4 years ago
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I am also continuing to prepare for the "Islamic Mandala" Workshop that Louise Pare and I are offering on November 13. I went to the website "Islam 101" and read about the 'Five Pillars' of Islam which are the foundation of Muslim life. I will share some of my notes with you:
1. The first pillar is Iman or Faith
The only pupose of life is to serve and obey God and is achieved through the teachings and practices of
Last Prophet, Muhammad.
2. The second pillar is Salah or Prayer
Obligatory Prayers are performed five times a day and are a link between the worshipper and God.
Prayers are said at dawn, mid-day, late afternoon, sunset and nightfall. Prayers contain verses from the
Qur'ran and are said in Arabic. They can be said in a Mosque or most anywhere. Prayers are central in
3. The third pillar is Zakah or Financial Obligations
An important principal of Islam is that everything belongs to God and wealth is held in human trust.
Zakah means both "purification" and "growth". Possessions are purified by setting aside a portion for
those in need and for society in general. Each Muslim calculates his or her Zakah individually. It
involves an anual payment of a fortieth of one's capital, excluding primary residence, car and professional
tools. A person may also give as much as he or she pleases as sadaqu-h, "voluntary charity".
4. The fourth pillar is Sawm or Fasting
Every year during the month of Ramada-n, Muslims fast from dawn until sundown, abstaining from food
drink, and sexual relations with spouses.Those who are sick, elderly, menstrating, pregnant or nursing,
or on a journey may break a fast and make up equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy
and able. Children usually begin fasting from puberty. Fasting for Muslims is mainly a method of
self-purification and self-restraint so one can be constantly aware of the presence of God.
5. The fifth pillar is Hajj or Pilgrimage
The Pilgrimage to Makkah(the Hajj) is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially
able to do so. Makkah is located in Saudia Arabia. Over 2 million people go to Makkah each year.
It begins in the 12th month of the Islamic year which is lunar and not solar so sometimes falls in Summer
and sometimes Winter.The close of the pilgrimage is marked by the festival the 'Id al Adha' which is
celebrated with prayers and exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere. This and the 'Id al
Fitr, a festive day celebrating the end of Ramada-n, are the two holidays of the Islamic calendar.
Again, I am struck by the devotion of the followers of the Religion of Islam and how the virtues of love, charity, and humility are stressed. It requires a great deal of personal commitment. It has been very interesting educating myself on 5 Pillars of Islam and seeing how devoted and commited Muslims are to serving God. As I study the Islamic Designs I can see how the religion has influenced their look. More Later.
Please join us Saturday, November 13 from 10am - 4pm at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 87 Fourth St. in Ashland for an Islamic Mandala Workshop. Together we will gain a general understanding of the religion of Islam and find deeper meaning and understanding about ourselves using Islamic mandalas and free form movement expression. Coloring mandalas connects us to our center and can bring increased awareness, balance and harmony.
Janet London is facilitating this workshop in tandem with Louise Pare, PhD. A dynamic women's spirituality and movement healing arts educator and published writer, Louise has a doctorate in Women's Spirituality from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is the director of the Center for Women's Spirituality Education and Empowerment, where she offers classes.
Janet has a Master's degree in counseling from Antioch University and currently operates London Hummingbird Arts, where she offers mandala classes and coaching.
Pre-registration is required for this workshop. Please call Janet London at 541.608.9238 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I also purchased a poetry book entitled, " The Soul of Rumi" by Coleman Barks. Rumi was a 13th Century Persian poet, philosopher and mystic of Islam (Sufi mystic). His doctrine advocates unlimited tolerance, positive reasoning, goodness, charity and awareness through love. His peaceful and tolerant teaching has appealed to people of all sects and creeds. He believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. In listening to music and turning(Whirling Dervishes) or doing sacred dance, the seeker symbolically turns toward the truth, grows through love, abandons the ego, finds the truth and arrives at the Perfect. The seeker returns from this spiritual journey with more maturity, to love and be of service to the whole creation without discrimination with regards to races, beliefs, classes, etc. I am beginning to read the poetry that is so beautiful and soulful. I will share some of the poetry that speaks to me in my next blog.