Why We Fail As Muslims

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We were on the way back to kampong for raya when my mom saw rubbish piling up in a neighbourhood next to ours. The majority that live in that neighbourhood and mine are Malays, whom are muslims obviously. Right from that my mom and dad discussed about the lack of Islamic approach in our society. Cleanliness is a part of iman .

“When they give talks,it is all about politics. Politics , politics , politics. They seldom touch about akhlaq or other things . “

I found this so true. You see sometimes I go to pray at the mosque and dang, they always talking about politics. I like politics but when I go to listen to talks after Maghrib , I want to listen to beautiful stories, lessons how to be a better muslim not political shits where you condemn others and spread the hatred. I want intellectual discussions , not some guy in jubah and ketayap screaming words and bashing other political party and say people who vote for the said party will enter hell.

I was educated at a religious school for my secondary education . If in west they have Christian high school , in Malaysia we have maahad (another name used for Islamic school). But it was prohibited in my school to give politics talks . I learnt so many wonderful things there . About my faith , the principle in Islam and how to adhere those in daily lives.

When I finished my high school , I got into asasi law . Since it is a preparatory for law schools , we had so many heated arguments there. I have friends who support LGBTQ and think that it should be allowed in Malaysia to apostate. Of course , me being fresh out from maahad couldn’t relate nor comprehend with what is happening outside my bubble. I stayed in hostel for five years and only spent little time at home.

Now, 3 years after leaving maahad ; I could relate with what is happening to our society. We are muslims because we were born into this religion. Some of us didn’t bother to learn more or deeper about our faith . Some think that being muslim is enough with covering aurat , praying 5 times a day and fasting in Ramadan . Being a muslim means more than that. However , I am not writing this to tell you what does it mean to be a muslim.

I could understand now where and how Sister In Islam , Shafiqah Othman and Maryam Ler emerged. It was rooted from how we teach Islam to the youngsters. How we preached the religion . Some said that Islam is too restrictive , there are too many rules to be followed and they felt it is a burden to become muslims.

It is the approach that we take. We focus too much on what is haram to do , we keep telling people that you cannot do this and that . To the point it appears that Islam is a religion full of rules and restrictions . How does one enjoy life if there are too many things that cannot be done?

Yes , whilst writing this I am aware with the hadith saying that the world is a heaven to the non-muslims and a prison to muslims ; referring to the religious rules that we ought to abide.

The concern now is how we adhere the teachings in our daily lives , and how our own society perceive Islam. Is it a way of life or just mere traditions done by our grandmothers and grandfathers.

As for me , for three years I wonder what kind of muslim I want to be. Referring to the clothes and how I bring myself as a person. Most of my teachers in maahad are strict , some of them are really sceptical towards those who choose not to don wide hijab and those who choose not to wear according to their standards. I am one of those who choose not to ,hehe . But of course when I went there I tried to wear the most appropriate clothes I could. Still , I wasn’t able to escape from some observant eyes , hence making me as the example of what we call failed products of maahad . You see, in my school we really really really take aurat seriously . After living in the outside world , I choose to be who I am today . Not too strict but not too loose either , I choose to be in the middle because it suits me best , it suits my personality and the kind of person I want to be.

To be identified as a muslim is honourable. Acknowlegding Islam as the way of life is a pride . Trying to adhere the teachings to the daily life is challenging.

So , what kind of approach do you wish for our teachers , our preachers , our ministers to take to make people, especially the youth fall in love with Islam and wish to practise it as a way of life rather just mere traditions?

p/s : I am trying to get my hands on Letters to a Young Muslim . I heard so many good reviews about the book and I believe it is the book that I can relate and appreciate well.

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Of Ramadan 2016

Salam Alaik,

I just realised that this Ramadan is my first time celebrating Ramadan at home in 6 years.I have been spending the Ramadan in maahad for 5 years and last year in UiTM Shah Alam.

Honestly,this is my first time Ramadan since 2010 that I am not excited,not at all.Whether the juadah or bazar Ramadan or even baju raya.I am not excited,I do not beam and all.

This is not because of my stupid brokenhearted crush story no no no nein.

I am feeling so lost lately,I have been asking around and one of my friends point out that I might have been far from God.Meaning I do not pray in khusyu’,rushing in prayers,only do wajib stuffs,do maksiat and things that drift you away from Allah.Things I know well I should not do but I do anyway.Oh wait,fret not,I despise myself too.

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For 5 years in maahad,during Ramadan we will have nice and generous dishes for ifthor  you could see everyone (except people who are on period) walking around with Al-Quran in their hands.You could see people reciting Al-Quran everywhere.It was last year that I was so shocked when in my faculty not many people bring Al-Quran around.I sense only one or two.And the muslims were like 80% there.Not to mention,the blasting music in the middle of the day…Allahu.Definitely got into culture-shock last year.

