I, Being a Muslim (part 1)

September 25, 2007

My younger years – My choice as a Muslim

I am born to Muslim parents. As such I was raised a muslim. Thought Islam since I could remember. I went to an Islamic Kindergarten. there I learn the concept of Islam and its pillars. I never really paid much heed to existent of other religion. All this began to change when I move to primary school. When my parents decided that I would go to a secular school instead, I never really understood why till I was older.

I was raised in strict islamic teachings or one might call it style. From a very young age I was taught sirah(History of Muhammad s.a.w), the Quran and Shariah(Islamic law). During those younger time I did not understand much of their significants, I just followed the rule. As I got older I slowly began to understand.

As I moved on to primary school, a secular one, I was also sent to a weekly religious classes. From my secular school(SS) I was introduce to different races, culture and religion. At first it was a bit strange. I would usually hang around other malay muslim friends. Than slowly over time we manage to get along quite fine with other classmates. During this interaction is where I learn that there are differences between my religion and theirs, but one thing stays the same is that we pray to God.

I began to question my parents and religious school(RS) teachers about other religions. Fortunately, my RS teachers were former student of my grandfather. So they said that Islam is my religion and for me to learn about the religion of others I must first learn about my own. Yet again I did not understand this. So I never asked them again about it again. Instead asked my friends, but most of the time we never ventured far just touching the surface.

During those primary years especially during primary 5&6 I studied deeper into Islam. I was introduced to fiqh(Islamic practices), akhlaq(Islam conduct), tajweed(Quranic pronunciations), tafsir(Quran interpretation) and hadith(Islamic Narations). Though I was only introduced to the surfaces of this subjects, I was amazed at how Islam/religion does not only teaches us about God but also how we live. I learn that the Shariah and Islam is derived from the Quran and hadith and in any case where I have question or doubts I have a source to turn to. With this I became less dependent on my teachers and parents for my answers.

With the books available in my home such a task of self learning is never impossible. With books such as Taisiirul ‘Alaam(A collection narrations), Tafsir ibnu Khatir(Interpretation of the Quran) and the Fathul Bahri(another collection of narration).

The Taisiirul ‘Alaam was used when I was in primary 5&6 up to my secondary years. This book helped me understand more of the practices of Islam. It is this 800++ pages book that I used to study fiqh.

Tafsir ibnu Khatir, was used by me to study the Quran deeper thus helped me understand previous questions I have about Islam. I only found this book in my secondary years though it had been there all the while.

The Fathul Bahri, this is a large set of books. Each book is the size of an A4 paper and as thick as Harry potter and the chambers of secret the paper back. Here is a collection of narration more complete than that of the Taisiirul ‘Alaam.

Through this books I learn Islam from its source. Not from Ustaz(religious teachers) who might have meddled their own opinions Or from false interpretations and narrations. My father always tells me that to learn Islam one cannot only depend on the teaching of others wholly, one must also learn to verify what was taught. This way we will never be lost or let astray.

Till the age of 12, around primary six-secondary one, I was a muslim by heritage and upbringing. I never really had a choice over my religion. Before that age I mostly assume that we are born into a religion. The thought of conversion just never existed. Then, I heard the stories of people converting into Islam and out of Islam. This time I asked My father, he answered they may have discover things that draws them to a religion, God will guide who god wills. Then a question came to me later, which I found an answer to,

“There is no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And
God heareth and knoweth all things.”

I have made my choice, I was Muslim by heritage and upbringing, now I am a Muslim by choice.

I will paused here for now…



Inter-Religious Marriages

September 20, 2007

i was reading one of my friends blog which leads me to a forum regarding Inter-Religious Marriages.

In my personal opinion I believe that love has no boundaries, be it race, heritage, culture or in this case religion. but marriage, is a totally different thing. as love is recommended but not necessary in marriage. Though in casses inter-religious marriages cannot occur due to religious restriction. I believe inter-religious love can exist.

I am not familiar with Christianity, so I will not go there. However I am a Muslim and as so I will go deeper here.

In Islam Inter-Religious Marriages does exist. But there are conditions for doing such. A muslim man may marry a non-muslim, in this case, each professes to each own faith and the husband cannot force his wife to convert. For a muslim woman however, she is not allowed to marry a non-muslim, this can be explained that Islam teaches that the husband/father is the head of a family. so the only way for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim is that the husband converts to Islam or she converts to the religion of her husband to be. However, in the later solutuion for a muslim woman to marry a non-muslim she will be conducting apostasy.

another thing, which is regarding the quote below from the forum.

“Quit your church and go Bugis Kuan Yin temple and pray to him…
Then go tell the girl you like her and you have quit your religion for her…”

now the question is if this person is so easily swayed to leave God(religion) for a girl. how easily will this person be swayed to leave this girl another girl or something else. Taking God so lightly of a matter. This definitely shows ones level of faith and how much you can trust such a person. so i advice the girl don’t go for him.

all truth be from God,
and mistakes be from me…