To be honest, it took me quite a while to ponder on this post. Causing me to neglect writing for several days. Other than that, I was busy reading a novel that I just couldn’t put down so there, guilty as charged.
Religion is a touchy subject. Especially in Indonesia, where talking about SARA (ethnicity, tradition, race, religion) must be handled extra carefully. If you talk too passionately about it, some people will regard you as an extremist, blindly naive, or to be having a holier-than-thou attitude. If you talk too lightly about it, some people will regard you as an infidel, a bad religious follower, or to be setting a terrible example to the young ones.
I’m a Muslim. I was born into a Muslim family. My mother is a Muslim and so is my father. Both their parents were Muslims and their parents’ parents as well. I’m Indonesian, half Bugis, half Minang. My mother tongue is Bahasa Indonesia. I am the only daughter. I have 3 brothers and 0 sisters.
Did I ask to be born a Muslim? Or any of the other conditions I was born into? No. Am I happy with my label as a Muslim? Yes. Now. Well, before there were a lot of questions. Like, why do we have to pray five times a day everyday of the week, while the other religions only have to go to church once a week on a Sunday even? Why do we have to fast when all the other kids at school don’t have to?
Being born into a certain religion doesn’t necessarily make you a faithful follower. Same as everyone else, same as the converts, we ride into religion using training wheels. However, we do get a lucky headstart if our parents, our closest environment practice the religion well.
Now let’s go to a more general view of religion that I totally agree with. Actually, I’ve been gathering what I could from here and there to get the guts to write this. On the 4th day, the day this post was due, I stumbled upon a video of Muhammad Ali. He was being interviewed and asked about his view on religion. His answer was totally agreeable. He said that every religion teaches good. Be us the followers of Jesus Christ, Khrishna, Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad. All their teachings are good. All their teachings mean well for the human race and for the world we live in. It is the people who do bad things sometimes.
I post religious themed stuff on social media. Why? Because I can. Alhamdulillah. Because it makes me feel grounded. It makes me feel closer to my Creator and my brothers and sisters in Islam. Also, because religion is an essential part of me.
Muhammad Ali was also asked what he would be doing after he retired from boxing. His answer was, to please his God, Allah. He wants to use his fame and his final years, minus the travelling, minus watching TV, minus eating, sleeping, minus everything, which is not much to be left with, to please the Most Gracious & Most Merciful.
Muhammad Ali, a man from America, a minority in skin and in religion but the greatest boxer of all times, is not afraid to state his thoughts on Islam, then why should I? A woman from Indonesia, one of the largest Muslim populations in the world, a simple nobody (yet).
This is my last and closing view on religion. I was guided to it last night. In one of my friend’s path posts.
An umbrella doesn’t stop the rain. But by utilizing the umbrella, we can stand in the rain without getting wet. The same goes with religion. We cannot claim ourselves winners, but at least it helps us through the trials we’re faced with.