To think of it, Muslims are not outnumbered in Sabah. It's the practicing Muslims that we are lacking of in number. Very few indeed.
Recently, I've been poured with a lot of questions about the practices in Islam, especially about covering aurah and the daily prayers. It all start off when I actually rejected some of my friend's ideas to make me comfortable during my climb. Well, they suggested me wearing the scarf tied to the back (the one that'll reveal your neck) or wear a legging (that tight-fitting pants). And then the daily prayers issue was raised because I said I would only want to marry a guy who observe his prayers.
I've tried to explain the commandments that I'm obliged to follow and how it is a big deal to me that my spouse should be someone who observe his prayers. Some understood but some continued to argue that I can actually uncover my aurah, it's a matter of choice and that those who pray is not necessarily a good person who can make me happy. I, of course, tried again to counter those arguments but they continued to disagree with what I was saying. Then, I just stopped and shrugged... It wasn't a sign of retreat. But actually that time I started to realize that there was no point of arguing because I noticed that those who accepted my explaination at the very beginning were actually those who also practice their religion steadfastly and the ones who are still debating with me are actually those who doesn't practice their religion, so I just think they wouldn't undestand the spiritual connection that you have with the Creator when you observe the commandments. So then, there's just no point of explaining....
To be honest, I was offended by some of their arguments but I tried to maintain my cool and stayed calm and listened. I thought it'll be unfair if I get all sensitive and start to draw myself away just because they don't understand my belief and practices. They can't be blamed, you see. They've a lot of Muslim friends and from what I can see is that they misunderstood because the Muslim friends they have are living the same way as they do and it so happen that this Muslim friend here live a different way.
Well, I was considered quite secular in my Uni. Some people said to me "Ko bukan wanita solehah~" or when I said something Islamically knowledegable, the respond that I usually get was "Fuiyo! Sejak bile???" Offended?? Tipulah kalo saya tidak offended.
"I observe my prayers, regularly recite Al-Quran, cover my aurah and just because I'm active and love to have fun so I'm not solehah?????"
Haha those are the things that usually crossed my mind when people say those offensive things to me. But, I'd taught myself that human being doesn't define how solehah you are. I'd taught myself to remember that the connection between me and Allah is private, and what people think about my solehah-ness won't make any difference at all. And I'd convinced myself that if there's ever any person who said "Wah! Haziah you are very solehah.. I wanna be like you," pergh sure I riak punya la :p
So.. What I'm trying to say is actually, what I think is, up to this age, what we embrace as our religion, as our worldview, as our practice is actually already by choice. We're a Muslim because we want to be one, and not because we are born as Muslim anymore. Why are there two different scenarios in the above??
Well, I just want to show you that it's not only the Non Muslims that'll question our belief and our conscience. The demotivatng words of the brothers and sisters in Islam can also discourage one from the right path.
O ya, one more thing that I think I should put here is that, back in Berhala during our rock climbing trip, it was actually my non Muslim friends who cleared the spot for me to pray and it was them who brought a compass so that I'll know where's the direction of Mecca.
I've made my choice long ago just like every of you did.. I'm no longer in my regulated world.. I need strength, I need guidance, I need reminders...