Soul Searching

Post Script 9 October 2008: I would like to thank you to everybody who reads this post and has set some time to send me private responses and messages. I understand why you choose to not posting your comments here and contact me directly. I appreciate the time and energy you have spent to share your own experience, and I apologise for taking a wee bit too long to respond to each comment, as they are A LOT. Thank you.

I have been wondering for a long time. About religion(s), that is. About what I thought I believe(d), about what I know, about what I want to believe. I have so many questions and yet so few answers. I know people will most likely tell me just to ‘swallow’ it, and ‘it’ is what it is, that my brain capacity is not powerful enough, not big enough to absorb the hints and information provided by God Almighty around the world. But I can’t just ignore thousands of questions in my head. And I can’t certainly practice something that I am not convinced is beneficial for me.

My unrest journey began several years a go. I met a guy through work who had been doing hell a lot of a soul searching, and now is into sufi (maybe, I don’t know what it is called and I don’t think he classifies himself into anything). Through short discussions I found comfort, that all things happened in the world has sort of explanation behind them, or underneath them. That God must have a master plan which is so big we are tiny dots we can’t fathom the perimeter lines, let alone the essence. The short discussions have opened my eyes that there are a lot of others who have the same questions and are looking for answers, and believe that everything, every phenomenon, in the world can be explained. And we should read Qur’an with open mind, that it has lots of metaphor we can’t just digest it in its face value.

But work took up my time and my life and promises left as promises, I never went to his group discussions. Yet our short meetings, which only happened in between coffee breaks and meetings, linger until now (I wrote about our meeting once, in this post).

I have been Muslim my entire life. As usual, I don’t choose to be one, the religion was stamped on me when I was born, and have become part of my identity as I grow up. I remember I patted a neighbour’s dog when I was 7, when my Qur’an reading teacher was about to leave our house and he went ballistic, telling me that touching a dog is haraam. I was so afraid I thought the earth will split and swallow me alive. I remember I asked why, since dog is such a cute creature and considered a man’s best friend, and his answer was disappointing: because Qur’an says so. I remember being in one Qur’an study during high school, an event organised and funded by my (Catholic) school, and the preacher slagging other religions, particularly emphasised on several friends whose parents had two different religions and told them that they were illegitimate children under the God’s eyes. I remember how disappointed I was when we were told it was wrong to say merry Christmas to our Christian friends. I didn’t feel the whole things made sense. And I started to feel compartmentalised.

I think Muslim community is paranoid, we feel that everybody is after us, everybody is about to destroy us. I think Muslim community is insecure, always feel like being treated unfairly, and demand a payback, or constantly, violently, must defend ourselves to the smallest degree, whether the the threat is real or not. I think Muslim community is aggressive, that we can’t live in peace next to others who have different believes, that we must destroy everybody who is slightly different from us. We don’t have a sense of humour we have to hang people immediately if they attempt to make some jokes out of Islam. How insecure is our God then, if we can’t even smile in front of at Him/Her/It?

With so many questions unanswered, over the years I start to ask what it means to me, to have Islam as my religion. Whether I cling on to it because it’s been part of me for over 30 years, or because I love it. Whether keep practicing it because I want the society looks at me in certain way, or because I believe in it. More importantly, what I would do next. Whether I should stick to it, or let it go.

Crossroads.

I am waiting the light turns green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. First, If I may suggest, you should write some Muslim communities (or even better some extrem fundamentalists) in stead of Muslim community.
    When I first came to Europe, I found myself a bit distant with the other moslem communites here which mostly come from North africa. I don’t know, I don’t feel that I share the same religion. I feel that Islam in Indonesia is not the same with their Islam, which is wrong. Can’t help you tho… am still searching myself as well.

    Lisas last blog post..Parc du Tremblay

  2. Lisa: thanks for stopping by and leaving comment. I don’t understand why I should write to (or write about?) extreme fundamentalist? Care to elaborate the difference between Indonesian Islam and North African Islam?

