Sunday, March 20, 2016

In a Masjid in Puchong

I distinctly remember my mind being blown,
as I opened that book 
picked off a shelf 
in a masjid in Puchong
over four years ago now -
a Chinese translation of the Quran.

Immediately I turned the page
to one of my favourite ayat,
and as I often did back then 
took a picture, put on a cheap filter, and posted it on Insta 😓

But why did the image of Chinese letters
side by side with the Quran's Arabic words
have to blow my mind so?
When we have been taught in school
that the message of Islam is universal,
for all peoples of the world?

Perhaps it's because we have forgotten 
this unifying message of the deen,
and replaced it with the sentiment of racism and nationalism;
a sentiment taught implicitly in our Muslim homes, 
and lived out in our everyday lives.
All under the guise of 
Us Muslims, versus Them kafirs.

Until eventually we come to believe 
that Islam is Arabic,
or Malay.

How sad, how ironic
that we Muslims are the ones who hide the universal beauty of Islam
on a shelf in a masjid in Puchong:

"O mankind, 
indeed We have created you from male and female and 
made you peoples and tribes that 
you may know one another. 

Indeed, the most noble of you 
in the sight of Allah 
is the most righteous of you. 

Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

- Surah Al-Hujurat:13