...of churches and chapels...

Category: By imakubex

it was always at the back of my head, this issue, but a recent incident in a chaplaincy made me think real hard about this issue...

about how the Muslims perceive themselves, and how we think of other religions...

thing is, here, in the UK, we Muslims always make use of any odd place to pray our 5 daily prayers, be it in an abandoned hall, somewhere in a football field, and most popularly, in chapels...

i would like to focus on the last bit, regarding the praying in chapels, and relating that to most Muslims' mentalities...

chapels are essentially a
church or area of worship, sometimes small and attached to a larger institution such as a large church, a college, a hospital, a palace, a prison or a cemetery, sometimes large and unattached to another building (1). We Muslims pray in chapels, and it is an acceptable practice, i suppose because there is no restriction that is given against that, especially in countries where there is a Christian majority or is a Christian country.

that is very good, as far as we Muslims are concerned, but let us take a look at the other side of the coin...

what would be our reaction to a non-Muslim worshiping in our masjid?

will we not flare up in rage?

i have no idea about the technicalities of this issue, but if we can't let them pray in our mosque, then it should be part of our responsibility to provide for them a place of worship..

now, does the reality of most Muslim countries reflect this?

how many of us scorn at the sign of a church, especially in Malaysia? how many reproach the building of many a temple? how many of us hate to see other religion other than Islam having their own place of worship?

we use their facilities as we will, but we don't like it for them to have their places of worship when we are in power. is that fair?

I ask you, as I asked myself, is this what Islam want from its followers?

what is more, we seem to be very suspicious of other religions. we tend to say that everything from the West is bad, that every single non-Muslim is conspiring against Islam...

but let us ask ourself, are we being fair?

how may of us had actually spoken and interacted with Christians? and when i mean Christians, i mean practicing Christians?

how may of us has even the desire to talk to a Jew? much less a Zionist?

in the end, all these people are that; they are just people. they are humans, like u and me, who, in the end, wants happiness...

and we have the mentality of preaching, not sharing..

yes, we have the truth, and we want to tell it to them, fair enough. but what about their point of views?

i mean, we often organize programmes and publicize it heavily to non Muslims, hoping and praying that they will come. but when they organize a programme about their religion, do we spare our evening to go to that programme?

most people will say, 'their programmes are rubbish because their religion is false.' then i ask you, would they not think the same of our programmes?

how are we supposed to attract them? only with words about the greatness of the Islam in the past, the grandeur that was Islamic civilization, when the whole world is looking down at this religion as promoting violence and injustice?

how, my friend, are we going to convince people of the truth in Islam, when we don't even bother to interact with them?

this, I think, is something to be thought upon...

it is better to understand, before being understood. read up on the history of people, and their culture. only then can we understand why things being as it is...

seek first to understand...


(1) Chapel, Wikipedia, 18/02/2008,

3 comments so far.

  1. stoic_euphoric 19 February 2008 at 19:23
    Im, asyik aku je yang leave comment kat ur blog nih..hueh..takpe2..coz i think the topic is extremely worth commenting on..(Plus,i have a few opinions which I thk might interest u n the others as well)

    You did say somethg about how non-muslims perceive muslims and vice versa..To make things simpler ,just imagine ourselves being born a Christian..or even a Jew?..How would we perceive these so called 'terrorists' (all of whom huddled together in heavily cloaked purdah and juba), claiming that Islam is the one and only true religion from God..Think again that IF u were to be born a nonmuslim, would you go to great lengths just to find out about the 'True Religion'? Would you?

    This is a rather mind boggling issue but as aforementioned earlier in ur post, understanding is the fundamental element to be brought forward..Understanding the history, understanding others, especially those who come from other religions..Try to delve deeper into their beliefs and bit by bit,we might able to spread our worldly words to them..Have the incentives to view things from every aspect in life..We have a wide range of spectrum to choose from, do not restrict ourselves to very little principles that we hold on to...And lastly,try not to have negative impressions towards these non-muslims coz they too, are humans..They too are governed by emotions and unstable thoughts..They too, are not perfect..

    As the saying goes,to err is humans...

    ps-Da'wah works best if we parade the right muslim attitude with us and implicitly, capture the interest of many..


    (Im, aku join venture blog ngan ko la..bole?.)..
  2. a k i r a 21 February 2008 at 13:06
    Your post came up perfectly in time really. Walaupun aku baru komen sekarang, but actually I read through it when you forwarded the link to me.

    Why do I say the timing is perfect? Because I read this immediately after returning from a talk in which I met a fellow Christian student and befriended with her.

    And throughout this week (it's the Islamic Awareness Week in our uni so there's a lot of insightful talks) I've listened to a lot of non-muslim's view o Islam, what they understand about Islam (or anything related to Islam). It was an insightful experience and to say the least, I agree completely with what you mentioned.

    They think the way they think due to their circumstances and honestly I can't blame them for thinking that way. Imagine if someone were born and bred as a Hindu all his life and is devout and pious and suddenly someone pops in front of him in and talk about Islam..surely they will feel surprised.

    Again..strengthening what you said..it is better to understand first before hoping to be understood. If not, it only reflect the qualities that we hope to stay away from-selfishness.

    Muslims kena bermujahadah untuk menunjukkan contoh yang elok for the non-muslims. I know some people might argue with me that it's not sufficient to just show a good example but not preaching but I believe action speaks louder than words. Not that I'm saying to leave out the preaching completely but to take it in moderate step with wisdom.

    Maka..aku terbebel panjang di sini. Forgive me.

    Thanks Im for this insightful entry. Aku macam tetiba nak je bagi ramai orang baca entry nih (cewah macam self-proclaim jadi ko nye PR je) :P

  3. Anonymous 28 March 2008 at 09:40
    in short,actually islam is free..so,u can pray wherever u want even in toilet as long as it is clean from najis..we're differ from other religion b'coz we can pray or worship ALLAH kt mne2 pon unlike them..they need all that things like idol n whateva lgi 4 worship their god..thays why almost muslim xbgi diorg gne msjd kte utk diorg pray..thats all from me..about the nonmuslim issue i've no comment..

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