About Ashley Belohlavek

Posts by Ashley Belohlavek:

Ashley George: Gender-Inclusive Language in Interpretations of the Qur’an

Ashley George: Gender-Inclusive Language in Interpretations of the Qur’an

When we read the Qur’an, it can become apparent that the message feels sometimes more centered towards men, simply because male pronouns are used so often when we’d think the text would refer to people regardless of gender. Many scholars have pointed this fact out, raising debate and dialogue regarding whether one ought to read(…)

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Ashley George: Tides of Change in Islamic Exegeses

Ashley George: Tides of Change in Islamic Exegeses

Like all other religions, Islam has several school of ethics as well as exegeses, theories meant to determine interpretation of the Qur’anic text and how to implement these values into society. Exegeses held by different countries can be seen based on the laws they establish in their Shari’a. The different groups of exegeses we have(…)

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Ashley George: Community Through Qur’anic Values

Ashley George: Community Through Qur’anic Values

Islam is such a world-changing religion not only because it has over a billion followers, but because it brought immense new concepts of equality and justice to jahiliyya of pre-Islamic Arabia. The concepts of justice, forgiveness and friendship became increasingly vital to Arabian traditions and way of life, which is why Islam became a religion(…)

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Ashley George: Paradise or Hellfire; It’s Your Choice

Ashley George: Paradise or Hellfire; It’s Your Choice

Al-Ghazali theorizes that Paradise is like a piece of land. Whatever you do in this life will determine what that piece of land looks like once you’ve reached the afterlife.[1] If you do mostly good deeds in this life and strive for peace and harmony amongst your neighbors, your piece of land could be something(…)

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Ashley George: Moral Order in an Orthopraxy

Ashley George: Moral Order in an Orthopraxy

There are so many schools of ethics in Islam that it’s hard to keep track of them all. One such school of thought is capacity ethics. This ideology says that those with a greater capacity to do good are expected to practice virtues of greater value.[1] Therefore, a virtue to an average person can be(…)

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Ashley George: Beauty of a Text: Qur’anic Art

Ashley George: Beauty of a Text: Qur’anic Art

Calligraphy is not only incredibly pleasing to the eye but also filled with spiritual depth and meaning as well. Decorative Arabic words can be found painted across mosque walls, ceramic bowls, intricate digital paintings and even on the hood of a car, if you ask Professor Mahallati. This is not only to show the beauty(…)

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Ashley George: Prophet Muhammad, The Beloved of God

Ashley George: Prophet Muhammad, The Beloved of God

The character of the Prophet Muhammad is evident through the verses of the Qur’an as well as the hadith, or stories passed down depicting his experiences and lessons for his followers and their descendants. Among his resume of admirable accomplishments, the Prophet of humble beginnings became a successful merchant, a beloved husband to Khadija, a(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Violent False Narratives

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Violent False Narratives

Over the course of this seminar, I have been forced to think very critically about a lot of complex scenarios involving forgiveness. Sometimes, forgiving someone for stealing a prized possession isn’t comparable to forgiving someone for harming you or someone you love. Who gets to decide when something is forgivable or not? Can an entire(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: Avoiding Conflict

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: Avoiding Conflict

We have this incredibly counterintuitive phenomenon in our society where we wage war in hopes of ending conflict and establishing peace. But, isn’t that completely missing the point? Isn’t that creating even more conflict? Christian philosopher Thomas Merton laughs at this concept, as he says, “There is in reality not the slightest logical reason for(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness in Film

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness in Film

In the films Flatliners and Dead Man Walking, forgiveness is portrayed as something that truly has to be earned. We have discussed the idea of unconditional forgiveness, where the wrongdoer may be forgiven even if they do not ask to be, but the person wronged has simply decided to forgive and move on. In both(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgetting in the Age of Denial

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgetting in the Age of Denial

Arguably, it is hardest to forgive when someone who has wronged you refuses to admit their wrongdoing. Just this week, the Press Secretary of the United States openly said that Jewish people were not assaulted with chemical weapons during WWII. As a very basic fact of the Holocaust and the immense suffering of the Jewish(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Those Who Don’t Care

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiving Those Who Don’t Care

In my past response papers, I have alluded to different stains of injustice on our world history, like the Holocaust or Apartheid. Genocides and injustices that beg the question, “How in the world can this be forgiven?” Deep down, I don’t think they can be, or at least it’s understandable if one cannot bring themself(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Holding Accountability While Encouraging Peace

Ashley Belohlavek: Holding Accountability While Encouraging Peace

Many religions regard forgiveness as a virtuous and honorable act, but it is not actually required. In Islam, for example, when one has been victimized by another, they have the option to seek rightful revenge for the wrongdoing by legal settlements or even execution if the crime is severe enough. The moral thing to do(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: A Deeper Realm

Ashley Belohlavek: Forgiveness: A Deeper Realm

  There are so many aspects and nuances within forgiveness that make it so complex. For one thing, forgiveness is not always two sided. One person may forgive but the other has not reconciled, or someone feels immense guilt but the victim refuses to pardon them. A majority of the readings for this week touch(…)

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The Intersection of Faith and Nature: What the Qur’an Tells Us About Environmentalism

The Intersection of Faith and Nature: What the Qur’an Tells Us About Environmentalism

Through my brief study of Islam thus far, what I believe to be the most important message the religion teaches to Muslims and non-Muslims alike is that life is the most precious thing in the world and it is our duty to conserve that gift. It is a grave sin to harm oneself or any(…)

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Ashley Belohlavek: How Is This A Thing?: The Judeo-Christian Narrative and the Clash of Civilizations

Ashley Belohlavek: How Is This A Thing?: The Judeo-Christian Narrative and the Clash of Civilizations

[Just a friendly trigger warning: I mention [white] supremacy, the KKK, ISIS, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust and World War II, and similar historical events/hateful concepts]   There is this incredibly odd troupe that Islam is anti-Semitic in nature. The biggest reason this is absurd is that Muslims themselves are Semites. But more importantly, Muslims have had(…)

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