salaam

right now malcolm x movie is playing on the television…

i too am thinking about what i will read during ramadan.  or more broadly goals during ramadan:

1. learn to pray.  i can fake it ;) but i dont really know the prayer.  even though i hear it five times a day every day from multiple mosques surrounding us.

2. take photos.

3. go to the sufi prayers at least twice.

4. study arabic intensely.

5. experiment with food.

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the last scene before the commercials was malcolm in mecca.

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i am also thinking about this article i read today.

here are a couple of quotes that stood out to me:

Imam Zaid Shakir was the first speaker, and talked about how our current economic system reflects a “triumph of the material over the spiritual,” in which processes of commodification have replaced individuality and spirituality with market value.  He then talked about this in the context of women, femininity and female sexuality being transformed into material commodities, and their market values become the only way that they are considered to have worth.  He also discussed ways that women end up being seen in terms of utility value, with the result that if the utility is seen to be gone, women end up being discarded.  He advocated a focus on the Divinely-given spiritual value and integrity of each person as a way to counteract the negative effects of modern economic systems on human relationships and on gendered oppression.

She mentioned in particular that Divine rizq (sustenance) is pre-determined, and that it is futile to be trying to gain more material wealth than has already been established for us (not to say that we shouldn’t have to work for what we earn, but rather that the material gains should not be our goal, as they are ultimately not in our hands.)

She talked about blindness not as a defect, or a weakness, or an obstacle to overcome, but rather as a way of being that might cause some challenges, but also allows her certain insights that sighted people might not have.  For example, she talked about how she doesn’t see the material world, and the relationship that this has to her understanding of materialism.

she doesn’t see her self as broken, and therefore does not think that she needs to be fixed.  As she said, she was made this way, and “I am comfortable with God’s creation.”  It wasn’t a romanticization of disability, but a realistic way of looking at it that understands disability not as a problem, but as a way of experiencing the world.

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malcolm will assassinated soon.

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i guess i am thinking about islam and its emphasis on human dignity and righteous behaviour and what a radical concept that is for those who are outcasts in this world.

i am also thinking about the phrase ‘spiritual confidence’.  and how that to center spiritual confidence (not arrogance) in our lives. allows for people to grow in confidence in more areas of our lives. like spirituality can be an engine (the force that generates power) for our growth.  and the engine for our confidence that we *can* grow.

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malolm is dead.

but at least he lived.

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