Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Religion Being Exclusive


I love blogging due to its two way interactions. Which mean I can interact directly with readers without any middleman. There was few comments really makes me think seriously about religion and life, and I would like to quote Mea comment from my post "Ana Masuk Majalah ?" as this article preface.

sy ada seorang kawan chinese teochew di singapura. recently she just converted his father into christian. b4 her father and mother are buddhits or something. somehow she finally convinced her father to select the path which she thinks is true. and she is happy about it. i understand her. if a person belief in afterlife, heaven and hell, reward and punishment, of course one wanna save their parents even if that is the last thing they do.

her father got last stage cancer. with not so many days ahead, he needs people to care for him. the environment especially. i understand how he feels. my grandfather die not so long ago. at least it feels like recently. christian community in singapore is strong in areas of community aid and financially backed. they are closed and get along with their church members and pastor with at least a month or two home visit to promote close ties and togetherness in the neighborhood or among church members. not to mention an every weekend church gathering for the pastor's khutbah. so her father is happy right now, with many people around him and ultimately she is.

an interesting fact about my friend is that she is just like u ikhwan. she is born to be a buddhist follower in-heritance. but unlike me, she study about her religion and other religions. and finally she has decided that only 2 religions is true and pick one. 

that is ISLAM and christian, as in accordance to her it is not of humans, but god's teaching. and she even explain to me that she found out many resemblance between this 2 religion. 

i smile at that time. happily. i think if there is one true god (ALLAH swt as in my faith) then she is definitely being included among many who receive HIS love and light. i want to go and preach her about islam, about the four holy books of ISLAM, about who is jesus according to islam, and about how the christian is a sample in the islamic view and population. i wanna show her my belief and preach to her but in the end i stop because there is no paksaan in menganuti islam. and she is a christian long before i know her. unless she open the topic then will i discuss.

i don't remember the details but b4 i had asked her about the reason why she choose christian out of ISLAM. and her answer revolves around how many material is there for her to learn about it in singapore. and there are pastors who are willing to teach her and to improve her understanding on subject matter although quite frequently she said to me that there are times that she does not agree with the pastors teaching. 

upon hearing that i asked her a very simple question. if u re not in singapore, u re in roman, will u be a catholic? if u re not in singapore, u re in arab's will u choose islam? and finally i said if u re in malaysia with material for u to study, someone like ustaz or imam to guide u on the subject matter will u choose islam? she's speechless. and i am sad because her choice is motivated by reference that she could reach her hand into. 

i am saying that if the condition are set on equal proportion, in which she can access to both materials in same weight and depth, would the result still be the same?

My Childhood

When my wife looking over my family photo album, the first question she ever asked was :"Why there are so many photos you took in chinese temple?" Well... I was raised up in Buddhism family, my father have strong faith in Buddhism that's why he is giving away every effort in building up family's faith. No question upon other religion, and never look for any of them. That's the rule of my family.

Faith can be environmental, it affect by the community around us and how they influences our world view. My father wasn't "born Buddhism", he was getting inspired with Buddhism while studied at India at age about 20+. India's religion inspired him, and then he bring it back to Malaysia and raised my family up in more strong and faithful Buddhism preaching. After all, I nearly spend 60% of my childhood time in visiting different chinese temple and look for monk's advice. 

My father is serious book reader, although he is Buddhism and Fheng Shui believer but at the same time he collected a lot of common religion book. Just like an delight for him I guess, my father is just curious with whole world's knowledge till my mother keep muttering he always spent too much on books and leaving few new books unopened for months. 

At childhood time I was Buddhism.
I have no question about faith, like I was born to be Buddhism and no doubt should be asked. When time goes by, I found myself lost in various religions . 

Different Religions and Faiths

When my sister was having relationship with Christian (Soon turn out to be her husband), my father was so angry and keep muttering :"He is not even same faith with us! I raised up my daughter so hard but she willing to convert into Christian?" 

