Saturday, December 29, 2012

I Say "Merry Christmas" Because You are Human Being

I am glad that finally the leader of Nadhlatul Ulama (NU), one of biggest Muslim mass organization, Said Aqil Siradj remarks that "saying happy Christmas" would not fade away the faith of NU's member. In the big dillema situation of minority in Indonesia, especially case of worship place establishment, the strong political statement from the leader of NU is urgent to clarify how Muslim should take position in building tolerance with non Muslim.  One of good example is by saying Merry Christmas to our neighbors, friends and family members who believe on Christian teaching. Moreover, statement from Said Aqil has clearly clarified NU's position in responding to intolerance wave spreading by narrow minded Muslim groups.  

I agree with Said Aqil's statement on Ratyat Merdeka Online ( published on 21 December 2012 responding Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) to prohibit Muslim Say Marry Christmas, highlighted that this issue should not be addressed because it is normal way to show our tolerance to our sisters and brothers from Christian group. Moreover, there is no single text from the Qur'an or Hadith supporting prohibition of  Christmas greeting. But why do some Muslim strongly prohibit this practice?  The only reason is perhaps, they are afraid of faith conversion. Because they believe that Jesus is not Isa Almasih. When Muslim says happy Christmas, this can be considered as believing on Jesus teaching or Christian teaching.  Moreover, it is also to simply when you think that after saying happy Christmas then you suddenly change your faith. I believe that there is no study about it, unless conversion to Christianity must be based on fundamental reason, rather than just simply saying "happy Christmas". Or other reason can be "yes man" culture among follower of the group, often not questioning any decision made by the leader, who may have political agenda by publishing intolerance statement against minority. 
 I strongly believe that as human being, we should respect to other human being. How to respect? Simple thing we can do is to say Merry Christmas to our Christian friends, neighbors, and family members. I would like to tell story to all of you, readers of this blog about this small practice that my family try to maintain. I live in small town house in South Tangerang called Puri Andora, with 27 others family, 4 of them are Christian families. Because they are minority, it is often that Christmas is just celebrated  solely by their own family. So, I put Christmas as a chance to connect more closely to my Christian neighbor. So, on 25 December i knocked their door and handed a card  and small gift to them and was saying "Selamat Natal" (Merry Christmas . I put my best smile to them and be kind to be their neighbor. They replied with big smile and friendly looks. I showed "shocking eyes" but at the same time "happy eyes" and smiling face after that. By doing that, I felt that I am more Islamic. Do I want to change my faith? NOT AT ALL. 

Why do i do it? Because Christian people are human being. JUST LIKE ME. YOU TOO. So, we love them not because they are belonging to Christian, Buddhism, Catholic, Hinduism, Confusionism or other traditional faiths, BUT I LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN BEING. 

To close my  short reflection of Christmas, i quoted a poem written by Kyai Mustofa Bisri entitled "Aku Menyayangimu karena kau manusia". The poem has been translated into a song directed by Iwan Fals. I hope you, the readers of this blog could also enjoy and reflect the meaning. 

Aku menyayangimu karena kau manusia (I love you because you are human being)
Tapi kalau kau sewenang-wenang kepada manusia (But, if you act arbritrarily to people)
Aku akan menentangmu karena aku manusia (I will react because I am human being)

Aku menyayangimu karena kamu manusia (I love you because you are human being)
Tapi kalau kau memerangi manusia (But when you fight against human)

Aku akan mengutukmu karena aku manusia (I will condemn you because i am human being)

Aku menyayangimu karena kamu manusia (I love you because you are human being)
Tapi kalau kau menghancurkan kemanusiaan (But, when you demolish humanity)
Aku akan melawanmu karena aku manusia (I will fights against you because I am human being)

Aku akan tetap menyayangimu, Karena kau tetap manusia, Karena aku manusia
 (I will always love you, because you reminds as human being, because i am also human being)

Dedicated to all my sisters and brothers who believe to Islam, peaceful way and condemn any kind of violence against humanity. Love your non Muslim neighbor, friends, family because they are human being as yours.

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