Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Experience Hostel: Invitation to Passover Feast

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

I actually went to toilet and I really wonder... Why I always see Tabligh kind of preacher kids or karkun whether they are Buddhist or of Christian faith approaching me. How do they know the time I am going to wee wee???? Sorry my beloved Tablighi brothers, didn't mean to involve you people but that's just what I first had in my thought when I encountered these people, haha. It's not wrong and I appreciate people who took the pain to explain to me things. I don't care if they are Muslim, Christians, or Buddhists as long as they are walking what they had talked about.

Urmm, I am not trying to boast but I do know few things about Christianity doctrines. I read about Christianity theology either in Arabic, Chinese or English. I asked those materials from Churches themselves whether from Orthodox or Catholic. In fact I keep a Bible with me and I browse it whenever I am free. There were about three men approaching me while I just wanted to return to my room from toilet early in the evening. What to do, nature call... hahaha. 

They talked with me and asking me what's my nationality which is the same boring question. Like always... I'll answer I am a Thai. Yea, my Chinese a bit weird I know because I am not an overseas Southern Chinese but Chinese people could be everywhere especially this is Asia region. I already tried to speak like other Malaysian Chinese but I can't help it. Weird sounds will sometimes pop out of my mouth and I tried hard to hide it.

In the beginning they just ask me whether I could help them to fill a form. When I look at the form, it seems like some questions related to faith and all of the question are about Christianity. I just write my Chinese name which happens to be my previous faith name in Chinese and I stated I have no religion. Allamaak, I had forgotten lar that I am lazy to listen to preaching. Why did I put no religion as my faith status??? They have questions like spirituality tendency and others. 

I just ticked them I don't know. I am not sure as to make sure everything goes in order so maybe they would shoo away. Then the slender Chinese guy wearing spectacle asking me whether I am busy because this is very important. We have no time because the end will come, hahaha. I don't think that it is necessity... He began to talk about Harun Yahya kind of matters the earth, the planets, the sun, everything in universe were revealed since 3,500 years ago. I don't think that this has any effect on me, hehehehehhe. I'm not a science stream student. I failed my chemistry, and just got passed for my physics since those things are not of my interest. I am not interested in Harun Yahya theories. I don't need those theories or conspiracies on anything to have faith in Him. He is my Guardian Friend and He will be close to me if I obey His Commandments.

Then he talked about earthly family order in comparison with the heavenly one. About a more to spiritual family concept which I think I am aware about even if they never talk about these to me. I consider my Muslim brothers and sisters as my family members related by blood and soul especially if I know that some brothers are our kinsmen. We don't only have brothers in this realm but also in other realms. Then, he nicely explained about the importance of Passover and baptism. I just asked them so, if you wanted to baptize me, why not perform it here in the toilet since now I am shirtless and just wearing my tracksuit? I am lazy to go to the church. It's a trouble for me and I have to get wet all over. It's not Songkrant yet and people will look at me like a nut if I have to get wet. He said there is a specific person who will recite prayers for me in their church organization service and they are not qualified to baptize me.

He tried hard to explain to me in formal Chinese and he had asked his elder few words to be translated into traditional Chinese before that older guy went away to wait at their car because a victim has been preached, hahahahaa. I really appreciate his effort. But when I asked him: "May I know, what's your Chinese name I don't really pronounce English words very nicely?" He just answered me: "I only use English name. My English name is S*****n and my brother companion is D****s." He further told me he is from Kedah state and not local Penangites and his companion brother from Korea just coming to talk with me from far about God because their soul were sent to me though I don't know them." I think: "Ok, he's my compatriot kinsmen so I am not wrong to treat him nicely, haha." I just asked him his Chinese name to test him. It seems he feels that his Chinese name is incompatible with his new religion.

I just wonder, why is he ashamed of his Chinese name? He told me his parents are Buddhists. His companion is a young guy from Korea. I thought they are all Chinese so I just hantam speaking to the Korean guy in Chinese, hahahahaa. Who cares... 

I said: "I need to think first, I don't like to pray" (because I stated I have no religion)

The preacher guy said: "Think quickly we have no time His Kingdom is closer. Tonight come to our liturgy at a building somewhere at Tesco please." 

