Finding Peace

For a while I refrained myself from writing about this, even though I have been thinking about this (a lot) for quite some time. I understand that it might be controversial to some, but hey this blog is called ‘Christa Bercerita’ because this is where I tell my stories.. and today it’s about faith.

I was born and raised Muslim, I am still a Muslim and I should note here that I was brought up in an interfaith household. My dad was a devout Muslim, my mom is a devout Christian and together they raised me as a Muslim. Whole my life, I am used to the exposure of the two faiths, and strangely enough my husband comes from a diverse background too – half of his family is Christian, while he is born and raised Muslim. So – that’s a little background about me.

Fast forward to the last few years, I started to question my faith. Not the Islam that I grew up with, but particularly the way some Indonesians Muslims practice their faith …. (I don’t want to generalize but that’s how I see it). In the past few years, I’ve seen more and more people / friends / colleagues / family / acquaintances getting more religious and especially with social media they are spreading their “newly-found-again” faith out loud.

I get it, I’m all about free speech and I (try my best) to value everyone’s opinion. But there’s this thing that I found very disturbing. I found that the narrative of this whole “newly-found-again” (or in Indonesian – hijrah) Islam is mostly (again, I don’t want to generalize) fear.

I’ve lost count of the times I went to a sermon, only to hear about how I’ve done soooo bad as a human being and I’m super sinful that I will burn in hell. I’ve lost count of the instagram posts telling me that I will get X punishment in hell because I don’t cover my hair or because I didn’t do this and that.

Truth be told these things don’t make me feel peace at all, instead they make me uneasy, and I thought being religious is supposed to bring peace on to my daily life.

I mean I don’t want to pray because I’m afraid that if I didn’t I will burn in hell. I don’t want to give to the poor and needy only because I want something in return, as I often hear, “give to the needy, your prayers will be heard!” I mean do I really have to have a motive in giving back? That does not feel right. I want to give because I feel like giving, because I feel thankful, and I want to pray because I want to feel close to God, because I want to feel peace. Not because I’m afraid. And definitely not because I want something in return!

So yeah, I kind of stop following Indonesian Islam (if there’s such thing.. but you know what I mean). Which is a bit sad, because I know Islam is all about communities and at the moment I don’t feel like I belong in my own community.

Thankfully, I am starting to find peace at my mosque here. Although I am yet to go there often, I love what I’m hearing so far. Every sermon I heard made me smile, made me feel at peace, and maybe I’ll find my community here. For now, I’ll continue observing Ramadan with an open heart, may this month brings Peace to you and I ❀

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21 thoughts on “Finding Peace”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Christa. Beberapa tahun belakangan ini aku pergi ibadah karna rutinitas saja, dan tetap hidup semauku. Semauku, yg penting bagaimanalah caranya agar aku senang. Hingga satu waktu, aku benar2 merasa jiwaku sangat kosong. Apapun yg kulakukan tak lagi sanggup membuatku bahagia. Kucari kesana kemari, tak kutemukan juga. Aku tersesat. Lalu Tuhan menyelamatkanku & menyadarkanku. Selama ini aku keliru karna telah menjadikan diriku & segala yg kumiliki menjadi sumber kebahagiaanku. Padahal seharusnya Tuhan sajalah satu-satunya sumber kebahagiaan manusia. Aku bersukur Tuhan masih memberiku kesempatan untuk hidup lebih baik lagi dan berbuat baik kepada sesama, karna Tuhan telah sangat baik kepadaku.

    Maap ya kalo komennya kepanjangan 😁😁

    Btw, i’d love to share stories with you one day! 😊 But for now, kita bertukar cerita via blog saja ya 😁😁

    Happy fasting dan semoga selalu sehat, dan semoga kamu menemukan komunitas yg pas di hati yaaa 😊

    1. Wah, Messa, sama – sama thank you for sharing your story juga ya πŸ™‚ Aku senang kamu udah ada di fase yang lebih baik dan bahagia sekarang πŸ™‚ Mudah2an suatu saat nanti kita bisa bertukar cerita langsung yaaa.. makasih ucapan puasanya, alhamdulilah so far berjalan lancar πŸ™‚

  2. Hear hear. I even go to the distance to learn about other religion such as buddhism, jew, etc. Human’s relation to religions fascinated me and I come to a point where I respect other’s spiritual practice while I’m continue on the journey on my own. Luckily, after years of searching in NY, I found ICNYU, a modern, smart and inclusive Islamic community, the version of Islam that I feel home to.

