Monday, June 30, 2014

Once upon a time

              There was this one time, during a medical students' conference that I was shocked by a conversation I had. This happened years back when I got to meet a lot of awesome medical students from other countries. I had the most amazing group members and facilitators. All of them were so friendly and warm (that I actually felt guilty because looking back, perhaps I had been rather cold) and you just enjoyed the moments because of the people around you, especially your groupmates. Everyone was friendly to each other, except for this one chap, whom I thought was avoiding me (it was my fault since I refused to shake hands with him during the ice-breaking session --> sounds like I had created a thick ice wall huh?). I wasn't offended at all despite of him being so friendly and out-going with others because I bet it must be something to do with me. Nevertheless, I have always been one with curiosity and thought that if I don't ask, I wouldn't have the answer. So, rather than keep on assuming, I asked him after our farewell party, why was he avoiding me? was it because of something I had done or said to him? And his answer is something I did not expect(the words were not exactly like this but this was the gist of his reply that I had remembered until now) : "It's not like I am avoiding you but I don't know what to talk about with you since I am afraid I might offend you. Because I don't know much about Islam and my Muslim friends in my country (in the West) are not like you. They drink alcohol, they go clubbing and stuff like that."

               Thinking back, I was grateful that Allah gave me the strength to practise my religion despite of being among the minority (during that particular conference). May Allah grant us the strength and patience to have Taqwa at all times wherever we are. Another thing that came across my mind today when I was listening to a short reminder from a sheikh from the States (he mentioned about being Muslims in the West to be in a better state) was that more and more people are discovering the light and seeing the beauty of Islam and changing for the better in the West. We noticed more and more scholars are rising from the West. I couldn't help but to think, if I don't do something, and if we don't care enough for the ummah today, there is a possibility that my friend's statement above reflected Muslims from our region. I am not being negative but I just wanted to remind myself that we are indeed in a troublesome state, if not now, perhaps someday if we don't change for the better.


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