I said: "Yea... Yea... I am waiting my friend (I am just being polite to refuse). Other than that I am not sure lar if whether what you said about Sangdi (God), Yesu (Jesus) whatever God, or Eternal Kingdom is true because you are talking to a person without religion. How do we know whatever you talk exist if I die suddenly noting happen I cannot enjoy my life lar have to pray, eat Yesu's flesh, drink Yesu's blood... hahaha. We will see lar. I just afraid burden you people only because I don't know anything you told me, haha."

He said: "No worry, no burden on newborn (muallaf). Little child will be treated like little child and being taught step by step. We don't offer any money to attract you but only offer sincerity because money only amount that will finish but Sangdi (God) is Eternal Loving you. Please come jah... We are waiting for you to be our brother together with love (the Korean guy was pulling my hand, haha). The motive of the God on you is not on your physical but on your spiritual. He wants your soul and not creating everything in vain everything has purpose. No need to fill form so you don't have to be afraid if your family are angry with you (I told them my family are Buddhists when they asked. I don't like people asking me my faith or my family faith unless if I feel I wanted to tell them). Come to our organization and just open up the door if we are going to be praying. After the prayer service we can bring you to our elders, you and friends can ask about whatever you are not sure."  

Through out the explanations given, I think nothing interest me about their church or organization. I just ask the guy few questions about what is this and what is that just to respect him because he tried hard to explain to me. I did called few Tabligh brothers to talk like that to me in private in my room but nobody come, hahaha. I just wanted to know what are their organizational principles. About doctrines and stuffs, I do know about them because I go to masjids and churches and having contacts with our elders.  
They provided me with a pamphlet like above before they go and bowing to me according to Confucian tradition because I am a 'Chinese', haha. After they went away, I browsed and I see that it's quite weird. They are from an organization and it seems like they are Protestant by denomination. But they have something like Heavenly God the Mother doctrine in it which does not really appear in other denominations be they Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestants. I am aware about Santa Maria or Mar Maryam in both Catholic and Syriac Orthodox traditions but she is not viewed as God or any incarnation of heavenly being. Spiritual stuffs could be quite confusing so we need to keep it shut from public because it is hard to understand. Good thing is, they didn't talk about other faiths or comparing this faith and that faith. I don't like to listen that even from our fellow Muslims. I would just slam the door on their nose if they talked like that. He explained many things to me in an hour time and I had also missed my 'Asr prayer service. I just went down to musalla after I was sure they had left out the hostel. Just don't want to scare them, haha.        

I send messages to Azren and we discussed through messages, haha. It's quite tedious to type but we know how much it costs if we send messages rather than talking and suddenly we are cut off from the line. 

Me: "Ada orang datang preach aku lagi... Nampak macam Protestan je"
        Again there are people coming to preach me. Seems like Protestants."

Fren: "Dorang main preach je ke or die pilih orang wei?"
          "Were they just preaching to people or choosing targets?"

Me:  "Dorang tego aku. Aku cakap Chink je lar muka pun dah Cina kan. Pastu bagi borang maklumbalas. Aku isi nama Buddha-Cina. Aku state no religion malas nak cakap banyak. Mana tau silap la plak. Dorang pujuk aku dekat sejam. Gegeh betol, lol!
        "They greeted me and I just speak to them in Chinese because their face are Chinese face (I don't like Chinese who speak English. We are Chinese nationalists and we are more traditional than those who go to Chinese National Schools). Then, they gave me a form something like feedback. I just filled it with my Chinese Buddhist name. I stated no religion, lazy to talk much. Who knows, after that they preached me for about an hour (I tought they would just off by looking at that and I never declare my religion to non-Muslims). Zealots can I say? LOL!"

Fren: "Owh dorang wat katne? Kafe?"
        "Oh, where did they prached you? Cafe?"

