Baraka extra credit assignment
You have until the due date for your final paper, 12 PM on Thurs, Dec 13th to submit, for extra credit, a one-page reflection on baraka by experiencing some aspects of tahajjud. Tahajjud is the special non-required prayer made before dawn. Baraka is a sense of heightened goodness that is palpably felt when certain things are done in a certain manner at certain times, things that break the mold of self-centeredness and have no actual “use.” This could apply to something as mundane as sharing a meal rather than eating alone, of giving someone water to drink (remember that in many parts of the world today, by some counts for every 1 out of 9 people, there is no access to clean water), or getting up before dawn and concentrating on a precise bodily movement.
Without any intention to pray and without Qur’an recitation, you are not actually praying in the Muslim manner when you do any of the following. This exercise is only meant to help you experience the embodied aspect of practice.
Set your alarm clock for 4 am (the exercise only works if you get up from sleep, not if you have been awake till 4)
Lightly rinse your hands, arms, face, and feet with water
Ensure that your clothes are clean, lay down a “prayer mat” (a clean t-shirt will do), and stand on it barefoot
Make the motions you see in the video of Husain Abdullah, paying attention to gracefulness of movement and good form. Your knees, palms, nose, and forehead should touch the floor.
In your reflection, tell me what happened to your mind when you attempted the exercise.