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The Story of Embracing GENED 1087

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The Story of Embracing GENED 1087

By: Hasan Quadri
(View As a PDF)

How is it that I, a non-Arabic speaker, feel an immense emotional, yet immaterial, relatedness with my faith as I interact with expressions that I do not understand on a daily basis? Why is it that I experience the semblances of an intimate community while being surrounded by unfamiliar crowds? In what ways do I (and those I will never get the benefit of meeting) simultaneously experience and interpret faith traditions? How do others experience Islam through the Arts?

Well aware of how my perception of faith is largely colored by my direct experiences, I have always felt drawn to learn from those quite different from me. While I often associated this concept of “different” with those of other faith traditions, I now can acknowledge that far too often I overlooked that there are varying interpretations within Islam in itself. I never placed myself in environments where I questioned my experiences with my faith—I was either surrounded by people completely different than me while attending a Catholic High School or people very similar to me, having grown up within five minutes from my primarily Sunni masjid for the majority of my youth. What happens when I face an intermediary between the two—will I find my experiences of faith to prove to be dynamic?

This course, conveniently named, has (gently) pushed me to rethink my perception of faith and religion through a multisensory analysis of Islam. Through the subsequent six portfolios, I hope that you, my audience, can follow my transformation facilitated by Professor Asani, Aaron Viengkhou, as well as my fellow peers, both inside and outside of this course.

However, just before we turn the key and start our engines to begin this story, a preface is in due order. From the get-go, the methodology used to analyze Islam must be defined. Without a well-defined approach to analyzing Islam, one cannot replicate this approach for other religions. Are we taking into account the theology of Islam? What about the context surrounding Islam? How do individuals’ identities outside of Islam play roles in their interpretations of Islam?

Preface

I have paired my blog posts into groups of two, each with the intent of highlighting a specific development through my progression in this course. Tying into the theme of a “Story”, each pairing is grouped as a chapter. This course, grounded in the cultural studies approach, emphasizes the context surrounding an event. The context in this understanding is a very broad category and includes, but is not limited to economic, cultural, social, political, literary, and artistic lenses. Highlighted within one of the very first readings of the semester, Professor Asani writes in his book Infidel of The Love:

 “Religions are shaped by a complex web of factors, including political ideologies, socioeconomic conditions, societal attitudes to gender, educational status, literary and artistic traditions, historical and geographical situations—all of which are inextricably linked in influencing the frameworks within which sacred texts, rituals, and practices are interpreted. It is a framework through which we can deepen our understanding of religious tradition by recognizing that they are internally diverse and constantly in flux.” (7)

Hence, this Story of Embracing GENED 1087 explores my own personal deeper understanding of the various contexts that allow for different interpretations of Islam. It first begins with my initial interpretations, gradually expands to alternative ideas rooted in concrete contexts, and concludes with transcendent experiences, albeit completely unbeknownst to me before this course. Without further ado, here are the portfolio creative responses.

Chapter 1: Rudimentary Recipes & Reflective Recitations

What is Islam and who is a Muslim?

While the answer to this question might initially seem fairly simple, if you were to ask different people, Muslim or not, this question can give you very diverse answers. Is it that Islam is a growing monotheistic religion based on the Quranic Scripture and founded by Muhammad, and a Muslim follows it? What does it mean to follow Islam? Does failing an aspect of Islamic tradition task automatically prevent someone from being a Muslim? And… whose Islam are we using? Is it what is conveyed in popular media? Is it based on local Imams in Masjids?

My first response (response 1) seeks to highlight the many conflicting interpretations of Islam and what it means to be a Muslim, all through the medium of drawing. Rooted in readings from the first chapter of Professor Asani’s book Infidel of Love, is an analogy from Barbara Petzen who compares the various interpretations of Islam to a Chef in a kitchen with ingredients: “The ingredients represent the core ideas, or principles, of a religious tradition, while the chef represents a person interpreting the tradition within her own context”, as “a different chef would cook the same ingredients with an entirely different recipe” (Asani 24).

After both reflecting on my understanding, as well as the reading’s explanation of the key universal “ingredients” in Islam, I was motivated to depict a kitchen that these different “chefs” could approach. Ultimately, by using the “recipe”, yet simultaneously adding their interpretations based on each “chef’s” context (akin to the cultural studies approach), there can be these different conflicting interpretations. In other words, the alternating analyses of Islam are initiated by an individual’s usage of the different proportions of “ingredients”.

