So far today is sunny with a cool breeze (about 70)  so I walked all around the buildings before going to the announcements. The clouds are so big & close seems like you can touch them.  The mountains are really interesting too, some jagged, some round & covered with little trees. It's dry here cuz we are at a high elevation. Several people talked about driving (actually the terrors of driving) on the  roads-there is one all weather road that had stones on it so you won;t get stuck in the mud like the other road that is clay! I m pretty sure I am not going to leave this weekend! 

During the announcements at 8:45 this morning we were told that the group picture will be tomorrow @ 8:45..seems a tad early!!!

9 a.m. Dr. Khaliid Blankenship is from Temple U & lived for several years in Egypt. He talked about the life of Mohammed. He had a power point & read all the many points on each slide. I felt really sleepy. I will read the two books on Mohammed that they gave us.  A few points Mecca had only about 5000 people (which sounds pretty big to me for an ancient city no one had ever heard of).  House of God built by Adam, restores by Abraham, etc is spelled Kabah.

Main Islam teaching:

1 God

Socioeconomic justice for all

Existence of last judgement

Hey let me know if you want me to send you the power point!!!

After a short break @ 10:40 Maria Dakate spoke about Women in Islam-right away she deconstructed the title!! She is an interesting & clear speaker. She described how some of the Arabian tribes may have been matriarchal or women may have had many husbands, many saw women as a liability & there was baby girl infantcide.

For Mohammed women were most important people in his life: wives & daughters.

Purpose of marriage to comfort & love (not to have children)

His wives were called "Mothers of Believers" & he treated his wives well. Early recorders CHOSE to write about the women in Mohammed's life.

 Qur'an makes the strongest statement of any religious texts about the strength & worth of women...but also establishes the SOCIAL differences between men & women.

Adam & Eve in Qur'an both told not to eat apple, both ate, both were immediately repent....not Just Eve like in Bible.

On SOCIAL Issues Qur'an often seems ot speak only to men. Examples to look up 33:35; 9:71; 30:21; 58:1; 4:3; 4:34  once I figure out how to look up stuff in Qur'an..they gave us two! but I have not figured out the organizational system yet.

My questions are: is there research/book compare & contrast women status & roles in various religious texts? Is there current research about women's roles, status. legal standing comparing women in these historical text written by men & the laws & social context of women today that is decided by mainly male political & religious groups??

For lunch we had delicious sandwiches & salad.  I did not go to the Friday prayer but maybe I will go to one next week. I ate with David who lives in Texas & used to be a police officer but now he is a deacon at a Catholic Church & also works with students & Gavin the speaker from yesterday who is originally from England. It is Gavin's first time in the "States" & he is surprised how different we are..he has only been to Houston & here in New Mexico!

There is a weather forecast of Thunderstorms around 3 & that is when we go back for another program. So I ill send this now & hopefully will not be in the dark later tonight!!!

around 3:30 Friday Just a few sprinkles of rain, big grey clouds toward the mountains & fluffy whlte clouds behind our meeting building& a little thunder but lights stayed on!

The panel consisted of Blakenship & Picken (from England) moderated by Susan Douglass (who has all the curriculum resources) books mentioned-Imagined Communities by Anderson & Myth of Religious Rivals by Cavennah (sp?)

It was not a very good panel though the information was important Blankenship basically talked & showed off!  He also made some very cruel remarks about the country of Serbia-Croatia history which really upset one of the participants..she was crying before dinner & said her husband's family was from there & the guy's words were really mean & hurtful..she almost thought about leaving & going home. (She OK today, though) 

We had a really delicious dinner of lasagna & salad & then went to the

evening lecture @ 6:45 pm. Hadith by Maria Dakate..Hadith are collected material that goes with the Qur-an..sort of explanation & details.

First she mentioned 2006 speech by Pope Benedict in Regenburg about Islam not a religion (I think) so Muslim groups wrote him & said let's sit down & talk & he didn't answer so they wrote Protestant leaders who responded then the Vatican responded too & since 2007 the Common Word Movement has been meeting @ Yale University to discuss ecumenical stuff...