  3. Kutu Loncat says:

    In a imperfect world like this, we’ll always find people or some group of people whose ‘different’ with us in ways to see things, especially things related with religion(s) and or faith.
    It’s our fate to be different each other. It is our fitrah as a human being. If you still remember even in Indonesia there are a several mainstream and sect.
    Hence I always see my self as moderate Muslim, I personally believe that is nonsense. Because God didn’t make Islam to be divided into Sunni , Syrah or any other mainstream in Islam world these days. God is ONE. ISLAM is ONE. Islam is Rahmatan lil alamin: religion who can bring bless to the whole world.
    No you’re not wrong to questioning a lot of things. For me that’s the essence in Islam. Even the first word from ALLAH was IQRA…(Read)…. I take that as command to keep learning, broaden your knowledge, and the very first step in learning is questions………….
    If you still have ‘uneg-uneg’, let’s share, discuss …keep questioning….

  4. @Kutu Loncat: thanks for stopping by, I’m too stupid to even understand the sect or mainstream in Islam. I was talking about Islam in general since that’s all I know, and my question was whether I stick to it, or leave it. I personally don’t have any attachment rather than it has been my “coat” for over 30 years and if the coat doesn’t fit, should I try to find something that is more suitable for me?

  5. Kutu Loncat says:

    In my opinion there’s no pressure in religion, especially in Islam. I, personally don’t think you should.
    The ‘coat’ that you wearing right now is guaranteed by its maker to stand still, long lasting until the end of the world and IS this coat that can save you (..for this it’s really dogmatic….) It’s not
    the coat, the but person whose wearing it that need to be upgrade and educate.
    Our glorious days as a biggest ‘contributor thinker’ ended several hundreds years ago, yet we still mention it as our victory to beat non Muslim civilization.
    Muslim today are dumb, paranoid, lazy to learn, afraid with differences. WE are too busy to arguing whether woman can be a leader or not rather than how to improve our understanding of women involvement in Islam. It is OUR duty to keep questioning, criticized our self to become a better Muslim. Islam needs you and people like you whose always try to find answers …
    When ever you have doubt, just go deep in your heart and see what’s in there. Follow your heart because I’m sure deep down you’re already have the answer, you just need friends to pinpoint it for you…..

  6. Babe, I feel you.. I was once in the crossroads and I decided to stay true to myself rather than holding on to a belief that isn’t even mine, something bestowed to me upon birth and forced upon as I grow up. Now I just try to live life as best I can, using my brain and heart to make a decision. So far I have been happy to be able to be responsible for every single decision I make, whether good or bad and I can learn from all my life experiences without constantly being in fear of committing a sin for petty things like eating something or drinking something I’m not supposed to. I mean, come on, there are more important things in the world to focus on rather than what not to eat or drink or constantly think about praying here and there at a specific time etc. Personally, I just can’t be bothered by those things, I pray anytime I want, anywhere I want, for whatever reason I want and in whatever language I want.

    I’m happier than I’ve ever been since I took responsibility for my own life and let my brain think for myself rather than follow a specific set of dogma that nobody in the world can know for sure or guarantee is the absolute truth.

    But hey, that’s me. Some people call me enlightened, others call me ‘murtad’ lol.. but it’s just a word that I don’t give a damn about.. For me, as long as I am happy, have a lot of people in my life who I love and love me back, as long as I don’t hurt other people and do my best to do good, that’s all that matters. I think you need to relax and just focus on yourself and just try to be the best person you can be. At the end of the day, if God exists, that is all that matters. :)
    cheers anita, keep on your soul searching but mainly, just follow your heart and guts girl, it’s correct most of the time.. :)

    rima fauzis last blog post..Nguping Hidup Rima

  7. Anita, I love this post. You’re questioning your religion in a very calm tone. No hatred, no anger, just your thoughts. Nice!

    Below is something I wanna share (ngga ada maksud menggurui samsek)

    I’ve been thinking more about religion since I’m married to a muallaf and have been reading many books on religions. My small brain refuses to agree that God wants everybody to have one religion only. If that’s what He wants, why did He create people differently? Al-Qur’an is the word of God, humans are only interpreting. Sadly, humans are greedy and want to take many advantages for themselves, including when interpreting the Holy Qur’an. That’s why, I’m very skeptical with the teaching of Islam, especially the ones that discriminate women and all those punishments and hatreds directed for those who are considered against Islam. I still believe that Islam is a good religion, it’s just us humans who make it looked bad.

