so ive been reading random blogs by clicking the "go to a random blog" button and i can see that there are so many ways that people can express their thoughts, feelings, etc through writing. most of the blogs are from people living in the states. 10 years ago, no one would have ever thought that we could take a peek in the lives of total strangers living thousands of miles away from us without having to steal their diaries.
its just amazing what technology can do and it would be a waste if we dont use this opportunity to widen our perspectives and be exposed to different opinions of random people all over the globe. (okaaay, i sound soo like someone that have just been introduced to the internet).
something that makes "my finding" more interesting is that muslims living in the West especially in the states and the UK take so much pride of them being who they are. even the titles of their blogs have the word "Muslimah". their writings are intended to let the world know what they have to say about their lives as a muslim living in a land where Islam is not the national religion. the muslimahs are eager to share their experiences of wearing hijabs and encountering people that ask the ever-so-popular question, "dont you feel hot being fully covered?". they share their views of issues that they have to deal by being an arts students and having to draw nude people or by being muslim parents and worrying about how the education and socialization in public schools will affect their children in the future.
their innocent or maybe not so innocent words make me think. i am a muslimah. i was borned, raised and currently living in Malaysia. the country where the majority of people are Malays. and as i say Malays, it means Muslims. Malaysians are free to practise their own religion; Buddha, Hindu, Christian, etc. but the national religion for Malaysia is Islam. we learn Islamic Education in primary, secondary and tertiary education. masjids are widely available all over the country for the comfort of solah. hijabs are anything but awkward in a malaysian's wardrobe. in fact, the last time i checked, Malaysia is known as an Islam Country (Negara Islam).
so perhaps all of these privileges of being muslims in malaysia has made us take everything for granted. it is common to solah, it is common to wear hijabs, it is common to learn about islam. there's nothing unique about it. so we dont appreciate it.
its different if we have to be the only student who has to take quick breaks in the middle of tests to perform our solah or to be the girl who receives comments like, "i notice that you always wear such pretty scarves. may i know why you're wearing it?" or to have own initiatives to search for Islam books in the internet or library or go to Islamic classes in the masjids to get to know Islam. perhaps everything would be different. perhaps malaysians would appreciate being a muslim more if these privileges are taken away from us? perhaps..
being in a country where the people are unfamiliar with our Islam practices makes us feel grateful of what we have. of how relevant the principle of making "Islam as a way of life" is and of how we could change other's lives by showing the beauty of Islam by our simple amals like giving salaam and by controlling the way we socialize between men and women.
it is nothing unsual for Malaysians to give salam to each other but in other countries, non-muslims could be fascinated of how our salaam means "peace be upon you" rather than a simple "hello". (not that im saying "hello" is bad. its nice too because its the sincere intention that counts, rite?) but its sad when things go the other way around. muslims being "fascinated" of the lives of non-muslims. wearing tubes and mini skirts because "malaysia is always summer and this is what people should wear during summer. duhh~"
muslims living in a community where the culture and environment is not mainly influenced by Islam usualy choose to be in either two conditions; 1) being a proud muslim more than ever or 2) follow the lives of the community of the non-muslims.
but the question here is, does the environment, the exposure and the community really influence how Islam we are? my answer would be yes. why? because people cant live without interacting within the community. and through this interaction is where all the "awakening" exist. whether the awakening is good or bad, it depends on which side it triggers. that is why we have to practise dakwah in our lives as muslims. to trigger each other's thinking in a good way.
but do we have to be in an environment and community where there is less exposure of Islam to be a better muslim and be prouder of being one? i dont need to tell you the anwer to that, do i? Malaysia or the United States of America, we can be proud muslims wherever we are. we have to remember its not what we show to people that makes us a good muslim but its what ALLAH can see in us without having to show anything at all. but lets not get confused here, shall we? not showing doesnt mean that we dont have to cover our aurat or perform solah or even follow the sunnah of Rasulullah SAW. that we still have to do. because we want to and because its the right thing to do. and of course because ALLAH tells us to. :)
ps: i love Malaysia :)
pss: the stalker will stop stalking now ;p