Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#1Hari1Ayat: About Being a Muslim in Indonesia

Prohibited to you are dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah , and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars, and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin - then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(Q. S. Al-Ma'idah (5): 3)

Hi again Addison ;)

After thinking for more than one week #drama, I choose this question to be answered.

Here in the United States, we normally associate Muslims with the Middle Eastern and northern African nations. Is there freedom of religion in Indonesia, or is it a nationally declared Islamic nation? What's the history behind Indonesia becoming a mostly Islamic nation? What is your government like there, and do many government officials base their decisions and actions on Islamic religion?

The history of Indonesia is very very long and it might spend all my life collecting the pieces and explaining it to you – therefore, I will let you know if I find a good article that can answer your curiosity.

Long story short, Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population in the world, considering that our population is the fourth biggest in the world – after China, India, and U.S. Muslim in Indonesia is around 80% or so, therefore yes Indonesia is one country that usually associated with Muslim. I don't think you know it, but actually, I heard that applying U.S. Visa for Indonesians is not easy – regarding this condition. The opportunity will become more difficult if you have Islamic name and very Islamic appearance, such as beard for men, and wear hijab for women. However, this statement is not always applicable if the Indonesian has a clear purpose when planning to visit U.S. Just a thought (and a reality that sometimes happen...).

I remember that we used to have 'Islamic law' in our philosophical foundation, but then it was erased because our President consider the other ethnicity groups, like Christian or Chinese (yes, we have a lot of Chinese-descent citizens, too).

Years gone by and we still have some issues about freedom of religion in Indonesia, as I have to admit that Indonesians people prefer to have Islam leaders (number talks here). So surely Muslim-Indonesians are always be prioritized in most of government policies.

Despite the bad things that still going on and on, I basically will say that our government place themselves in the middle among some groups in Indonesia. For example, the education. I always studied in Islamic school, and I never had any non-Islamic friend in my school. But a friend of mine, she is Muslim, she studied in a Catholic school, and the school provided Islam lesson for her.

Another example is, compare it with other countries in Middle East, when it comes to praying times, every muslim worker has to take a break and pray together in the nearest mosque. Even in Saudi Arabia, there will be some more minutes before and after the praying times. This, doesn't happen in Indonesia, except Friday.

But, if you put aside the freedom of religion issues in Indonesia, as a Muslim, it is GREAT to live in Indonesia. You once said that you understand that Muslims don't eat pork, let's see the above verse :)

Based on the verse, it is a little bit difficult for Muslims to eat (if you really think so). My cousin who is studying in Taiwan hardly find something to eat. When I visited Thailand for a holiday around 10 years ago, I also experienced the same thing. But in Indonesia, it is very EASY to eat – well, for some areas it depends on the residents, but generally, yes we have nothing to worry about for the food.

Another thing is, have a relation with praying times. We have a reminder for every praying times (we pray 5 times a day) and in Indonesia it is easy to find mosques and hear praying' reminder.

In conclusion, life is good for Muslims in Indonesia (once again, generally..).

And this, actually the only main reason I still happily live here in Indonesia.

I am not really into nationalism (haha), but being a muslim, in a country where muslim become the majority, is something that I am very grateful for.

So readers, what other good things of being a muslim in Indonesia? Tell me ;)


*sori dori mori ga sempet nerjemahin bo', terjemahin pakai google translate aja ya :)))

*jawaban ini murni dari pengamatan saya – yang mungkin bisa salah. Saya tidak melayani sanggahan via comment box. Kalau ada yang tidak berkenan, dipersilahkan dengan sangat mengirimkan email ke primadita1088@gmail.com. Terima kasih :)

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