I finally got it when one of my classmate in Asasi told me that I am alim.I keep (and still) denying that I am alim.Alim literally means people with lots of knowledge in Arabic while in Malay society it means someone who is pious.I am definitely not a pious person,personally I think I am just a struggling muslim.

I consider myself as a fail product of maahad,take out all my good friends and compare me to them.It is like comparing the sky and the land.We are different whether in terms o clothing and the way we talk ( I do curse every now and then,they don’t) or sometimes,our fikrah.But our fikrah is getting tallier now,whether they are becoming more open or I am becoming a bit closed.

I hate telling people that I spent my years during high school in maahad.There are many reasons and some of them ; I don’t want to taint the maahad’s suci reputation with my bad image.People sometimes react with “wow,Dijah,tak sangka”  or   “you don’t look like maahad-educated,you are so open regarding sex things”  or  “hahahaha seriously?ustazahhh” and worst  “you are such a disgrace to your alma-mater

Aish,I have been telling myself to keep this to myself but I believe I should share this.

My years in maahad was not easy,I was enrolled there because my mom believe that she should equip all her 7 kids with Islamic knowledge before letting us to experience the taste of real world.So,for 5 years,all of her kids (but one of my bro studies in tahfiz since 8 and another bro is in pondok since he was 16) will experience living in a restricted and controlled environment.

I started my first year in  maahad as a rebel,my friends still bring this up whenever our group gather.

“Sapa entah dulu rebel hahahahaha”

I listened to heavy metal and wanted to highlight my hair midnight blue and neon yellow,average mom would freak out.So off to maahad I went.

It was in maahad that I learnt things that I never bothered to know.I read a lot about Islam during my primary schools.I read about aqidah,tafseer,religion comparisons,Uthmaniyyah,Abasiyyah and many Islamic empires but that was without a teacher.When they say you have to learn things regarding reigion with teacher,it is usually  meant for the guide.Teachers could explain to you the rationale behind it,link the stories with tafseer,Quranic verse,other islamic events and hadeeth.When you study and read alone,you would not enjoy all these benefits.

We had awful lots of pengajian,more that I could remember.There were 3 wajib pengajian in asrama already,then we had two to three pengajian at school,we have weekly usrah,we have one week of Minggu Penghayatan Islam and one wajib pengajian during weekend.We also invited syeikhs locally and internationally to give talk to the students.I got so many pengajians but I already forgot most of the knowledge,the input already…Must be because I do not practise it for knowledge without implementation is like trees without branches.

I fall in love with Islam in maahad,and we got into religion talk a lot during Asasi that I revealed I was a maahad-educated-but-a-failed-one.It pains me sometimes how different I am with my friends,seniors and juniors.They are all no-ajnabi,tudung labuh,handsocks and socks where there is me…ya know..urm…

I am afraid,for as long as I remember,I am afraid of tudung labuh and baju labuh,I am afraid of people’s expectation when I dress up like my friends do.I am afraid that I might taint the clothes’ virtue.I am afraid I might be one of those pakai tudung labuh tapi carut,pakai tudung labuh tapi talk to ajnabi,pakai tudung labuh tapi sembang bab-bab dalam kain open and many more.

I purposely failed myself during MRSM Ulul Albab interview and did not want to go to Morocco’s interview.I am afraid and scared to be that woman with tudung labuh and to major in Islamic knowldge and bear the Ustazah tittle.This sounds silly,but I don’t think I am made for it.I am denial,for years.Most of my aunts wear tudung labuh,I know the nieces are expected to wear tudung labuh too.It is expected in our family but I choose not to.

Why?

Because I am afraid,scared and not ready.

I told my mom I will wear one when I am ready,I told my friends I won’t wear tudung labuh and I told myself ,nein.

I want to be a moderate muslim woman,but,lately,I have been watching DOPS  that is produced by Mizz Nina.I am taken aback,to many,they are lost and when they have found the light of guidance they are like…perghh mantap imannya.

I was in search too,but I was convinced when I was 15.That is 4 years ago,and how much I have progressed?Have I ever taught anyone about Islam seriously or have I kept what made me change only to myself,have I ever successfully revert anyone to Islam,how many dakwah have I done,and if I die at this distant ; can I explain myself to my God?

Am I ready to explain myself before Him?

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May this Ramadan be the time where we found our love for this deen.I found mine in Ramadan 2012,but the love faded…may I find back the love during this blessed Ramadan.May we find back ourselves.In sha Allah.Ameen.