I wasn't questioning why my father react like that. He told me how terrible is other religion in taking away family's tradition and faith. Which like can't worship the gods that used to be in our house, also can't visit parent's grave just because not same faith. Although there are Christian can be tolerate with different religion life partner, but definitely not him. My sister have been baptized quietly and not staying at house every sunday.  

"Just let her be, she is going to get married one day too. Moreover she never stick to Buddhism while small." My mother was persuade my father. "Just let your sons take care of our religion."

Daughter is always easier in convert religion issue. 
The reason can be very simple and historical, girl have not much right in family. They are going to get married soon and become other's family member. What's wrong if they follow husband's religion and surname? It only goes wrong if our sons leaving the religion we embraced. My mother spent lots of time in telling my father this, until he nodded and let my sister getting married. 

I experienced the first time ever religion conflict while I was 18 years old. 

Exclusive Religion For Exclusive Race

"if u re not in singapore, u re in roman, will u be a catholic? if u re not in singapore, u re in arab's will u choose islam?"

I quote this enlighten words from Mae. 
Faith can be environmental and exclusive for specific race or community only. Where specific community see the right faith for the right people, and only them is the righteous one. When I saw chinese god dressed up like chinese, and also the same for the other race's religion, I can't stop asking myself is God also being divided into different suite for different race of prayer?

According to the religion statistic, Judaism is the world's oldest yet fewest religion follower. The reason is simple, Judaism is exclusively for Jewish only. Prophet Ibrahim preaching against mankind become their property and Jewish do circumcised their kids (including daughter) as one of the important practice in religion. 

“If you are a liberal Jew, whether you see circumcision as the sanctification of the covenant, as a ceremony marking you as a Jew, or otherwise, this book stimulates deeper reflection about the practice. As an aware, concerned, and introspective people, Jews must examine whether our rites are right. We must determine if our ceremonies, traditions, and practices reflect our innermost beliefs. Asking ourselves and each other the question 'Why?' is one of the most sacred tasks to which a modern Jew can dedicate himself or herself.”

—Rabbi Donald Pollock, 

pastoral psychotherapist, writer, and lecturer

After all, when the message from God have been rejected and modified... God sent down prophet Isa which is well known as Jesus Christ in Christian religion. There goes another religion conflicts between Jewish and Christian. The word once said by Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Isa was right, but as time goes by their words have been twisted by irresponsible follower. 

When contradiction happened, religion have been separated and become exclusive again. Jewish and Christian never staying on the same way, as Christian accuse Jewish who killed their beloved Jesus Christ. When Prophet Muhammad SAW sent down after Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Isa, God have been commanded that religion is never exclusive for specific race in Surah Al-Baqarah 135-136 : 

Dan mereka (kaum Yahudi dan Nasrani) berkata: “Jadilah kamu pemeluk ugama Yahudi atau pemeluk ugama Nasrani, nescaya kamu akan mendapat petunjuk”. Katakanlah (wahai Muhammad: “Kami orang-orang Islam tidak akan menurut apa yang kamu katakan itu) bahkan kami mengikut ugama Nabi Ibrahim yang tetap di atas dasar Tauhid, dan bukanlah ia dari orang-orang musyrik”. 

Katakanlah (wahai orang-orang yang beriman): “Kami beriman kepada Allah, dan kepada apa yang diturunkan kepada kami (Al-Quran), dan kepada apa yang diturunkan kepada Nabi Ibrahim dan Nabi Ismail dan Nabi Ishak dan Nabi Yaakub serta anak-anaknya, dan juga kepada apa yang diberikan kepada Nabi Musa (Taurat) dan Nabi Isa (Injil), dan kepada apa yang diberikan kepada Nabi-nabi dari Tuhan mereka; kami tidak membeza-bezakan antara seseorang dari mereka (sebagaimana yang kamu – Yahudi dan Nasrani – membeza-bezakannya); dan kami semua adalah Islam (berserah diri, tunduk taat) kepada Allah semata-mata”.