Henceforth, my natural inclination for the next response (response 2) was to depict my personal experience of Islam through the arts—in my case, through the voice of recitation. In other words, this next response is my take… when I am the chef. Perhaps my interpretation is the byproduct of constantly gravitating around my local masjid (the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati), whether through daily prayers, youth programming, Quran competitions, or even interfaith and interfaith basketball tournaments hosted annually by the masjid. Nevertheless, with this next portfolio, I wanted to convey how, despite my physical distance from my local masjid at home with school, I still felt connected to being at “home” through the voice of recitation—the medium for my second portfolio.

Listeners can hear Hafiz Furqan, as recited this past Ramadan (2022), invoke a supplication (dua) during a prayer. With this response, I sought to convey how the art of recitation is one of the ways that I, and many other different communities, interact with the Quran as a sacred text—one of the very themes for Week 2. Explained throughout the post is the explanation of the concept of weeping—one of the many rules rooted directly in Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s “External Rules of Qur’an Recitation”.

Together, both creative responses 1 and 2, directed from Weeks 1 and 2 respectively, highlight my initial understanding of using the cultural studies approach to analyze Islam through the arts. Here, I sought to convey my primary opening ideas entering this course, which are broad understandings of different concepts of Islam, largely rooted in my own experiences.

Chapter 2: Silenced ‘Secrets’

This next chapter is centered around what I call silenced “secrets”—in other words, alternative perspectives that I did not have much exposure to before this course. With the creative response for week 6 (response 4), I wanted to illustrate the impact of Loud Islam on individuals, ultimately leading to “silenced Islam”, all in the guise of aid, through the medium of graphic design.

I found it particularly stimulating and thought-provoking when learning about the concept of erasing culture—primarily because I felt the effect of its actions. Without this course, I would not have been exposed to the duality of “Loud Islam” and “silenced islam”—while I directly experienced the strife between these two concepts internally, I did know how to describe the difference (in words) between the Islam portrayed by popular western media, and the personal islam I felt when listening to recitations as shown in the second creative response. Specific readings such as the article in the Turkish Times article titled “Erasing Culture: Wahhabism, Buddhism, Balkan Mosques” as well as Gülru Necipoğlu’s The Topkapi Scroll gave me the much-needed context when learning about Loud vs silenced islam.

I sought to broaden my horizon, using this creative response as context for the others in this “chapter”, to explore the “silenced” individualistic islam experienced in Shia Islam. As shown in the first creative response, though I had a basic conceptual understanding of the differences between Shia and Sunni Islam, this course taught me about how Shia theology developed in the context of martyrdom and worldly defeat—an alternative perspective that I would not have had exposure to without this course.

Hence for my response for week 5 (response 3), I chose to use photography as my media for this portfolio. Depicted is an image of an ice-cold glass of water under the sun on a hot summer day. The bottom half of the photograph is dominated by sizzling sand, whereas the top half of the photograph emphasizes the shining sun and its glare to viewers. Using the readings “Martyrdom of Husayn” and Peter Chelkowski’s book Ta’zeiyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, I was able to understand the context of Shia Islam—an alternative perspective/interpretation of Islam that I was not quite familiar with.

I sought to incorporate these ideas in this creative response, for example, the glass of ice water represents the perspective of Hussain’s intercession to those who participate in this ta’ziyeh, with the understanding that Hussain will quench their thirst on an incomprehensibly hot day of the Day of Judgement—a Shia concept explained in this class that I would not have the context to understand.

When combined, both creative responses #3 and #4 highlight my shift from initially understanding different interpretations in Islam from my own direct experiences, into an intermediate stance—one where based on my concrete knowledge I could begin to understand alternative interpretations. Yet, as seen in the next “chapter”, this too shall expand.

Chapter 3: The Pursuit of Knowledge of the Unknown

Towards the latter half of the course, we explored concepts associated with mysticism and primordial experiences. Unlike concepts from earlier portions of the course, I no longer had any true background in understanding these ideas.