For background she explained "sunneh" traditions form time of Prophet; "badh?" not good; oral culture as many Arabs were suspicious of writing.

Around the 8th century scholars began to collect & write about things Prophet said or did

Oral traditions were recorded in these Hadith..like a citation?

They went all over Egypt, Arabia, Corfu "journey for the sake of knowledge" to collect these

Scholars also wrote sort of biographical dictionaries - this was literature in Arabic at the time..

9th & 10th Century collections began to be organized by topics

1. Hadith Rituals on how to pray

2. Holy/Sacred Hadith that are communication from God thru the Prophet but are not in the Qur'an & are theological & usually beautiful

3. Social Issues like marriage 

4. Ethics like hospitality rules

5. Personal dress like only women can wear gold, silk & linen

6. Explaining commentary on Qur'an

7. What happens at the end of the world "mahdi" 

8. Merits of specific people "ansar"

Prophet said "differences in my community are a blessing."

When we got back to the main building Program Director Rehana's mom asked us to wait & not go right to bunk room as she had a surprise after prayer. Well is was Rehana's birthday & her mom had cakes & cookies for everyone!  It was really nice.

Later I tried not to scratch the mosquito bites..I must be very very sweet..& have them on my feet!?!?!


Saturday August 2, 2014

I woke up early Saturday & went to the outdoor shower which is really in a building!

I also asked the kitchen for some baking soda for these darn bites!!

Every morning we have yogert & fresh made granola & fruit & bacon (there are eggs too if you want custom made by Rehana's brother! who also helps with all the technology).

8:45 we went to the courtyard near the library for a group photo (this is the 25th year of the Institute). the two women who are filming took photos & one told us a scary story about what happened to them a week ago.  They were looking for a campground/play area near Army engineers place & they had gone swimming first,  They parked & asked a guy named Bob about a good spot to bring little kids & they heard a pop & noticed their car very slowly moving..like a mirage...one ran around to get in the driver side & the other ran with Bob Toward the car. then it started going faster..but she got part way in but then it sped down an incline & tossed her out & ran over her!!!  But then it really sped up so the other lady & Bob ran fast cuz they were worried if kids might be at the playground...suddenly Bob looked bad so the woman told him to stay & she chased the car BUT suddenly it hit a huge van (I think) smashed into side & exploded all it's glass!!! then the woman called 911 & said "WE have three emergencies!" So they sent 2 ambulances, a fire truck, etc.

So Bob had only 1/2 lung that was why he couldn't run.  At the hospital the woman had a broken ankle & they showed her shirt had tire tracks on it.  this happened June 25 but they are hear filming for the institute!! And they said of all the communitees they know here the two that right away offered food, $$, assistance were this Muslim community & the Shikh community near here.  All during the story they were taking photos so who knows how they will turn out!!!!

So we got to our first program about 20 minutes late!

9:20 Gavin Picken talked about Islam Law & Jurisprudence

Guide thru life

1. metaphor like a watering place: refresh & quenches thrist

2. metaphor cleanses from ignorance

Like a camel finds water & seeks it out


might be compared to Constitution & Supreme Court?

1. Collective rulings-collective knowledge

2. know legal rulings in Islamic law

3. legal theory-HOW to decide something

In Qur'an about 6200 texts only 500 are specifically about legal materials


Two kinds of law

1. Unchanging like pray 5X a day

2. New cases like can we use internet


Analogical Deduction 

1. original case & well know ruling

2. new case

3. common factor in both cases


Categories of rulings

1. Complusory must do religious reward or punishment

2. Recommended 

3. Prohibited murder etc

4. Reprehensible not to do fasting

5. Permissible flexibility, open


Why Islamic Law exists

1.  Preservation of life

2. Preservation of religion

3. Preservation of wealth

4. Preservation of Intellect

5. Preservation of Honor


We had a tiny break & then learned about several religious leaders who lived during the colonial period of the Middle East.  Dr. Picken said that the Ottoman Empire was power, wealth etc but then the colonial period started & people had to develop survival mechanisms.