    Religion is between me and my God. I’m practicing what I’m convinced of. So far I manage to close my ears on what other people think about my way of practicing religion, which helps me to to focus on my relation with God (instead of taking care of my image towards others). My spiritual journey is just in it’s infancy, but knowing that I’m doing what I believe and giving my best for my family and society, makes me feel very close to the Creator. I feel calm and peaceful.

  8. @Kutuloncat: easier said than done. If I have to look deeper (inside my brain and heart), I don’t agree with many things – especially sharia law. I don’t agree the way many Muslims live their life in Britain (insisting or asking sharia law to be applied, spreading hatred, living in tight communities, and so on). I don’t agree with what I see happen in Indonesia – especially those fundamentalist groups like FPI who shout “Allahu Akbar” and burn down people’s premises, or those who beat down others who are not fasting during Ramadan. I have to admit here that I know very little but I still cannot fathom the idea of men having more than one wife: where is the justice if women cannot have more than one partner? Biologically, anatomically, and physically women are more capable than men to handle more than one partner in one go! Men need minutes to rest and compose themselves to be able to perform again, whilst women can go on and on! So why is this denied or never mentioned in Qur’an? Not to mention that no sane woman will ever let herself share her beloved husband with other women.

    I know Islam is heavily influenced by Arabic (?) culture but I wonder how long should I wait until others realise that? So far men think they are more Islam if they put on keffiyah and women think they will be sent straight to heaven if they cover themselves up entirely. Recently I met some men and they refused to shake hands with me as I wasn’t their muhrim. I don’t think Qur’an literally means that. What’s the point of not touching women whilst mentally undressing them?

    If there are others who think the same way as I do, I haven’t found them yet.

  9. @Rima: exactly. I guess I have arrived at the point where I am tired of ‘pretending’. I want to embrace what I believe. I’m not just questioning, I have many doubts. And I don’t find comfort or answers yet. Guess I’ve got a long journey ahead me…

    @Santi: I envy you. I hope I will find the calm and peaceful state of mind, soon.

  10. I had the same quest as you. I believe in Islam, but there are doubts about so many things. The problem is like many muslims, I had learnt from young age how to read Quran, but I had no idea what those words meant. I’m just culturally born as muslim. I don’t know if you’re questioning the existing of God or the truth of Islam, but I think the best way to find out about Islam is to read Quran and classical muslim sources. I guess that friend of yours would help. I’m still searching it myself…

    I think it is more important to be spiritual than to be religious.

    Oh, don’t be duped by political Islam like Jemaat Islamiah or Hizb At Tahr or FPI… i think they made Islam looks really bad. As far as I know, sharia law is an example of politization of religion.

  11. I totally understand what you felt dear….I have been in my crossroad for 22 years which mean since
    I was born. My family and I are Con Fu Sian which in Indonesia is not considered as a religion but as a BELIEF (see even this it has made me sonfused). However, since year 2000 it has been adjusted by Indonesian Government as a RELIGION.

    I have been baptised as a chatolic since I was 26-years-old until now and honestly, I am glad I did got baptized and has chatolic has my personal belief and a way of communication with God in my own faith. Before I did this big decision I have attended 20 over different christion church, buddha’s temple and also I studied Qur’an, btw I also did learnt to Sholat because at that time my best friend Mita is moslem and in my opinion, she is a good person and she and her hubby are a devoted moslem but yet not fanatic moslem type. I was touched by the way they pray in moslem and able to translate Qur’an in logic way and has the gut to ignore that does not seem to make any senses.

    After, being in the cross road for that many years and FREE THINKER for 4 years before being a chatolic….now, I find my tunnel but I do know that it is not a guarentee certificate to be in heaven if you believe in one.

    So, dear I believe a religious is a very intimate and personal matter for one person and I am so glad that my parents have given the freedo of choice. Hope, your soul searching will guide the tunnel of whatever light that will balance both mortal world and afterworld. Wow…it is a long comment.

  12. Oh honey dew, been there, crossed the road (it was a bit scary) and arrived. Like many, I was born and labeled Islam. Been doing what I was told/taught to for a number of years. Started to question it, but got pummeled everytime I brought it up or ask someone back home in Indonesia. It is scary to decide to take responsibility of your own life. Instead of living my life based on what I was taught/told, I decided to take matters into my hands and make up my own decission. Not deciding anything about my life based on any dogma now. And that requires guts and continuous self reflection.

