As you all know, I’ve been an Obama supporter, during one of his speech on a question about his faith and religion, he said “I don’t want somebody to question my faith and I’m certainly not going to question somebody else’s.”
The sentence that caught my attention and it makes me think about stuff that happened in the past: why? Well, Indonesia is a very unique country, as most of you know; I was born and raised there. I was raised with Islamic teaching and also Indonesian traditional culture. Now, I understand, there are a lot of those traditional culture ceremonies that might not fit into Muslim teaching. Those traditions were thought and pass on from generation to generation before religion teaching (Islam) enters Indonesia. These ceremonies include wedding, baby showers and even funeral etc. I also know and understand as the country’s sense of religion is getting stronger; those ceremonies were altered to adapt religion teaching.
Few months ago, I was throwing a ceremony for my daughter. No religion involve, this is just a pure ceremony to respect the culture – in this case is from my husband side. Little did I know, that ceremony causing a very bad negative reaction from few people within the Indonesian community. People even refuse to come. My first reaction was sad. Sad that they were so narrow minded that they couldn’t see beyond what they want to see. Then it turn to anger, if what I did was such a horrific thing, if they do care about me from religious stand point, then why don’t they try to advise me? These are the people who think they’re better than anyone. That their religious knowledge is so high compare to others, and yet they rather talk bad behinds peoples back then faced them. Then that anger just turn to plain feeling. I honestly don’t feel anything anymore. But its not just with my faith too, few weeks ago, we went to this Hu Plig ceremony that was thrown by a friends for his sister, there I met few people I know and we talked for little bit, then there’s this one part of ceremony where we tie a string into the host wrist and slip them some money. As I was reaching for my wallet, they ask me what am I doing, then I told them to look for money to give. Then they all answer me cocky, saying “oh we don’t know this stuff, were a religious people, we went to the church.” Dear God, this is your culture, whatever believe you held shouldn’t you know it though?
I should get used to this, I was talked and judge before for having a dog as a pets. Now, where does in Quran it says that it’s a sins to have dogs as pets?
According to one story, Prophet Muhammad SAW is said to have informed a prostitute who had seen a thirsty dog hanging about a well and given it water to drink. Allah forgave her because of that good deed. Sahih Bukhari 4.56.673
The historian Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad’s SAW kindness to animals was remarkable for the social context of his upbringing. He cites an instance of Prophet Muhammad SAW posting sentries to ensure that a female dog with newborn puppies was not disturbed by his army traveling to Mecca in the year 630.
Is that a storys that indicate any hateful teaching towards dogs? I mean, we’re not allowed to eat them. I get that… but people refuse to comes to my house just because I have dogs that means my house is Haram (legally forbidden by Islamic law). Yeah whatever…
Anyway…. One of Indonesian friend’s parents passed away, in Indonesia we have a tradition to invite people to pray for the deceased. On the 3rd day, the 7th, 40th & 100th. Sometime went to 1000th day as well. She invite people to come to her house to pray for her parents…. Again, just like me, she’s victim of talks, saying what she’s doing is stray from Islamic teaching. WHATEVER!! People can just kiss my @$$. In Islam, we should not overly grief the deceased. But we should pray for them. I mean come on, kick people when they down like that???
This is why Islam have such a bad name, the people it self somehow converted themselves to be so extreme that its just wrong. Islam is peaceful, Islam is beautiful, not full of bickering and hateful felling like that…
And also, Indonesian people, we come from a country that rich with those traditions, culture that other’s envy. Why not embrace it, study it and be proud of it. This is why other country took what’s ours! Our culture, our traditions, our background…. Because we’re not there to protect it. We don’t owned it! We’re just too busy looking at other people’s mistake to laugh about…
Now it’s Ramadan, the holy months in Islam, where all the gates to heaven were open, the gate to hell are closed and all the evil were chained. Month of self restrain, of forgiveness. Lets all take a look at ourselves before looking at others. As an old saying in Indonesian; “when you point one finger to others, there are four fingers pointing back at you.”
Faith is between you and God. Is not for everybody to show and judge. Just like what Obama said, “I don’t want somebody to question my faith and I’m certainly not going to question somebody else’s.”