Orientalism-how West viewed East

Four Survival strategies

1. Scriptural Traditionalism: take religion at face value no rational input

2. Scholastic Traditionalism: long time traditions continue

3. Traditional popular religious practices

4. Reform Islam post colonial response: modernize 


1878 British in Cyprus

1908 Oil discovered in Persia

1938 Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia

1918-22 Defeat Ottoman Empire 400 years


Al-Azhar University religious until Nazzar 1961 added secular classes


Genealogy of Terror

1. JAmal al Afgham 1838-1897

Renew, reinvent Islamic traditions

2. Mohammed Abduh 1849-1905

Grand Muffa of Egypt: had both idea AND Power

Make Islam fit with modern world

3. Mohammed Rashid Rida 1865-1935 from Syria

Reform & reinterpert

blamed imitation of past on weak Islam (vis a vis the West)

4. Hassan al Banna 1906-1949 assassinated

Founded Muslim Brotherhood

5. Sayyid Qutb 1906-1966

thought Americans Primitive

Reflection on what Qur'an means Author & teacher

imprisoned, tortured & hung

Brother Mohammed Qutb had students/acquaintence Ayman Zawahiri  Osama bin LAden etc influence on Al Qaeda & Jihad


YIKES!! the seeds of colonialism coming home to roost???

then we had a small group meeting with Gavin Picken to talk about the theological quotes in Qur'an.  We went ot the courtyard near the library which was warm, breezy & pleasant. I am worn out & it as mainly religious philosophical discussion which become repetitious to me!  But then they mentioned right hand good, left hand bad & I spoke up & said that need revision!!


Basically the Prophet

1. Recites the revelation

2. Teaches/instructs the revelation

3. Interprets the revelation

4. Purifies followers both spiritual & physical


Gavin noted that teachers all recite, instruct & interpret


Then we had lunch which I know Yvea would have loved: vegetarian spicy OH well!!Many of the teachers went to Taos or other driving adventures but I am going to stay here all weekend..On Sunday nite we have a group dinner & then the whirlwind program starts again Monday morning.  

Are you enjoying all these facts??? I am not even trying to get down the Arabic..Donnie should be here!

I like program so far & hope things continue to be interesting...& lots of resources to take back to schools...

have a fun weekend...No I am not going to sit around & read Qur'an & Hadiths & homework...I brought a couple murder mysteries!!! 


Sunday August 3, 2014

Evening meeting @ 6:45

Spiritual foundations of Islam with Maria Dakake

Religion not just have people conform but also TRANSFORMING self, community, world

1. Gabriel Haddith-Fate

2. Stuff to do like fast, prayer, etc

3. Virtue worhsip god as if you see him


After I walked around the building & got a nice photo of moon over the mosque. 


Monday August 4, 2014

Got up early & went to outdoor shower. Nice cool morning. 

After a yummy breakfast with homemade granola (freshly made!) & yogert & turkey bacon & fruit I headed over to meeting. I am taking computer today to take notes. this is the last day we will have 4 different workshops.

Early Islamic History-Blankenship

5th & 6th century before Islam

1. Early formative period Caliphate til 861

2. Mideval states

3. 1800-present 

Byzantine/Roman  Justinian 527-565

Lawgiver, Christian Hagia Sophia, warrior

Sasanian Persian Empire 224-651

Zoroastrian, similar to Bzysantine/Roman, not more despotic

Hagia Sophia..Muslim 1063..museum

4th Ecumenical council of Chalcedon 451

arrest Egyptian patriarch 

The Roman Pope was only 1 of 5 Patriarchs in view of Roman Emperor

Rome (Sts. Peter and Paul), the only Pentarch in the Western Roman Empire (now Italy). 