One of the most influential texts that I have come in contact with is Aṭṭār’s The Conference of the Birds. Correspondingly, I found it important to dedicate a portfolio to primarily this text alone, by emphasizing key concepts found in the book that can explain different movements of reform in Islam. With this creative response (response 5), I sought to convey an idea key to Sufism Mysticism in that human love is a stepping stone to divine love. In this instance, I used drawing as my medium of choice, where depicted a nightingale bird viewing its reflection in a mirror, as Aṭṭār’s nightingale-rose symbol has drawn popularity and is a common reference in other poetry—those found in Iqbal’s The Complaint. This marks, what I see as, a significant transformation facilitated by this course. Now, I was able to gradually progress from only being able to recognize interpretations of Islam from MY experiences, into being able to recognize alternative perspectives without focusing on my concrete encounters.

Altogether, each one of these previous five creative responses culminates in my last and final response (response 6) titled “Knowledge”. When reflecting on this course as a whole, the emerging idea that I drew from the readings, lectures, and section discussions is my understanding of Islam is embodied by the idea of the pursuit of knowledge of the unknown. This idea was eloquently described by Iqbal, albeit controversial (during his time) in The Complaint and Answer (Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa) where Sir Muhammad Iqbal writes, “Infidels who live like Muslims surely merit faith’s reward” (Iqbal 48). In my final creative assignment (and very much representative of my journey in this class), I discovered how Islam is a path centered around people taking great strides to live enriching lives, centered around learning—the pursuit of knowledge. An idea that unites my individualistic islam away from my direct experiences, but rather an immense physical yet immaterial conquest—one only possible through encountering the arts. So, to answer the question I proposed at the beginning of this story: when placed in an environment like this course where I could question my experiences with faith, I find myself learning about myself, my faith, and something new in the process—in this case, trust in transcendent experiences.

Knowledge — Week 11

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Title of Portfolio:

“Knowledge”

Description of Portfolio:

I chose to use a graphic design as my media for this portfolio for Week 11. Depicted are two separate paths. The one on the right depicts typical “nation states” (with Islam) and their stagnant search for knowledge on a plateau. The one on the left depicts true islam with individuals being on the frontier of knowledge, constantly fighting to reach the top of this mountain.

Explanation of Portfolio:

A central theme found in Week 11 is Islam cannot be used as an all inclusive form of identity, and that religion is just one part of people’s identity. Correspondingly, Week 11 focusses on Sir Muhammad Iqbal with the creation of Pakistan, a nation-state. Controversially in Complaint and Answer (Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa)Sir Muhammad Iqbal writes, “Infidels who live like Muslims surely merit faith’s reward” (Iqbal 48). Iqbal, a man who was influenced by European thinkers, envisaged a new intellectually centered Muslim Individual. His work demonstrates a perplexing issue: perhaps “infidels”, typically thought of in his time to be the very European thinkers he grew up learning from, are more “Muslim” than those who practice Islam in Indian Subcontinent. Iqbal bases this reasoning largely on the idea of the pursuit of knowledge, demonstrating that his interpretation of Islam is to be on the frontier of knowledge, as opposed to plateauing in the establishment of nation-states to justify his rule. This is why, in my opinion, Iqbal goes on to later write in The Answer: “Are true Muslims to be found in any place?” (Iqbal 53).

I sought to incorporate this jarring ideology that Islam is centered around the pursuit of happiness in my graphic design by describing two different paths. The one on the left is a difficult, but tantalizing path whose emphasis is on the “Frontier of KNOWLEDGE” as written in red text on the mountain. This is the path that likely Iqbal found Islam to be, one where individuals are seeking more intellectually-enriching lives, without the premises or limitations subject to justify a countries jurisprudence. I sought to emphasize that this is not the easy path, but rather one where people must take great strides, as represented by the two mountain climbers working together.

Meanwhile, the second path on the right, is my take on what Iqbal’s perspective would be on the establishment of nation-states. Here, written in red text is the idea of the “Stagnant Search for Knowledge” as written along the plateau of this mountain. Depicted is also a flag of several world countries, in the proclamation that many nation-states make in asserting their dominance. A fun nuance is also the mentions of islam (with a lowercase i) for the path on the left, as opposed to Islam (with an uppercase I) on the right to symbolize the course theme of silenced vs. mainstream Islam, where I seek to show that Iqbal’s path is a definite deviation from the norm. This is my interpretation on the paths demonstrated by Iqbal in The Complaint and Answer, as highlighted for Week 11.

