Today’s’ lecture started out well, the lecturers were well organized and Dr.Hamid began the lecture by introducing to us about the period of jahiliyya (ignorance) which was before the introduction of Islam by our last prophet Muhammad (Saw). The lecture had started off well and half way through the lesson I felt nostalgic because everything that was taught today I had learnt it in my Islamic classes when I was in my country and this somehow made me miss home. We were taught about the Islamic principles which revolved around ‘Aqidah’- Faith & believe, ‘Shariah’ – Islamic laws, & ‘Aqlaq’-meaning morality and ethics. For me this was a brief reminder of the prehistoric days of Islam and I really enjoyed the lecture up until the Q&A session.
In my opinion the questions asked by some students were irrelevant, sensitive and utmost unethical. I really didn’t understand the need to ask a question such as ‘is it ethical for Muslim women to wear hijab on hot climate?’ Who are we to question the ethicality of a religion that existed thousands of years ago? To me that question was unethical. Never the less, a Muslim student responded to the question by saying that Islam values women in general and treats them like queens and he gave an analogy of having two chocolates, one wrapped and the other unwrapped, and he said that everyone would definitely take the wrapped chocolate. However, his responds had not taken the right effect as some non-Muslim students felt that the chocolate analogy was offensive to them. They claimed that the unwrapped chocolate was referring to them. Unfortunately the non-Muslim students did not fully understand the wisdom behind the analogy used because as they thought the analogy was demining the non-Muslim women while the actual fact is that , the analogy was referring to the muslim women who were not adhering to the Islamic criteria for wearing hijab.
I felt that the Q&A session was heated up for the wrong reasons because of the questioning of religious principles thus sparking a heated exchange which led to religious tensions. I do not agree with lecturers taking sensitive religious questions because in today’s lecture I felt that we drifted from an ethical class to a Holly debate forum. One of the lecturers also felt offended by the analogy of the chocolate, because he also did not fully comprehend the inner meaning of the analogy. It’s time we, students, took the initiative of respecting other peoples believes, views, ideas and let them abide by their principles. Because in the long run asking sensitive questions will only create more conflicts and it will be ironic to sit in a two hour Ethical class yet behave in an unethical way. We are all here to study and it doesn’t matter what religion we have, what matters is fulfilling our duties as AiU students and following the core values of our humaniversity.
For a moment today, I really wished that we didn’t have to do religious ethics and just do any other fundamentals of ethics. Without religious ethics I think there would be no sensitivity in one’s beliefs. I hope and pray that the next lectures will be better than today.
“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a cleverer devil.” ― C.S. Lewis