    1. Ah, I’ve heard many good things about ICNYU – I haven’t found something quite like that here, but a couple weeks ago I came to Suhaib Webb’s event in the mosque that I go to, and I loved it!

  3. “I mean I don’t want to pray because I’m afraid” is very well said. I don’t think we should believe in something because we are afraid of consequences. It should be because we wholeheartedly have faith in it.
    Anyway, selamat bulan ramadhan πŸ™‚

  4. Selamat berpuasa, Christa! Topik ini emang agak sensitif ya. Aku pribadi sudah lepas dari ritual agama (sudah ngga ke gereja) sejak 4 tahun lalu. Pas masih tinggal di Indonesia, sekitar 1-2 tahun sebelum merantau, aku udah punya pergumulan sendiri, aku sadar bahwa aku ke gereja cuma rutinitas aja dan rasanya kosong. Khotbah pendeta cuma asal lewat doang, orang2 di gereja juga aku sudah nggak sreg. Pas udah pindah kesini, nggak pernah ke gereja, entah kenapa bikin aku tenang. Tentu saja aku masih percaya pada Tuhan, tapi sekarang kayaknya aku lebih nyaman percaya secara universal, nggak berafiliasi pada agama apapun.

  5. Selamat berpuasa mohon maaf lahir batin. Ya bisa relate dengan ceritamu. Tapi wait..kelompok muslim yang mana dulu? πŸ˜† Kalau yg sudah lama-lama kayaknya tetap begitu2 saja cirinya. Yg gencar di medsos mungkin yg baru-baru masuk.. Yg lama msh banyak di tempat2 tertentu. Dulu saya juga sempat πŸ™„ tapi lalu berpikir kalau memang yakin, knp ku musti gelisahπŸ™‚ esensi beragama yg pertama adalah merasa khusyu damai di dalam diri dulu kan lalu yakin, bkn terwakili dr atribut, simbol2, atau krn peer pressure. Semua org punya ritme dan cara pencarian sendiri2. Masa di bully dalam perjalanan hrs belok ke kanan atau kiri. Yg lg jalan siapa🀣Untung disana ada komunitas ya. Tapi sebetulnya di Indonesia jg enak, krn banyak “pilihan” (asal dicari). Bila tdk cocok dg penerimaan kelompok A bisa ikuti kelompok B. Di negara Islam lain mana bisa gitu πŸ˜‚ kpn2 aku share ceritanya..

    1. Selamat berpuasa juga dan mohon maaf lahir bathin, fe.. hehehe ya kelompok muslim yang ramai muncul disekitarku lah ceritanya. Anyway, bener, kalau memang yakin ngga perlu gelisah, aku sempat jalan sendiri beberapa lama waktu di Indonesia, tapi lama2 kangen berkomunitas, makanya gelisah hehehe. Boleh dong kapan2 share yaaa, aku tungguu πŸ™‚

  6. Sometimes I could relate, betapa rasanya kita terlalu berdosa jika dihadapkan pada hal-hal seperti yang sedang marak ini. Hanya saja saya melihat positifnya saja, semakin banyak muslim menjemput hidayah dengan caranya masing-masing. And you, or I have our own way. Yang selalu patut dikedepankan adalah nilai-nilai kebaikan universal yang terkadang luput. Semoga, semakin berilmu kita semua, semakin indah perilaku pada sesama.

    Semangat Mbak Christa. Have a blessed Ramadhan!!

    1. Ah aku suka banget kalimat terakhirmu, harusnya semakin indah perilaku pada sesama, jadi hubungan keAtas baik, kesamping juga baik ya kan.
      Terima kasih ya, have a blessed Ramadan to you too πŸ™‚

  7. Thank you for writing this Chris. I feel exactly the same way, from what I’ve seen lately. I commend you for speaking up about it, I’m sure there are a lot who agree with you. Have a peaceful Ramadan πŸ™‚

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