Reading the Qur’an
5 December 2017
I think over the course of the semester I have really benefitted from writing on my blog since it gave me an opportunity to reflect and engage with the course readings. I realized that when I read the readings for this class (and many other classes as well), I would always be left with so many follow-up questions. These questions varied from wondering about the reading’s meanings, implications, and contexts, to who the author was, what tools they were using, and what sources they referenced. With so many ideas left to unpack, many times I felt overwhelmed and confused by all of my thoughts and questions. My blog gave me the space and the platform to play with these questions and chew on them rather than just let them disappear and go unnoticed. I was able to formulate some of my thoughts more clearly and even articulate them into well-thought-out questions. I believe that I did a thorough job at reading texts closely and engaging with them in an appropriate manner on my blog. I think that moving forward, I want to use this writing portfolio space to continue uploading my thoughts, questions, and explorations about issues around me. Through the use of this space in Reading the Qur’an, Religion and Literature, and Monotheism, I have truly understood the value of writing about the pieces I was reading in the class. As I look back at my writing over the years (and even over the course of this semester), I am slowly realizing how my process of writing, thinking, and analyzing has changed and evolved. I still have a lot of questions just like I did when I was a first year (keep in mind I did take a 300 level Philosophy course as a freshman!). But over the years, these questions have taken different forms. I am less concerned with understanding every little detail of an article or a theory, and more concerned with how the piece fits into my understanding of the world. I tend to ask more questions about the implications prevalent. Such as implications about how the scholar views and understands the world, and how a specific work will speak in conversation with other existing work in the field. I have learned that it is questions like these that have more interesting answers.
On my blog you will see questions such as: If all interpretation is just merely an attempt, then why do it? How would communities of Muslims decide how they would structure their lives based off the Qur’an without any final interpretations? Don’t we need interpretations to dictate certain things? How can Ai’sha, the “Mother of the Believers”, a central figure in Islam, refuse to praise the person most important in the religion (Muhammed)?
I have come to the conclusion that sometimes we don’t need to answer every question. Many times it’s more valuable to continue asking questions and diving deeper into our questioning and curiosity. And thanks to this class and this portfolio space, I was given the opportunity to continue asking those questions, in an attempt to understand more fully what I was engaging with.