HUM 105 Glendale Community College Human Happiness and Feelings Journal Happiness Journal: Part One
The Situation: What makes us happy and can we make ourselves happier? For the next four weeks you will be keeping a happiness journal thinking about what brings you happiness. Once you have completed the journal, some of the ideas will be the basis for your next take-home writing assignment on the concept of happiness.
The Purpose: As we are reading Frankenstein and How to Practice we can see lots of ways that the characters and authors are addressing concepts of happiness, peace, and struggles. While the focus of this course is on the human struggle, I’m hoping that you will also end class with some strategies to feel like life is less of a struggle.
The Details: Do something each week to improve your happiness and write about your feelings. This completed assignment is worth 5 points. Just as in the case of our previous journal assignments you can write about it in a way that works best for you (type, handwritten, graphically organize, include pictures, you do you, Humanities 105 students; you do you.
Week 1: Take the character strengths test here: https://www.viacharacter.org/ (Links to an external site.). Find your four biggest strengths. Focus on using at least one each day. Write each day in your journal about what you found. Note: the test is free and you can opt out of receiving information from the organization.Week 2: This week, savor one intense experience (a good meal, a walk, a meditation, etc. once per day) write briefly about your experience. In addition, each day this week write down one thing you are grateful for and write a bit about this (no repeats allowed! Find a new thing you’re grateful for each day J). Week 3: Make time at least once this week to connect with a family member or a friend. Take the time to practice being a good listener and listen to what is going in in their life. If you aren’t able to meet in person (understandable given where we are right now in the world!), write an email or a letter to a friend or family member writing to catch up and checking in with how they are doing. After you’ve done this, write about how this made you feel. Week 4 Take one of the things we’ve done for the happiness project this semester that resonated with you and tell a friend, family member, coworker, or someone you care about this thing which has become meaningful to you. Share with them that you are going to commit to doing it each week for the rest of the semester. We’ll check in with each other at the end of the semester to see how things are going with keeping up with our happy habits
The Situation: Building on your experience from your weekly happiness project journal you’ve been keeping for the last few weeks, it is time to connect your thoughts about yourself with some of the ideas we’ve read about and art and music we’ve discussed. Even though this class is all about the human struggle recall that the many of these struggles are to achieve peace, tranquility, knowledge and truth.
The Purpose: For your assignment, expand on what you found in your happiness journal by writing about the most profoundly happy experience you had when keeping your happiness project journal. Your goal in this assignment is to answer the following question: what made the experience so profound to you and how does it connect to some of the ideas we have been discussing in class?
Part 1: It’s time to get personal while still engaging in academic scholarship! Connect your personal reflections about what brings you happiness and joy to at least two of the readings we have read in the course. One of these readings should be How to Practice and the other(s) are totally up to you. You’re welcome to bring in more than one reading and creative, out-of-the-box choices are encouraged. This section of your project should be about 1.5 pages in length. Please note: while you can definitely choose to discuss faith and religion within this essay, if you choose to do so make sure that your personal thoughts and beliefs are grounded in connections to course texts and ideas discussed in the course. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of merely discussing your personal experience with religion. Immanuel Kant would want you to be careful of this, am I right? Part 2: Your project should connect your ideas about happiness and textual connections to one work of art, architecture (building? Church? Temple?) or piece of music that we’ve discussed in class, read, about or is a part of the time periods we have discussed. Remember that thus far we have looked at the Enlightenment and Romanticism in Europe, Buddhist art and architecture Asia—especially in India and China. In this this section of your project which should be about 2 pages in length, you will want to think about finding a work of art or music that does two things:
1) it should resonate with you giving you that feeling of “yes! This speaks to me and connects to what I feel when I am living my best life and am profoundly happy!” and
2) you should feel confident enough to write about it including being able to:
write a brief summary of what is happening in the work of art or describing a building or musical work’s purpose,
analyze some of the relevant elements of the work like its use of lines, space, color, and form (more here https://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/building_lessons/elements_art.pdf (Links to an external site.))connect to its purpose,
and make a connection to how these features and the purpose connect to some of the textual evidence and personal ideas you came up with in part one of your project.