God creates mankind into different skin colour and race, then why God would separated His religion for specific race? God is never racist upon His servants, but human does. 

Steve Jobs View About Religions 

This is a book about biography of Steve Jobs, 90% content is about how he build up Apple Inc since young. However it's an surprise that I found out his small part article written about what Steve Jobs view about religion. I quoted his words because he could be a suitable example in reviewing how western religions being affected and his personal view about it.

This is an authorised biography, commissioned by Jobs shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2003. Given Jobs’s controlling nature and his often vicious defence of his privacy, there were grounds for fear that the official life might be an in-house whitewash, another example of the famous “reality distortion field” that Apple employees felt surrounded their boss. - From

Chapter One 
Childhood : Abandoned And Chosen

Even though they were not fervent about their faith, Jobs’s parents wanted him to have a religious upbringing, so they took him to the Lutheran church most Sundays. That came to an end when he was thirteen. In July 1968 Life magazine published a shocking cover showing a pair of starving children in Biafra. Jobs took it to Sunday school and confronted the church’s pastor. “If I raise my finger, will God know which one I’m going to raise even before I do it?”

The pastor answered, “Yes, God knows everything.”
Jobs then pulled out the Life cover and asked, “Well, does God know about this and what’s going to happen to those children?”

“Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.”

Jobs announced that he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshipping such a God, and he never went back to church. He did, however, spend years studying and trying to practice the tenets of Zen Buddhism. Reflecting years later on his spiritual feelings, he said that religion was at its best when it emphasized spiritual experiences rather than received dogma. 

“The juice goes out of Christianity when it becomes too based on faith rather than on living like Jesus or seeing the world as Jesus saw it,” he told me. 

“I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don’t. It’s the great mystery.”

I am attracted by Steve Jobs view about the "Religion House".
Sometime I wonder it's because Steve Job do have the Fitrah towards Islam, the only thing is he chosen Buddhism and being vegetarian for the whole of his life.

 Most people sometime see it, sometime don't... 

God's Religion Is Never Exclusive

Orang-orang Yahudi dan Nasrani tidak sekali-kali akan bersetuju atau suka kepadamu (wahai Muhammad) sehingga engkau menurut ugama mereka (yang telah terpesong itu). Katakanlah (kepada mereka): “Sesungguhnya petunjuk Allah (ugama Islam itulah petunjuk yang benar”. Dan demi sesungguhnya jika engkau menurut kehendak hawa nafsu mereka sesudah datangnya (wahyu yang memberi) pengetahuan kepadamu (tentang kebenaran), maka tiadalah engkau akan peroleh dari Allah (sesuatupun) yang dapat mengawal dan memberi pertolongan kepada mu.

(Al-Baqarah : 120)

Allah SWT never stated that He loving only some exclusive race who being created. While the environment can created such situation. When Jewish and Christian being racist against each other, community have been created such an Exclusive Religion. While when mankind pray to God, He never differ us with skin colour but the question is do we obey truly with what God command? Do we telling lies that God never stated? Did we getting away from the real source of His religion or keen on protecting the most true words from Him?

When people see religion and that's the only religion in life, have they ever asked any doubt about religion? Do they ever look with their own eyes or just heard so and so from others? Wherever we stay at what country, the same doubt is still remain in our heart. Just depends on someone really search for the meaning of life or not? Do he enjoy what he have on world only or think about death and life? Do he ever seek for God or he just adopted any religion without further research?

Dan tidaklah ada yang lebih zalim daripada orang yang diberi ingat dengan ayat-ayat Tuhannya, lalu ia berpaling daripadanya dan lupa akan apa yang telah dilakukan oleh kedua tangannya; sesungguhnya (disebabkan bawaan mereka yang buruk itu) Kami jadikan tutupan berlapis-lapis atas hati mereka, menghalang mereka daripada memahaminya, dan (Kami jadikan) pada telinga mereka penyumbat (yang menyebabkan mereka pekak). Dan jika engkau menyeru mereka kepada petunjuk, maka dengan keadaan yang demikian, mereka tidak sekali-kali akan beroleh hidayah petunjuk selama-lamanya.