Constantinople (St. Andrew), in the Eastern Roman Empire (now Turkey) 

Alexandria (St. Mark), in the Eastern Roman Empire (now Egypt) 

Antioch (St. Peter), in the Eastern Roman Empire (now Turkey) 

Jerusalem (St. James), in the Eastern Roman Empire (now Israel) 

Roman-Persian War 603-628

both lost a lot & weakened in long series of wars

so opened way for Muslim Conquest

Lots of religious Apocalpse expectations end of the world, 

Population decline hard to estimate

Roman Empire lost population

Constantinople went from 500,000 to 50,000 by 750

Lack of resources for governments due ot lack of population

Islam revealed c. 609 Prophet died 632

Islam grew in chaotic environment of early 7th century

real dark ages lack of materials/information/dearth of literary production (except for China) 500-1000 

740 end of Muslim State forever..& end of early expansion


Maybe ROman & Persian military went over to Muslim but not know

syria strength one caliphate was in charge for 40 years..stability

Gypsies came from India & were originally military caste during this time

Sumarta in Persia & inducted into Muslim Army in 700s

New cities & provinces: important centers of learning & culture

Muslim fleet for wider trading & conquest: China, Africa & southeast Asia: Muslim seafarers were dominant in India Ocean

Madagascar settled 2000 years ago

Rulers pictures on coins in Byzantine & Persian empires-early Muslim coins had Arabic inscription

692 roman coin not have cross but have Christ with cross behind head...Muslims rejected & made own coin with picture of caliph & back has pole (not cross) inscription in Arabic

696 Muslim coins have ONLY writing, no images

Warfare only in certain seasons, usually just between soldiers, regular people usually not harmed as caliphate wanted to tax them

Dome of the Rock 692 oldest standing Muslim Building; oldest Qur'an inscription


Visagoth Spain only one battle

Umayyed Mosque 700s

Before 750 China & Caliphate were two major powers

740 north African Berbers revolt & downfall of Caliphates 


750-908 Abbasaid (other periods military ruled in their name) names were messianic; came to power on strength of religious ideology" the very generous, the victorious, the rightly guided...rule faded when they could not deliver on messianic claims?


Al-Mansur 754-775


Bagdad new capital in 763 .. circular city based on Iranian model


Muslim civilization marked by book publishing after 800-explosion of book publishing

All of ancient texts/authors could be read in one lifetime....

Muslim has lot more writing (at least 100 to 10,000 times more) than classic Greek & Roman: Literature, prose, poetry ,science, medical writings, geography, religious commentaries on Haddith, law etc.

1 or 2% of early & medieval people were literate

793 introduction of paper from China led to greater production of writing..maybe literacy went up to 3-4%

First ethnic groups to join Islam: Berbers of North Africa, Iranians, 1/5 of Muslims speak Arabic

45% Black; 5% white; 30% all other people: 44% of all Africans, 26% of all Asians; 5% of all Europeans

Muslim rulers not often admired..not usually celebrated, not much liked, dispensable

Arabic common language Muslim Jewish Christian developed great civilization-Baghdad House of Wisdom


POlitical disenigration of Caliphate 800-by 877 very little except Iraq; & Iraq overrun & final lost of caliphate 9--

not centralized in Baghdad

By year 1000 can see :Kingdom of England, Poland, France..but is Muslim is more families/dynasties not nation states...

Cultural & religious flourished & spread not part of political desinigration: Arabic religious language; Persian for literature & poetry

-->People of the House/Prophets household: Sunni 7/8th of Muslims today & Shite 1/8th

Mongols in western part became Muslims...

Fall of Baghdad was more symbolic..this time great classical age of Muslim in Egypt with architecture & huge production of literature

Ottoman Empire united this world & ended the Roman empire..capital Constantinople/Istanbul 1453 largest Muslim state since the caliphate...


Turkey "secular" model for state dominance over the religion

World War 1 German thought Muslims in British colonies would revolt so devised jihad..but they didn't..Ottoman Empire lost 25% of population in World War 1 a lot from starvation?


Lots of interesting historical facts...went back to bunk room to rest until 3:30. We met for  1 1/2 hours with Blankenship to talk about the Haddith & rested then a quiet dinner..Yvea you would love the food here!! I walked around the building after dinner & them came for the evening workshop.

