Saturday, May 29, 2010

Religious and racial diversities: The painful truth

P/S: I'm not a racist or extremist.

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson


Before this i was always in the majority group. U know what i mean. My childhood and teenage time was spent mostly with the malays and muslims.Yes i did have non muslim friends now and then. But somehow our friendship did not last long. I am more comfortable with my buddies of 'my own kind', because we share the common values and interests, we perform the same religious rituals, and attend the same religious circles and classes.

And now in Kuching, most of my colleagues are non muslims. In each department i go, we can count the number of muslim HOs with our fingers. There was 1 time during HO teaching, i realized that out of the 30+ HOs, only 2 people are muslims, me and shaz.

Being the minority for the first time, initially it was quite hard for me to adjust. But as the time goes, i start to see things in a different way, and I enjoy the relationship that i have with my non-muslim colleagues. I found out that religious negotiations can be done and achieved, taboos can become non taboos, if we do it in a proper and professional way. I think all these religious and racial tensions happening around us are actually unnecessary. What we need is more dialogue, respect, tolerance, patience and professionalism.

The reality is, we co-exist. And things need to be changed to make the world a better place. Humanism and liberalism - now i understand why these dogmas emerged.
Do i sound like a liberalist? Hehe.

Actually, I'm challenging my thoughts.
I'm trying to rationalize the principles i used to uphold all these while and trying to get the facts straight. This is crucial, so that i have the correct understanding and my aqidah is sound. Because i do notice the changes in my thoughts, and i dont know whether it is right or wrong. Life is too complex and its realities are both bitter and sweet. And this is the painful part.

1. Love, hate and justice

If they associate others in worship with Him, or disbelieve in Him, or worship others alongside Him, or are hostile towards His religion and hate the truth, then it is obligatory to hate them in our hearts. Hating them in our hearts does not mean that we should oppress or mistreat them under any circumstances, because Allaah said to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), describing what his attitude should be towards the People of the Book:
“and I am commanded to do justice among you. Allaah is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds”
[al-Shoora 42:15]

it is permissible for a Muslim to treat kindly those non-Muslims who are not hostile, whether by offering financial help, feeding the hungry, giving them loans if needed or interceding with regard to permissible matters, or speaking kindly to them or returning their greetings, and so on. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allaah loves those who deal with equity”
[al-Mumtahanah 60:8]

To hate and at the the same time being kind and just: I find this very difficult.

To be continued..


Ummu Yazid said...

how should i express that i like this article? :P
insya allahh, by time. we can convey the beauty of Islam :)

Poison Ivy said...

dah sampai rumah rupanya.hehe

u can help me to undrstand and discuss.

sometimes i feel awkward and guilty. mengganggu ketenteraman.i'll tell u later.

Jacknaim said...

really? only 2 muslim out of 30. that's really challenging.

hope you will stay strong sis.

Poison Ivy said...

depends.tu time sikit.skrg ada bertambah sikit. 6-7 muslim 40+ non muslim.