Last Ramadan I have been spending less time online and more time trying to get a deeper understanding of my faith. As an Indonesian Muslim in today’s society, I often feel like I don’t really belong to the community. The things I saw in the popular media, the things I heard from my extended network, none of them are in line with my values and beliefs. Then it got me thinking. Have I been losing my faith? How could they be saying things that seem to be contradictive with the Islam that I was brought up in, the things that I believe in? What is wrong and what is right now?
Since it was Ramadan and it was a perfect time to connect more with my spirituality, I decided to learn more about Islam. I chose to avoid learning from Indonesian sources because I simply can’t relate to their narrative. I’m nowhere near a pious but for sure I believe that Islam teaches modesty, peace and compassion, while a majority of Indonesian Islamic scholars I see nowadays tend to use fear and anger as their narrative. While that kind of narrative might be suitable for some people, that is something that I know for sure are against my beliefs.
A month then passed but I feel like I haven’t learned enough. Of course, spirituality is not something that you can learn instantly. I believe it’s a lifelong process. However, I think I have found an answer that can at least make me more comfortable being in today’s society. During Ramadan, through my search and all that, I was reminded that spirituality and religion is a very personal thing.
One can learn from the same scholar but came home with different perceptions. One can even be raised by the same parents and have different opinions. One can have a strong belief about a particular issue and free to say it out loud, but I believe that one does not have the right to force anybody else to have the same belief, nor declaring that those with different beliefs are wrong, or worse, less worthy.
I mean, who are we to judge? for all we know, only God knows the ultimate truth 🙂
So that’s the key takeaway from my Ramadan this year. As always, it was an incredible month and I feel blessed to be able to experience it.
To my fellow Muslims, hope you had an eventful Ramadan and to everybody else, I hope you had a nice summer break. Peace! 🙂