    Dinys last blog post..Dante’s Birthday Party; a Few Notes to Self

  13. Hi Anita, I would like add to my previous comment. What I meant with write is say, in your paragraph “I think Muslim community is paranoid…” becomes “I think some moslem communities/fundamentalits are paranoid…”. Again I should also say some north african communities. It’s just that I didn’t feel secure or comfortable saying that I am moslem because Islam does not have a good image in france (violent, hatred, female submission etc etc). And that’s the fruit of some fundamentalists who did stupid things in the name of Allah.

    Lisas last blog post..Parc du Tremblay

  14. Pfff. Touchy but good post.

    First of all I guess it’s right to distinguish between spirituality (what you called ‘soul searching’) and religions.

    Anyone endowed with brains will sometimes deal with fundamental question like ‘why am i on earth’, ‘what’s the purpose of life’, ‘does absolute truth exist’, ” how did it all start” etc. And some will end up with answers. Others, like me, will always cherish the questions and not accept ‘belief’ or ‘revelation’ ‘for an answer. That’s why I consider myself to be agnostic.

    Religions are quite another question. To me – born and bred in an other monotheistic religion, protestantism – it’s a prefabricated, organized and collective answer to spiritual questions. That obviously provides reassurance, comfort, consolation or social satisfaction to billions of people. They should be praised for that. Especially the more liberal denominations, who allow for some differences of interpretation.

    However in it’s most extreme forms they do not leave room for questions at all. Owing the absolute truth – revealed to them in each and every letter, word or comma in their Holy Books, is obligatory and literally to be taken as THE truth- they tend to be intolerant and totalitarian. Which unfortunately applies especially to the most extreme variations of the three monotheistic religions (the Jewish, Christian and Islamic ones). These guys have done no good to the perception of their faith.

    colsons last blog post..The Njai

  15. I join Santi’s comment about this ” I love this post. You’re questioning your religion in a very calm tone. No hatred, no anger, just your thoughts. Nice!”.

    It is hard to try to look on a neutral manner, to our religion which we have eversince we were born just because our parents tought us to be one. At the end of the day, you will be alone on this subject because one experiences it very personally. Other things which could influence your soul searching are rituals, mostly engaged with family events, they have been giving you a comfortable feeling as long as you can remember.

    Like Santi too, I find having a religion is a very private issue. I landed in a point to accept myself as a Christian. As long as I still hold on Christian basic teachings (like other religions) which are love yourself by loving others. I still believe in God, in Jesus but at the same time I’m quite interested in Buddhism. You can call it a religion mix à la carte :-). There are things in my religion which I don’t follow: the longing to convert people to be Christian or denying the existence of homosexuality (this is impossible for me since my male bestfriend is gay himself!). In my daily life, I prefer to keep my religious life for myself.

    Ik wish you good luck. It will cost you time & yes, much energy to find which suits you best.

    My prayers are with you on this.

    God bless, where-/whoever He is….

    Lorraines last blog post..Image and Identity

  16. Once a non moslem foreigner got touched by Islam and decided to learn more. After a while, he was so into the religion and decided to convert. He then said, “I have met Islam, now i want to meet Moslems”. And so he went to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. In Saudi, he saw terrible things, people push and step on each other, people stole other’s belongings..terrible Moslems just like whom you have met. Then he said “Alhamdulillah, i have known Islam before Moslems. Because otherwise, i will never become a Moslem”.

    Anita, even though we were born into Islamic tradition and family, we have met and understand Moslem more than Islam. But how far have we know God from Islam?

    However, according to Sufist, when you are searching, then you are on the way. And when you are on the way, you are actually there. It’s a never ending process to find God, but as the prophet said, when we are walking one step closet to God, God is running thousands steps to us. So keep on searching for God, within you :)

  17. kutu loncat says:

    If we see Islam as a product, I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s not a faulty product, it’s legitimate, came from trustworthy fabricator.
    The downside with it (let’s just call it that way) is that unfortunately this product has so many uneducated loyal costumer who know this product just because they’ve been told all their live without knowing or learning the essence of this thoroughly & carefully. More and more people failed to use this product to improve their live and others just because they were tight by invincible force which is their laziness, their ignorance, their stupidity, their lack of understanding of what this product meant for the mankind. Tradition, custom had also became a major factor which change how people use this product… In the end there’s one question that we should asked to each our self, that is it fair if we blame what happen these days to the product rather than to people who misused it? After all, supposedly, it’s our nature to always questioning things that we don’t completely understand, it’s our nature to seek the truth. Like X-Files motto : I Believe…. The Truth Is Out There…..

