I don’t know exactly, how to start my story; about everything which had happened in my life. Too many things and moments which happened to my life, especially in the last four years. And I feel that God guides me to keep learning about His Almighty.
Basically, I come from a common Muslim community, which tries to implement the Islamic teaching like what had been taught by some Ulemas. In many religious preaching delivered by the preachers, they always said that praying and fasting in the month of Ramadan, are the two kinds of worships which become the principles of our religion.
My searching journey process was continued. When I continued my study in the university, I arrived in a new environment that guided me to my recent way of dressing up. Wearing a long gamis with a large veil. And I start to think differently about my Islam which is as not simple as just ritual matter like praying and fasting, but it is in all aspects of our life systems. Our sisterhood was very strong, therefore I enjoyed very much about my journey in this new environment with full desire and spirit.
Nevertheless, I’m still feeling a kind of anxiety. There is something which makes me raise some questions; starting from the doctrines of obedience and submission to the leaders (including the obedience and submission of the wife to the husband, if a woman had got married already), the suggestion on doing polygamy, until the hostility to the followers of other religions. In my opinion, those teachings are not suitable with the spirit of Islamic teachings and break the basic values of life.
In the middle of my journey, I met Rahima. A non government organization, concentrates on strengthening the women’s rights within Islamic perspective. Here I feel the situation that lead us to customize the ‘positive thinking’, treating other people equally, and never judge other people with the prejudice or negative thinking just because they are different with ourselves. Here, I see the diversity of the life realities, raging from their ways of thinking, their ways of dressing up, or even their attitudes and behaviors. For example their different reasons of wearing ‘jilbab’ or veils. Such as their customs and tradition which they got from their childhood; or in order to be seen more ‘mature’, or because of the environment where there grew up all of them wear veil, or may be it just because of a practical reason. My large veil is also not a problem here.
In this place I found the meaning of religion in a different nuance. I found that Islam teaches all of the believers to do good deeds, to recognize and to treat other people equally. Because, basically the human being are not come just from a single sex, a single ethnic, a single religion, nor a single organization. Yet, we come from various ethnics, cultures, organizations, religion, as well as sexes.
By considering these differences, I learned how to recognize the diversities. In the pluralistic situation, we unify our steps to justice, equality, and to the well-being of the people. Both men and women. I don’t find any sign of discrimination based on ethnicity, or based on the different way of thinking. This seems dismissing the prejudice and perspective of some people which I heard that the institution where I learn is far from the spirit of Islamic teaching. Nevertheless in my opinion, what I see here is suitable with the message on the Quranic teaching that tell every human being is created by Allah in the different sexes (men and women), ethnics and nations in order to know and to understand each other. Because, actually the highest degree among Allah is the ‘taqwa’ (submission) of His servants (QS Al Hujurat : 13).
From those journeys, I can conclude a lesson learned that the most comfortable place is a place where we are able to recognize, to understand, to treat each other in equal and justice way. Since the reality of the diversity is a nature from God, The Almighty. Wallahu a’lam, Allah knows the best.