Reflection — Week 10

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Title of Portfolio:

“Reflection”

Description of Portfolio:

I chose to use a drawing as my media for this portfolio for Week 10. Depicted is a nightingale bird that is standing on a tree branch and that is looking at its reflection in a mirror that is on the branch. Visible intense light is reflected that the bird is stunned by, located between the nightingale bird and the mirror.

Explanation of Portfolio:

This drawing connects to Farīd al-Dīn ʻAṭṭār’s The Conference of the Birds, which many themes key to Sufism Mysticism are found central within the book. This includes, but is not limited to, the idea that human love is a stepping stone to divine love. This divine love, however, is only possible by letting go of human nafs or worldly desires, hence furthering one’s connection to God. Various birds have different attachments of vices that prevent them from finding spiritual realization, including attachments to love, beauty, pleasure, temporary worlds, material wealth, arrogance, worldly power, limited world view, material possession, and even the identity of being insignificant. Eventually, towards the end of these birds’ journey, are they able to finally view the mystical Simorgh. Here, Simorph replies, “‘I am a mirror set before your eyes, / And all who come before my splendor see / Themselves, their own unique reality” (Aṭṭār Lines 4249-4251).

In my drawing, I sought to depict a nightingale bird viewing its reflection in a mirror to the right of the image. Instead of drawing thirty birds that the text references successfully made it to view Simorgh, I wanted to draw the very first bird mentioned in The Conference of the Birds. It appears that Aṭṭār’s nightingale-rose symbol has drawn popularity, and is a common reference used in many different poems, for example Iqbal writes in The Complaint, “Why must I attentive heed the nightingale’s lament of pain” / Fellow-bard, am I a rose, condemned to silence all of the way?” (Iqbal 3).

Given the centrality of this nightingale-rose conflict, I decided to draw the nightingale finally viewing its reflection in the mirror, emphasizing how this entire time, the divine love it sought to finally search for, in actuality, has always been with the bird the entire time.  The reflection of the mirror, though unavailable to the viewer, is overwhelming to the bird. This connects to the idea that only the bird itself can experience the divine Simorgh in The Conference of The Birds. I attempted to symbolize the great divine love by means of Nur or light. In my image there are multiple yellow lines originating from the mirror that overwhelm this bird. Altogether, given Week 10’s emphasis that Islamic poetic tradition is rich, with a focus on movements of reform and revival in contemporary Muslim societies, Aṭṭār’s The Conference of the Birds is the paragon of this poetic tradition. Correspondingly, I sought to dedicate a portfolio to primarily this text alone, by emphasizing key concepts found in the book that can explain different movements of reform in Islam.

Recitation — Week 2

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Title of Portfolio:

“Recitation”

Description of Portfolio:

I chose to use a recording as my media for this portfolio for Week 2. This is a dua, or prayer of supplication, recited this past Ramadan (2022) during the last ten nights. Listeners can hear Hafiz Furqan invoke this dua during Witr prayer, a sunnah prayer that takes place after Isha but before Fajr Prayer, that is typically the last prayer at the culmination of devotion to God.

Explanation of Portfolio:

A central theme in Week 2 is the ways that different communities interact with the Qu’ran as a sacred sound, specifically with the art of recitation. While this audio recording is a dua and not necessarily direct textual scripture from the Qu’ran, many of the phrases derived within this extended dua come from the Qu’ran itself. Directly listening to this recording, just as Michael Sells writes in Approaching the Qu’ran, one can experience “the complex Qu’ranic sound patterns and the relation of sound to meaning–what we might call the ‘sound vision’ of the Qu’ran-are brought out and cultivated in Qu’ranic recitation” (Sells 16). It is this hymnic pattern, often created on the spot by the reciter, that allows for the close and intimate experience many listeners feel. The repetition of certain phrases or pleas to God, emphasize their value amongst the reciter.

As a result of this unique recitation, many listeners begin to cry. While individuals like myself may not necessary understand the Arabic being recited, others during the prayer may be able to. The presence of weeping of others can cause those who do not understand to begin weeping as well. This concept directly connects to Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s sixth rule of Quranic Recitation in “External Rules of Qur’an Recitation,” where al-Ghazali writes “weeping while reading the Qu’ran is praiseworhty (mustahab)” and that “the method of bringing grief to the mind of the Qu’ran-reader is through reflecting on threats, warnings, and covenants and promises which are contained in the Qu’ran (al-Ghazali 43-44).