  18. Wow, I’m overwhelmed by all responses. Thank you, folks. Not like other posts, all comments in this particular post need sometime for me to digest.

    Ichi: I guess you’re right. I’m both searching for God and the truth of Islam. Where can I find them? Reading Qur’an tafsir (translation) should be like reading poems, we need to understand the meaning behind them, not literally swallow them. But then there would be lots of translation (I once was told that some chapters at the bible translation in Indonesian has totally different meaning in the original one), so maybe you could point where I should buy the good source?

    Melly: thank you. What happened to your mobile phone by the way? Tried to text you but haven’t got any replies :)

    Diny: and then what happens after that? You’re a free thinker, still a Muslim, or something else? How do you explain the concept of God to your children? I’m very curious.

    Lisa: I feel you. Every time I read about Muslim in Britain, it’s always those Pakistanis or Arabic who live in tight communities in certain area and don’t bother to mix with others. For so long British government let them do whatever they do, some can’t even speak English. I’m embarrassed that what British see about Islam is just that.

    Colson: what’s with the “pfft”? Hope it doesn’t mean you don’t like my post :) And as usual, you brilliantly laid out what I had in mind. Yes, the absolutism is the one that makes me skeptical. Remember the Catholic church when they held the absolute power and sent Galileo Galilei to jail because he said the earth is round and not flat. I always think it’s one of the extreme examples of human kind’s arrogance.

    Lorraine: how sweet you are. Thank you.

    Mulia: I guess so. But then how many are those like your friend? Everywhere I turn, I see Muslim who thinks their only mission is to beheaded some Westerners or blow up some house just because the guy publish a novel about Mohammad.

    Kutuloncat: you’ve got the point. But let’s say we eat some bad meat and it cause many people some sickness, should we still eat it or should we stop buying it?

  19. bonnie2405 says:

    In the spirit of soul-searching…want to wish…Selamat Idul Fitri to everyone who celebrate it.
    Mbak Anita…this is definitely a good way to celebrate Idul Fitri :) Reflect about your religion. I think this is certainly not shallowness from your side :)

    By the way I second Santi D (our world citizen in Germany) on the opinion of religion…
    Just be true to yourself…and of course in the search of the truth of religion…one always need to be open-minded that perhaps…perhaps…the truth not always as the way you want to have it. But again…perhaps why religion sometimes called belief…you need to choose..to belief…

    .

  20. Bonnie2405: thank you, I know in fact not many people are comfortable with my confession (I’m probably being slagged off behind my back by other Muslim people here at the moment) but I prefer to be honest to myself rather than ’saving face’ in front of others. If you celebrate Idul Fitri, minal aidin wal faizin :)

  21. Dear Anita,

    What great thank you I give it special to you. I will let you know soon tomorrow after I post about this special compliment from you.

    Have nice day,
    Fida from PA

    Fida Abbotts last blog post..My Writings at KabarIndonesia

  22. Anita, I’ve read this post and unlike many other posts you’ve written, I found it difficult to comment straight away without being perceived as trying to influence you to leave your religion, because I feel the same way as what you described in your post.

    Religions are a very touchy issue, especially in Indonesia. I know Islam very little apart from what I’ve seen on the news, including the fundamentalists, the corrupted religious leaders, etc. But I have also seen the same movement from fanatical Christian churches in the past, or country leaders using religion to their own advantage.

    For a while I was lost and I ended up stop believing in religions. I believe in the teaching of Jesus but I don’t think I can label or call myself a Christian or a Catholic.

    I’ve freed myself from religion and chose to believe in God only, and nothing else. Life is much simpler that way, and each day I’m thankful because God shows love by providing me with everything I need to live, by giving me the people who love me for who I am, and by protecting me throughout my whole life journey.