6:45 Sr. Gavin Pickins Islamic View of Justice & Jihad

Places Jihad in legal framework: standardize in legal framework-in context

Cow verse Khalifah (carry on from a descendant??):caliph - God said will put caliph on earth-1st man Adam

as descendant of Adam-->everyone has responsiblity to represent God on earth

one of 99 names of God is Adam/Justice-->part of being human establish Justice

Truth is bitter...tell truth...justice for rich & poor..Justice=equity

in ancient times people entrusted things to a "trusted" tribal member: Mohammed was one of these people

Social responsibilty to act if see something wrong

Justice is 1st virtue of social institutions as truth is a system of thougth

Social Justice UN fair & compassionate distribution of fruits of economic growth

Social Justice in Open World UN


dictionary definition of Jihad..war or struggle against unbeliever

spiritural struggle within oneself 

Natural tension in world tribal society fear in people; fight over water; safe haven (Mecca)

IN certain months NO fighting, 11th, 12th, 1st & 7th months of lunar year

"God does not guide people who are corrupt."

State of War: Medina did not want to fight-had relatives in Mecca, etc.

Companions of Prophet: If people attack can defend self but if peaceful should be peaceful back.

Trust in God.

Now live in nations states, treaties, UN, defined borders-differnet atmosphere

Jihad in Modernity Sayyid Qutb 1906-1966 Egyptian reformer commentary on Qur'an very clever; dynamic reading-in text apply to your situation (not historical, traditional interpretation): modern revivalist: warfare very selective reading of Qur'an.

Qutb says this is last revelation Q 9:20 misinterpreted & took out of context 

Why Islamic Law exists

1.  Preservation of life

2. Preservation of religion

3. Preservation of wealth

4. Preservation of Intellect

5. Preservation of Honor

Jihad is objective, not just means, no plan afterwards-when people take such action: poverty, injustice, etc. 

Multiple meanings for jihad: greater jihad (spiritual) vs. lesser jihad (warfare)

"The best form of jihad that a person struggle against his soul..for the sake of God."

Jihad of the heart to keep your heart clean...


Textual analysis of Qur'an


We had a lot of discussion on what is a global issue with the violence in the Middle East today.


Tuesday August 5

Had yummy breakfast after shower (no bugs) outdoors & then went to walk around the building. All of a sudden a little rabbit with long ears ran across the road up ahead. I looked as I wen by that part of the path then suddenly I saw the rabbit sitting in a little opening..like it was waiting for me & my camera!! It sat there for a minute or two then hopped off into the bushes.  Really reminded me of Jerry Pinkney's illustration of Tortoise & Hare!!

9 am Literature from Muslim Societies Kambiz GhaneaBassiri

wrote History of Islam in America

post 1965 muslims coming to US have been involved in post colonial issues

What is Muslim classical literature for different cultures?

Should we include Qur'an? is it literature, revelation, insider/outsider views. need tools to ask these complex questions.

If god was going to speak, what language would God speak with?

Qur'an talks about self..cannot come up with verse like this; literary techniques Qur'an justifies itself as speech of God.

Task/reason for Qur'an to be prophetic, universalizing the particular

Literature goes from particular to universal..

Question more important than answers..

-->not what makes this literature/art Islamic?

Better Questions: What does literature/art do for Muslim tradition?

Treatise on Mystical Love by Abu i'Hasan

Need language/speak metaphorically/language that speaks at many levels/Sufi

All afraid of death but love never dies-Sufi most nuanced tradition of writing about love i.e. theological issues/problems like how does God create?

Classical literature raises an issue...gives multiple ways to look at & author stands back but later come back & say what author thinks...ambiguity intentional in writing..Gazelle motif in literature & art...Gazelle attacked by lions mural

retelling of story maintain ambiguity of story...

a way of popularizing Islam..

Suns of Independence by Ahmadou Kourouma

People are in process of thinking about religion vs. culture & traditions.

Were indigenous cultures included in Islam; translated into local customs to spread Islamic religion.

Center of Islam: mosque everywhere Muslims are & have been there since the beginning-the mosques space for everyone.