3) (bonus) consider how any relevant historical events connected to your work of art may also enhance its meaning and connect to your own life experience, the texts you’re writing about, etc. WORKING WITH EVIDENCE
Contending for Islam
Over the past century, the growing intrusion of the West and of modern secular culture
into the Islamic world has prompted acute and highly visible debate among Muslims.
Which ideas and influences flowing from the West could Muslims safely utilize, and
which should they decisively reject? Are women’s rights and democracy compatible with
Islam? To what extent should Islam find expression in public life as well as in private
religious practice? The sources that follow show something of these controversies while
illustrating sharp variations in the understanding of Islam.
Source 23.1 A Secular State for an Islamic Society
Modern Turkey emerged from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire after World War I,
adopting a distinctive path of modernization, westernization, and secularism under the
leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (see “Religion and Global Modernity” earlier in the
chapter). Such policies sought to remove Islam from any significant role in public life,
restricting it to the realm of personal devotion. They included abolition of the caliphate,
by which Ottoman rulers had claimed leadership of the entire Islamic world. In a speech
delivered in 1927, Atatürk explained and justified these policies, which went against the
grain of much Islamic thinking.
On what grounds did Atatürk justify the abolition of the caliphate?
What additional actions did he take to remove Islam from a public or political role
in the new Turkish state?
What can you infer about Atatürk’s view of Islam?
How did Atatürk’s conception of a Turkish state differ from that of Ottoman
authorities? In what ways did he build upon Ottoman reforms of the nineteenth
century? (See “The Ottoman Empire and the West in the Nineteenth Century” in
MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK
Speech to the General Congress of the Republican
[Our Ottoman rulers] hoped to unite the entire Islamic world in one body, to lead it and to govern
it. For this purpose, [they] assumed the title of Caliph [successor to the Prophet Muhammad]. . . .
It is an unrealizable aim to attempt to unite in one tribe the various races existing on the earth,
thereby abolishing all boundaries. . . .
If the Caliph and the Caliphate were to be invested with a dignity embracing the whole of
Islam . . . , a crushing burden would be imposed on Turkey. . . . [Furthermore], will Persia or
Afghanistan, which are [Muslim] states, recognize the authority of the Caliph in a single matter?
No, and this is quite justifiable, because it would be in contradiction to the independence of the
state, to the sovereignty of the people.
[The current constitution] laid down as the first duty of the Grand National Assembly that
“the prescriptions of the Shari’a [Islamic law] should be put into force. . . .” [But] if a state,
having among its subjects elements professing different religions and being compelled to act
justly and impartially toward all of them . . . , it is obliged to respect freedom of opinion and
conscience. . . . The Muslim religion includes freedom of religious opinion. . . . Will not every
grown-up person in the new Turkish state be free to select his own religion? . . . When the first
favorable opportunity arises, the nation must act to eliminate these superfluities [the enforcement
of sharia] from our Constitution. . . .
Under the mask of respect for religious ideas and dogmas, the new Party [in opposition to
Atatürk’s reformist plans] addressed itself to the people in the following words: “We want the reestablishment of the Caliphate; we are satisfied with the religious law; we shall protect the
Medressas [Islamic schools], the Tekkes [places for Sufi worship], the pious institutions, the
Softahs [students in religious schools], the Sheikhs [Sufi masters], and their disciples. . . . The
party of Mustapha Kemal, having abolished the Caliphate, is breaking Islam into ruins; they will
make you into unbelievers . . . they will make you wear hats.” Can anyone pretend that the style
of propaganda used by the Party was not full of these reactionary appeals? . . .
Gentlemen, it was necessary to abolish the fez [a distinctive Turkish hat with no brim],
which sat on our heads as a sign of ignorance, of fanaticism, of hatred to progress and
civilization, and to adopt in its place the hat, the customary headdress of the whole civilized
world, thus showing that no difference existed in the manner of thought between the Turkish
nation and the whole family of civilized mankind. . . . [Thus] there took place the closing of the
Tekkes, of the convents, and of the mausoleums, as well as the abolition of all sects and all kinds
of [religious] titles. . . .