(Surah Al-Kahfi, ayat : 57)

Only God The All Knowing realize someone is sincere in searching for Him or not. If someone is really sincere in searching for truth, insyaAllah God is never leaving them alone. The only thing is do they willing to breakthrough the barrier of environmental ritual or not. It took a great strength in doing so and only God may show them the straight path. 

When someone decided to search for God who created universe
Then God will guide them to breakthrough the barrier of Handmade Religion Environment


  1. Keep on posting brother... You are doing a very good job.. May Allah bless and reward you for your effort....

  2. insyaAllah bro Firdaus, so do you have any personal comment or review about this article?

  3. :) selamat maju jaya ikhwan ng. :)

  4. salam kenal.. jemput singgah blog hamba (Aku Sebutir Pasir) kalau nak baca pengalaman hamba kembara ke 46 buah negara.. :)

  5. salam ikhwan.

    i have certainly read it.

    to change what has been a faith to one is like denying parts of themselves and being born anew. it is many matters of concerns and worrisome whether or not the attachments (family, suami isteri, anak, ibu bapa, kawan2, masyarakat yg menganut agama lain) to past life and rituals, needs and wants, accumulative goodwill and good deeds as performs in the past can be recognized and not be in naught, post-converted. address these fears are to understand their concern thus educate/explain to the willing (those in the process of learning ISLAM).

    3.embracing a new faith is akin to the theory that the world is flat and was taken a back by reality when the first space shuttle was ever created.

    4.fearing in accepting syahadah (ISLAM), one would want to seek up for guarantee that this is the last time i will be ever converted and yet sadly seeing born-heritage muslims become murtad. and thus they questioned themselves again. such are the reality nowadays and the view aren't very promising. added salt to the cut, the liberalism of Islam, the practice of human rights more populist then religion, masked/con alim ulama, conspiracy to confused the muslims by changing the word Jesus to Allah in bible claiming the teaching abraham/ prophet ibrahim comes to them first but refused to acknowledge that Islam is the only religion recognized by Allah.

    6.specific religion to specific race a.k.a when the religion being exclusive has got to do as to why many prophets; nabi and rasul were sent to their respective people or tribes. initially the teachings is one, to deliver Allah message to them "tiadalah aku menjadikan jin dan manusia melainkan untuk menyembahku", but as the time goes by the teaching has been distorted, changed for interest, motivation, power, political, energy fossils and minerals depletion survivals and race which is then the results by the hands of human themselves.

    7. the process of understanding a religion, faith, and ultimately converting doesn't took place in one day and yet to shatter it can be in blink of seconds.

    8. to ready one self and embark on a new journey in Islam was never an easy space trip ikhwan. it took a very special person who can receives HIS light and guidance despite all the hardships above.

    9. can't explain more then what ur article have done to us all. u know better cause u have been in that space shuttle. salam

  6. I am also a convert to islam, but reading your blog is so inspiring. The internet has made it so easy for us to share our inner feelings and to spread the message of Islam...syukur alhamdulillah!

  7. ikhwana :

    Terima kasih ikhwana yang datang dari facebook


    insyaAllah akan menjenguk blog..

  8. mae :

    Welcome back Mae, your comments have been long awaited.. I hope you can spend a little time write comment also at my upcoming article, your comment would be enlighten others also.

  9. Anonymous :

    Yes I have to agree that internet really makes the message spread much easily without any strong media background. Alhamdulilah... May I know your name by the way?

  10. I am reading your blog, one article after another..very interesting..

    1. Thanks for reading. I love writing so I always try few different way of blogging.


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