One of the things this audio recording fails to pick up, is the sound of many individuals, female and male alike, crying when hearing specific phrases or points within the dua. Towards the end of this dua, after a culmination of a night’s worth of prayer and repentance to God in one of these last nights of Ramadan, many people can break down into tears out of remembrance of God. This is one of the many ways that I, and many others, have experienced and interacted with the Qu’ran as a sacred sound—an idea central in Week 2.

Aid — Week 6

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Title of Portfolio:

“Aid”

Description of Portfolio:

I chose to use graphic design as my media for this portfolio for Week 6. Depicted is the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque (Begova Dzamijda) that is on the brink of complete destruction by a crane. Adjacent to the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque the text of “silenced islam”, where as next to the crane is the text of “LOUD ISLAM”.

Explanation of Portfolio:

A central theme in Week 6 is the art and architecture of masjids across various Muslim communities throughout the world. One of Gülru Necipoğlu’s central arguments in The Topkapi Scroll is that the architecture presented in these mosques have an “assumption of an inner esoteric dimension of outer artistic forms” (Necipoğlu 82). In other words, the civilization creating the art derives personal meaning to such architecture. Although there is much debate regarding the significance of Islamic architecture from both Necipoğlu and Nasr (another renowned scholar on this matter) a key subject that they would both agree upon is that the destruction of such pieces of art is a travesty.

As described in the Turkish Times article titled “Erasing Culture: Wahhabism, Buddhism, Balkan Mosques”, Michael Sells emphasizes how “under the guise of ‘reconstruction aid'”, many organizations and countries have “bulldozed major monuments” or have “gutted them and transformed the classic Balkan Muslim interiors into what one expert has called ‘hospital white’ boxes” (Sells 3). Funded by the sect Wahhabi which “propounds a version of Islam that sees all Sufism as infidelity” and “all shrine veneration” or “local pilgrimages” as “idolatry” (Sells 1), the destruction and “renovations” of such monuments is largely justified through this interpretation of Islam through the lens of Wahhabism. Given that Wahhabism is the dominant faith tradition in some countries, I sought to tie this concept to the course-wide theme of Loud Islam vs. Silenced Islam.

In fact in his article, Sells specifically emphasizes that latest example of “Wahhabi-directed annihilation” is with the “great Gazi Husrevbeg Mosque” (Sells 3). For this reason, I choose to use an image of the Gazi Husrevbeg Mosque as a symbol to demonstrate the mistreatment and destruction of individualistic, personal Islam described by “silenced Islam” by a crane that is bulldozing such sites of veneration out of the justification the mainstream beliefs described by “Loud Islam”. The ensuing illustration highlights the impact of Loud Islam onto individuals, ultimately leading to “silenced Islam”, all in the guise of aid.

 

Additional Notes:
In illustrating this idea through graphic design, I found it best to depict a cartoon facsimile of Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque. I used a combination of photoshop and images from the internet to accomplish this goal. Moreover, I adapted an image I found online cartoon from a textbook of a crane destroying a site in Jersalem as inspiration for the application of the crane to the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque. However, the drawings outside of the cartoon facsimile of Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque (including but not limited to the crane, cliff, grass, and text) were drawn by me.

Thirst – Week 5

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Title of Portfolio:

“Thirst”

Description of Portfolio:

I chose to use photography as my media for this portfolio for Week 5. Depicted is an image of an ice-cold glass of water under the sun on a hot summer day. The bottom half of the photograph is dominated by sizzling sand, whereas the top half of the photograph emphasizes the shining sun and its glare to viewers. Together, each of these elements of the photograph are meant to symbolize simultaneously the thirst of one in an arid climate like this (which could have been found in Karbala) as well as the value of the thirst-quenching water in this aforementioned situation.

Explanation of Portfolio:

One of the central themes of Shia Islam is the commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussain. Shia theology developed in a context of worldly defeat where in the 2nd Civil War Hussain, the grandson of the prophet, was beheaded after the Battle of Karbala. Throughout the “Martyrdom of Husayn”, the Miracle Play of Hasan and Hussain is depicted. Here, I noticed that there were many repeated phrases regarding water and the thirst of Hussain. One line in particular struck my eye—Hussain states “I voluntarily die of thirst to obtain a crown of glory from God. I die parched, and offer myself a sacrifice for the sins of my people, that they should be saved from the wrath to come” (Pelly 97). Later in the play, the Prophet comes down to talk to Hussain, where the Prophet states that “at present thou art thirsty, but to-morrow thou shalt be the distributor of water of Al Kausar” (Pelly 101).