Could a civilized nation tolerate a mass of people who let themselves be led by the nose by a
herd of Sheikhs, Dedes, Seids, Tschelebis, Babas, and Emirs [various religious titles]? . . . Would
not one therewith have committed the greatest, most irreparable error to the cause of progress
Source: A Speech Delivered by Ghazi Mustapha Kemal, October 1927 (Leipzig: K. F.
Koehler, 1929), 377–79, 591–93, 595–98, 717, 721–22.
Source 23.2 Toward an Islamic Society
Even as Kemal Atatürk was seeking to remove Islam from the public life of Turkey, a
newly formed Muslim organization in Egypt was strongly advocating precisely the
opposite course of action. Founded in 1928 by impoverished schoolteacher Hassan alBanna (1906–1949), the Muslim Brotherhood argued in favor of “government that will
act in conformity to the law and Islamic principles.” As the earliest mass movement in
the Islamic world advocating such ideas, the Brotherhood soon attracted a substantial
following, including many poor urban residents recently arrived from the countryside.
Long a major presence in Egyptian political life, the Brotherhood has frequently come
into conflict with state authorities and briefly came to power in 2012. In 1936, it
published a pamphlet, addressed to Egyptian and other Arab political leaders, that
spelled out its views about the direction toward which a proper Islamic society should
How does this document define the purposes of government?
How does the Muslim Brotherhood understand the role of Islam in public life?
To what extent was this document anti-Western in its orientation? What posture
does it advocate toward capitalism and economic development?
How might Kemal Atatürk respond to these views?
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD
Toward the Light
After having studied the ideals which ought to inspire a renascent nation on the spiritual
level, we wish to offer, in conclusion, some practical suggestions. . . .
I. In the political, judicial, and administrative fields:
1st. To prohibit political parties and to direct the forces of the nation toward the
formation of a united front;
2nd. To reform the law . . . [to] be entirely in accordance with Islamic legal practice;
5th. To propagate an Islamic spirit within the civil administration. . .
6th. To supervise the personal conduct of officials . . .
9th. Government will act in conformity to the law and to Islamic principles; . . . The
scheduling of government services ought to take account of the hours set aside for prayer. . . .
II. In the fields of social and everyday practical life:
2nd. To find a solution for the problems of women, a solution that will allow her to
progress and which will protect her while conforming to Islamic principles.
3rd. To root out clandestine or public prostitution and to consider fornication as a
reprehensible crime. . .
4th. To prohibit all games of chance (gaming, lotteries, races, golf)
5th. To stop the use of alcohol and intoxicants
6th. To . . . educate women, to provide quality education for female teachers, school
pupils, students, and doctors;
7th. To develop an educational program for girls different than the one for boys
8th. Male students should not be mixed with female students
10th. To close dance halls; to forbid dancing;
11th. To censor theater productions and films;
12th. To supervise and approve music;
14th. To confiscate malicious articles and books as well as magazines displaying a grotesque
character or spreading frivolity;
16th. To change the hours when public cafes are opened or closed
19th. To bring to trial those who break the laws of Islam, who do not fast, who do not pray,
and who insult religion;
21st. Religious teaching should constitute the essential subject matter to be taught in all
educational establishments and faculties;
24th. . . . Absolute priority to be given to Arabic over foreign languages;
25th. To study the history of Islam, the nation, and Muslim civilization;
27th. To combat foreign customs
29th. To safeguard public health . . . increasing the number of hospitals, doctors, and outpatient clinics;
30th. To call particular attention to the problems of village life (administration, hygiene,
water supply, education, recreation, morality).
III. The economic field:
1st. Organization of the zakat tax [an obligatory payment to support the poor] according to
2nd. To prevent the practice of usury [charging interest on loans]
3rd. To facilitate and to increase the number of economic enterprises and to employ the
jobless . . . ,
4th. To protect workers against monopoly companies, to require these companies to obey the
law, the public should share in all profits;
5th. Aid for low-ranking employees and enlargement of their pay, lowering the income of
high-ranking employees; . . .
7th. To encourage agricultural and industrial works, to improve the situation of the peasants
and industrial workers[.]
Source: Hassan al-Banna, “Towards the Light,” in Robert Landen, The Emergence of
the Modern Middle East (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1970), 261–64.