Me: "Haha... Ketuk-ketuk pintu bilik orang kat wing sini. Aku tak tau pulak kalau bilik aku ada orang Cina. Haritu pertubuhan Buddha nye datang. Jenis gigih macam ni mesti jenis Protestan. Daripada tunjuk keagamaan bek aku behave sekular sahaja. Aku nak beribadat aku baru buat tradisi sume."
      "Laughing... They knocked at people's door and coincidentally it's at my wing. I don't know if my room has some "Chinese" residing in here. Last few weeks, there were Buddhist associations coming by. Diligently preaching like this, I guess they are Protestant without even asking which church or organization they are from. I prefer to behave like a secular person rather than showing my religious identity to people. I will only exercise my traditions (while performing worship just for the Lord)." 

Then, few minutes later.........

Me: "Oh, tadi ni budak-budak dari World Mission Society Church of God. Protestan dari Korea tapi aliran Protestan lain di Korea semua declare pertubuhan ni bidaah. Dalam pamphlet cakap dorang tunggu Messiah. Setengah benda budak tu citer tak beza pun dengan benda aku caya. Aku rasa tak perlu aku nak beptis-beptis kat gereja dorang makan roti passover mak nenek bagai. Aku tak nah dengar lak doctrine God the Mother, pelik. Aku baca ni dalam pamphlet dorang kasik. Passover kan bulan April ni, pe kejadahnye wat liturgy malam ni?"
      "I see. Those kids just now came by preaching me were from World Mission Society Church of God. Other Protestants in Korea declared them as an organization who developed heresies. In the pamphlet, it says that they are waiting for Messiah. Some of what they explained actually has no difference to what I am now having faith including the feast because when we fast we also technically have our feasts. I don't think that I need those baptism in their churches or eating the passover bread (I celebrate passover according to Sunnah by fasting during Tasu'a and 'Asyura days of Muharram month every year and we do have feasts like what Jesus had with his disciples). Never heard about God the Mother doctrine, weird. I read these from their pamphlet too. Passover is in April (in term of Judeo-Christianity) what the hell with the liturgy tonight (or they are just having normal daily mass service)?"       

Fren: "Oh, aku tak tau lak cakap ape. Sebab tak tau lagi dorang ni camne. Skang pun dok heboh dalam surat kabar si Hasan Ali yang kena pecat dari PAS tu gitau pasal gerakan murtad sana sini. Skarang baru nak gitau ke? Benda ni dah lama dah." 
         "Oh, I don't know what to say. I am not sure how is their church looks like. Now, we have this havoc in papers about Hassan Ali who was sacked from PAS (Islamic political party) telling about apostacy movements around. He just talked about it now? I thought that this had happened since long."

Me:  "Orang murtad tu sebab nyampah tengok muka dia. Dah la tak smart, haha."
        "People who turn apostates due to that they are sick of looking and listening to his mumbles. And he's not a smart guy. (I'm just being cynical)"

Fren: "Tu lar... Duk bising sana sini. Masalah internal Muslim kat Malaysia ni tak selesai jugak. So, what the point you're barking around kan?"
        "That's it... Making noise here and there. But the internal problem within Muslim society in Malaysia is still around never ends. So, what's the point you're barking around (for those vanities)?"

Hahaha.... These are some of our short discussions. They are just our personal opinions. Sometimes politics is involved but what can we do? We live with it and can't avoid it. This is my experience as a Muslim postgraduate student in my country but away from home.

Brothers and sisters in faith especially non-Malays in our institution (I also address this to all of my Chinese brothers no matter where you are from), we are not protected by politics because we are not apart of the countries political system. Just guard your iman (faith) and pray to the Lord to protect our faith. Faith is a very valuable property for us, it is more valuable than everything in this universe. It is our soul. Without faith, we are dead by spirit.

I am writing this not because I am angry to those preacher kids though I might feel a bit annoyed. I love them since they are also my brothers and they talked to me in a nice manner (as compared to some of our Malay Tablighi brothers). It's just an experience for Malay students to see on what we are facing everyday while we try to protect our identity not to be absorbed by other ethnics. I don't think that I need to be baptized. I am also not "promoting" my religion to people or trying to gain followers for our Path because our religion is not for sale. I am not a salesman. Guidance and Mercy indeed is His Right. He Guides whoever He Wills and He makes astray whoever He Wills.

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!  

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