Lamp of Umm Habim Egyptian story

Medicine modern & tradition...not be certain you have the right answer...

violence & knowledge; does western education change you?? What is national identity if get new knowledge from outside culture?


10:40 Islamic Art, film & classroom resources Karima Alavi

1. Grammar   1. Geometry

2. Rhetoric 2, Astronomy

3. Logic 3. Music

4. Architecture

What is sacred in culture & religion?

What is the message of the building/object?



Art for various groups..mobile art if nomadic: textiles, jewelry


Calligraphy is considered most sacred (Monks had literacy until 12th century..copying sacred text..)

Architecture: calligraphy, geometric shapes

Isfahan http://www.historicisfahan.com/

Horizontal realm: mixture of different elements: city planning with religion, government, education, commerce. Miniret (place of light) geometric patterns, use of void, light, color, Qur'an verse, decorative art-blue paradise; white stars, tiles to maximize use of sunlight, word Mohammed going up--

honeycomb: Maghara?

Hypostyle large open center area (void is important) copied from Romans..can hold large crowd

Architecture bringing order into chaotic world, facade, nave, heart & mind slow down

Haft rang 3 color heavenly realm white: spirit unity, black: soul, sandalwood

4 color earthly realm red/fire yellow/air green/water & blue/earth 

Dome on square building: beehive

All political statements:

Great Mosque of Damascus first massive mosque..was pagan site, then Roman temple to Jupiter, John the Baptist church & now mosque. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/syria/damascus-umayyad-mosque

Great mosque of Cordoba was replica of Damascus: first church now church in middle


Alhambra Palace  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra

Great Djenne Mosque of mali http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_Djenné

Vertical realm daily use: silk route influence lots of central asian influence;

tree of life in center, Chinese Mongol style 13th century, lot of animal imagery-

canteens in metal for Christian pilgrims Mary with Baby, rondales-medallions: no beginning no end & put on blessings (Chinese started doing canteens in ceramics)

Incense burner/hand warmer Egyptians had ones hang from ceiling-so made to sell to europeans so created a Gimble http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimbal so could roll handwarmer across floor & not spill fire.

Royal/court art Public relations art: hunting, battle, Courtly scenes (fresco, oil)

Textiles from central asia: geometry

Painting Mohammed Split the Moon 16th century

Scientific manuscript illustrated

Poetry 50 thousand verses 

We had a nice lunch & then I went with several teachers to a Store that was right acorss from the Post office. Teh store had a gas station $3.39 a gallon & groceries, etc lunch room area & a really nice areas with local crafts, post cards, ect YES I did get some things BUT NO i did not get the instant underware drawers...they come in a little box & you put in water & they grow?!!? BUT I did not get them for Daniel!  Then we went to the Lavender Adobe Farm which was just beautiful, small gift shop & a little tea room a little further down dirt roads...I had to send the stuff I bought cuz I could not take on plane but I did get Daniel & Yvea some lavendar salt & lavender oregano!!! Hey it's in the mail. 

When I got back here I worked on the lesson we have to present on Friday..mostly got it done!! so I can relax Weds & Thurs. 

We had really yummy chicken enchalldias  & now we are learning about more resources Silk Road, etc...

6:45 Contributions of Muslims in Reniassance, teaching materials

12th century translation movement beginning of Reniassance...

book Bazaar to  Piazza by Rosamond Mack 2002..isbn0520221311 looks good but $50+ !!!!

Qur'an 96 1:5 first revelation was about reading & writing & recitation

Haddith Those who leave home in search of knowledge walk the path of God.

Seek ye knowledge form cradle to grave.

Seek ye knowledge even unto China.

Encouraged to study is religious obligation

Baghdad (founded 750) House of Wisdom (830) : translation center people all over the world..scholars paid in gold...they got paper from China-->in battle of Talse (751)

Mongols  (1258)wiped out Baghdad & scholars went to Spain

Baghdad center of trade & scholarship...silk Road..all led to Baghdad...created HOuse of Wisdom..scholars & exchanged written materials with leaders...

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