    Anita, I don’t think a person needs to hold a certain religion to be closer to God. I’ve known and met you and you are a wonderful person, and whether you realise it or not, you reflect what God would want you to be, as a person in this world.

  23. Hello Anita,

    reading your post about searching soul, I believe someday you will find the right answers as long as you open your heart widely and let God works privately in your heart. Trust!! The light will turn green soon!!!

    GBU!!!

    Fida Abbott
    http://www.fidaabbott.blogspot.com

    Fida Abbotts last blog post..Blog of the Week at FW

  24. Therry, as I said before unlike other posts, this particular post has received heavy comments and I really have to think more before responding each comment. I do believe in God and probably I am more agnostic than I thought, but maybe I’m not ready (yet) to free myself from certain label. Maybe you remember I went to Catholic school so I am familiar with its concept and I have a high respect toward this particular religion based on my personal experience with my school. I learned about Protestant as well and have formed an opinion based on what I have learned. Now I am trying to see all religions with new pair of eyes. Maybe I will find something. Somewhere. Sometimes. Soon.

    Fida, thank you. I believe so! :)

  25. kutu loncat says:

    @finally woken: But let’s say we eat some bad meat and it cause many people some sickness, should we still eat it or should we stop buying it?….
    —-
    I’d say I’ll still eat meat but buy it from other store, because maybe the meat from my regular store were already contaminated.
    It goes same here with our quest for the TRUE Islam. If I found my regular source is outdated, I’ll look for other sources who can bring up Islam more to me. Someone who can satisfied my thirst of Islam and or someone who can make me think what is the Real Islam all about. And for me this is how my learning curve were cultivated.

    I finished my education from elementary to senior high mostly at Christian & Catholic school, so reading a bible wasn’t a new thing for me. In order to succeed for next grade I had to pass my pelajaran agama exam, which is learning bible cover to cover. I had to learn songs Monday morning & Friday afternoon misa. Although I wouldn’t say I am excellent but I would say I pretty good with it.
    Few years ago I once had ‘hot’ discussion with one alumni from Gontor pesantren about women role in Islam in today’s society. As far I recalled although it was a high voltage discussion, I value it lesser than our discussion here. Why, its because it was full of dogmatic, not based on today reality, and very shallow thought. In short I didn’t find a check and balance in our conversation.

    Lesson learn just keep digging, talk to people whom you know have a good knowledge, use your common sense in analyzing Islam. Allah won’t burden people something
    Quran from tafsir, and hadist. Use Quran before hadist. Do compare Quran with bible, or any other religious books available. I hope & pray for your journey and quest will have happy ending. After all we all sinner, who are we to judge whose right or wrong…..

    BTW, I really like your blog… It shows your warm personality. It’s a shame we’ve never met before while we both still in Jakarta. I bet you’re a wonderful friend to be with…

  26. kutu loncat says:

    Lesson learn just keep digging, talk to people whom you know have a good knowledge, use your common sense in analyzing Islam. Allah won’t burden people more than they can bare. ALWAYS read Quran from tafsir, and hadist (not just Arabic version which most people don’t understand either ?). Use Quran before hadist. Do compare Quran with bible, or any other religious books available. I hope & pray for your journey and quest will have happy ending. After all we all sinner, who are we to judge whose right or wrong…..

  27. Hello! I believe as you do that God has a plan for each and every one us. I’m not here to knock the Muslim or any religion for that matter. Religion is what is destroying our world – God’s beautiful creation.

    I hope your journey ultimately leads to our Heavenly Father. I was born and raised Catholic and can relate about not having a choice. It was how I was raised and brought up. As I grew up I learned about so many religions and was always curious. I asked why? so many times and questioned everything around me – traditions, practices, etc.

    At a young age I strongly believe God put it on my heart to seek Him. I just didn’t know what I was looking for and felt empty for many many years. After meeting an uncle of friends we grew up with, I learned of a God who had more love in his heart to offer than any parent, family member or friend. They will always disspoint at some point in our lives, but God, will never disspoint. I learned there was a lot of emptiness wrapped around the word “religion” and found a new world and peace when I found a relationship with Jesus.