This emphasis on the distribution of water and the quenching of thirst is not just any coincidence. As described in Peter Chelkowski’s book Ta’zeiyeh: Ritual and Drama in Iran, “the word ta’ziyeh literally means expressions of sympathy, mourning, and consolation”, where “because early Shi’ites viewed Hussein’s death as a sacred redemptive act, the performance of the Muharram ceremonies was believed to be an aid to salvation”, ultimately giving “them Hussein’s intercession on the day of the Last Judgement” (Chelkowski 2).

The emphasis on how Hussain can be a intercessor who is the “distributor of water of Al Kausar” (Pelly 101) is what inspired me to photograph this glass of ice-cold water in a sizzling summer day on the burning sand. When taking the photograph, I sought to align and include the scorching sun and contrast that with the nice cold glass of water. I wanted to convey the fact that to some Shi’ites, Hussain quench individual’s thirsts as the “distributor of water” (Pelly 101) hence showing “Hussein’s intercession on the day of the Last Judgement (Chelkowski 2). In other words, the glass of ice water represents Hussain’s intercession to those who participate in this ta’ziyeh—Hussain will quench their thirst on an incomprehensibly hot day of the Day of Judgement.

Recipe – Week 1

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Title of Portfolio:

“Recipe”

Explanation of Portfolio:

This drawing connects to the book Infidel of Love: Exploring Muslim Understandings of Islam, where Professor Ali Asani outlines an analogy from Barbara Petzen comparing interpretations of Islam like a Chef at a kitchen with ingredients: “The ingredients represent the core ideas, or principles, of a religious tradition, while the chef represents a person interpreting the tradition within her own context”, as “a different chef would cook the same ingredients with an entirely different recipe” (Asani 24). A central theme for Week 1 is the concept of fundamental Islamic concepts and their variety. This drawing seeks to illustrate the concept of the diversity in interpretations of Islam.

I noticed in readings that Central to the “Recipe 4 Islam” are three commonly agreed upon things:

  1. The existence of Allah
  2. The vital role of Prophet Muhammad as a Messenger
  3. The Quran as God’s Message

However, there are many other aspects that followers of Islam may have alternative perspectives. For example, between different sects of Islam there are different opinions on the validity of certain reported Hadiths, Sunnah, or even the role of Imams. For this reason, I labeled a section as “optional” and labeled these aforementioned concepts with question marks after them. The rest of the elements of this drawing seek to describe the different proportions of the same ingredients that “chefs”—interpretations—that exist within Islam.

The two Spice “Shahadah” Shakers continue this theme of alternative, often clashing perspectives on Islam, with two common versions of the Shahadah. The first is filled with the “spice” of typical Sunni Shahadah of there is “no God but Allah and Muhammad is his last prophet”. The other is filled with the “spice” of typical Shia Shahadah that contains an additional phrase that “Ali is the friend of God”.

The tray adjacent to these Spice “Shahadah” Shakers, only emphasize this divide. On a plate located on the tray, there is the text of “5 Pillars or 7 Pillars” in reference to alternative points on how many core tenants of Islam there are, as referenced from the Introduction of Infidel of Love: Exploring Muslim Understandings of Islam (Asani 11).

There is a chef’s knife to the write of the clipboard with the “recipe” that is inscribed with the text of “Esoteric Interpretation” in reference to Sufi Ideology of the mystic interpretations of Islam, as referred in John Renard’s book Seven Doors to Islam (Renard 6). There is a sticky note with questions of which definition of Muslim is true. Each of the following potential definitions are derived from Chapter 1 of Infidel of Love, in an attempt to describe who is a Muslim.

Is it that a Muslim is one who:

  1. “follows the religion of Islam” (Asani 1)
  2. “submits to the will of God” (Asani 7)
  3. “is grateful to God” (Asani 11)
  4. “adheres to the 5 pillars” (Asani 4)

This illustration seeks to highlight the conflicting interpretations, combined with the emphasis of the same core ingredients (outlined in the “recipe”), yet alternating analyses a result from different proportions of such “ingredients”.

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