Source 23.3 Two Images of Islamic Radicalism
By the late twentieth century, the most widely publicized face of Islam, at least in the
West, derived from groups sympathetic to the views of the Muslim Brotherhood — Iran’s
revolutionary government, Saudi Arabia, and radical Islamist organizations such as alQaeda, the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Hamas. These photographs illustrate two
dimensions of Islamic radicalism. Its violent face is horrifically expressed in Source
23.3A, which shows a group of teenage Islamic State militants preparing to execute
twenty-five Syrian prisoners in a Roman amphitheater in Palmyra in May 2015. That
execution was carried out. On the other hand, Source 23.3B illustrates the kind of social
services often provided by radical Islamist groups, such as the Palestinian militant
organization Hamas, which governs the small territory of Gaza on the eastern coast of
the Mediterranean Sea. The computer classroom pictured was part of a school
established by Hamas, which was later destroyed in fighting between Hamas and Israeli
Why might the Islamic State choose children to perform executions? Why might
they have chosen the ruins of a Roman amphitheater as the site for this event?
What does the computer classroom suggest about the posture of Hamas to the
modern world? Notice also the English textbook on the table.
What do these contrasting images suggest about the appeal of Islamic
The Violent Face of Islamic Radicalism
The Peaceful Face of Islamic Radicalism
Source 23.4 The Sufi Alternative
In sharp contrast to the Islamic secularists like Atatürk or Islamic radicals or
fundamentalists such as the Muslim Brotherhood stand the Sufis, gathered in multiple
“orders” or “brotherhoods” all across the Islamic world and beyond it. Sufism has long
represented the more spiritual or mystical dimension of Islam. While most Sufis
participate in conventional Islamic practices, they are generally more sharply focused on
interior spiritual experience than on the precise prescriptions of the law. For this reason,
they have on occasion come into conflict with mainstream and especially
“fundamentalist” Muslims, who view them as a threat to established religious authorities,
as potential heretics for their openness to non-Islamic practices, and as “idolaters” for
their veneration of Sufi masters and their shrines. They have also resisted the legalistic
prescriptions of Islamic radicals. In many parts of the Islamic world, Sufis have been
persecuted, their practices suppressed, and their places of worship attacked.
Others, however, view the Sufis as counteracting the appeal of Islamic radicals
committed to violence. According to the prominent Iranian Sufi scholar Seyyed Nasr,
“Sufism is the most powerful antidote to the religious radicalism called fundamentalism.
. . . Its influence is immense; Sufism has kept alive the inner quality of ethics and
spiritual virtues, rather than a rigid morality . . . and it provides access to knowledge of
the divine reality.”30 This was the message that India’s prime minister Narendra Modi
delivered to the Sufi World Forum in Delhi in 2016. That it came from a prominent Hindu
figure in India made the message all the more striking, given the historical tension
between Muslims and Hindus.
Why might Islamic fundamentalists such as those in the Muslim Brotherhood find
Why might a Hindu prime minister of India make a very public speech praising
Sufism and Islam?
What elements of Sufism do Prime Minister Modi and Seyyed Nasr believe can
serve as an “antidote” to Islamic radicalism?
Sufism and Islamic Radicalism
At a time when the dark shadow of violence is becoming longer, you [Sufis] are the noor, or the
light of hope. . . . And, you represent the rich diversity of the Islamic civilization that stands on
the solid bedrock of a great religion. . . . It is a civilization that reached great heights by the 15th
century in science, medicine, literature, art, architecture and commerce. . . . It set, once again, an
enduring lesson of human history: it is through openness and enquiry, engagement and
accommodation, and respect for diversity that humanity advances, nations progress and the
world prospers. . . . And, this is the message of Sufism, one of the greatest contributions of Islam
to this world.
From its origins in Egypt and West Asia, Sufism travelled to distant lands, holding aloft the
banner of faith and the flag of human values, learning from spiritual thoughts of other
civilisations, and attracting people with the life and message of its saints. . . . In the different
settings of Saharan Africa or in Southeast Asia, in Turkey or in Central Asia, in Iran or India,
Sufism reflected the universal human desire to go beyond the practice and precepts of religion
for a deeper unity with the Almighty. . . .
