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Islamic Studies

– ( -1 ) + 1 = +2 –>

Originally published at A Nightingale

A few Fridays back I attended a short evening lecture given by Imam Suhaib Webb at UIC. The subject of his talk was, of course, preparing for Ramadan. He went over the basics– why we fast, how we fast, who needs to fast, etc. And he also went over the spiritual aspects of Ramadan: the do’s and don’t’s of actually reaching the goal of increasing our taqwa.

One of the things he mentioned was to set some goals for ourselves during the month. It doesn’t have to be something enormous, but just something. Whether it’s giving something up (because we don’t have the time to waste on it) or if it’s adding something to our busy schedules (because we’re learning to prioritize deen in our everyday life). He said though, no matter what, after we adjust our life to a “Ramadan schedule” we should try our best to hold on to atleast one good habit, and also to continue to let go of one bad habit.

As he was talking, I was taking notes, and wrote in short hand what he had said. Now, keep in mind that I’m a math nerd (at least self-proclaimed) so I was thinking in terms of numbers. So, how did I translate and evaluate the verbal expression of neglecting one bad habit and adding on one good habit?

– (-1) + 1 = +2

What does that mean? When we give up something bad and at the same time strive for something better, not only are we adding one good habit, but because we’re subtracting a negative, we’re also adding another good!

Who knew math and Islam had something in common?? I think I have something to talk about in class tomorrow with my students! Hurrah :)

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