In the Name of Allah,The Most Merciful and Most Compassionate
Sometimes, all we have to do is take a little time and ask ourselves,
"What have we done, to our religion?"
Have we done enough to potray ourselves as good Muslims? Or are we worsening the image of this beautiful religion.
I have had experienced a beautiful thing in my life when I went to Laos back then in 2014. Malaysia volunteers that represented Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa consisted of 20 of us, from various of universities in Malaysia. 10 were sent to a village named Ban Na Pho, and another 10 to Ban Tin Keo. All of us had been doing volunteering works in that village; teaching students at the school, fixing the school's facilities, cleaning the village, painting murals and doing activities with the villagers.
Each of the Malaysian volunteers, was paired with a Laos Volunteer from Lao Youth Union. My partner, Jam Keopanya, and I, were 'adopted' by a Lao family.We lived with the family for like a fortnight, I slept and ate* in their house. The family were so nice. They make me believe that nice people are all over the world. When I reached their home, I was so nervous to tell them about my religion. That I had to pray in their house 5 times a day, that I had to cover myself all the time so that they won't feel offended. I had to explain in the nicest way so that they won't misunderstand me.
I was lucky. Very much so.
My pho (father in Lao), said ;
"I don't mind what religion or what belief you hold, once you step into my house, I will treat you as my child, all the same like my children".
Aww. Touching. From time to time, I explained to my may (mother in Lao), about my clothes, prayers and such. If my partner, Jam was not around, most of the time I spoke to her in sign language. Haha. It was really nice that some people around the world get to know our religion. And they can accept it. They will accept it,if and only if, we tell them with good manners. Da'wah bil hal. Allah knows, how hard it was for us to struggle in that place. The people hold strong belief in Buddha. One of my team mate was not allowed to pray in his adoptive family's house because that's his 'sacred' place for Buddha. So whenever this guy wanted to pray, he'd go to another friends' house.
Another thing that concerned us most was food. We cooked our own food. Using firewood. Heh heh.
I was so bad in cooking, on the first day, the food was so bad that all of us was so redha with that tak sedap food (I didn't cook alone tho so it wasn't all my fault haha). Later, we mastered the technique of using the firewood stove and be able to cook some edible and nice food. Not bad, can eat, can get full tummy, okay la. It's a tradition that Lao people eat sticky rice. It's like beras pulut but only cooked with plain water. At first, it tasted sooo weird..almost like beras usang to me. But I was hungry lol, by the time 14 days reached, it had been my staple food and tasted nice.
There were times that, Jam would cook fried eggs for me, since she pitied me for eating only the sticky rice without any lauk.(I only joined them for breakfast meal, because it's courtesy to join them during meal time). I was so in dilemma.. I couldn't eat that, but she already made it. How? To avoid misunderstanding, I would eat that egg in small portion to jaga hati. It's so wrong to refuse the eggs she made for me, but it's also so wrong to eat all of the eggs (eventho it look so appetizing weh). Later, then only I explained to her of why she shouldn't be cooking for me, although there's no traces of pork in that meal. Da'wah bil lisan. (My reason was because of the pan she used, the oil and the spatula. And, I didn't get to see her while she cooked, so it was doubtful).
When I tried my best to explain to them about Islam, I always asked myself, "Am i doing enough?, Am I potraying a good example?"
Because, if I were doing it right, they'll be able to understand Islam and see it as a good and nice religion. But if I were doing it wrong? It doesn't only make me bad but will make them think that the whole thing about this religion is bad. Nauzubillah min zalik.
Sometimes, I'd watch videos on Youtube about non Muslims' perspective about Islam, or Muslims as a minority in their country. It's purely nice to see how non-Muslims love to listen to the Quran.
And if we have so much to complain, look at the struggling Muslims living as a minority.
"My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels. Of humble origins, Muhammad founded* and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influences is still powerful and pervasive".
Michael H.Hart (1992), The 100 : A Ranking of Most Influential Persons in History
*I think the word founded is not suitable*
Hart chose Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), as the most influential person - he even ranked his God (or belief), Jesus Christ (Prophet Jesus pbuh) in the third place when he himself is a Christian. Well, it's his book and he could choose to put Jesus (pbuh) in the first place, but he didn't. He was not biased and based on his research, he did agree that Islam is a powerful religion, ever since Prophet Muhammad preached it.
My point is that, Islam can still stay strong, powerful as ever, with Allah's will, even without us.
But, my question is, are we going to stay still and do nothing?