    I pray you will find what you are looking for and believe you are feeling all these emotions for a reason. Feel free to stop by my blog and comment. I love to share God’s word and what He has to offer.

    Kat Soutos last blog post..More Than a Feeling

  28. Hi Anita,
    All I can say is listen to your heart, no one can give you best answer, only you who will find the answer.
    Don’t ever use your logic thinking if you want to know God, because it is illogical.
    In every religion I found a chapter that enrich my relationship and knowledge of God, but to worship God, I choose Catholic as my way, because my heart said so.
    My relationship with God is through my heart, by my everyday touch with the world, people, animal, flower, season, air, everything.
    I once want to convert then surprisingly my priest, Pater Drost, and my mom, gave me the freedom to learn and know Islam, then I learned.
    Until at the end of my learning, suddenly my heart whispered me to stay with my first way to worship God.
    For me, we have one God, but the way we worship God is different, and all of them is the best way.
    The bad / worst from the religion was made by the people not God.
    Don’t take it wrong even Christian or Catholic also have their “fanatical” things.
    Talk to yourself, follow your heart and listen carefully to what your heart may say.
    Have to go now … off to Surabaya ..take care yourself Anita

    tere616s last blog post..The Day of Non Violence

  29. Kutuloncat: phew, just finished reading your comments. You know I really value them, I find that you give me a balance of my thinking about religion in general and Islam in particular. Thank you. The thing that makes me appreciate them (and others’ as well) the most are how nonjudgmental everybody is and apparently it’s not only me that is going through this.

    Kat Souto: thank you, and thank you for visiting my blog and leave a comment. I believe that God does have plan and this is a part of the journey I have to go through. I don’t know how long this will take, but I hope I find my peace soon, just like you.

    Tere: ooh, rujak cingur! :) Yes, I know a lot about Catholic and Christian (after all, I spent half of my life learning about them at school and uni!). I know how extreme everybody can be. That’s why I can’t just ‘jump between fences’, I’ve got lots of things to consider, ponder, think, etc. It’s back to Colson’s comment again, whether I’m searching for spiritualism, or religion….

  30. Sari Ganesha says:

    Dear Mbak Nita,

    I agree with you, you have the right to question the religion bestowed on you upon birth. I value those who doubts more than those who follows blindly. I’ve doubts of my own and still looking for the answers (upon polygyny among others). Keep searching …keep questioning let’s search and learn .. :-)

    ps: Hey .. I have an idea, how about listing all of your questions and send them to certain people-who-could-answer (of all faith) and see what each of them has to say. :-)

  31. Sari my dear, that’s a good idea! I will start building my list now. Regards to my family back in Jakarta especially my little nephew :)

  32. hey dear, sebelumnya maaf lahir batin dulu yaa.. :)

    Sama, gw juga ngerasa gak penting deh dulu diajarin di kelas2 agama tuh. Trus gw challenge lagi, ini ilmunya yg nggak asik, apa orang2 yang menyampaikan yang gak mampu mendeliver message yg begitu dalam sampe rasa2nya semua hanya semata2 jadi membatasi dan mengkerdilkan. Jadinya kita caught up di hal2 remeh temeh sampai2 lupa (konon) yg paling penting cuma untuk selalu total serah diri kepadaNya, membersihkan hati dan mengasihiNya & sesama…

    Konon di al-qur’an udah ditulis begitu juga yaa, (somewhere in surat al-baqarah) bhw yang dimaksud dengan Islam adalah pasrah kepada Allah.. tp kok gak pernah ditekankan ya, bagian2 yang dalem begitu, malahan yang ditekanan bagian yang “mudah2” aja, yang anjing itu najis lah, yang ini begini begitu dosa lah, masuk neraka dll dsb… caapee de! 😀

    I agree with Tere.., to feel God through heart… although still a long way to go for me, still a lot to learn! :)

    This posting from a friend might relate to this concern..
    http://mysticsaint.blogspot.com/2006/05/sharing-from-my-side-my-thoughts.html
    You may as well check out his blog & other entries, it’s quite inter-faith and I find it cool (literally, bikin adem, hehehe)..

    nadia febinas last blog post..Happy Idul Ftri

  33. Nadia: maaf lahir batin juga. Thanks for the link will surely read it. How’s Angola?

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