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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Religion versus spirituality


Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. 
Spirituality is having your own experience.
~ Deepak Chopra ~


My (religion) teachers when I was in primary school said that it was in the hands of parents to make their children Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. Since the majority of Muslim people believe that Islam is the only right religion – the others were no longer ‘valid’ or even wrong – Muslim parents have a very big responsibility to ‘MAKE’ their children Muslim. There are at least two reasons behind it:

First, one hadith said that Muslim people who have died will still get ‘blessings’ (pahala) if their religious (shalih/shaliha) children continue praying for their deceased parents. Muslim people believe the more blessings from God, the bigger number of ‘savings’ to enter God’s heaven. They have been taught – or my ‘favorite’ term ‘brainwashed’ – that heaven is their ultimate destination because all comfort is there while hell is the place they must avoid because never-ending torture will ‘accompany’ their ‘hereafter life’ forever. (Muslims believe that after someone dies, he/she will wait for the doomsday and the day of “Judgment” in one ‘dimension’ of life called ‘Barzakh’ – one domain between death the resurrection day. During their staying in ‘Barzakh’ someone still can get blessings sent by their religious Muslim children prays.

Second,it is stated that on ‘Judgment’ day, all human beings will be judged directly by God one by one. Muslims believe that there is possibility for one person to fail to enter heaven only because his/her children convert to another religion during their life on the earth and their parents do not prevent them from doing so. 

From the two reasons mentioned above, one can conclude that they refer to parents’ ego and desire to enter heaven; parents who never think that their children possibly have their own experience in adhering religion / handling their spiritual journey; parents who fail to have a two-direction communication with their children.

As a case study, I will take a comparison between one best friend of mine and me myself.
She did not get rigid teachings of religion when she was a kid, either from her parents or from school. Her parents did not teach her what to do to communicate with God although they were Islam. She learned Islam by herself, either from reading books, or from asking her friends, or joining any religious gatherings (called ‘pengajian’ in Bahasa Indonesia) until one day she decided to wear ‘hijab’. It was all her own ‘findings’ from her effort to find a way to communicate with God. Perhaps I could draw a conclusion that Islam is her religion, but based on her own experience, so it is also her spirituality.

I was on the somewhat contradictory life experience. I got a very rigid teachings both from my parents and my teachers in primary school (I went to one conventional Islamic school). The teachings were ‘choked’ into my brain while I was brainwashed that Islam was the only right religion and it would be safeguarded by God until the Judgment day so that the teachings would always be eternally applicable in all ages. 

The disappointment I got from religion (check this link  and this link) made me have my own spirituality. I no longer embrace the same religion taught to me when I was a kid and I adhered till my 30 years of age. 

However, you can guess that there are some people very close around me who do not let me have my own spirituality; they still expect me to go back to “religion” (read è someone else’s experience, be it my parents or teachers or religious leaders (ulema)) despite my mature age.

Sigh ... 

GL7 11.21 230513

1 comment:

Komarudin Tasdik said...

I make teaching method of my parents and teachers that is not proper for me as my thinking.

Rigid and not-rigid can be valuable thing to make us wisely.

I will not blame other people's methods absolutely. But they will be made as flavor for developing my mind toward a wisdom.