For the Sufis, therefore, service to God meant service to humanity. In the words of Khwaja
Moinuddin Chishti [the thirteenth-century Persian founder of a major Sufi order], of all the
worships, the worship that pleases the Almighty God the most is the grant of relief to the humble
and the oppressed. . . . In a beautiful imagery of human values, he said, human beings must have
the affection of the Sun, the generosity of the river and the hospitality of the earth, because they
benefit us all, without discrimination and distinction among people. . . . And, its humanism also
upheld the place and status of women in society.
Above all, Sufism is a celebration of diversity and pluralism, expressed in the words of
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya [a fourteenth-century Indian Sufi master], that every people has its
own path of truth, beliefs and focus of reverence. . . . Sufism is the voice of peace, co-existence,
compassion and equality; a call to universal brotherhood.
Sufism became the face of Islam in India, even as it remained deeply rooted in the Holy
Quran, and Hadiths. . . . Just as it once came to India, today Sufism from India has spread across
Indeed, when terrorism and extremism have become the most destructive force of our times,
the message of Sufism has global relevance. . . . Every year, we spend over 100 billion dollars
on securing the world from terrorism, money that should have been spent on building lives of the
poor. . . . [W]e must reject any link between terrorism and religion. Those who spread terror in
the name of religion are anti-religious. . . . And, we must advance the message of Sufism that
stands for the principles of Islam and the highest human values.
Source: NDTV, “Full Text of PM Narendra Modi’s Speech at World Sufi Forum,” March
17, 2016, http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/full-text-of-pm-narendra-modis-speech-atworld-sufi-forum-1288303.
Source 23.5 Progressive Islam
All across the Islamic world, many Muslims argued that they could retain their distinctive
religious sensibility while embracing democracy, women’s rights, technological
progress, freedom of thought, and religious pluralism. Such thinkers were following in
the tradition of nineteenth-century Islamic modernism (see “Reform and Its Opponents”
in Chapter 19), even as they recalled earlier centuries of Islamic intellectual and
scientific achievement and religious tolerance. That viewpoint was expressed in a
pamphlet composed in 2009 by a leading American Muslim scholar, translator, and
teacher, Kabir Helminski. He was listed then as one of the 500 most influential Muslims
in the world.
Against what charges does Helminski seek to defend Islam? How does this
document reflect the experience of 9/11?
In what ways are his views critical of radical, or “fundamentalist,” ideas and
How does this document articulate the major features of a more progressive or
liberal Islam? What kinds of arguments does the author employ to make his
To whom might these arguments appeal? How might Hassan al-Banna or Kemal
Atatürk respond to these views?
Islam and Human Values
If the word “Islam” gives rise to fear or mistrust today, it is urgent that American Muslims
clarify what we believe Islam stands for in order to dispel the idea that there is a fundamental
conflict between the best values of Western civilization and the essential values of Islam. . . .
Islamic civilization, which developed out of the revelation of the Qur’an in the seventh
century, affirms the truth of previous revelations, affirms religious pluralism, cultural diversity,
and human rights, and recognizes the value of reason and individual conscience. . . .
[One issue] is the problem of violence. . . . Thousands of Muslim institutions and leaders, the
great majority of the world’s billion or more Muslims, have unequivocally condemned the
hateful and violent ideologies that kill innocents and violate the dignity of all humanity. . . .
Islamic civilizations have a long history of encouraging religious tolerance and guaranteeing
the rights of religious minorities. The Qur’an explicitly acknowledges that the diversity of
religions is part of the Divine Plan and no religion has a monopoly on truth or virtue. . . .
Jerusalem, under almost continuous Islamic rule for nearly fourteen centuries, has been a
place where Christians and Jews have lived side by side with Muslims, their holy sites and
religious freedom preserved. Medieval Spain also created a high level of civilization as a multi-
cultural society under Islamic rule for several centuries. The Ottoman Empire, the longest lived
in history, for the more than six centuries of its existence encouraged ethnic and religious
minorities to participate in and contribute to society. It was the Ottoman sultan who gave
sanctuary to the Jews expelled from Catholic Spain. India was governed for centuries by
Muslims, even while the majority of its people practiced Hinduism. . . .
[T]he acceptance of Islam must be an act of free will. Conversion by any kind of coercion
was universally condemned by Islamic scholar…
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