Islam in My Eyes


Muslim friends praying at our home during their visit.

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I am a Hindu. I was born in Bali where Hindu is the major religion. Since 1996 I have lived outside Bali. I know precisely how it feels to be a part of a minority group of religion. I have learned a lot and continue to do so. My friends are mostly Muslims.

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When I was a student at Universitas Gadjah Mada, I had a close friend who was an activist and chairman of an Islamic student organization on campus. We worked well together. I once helped him made a ‘wall magazine’ and a bulletin board for the Islamic organization. It was fun that I had to create Arabic calligraphy without me understanding anything. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I received a lot of appreciation. He remains a good friend until today.

Now all my supervisors and bosses are Muslims. Most of my coworkers are Muslims. Most of my students are Muslims. Being a Hindu, yet I got a decent role in my workplace and society. People appreciate and respect me accordingly. Put simply, I got the rewards and punishments that I deserve.

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I was repeatedly invited by Islamic student organizations to give talks. I was often invited to different Islamic campuses to teach. I am always happy to attend Iftar, Islamic tradition of breaking the fast during Ramadhan. Such an honor, sometimes I was even ask to say a word or two in the procession.

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At home, I have an Islamic prayer mat and mukena (a cloak for female) for Muslim friends to pray when visiting. Around our house there are dozens of mosque loudspeakers which became a voluntary alarm and made me never wake up late every dawn.

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How lucky I am. I know what it is like to live among Muslims and I feel love and caring. I certainly know that there are not-so-good Muslims around me. But I also know that bad people are everywhere and they can be of any religion. I know some bad people who happen to be Hindu also. What I also know is that we have a lot more good people than bad ones.

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I am so deeply saddened to learn the terror attack in a mosque in Christchurch, NZ that claimed Muslim casualties. I condemn the attack. Whatever the reason, whomever the targets, and whoever the actors, such action can never be justified.

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I understand if some are angry due to the tragedy but Muslims that I know will never let the anger fully control them. I have a strong believe that all savage and uncivilized actions towards Muslims will never make my Muslim friends lose the noble values they embrace.

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Author: Andi Arsana

I am a lecturer and a full-time student of the universe

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