13 Sep 2012

Kisah Melinda Baily Menjadi Muallaf


Hi. namaku adalah Melinda Baily. Saya menjadi muallaf ( memeluk Islam) sejak 3 tahun yang lalu, dan saya ingin menjawab beberapa pertanyaan umum yang diajukan kesaya tentang bagaimana saya menemukan Islam.

Sebenarnya, setelah saya pindah ke South Carolina dari Buffalo, New York, Kakek dan nenek saya telah tinggal disana (South Carolina) dan mereka adalah penganut katolik. Kedua orang tua saya lahir sebagai katolik, ayah saya seorang keturunan Polandia (polish) dan ibu saya adalah keturunan Italia, Namun pada akhirnya kedua orang tua saya pindah keyakinan menjadi seorang Kristen dari gereja non-denominasi di Buffalo dan kemudian kami ke North Carolina sekitar 8 tahun yang lalu.

Kisah Kakakku

Saat itu kami masih pergi ke gereaja dan kemudain kakak saya bertemu seseorang dan dia mengatakan bahw pria tersebut adalah seorang Muslim. Hubungan mereka menjadi hubungan yang serius. Saat itu saya tidak mengerti sedikitpun tentang Islam. Kami sangat mendedikasikan hidup ke Kristen. Kemudian kakak saya mulai mempelajari Islam dan kami menerima pria tersebut dengan hagat dan tangan yang terbuka. Kami sangat serius untuk belajar tentang pandangan-pandangannya, agama nya dan beberapa hal lainnya. Dan kemudian kakak ku akhirnya menikah dengannya.

Dengan pernikahannya, kakak ku ini kemudian memutuskan keinginannnya untuk mempelajari lebih dalam agama sebelum mereka memiliki anak. Dia ingin membuat keputusan bagaimana dia membesarkan anak-anaknya sebab ia tidak ingin mengenalkan anak-anaknya kepada agama yang ia tidak meyakininya. Dia ingin mereka mendukung sesuatu yang dia yakin tentangnya. Dia mempelajari Islam sekitar 2 tahun dan kemudian memutuskan memeluk (konversi) ke Islam, dan dia mengatakan kepada keluarga kami bahwa dia tidak lagi meyakini ajaran trinitas dan mengatakan bahwa ia telah mempelajari banyak hal dalam Islam.  Keputusan ini awalnya menakutkan bagi kami karena banyaknya miskonsepsi tentang Islam dan juga perubahan-perubahan besar pada dirinya; yaitu system keyakinannya, bagaimana dia bertingkah laku dan bagaimana cara dia berpakaian.
Bagi saya saat itu saya tidak begitu tertarik kepada Islam, dan saya hanya ingin melakukan penelitian untuk diri pribadi dan memutuskan apa yang saya yakini dan apa yang menurut saya benar. Namun ternyata hal ini berdampak pada keluarga saya yang akhirnya berhenti mengunjungi gereja meski tetap mempraktekkan dan meyakini ajaran kristen. Saat itu saya masih terlalu muda dan baru saja melalui masa SMA, dan membuat saya menjadi bingung tentang apa yang saya yakini. Orang tua saya mengatakan sesuatu yang bertentangan dengan apa yang kakak saya katakan. Hal itulah yang memicu saya untuk mempelajari lebih dalam dan memutuskan apa yang saya yakini dan apa yang menurut saya benar dan tidak hanya sekedar menerima keyakinan yang saya anut sejak lahir. Saya percaya, pencarian saya akan memperkuat saya dalam kristen atau memperkuat saya jika saya beralih ke Islam.  Itulah tujuan dari rencana yang harus saya dapatkan. Then my sister had moved oversees, and every time she came back to visit us like for the summer time she was a lot more religious and a lot more strict in religion. It was very scary to see these changes. Then she introduced me to somebody that was also a Muslim, and I started a relationship with him. Before we got serious, we decided that we were going to separate and not see each other, and that I was really going to research about religion and then decide what I really wanted to believe before I started a serious relationship with this person.

Researching Islam

So then I started to research the religion. My motivation was to decide whether I am going to continue the relationship with this person and have a serious relationship with him because that was a big step. We are having somebody from a different religion in a cross-cultural marriage that is difficult enough as having two people marrying who were practicing different religions. I really wanted to research before I made a decision. When I started researching, the first thing I researched was women’s rights in Islam. The truth is that I had heard a lot of rumors. We used to see a lot of things in the media and I had a lot of misconceptions that I wanted to find out what the religion actually practices. So I had a lot of misconceptions about what the rights of women were in Islam. I thought before that women were forced to cover, they had to walk behind their husband or something out of respect, and they have to sit at the backseat of the car, and such kinds of common misconceptions. When I actually started researching, I found a lot of things that I was really surprised, that there was a lot of rights that I agreed with in the religion, and a lot of rights they had given women. For instance a woman has the right to hold her own property and have her own business, and be in charge of her own money and make business deals and stuff without any male influence from her husband who doesn’t have any right to her money, any right to her inheritance and her father doesn’t. She is able to hold property and make business and stuff on her own. That was something I was really surprised to hear about because they were some of the misconceptions that people normally have. So I kind of agreed with a lot of points. So I continued researching about what the religion was actually saying. One of the big things was what Muslims worshipped. I didn’t really know what they actually believed in. I thought maybe they worshipped Muhammad and they didn’t believe in Jesus and didn’t believe in God. When I actually researched I found out that they do believe in Jesus and they do believe in God, but they don’t believe in the trinity. We have stories about Abraham, Moses and Noah and so many things are exactly the same. But the thing that was different was the trinity Some of the stories in Quran made it very easy to research Islam because I was so used to many of the ideas and many of the stories because there were so many similarities between Christianity and Islam, especially that I was born and raised Christian I used to hear similar stories and they were the same ones. We have the same prophets. We have stories about Abraham, Moses and Noah and so many things are exactly the same. But the thing that was different was the trinity.

Jesus in Islam

Muslims don’t worship Muhammad (peace be upon him) but Muhammad was a prophet and he was the last prophet. Their relationship with Jesus is that they believed he was one of the most well-respected prophets, but didn’t believe he actually is God but believe he is a man and a prophet of God and he told people to worship God as One. A common thing which was a big debate between Muslims and Christians was that the Muslim standpoint is that worshiping Jesus as a God in place of the father is considered as associating partners with God. So when I started to research the ideas of Jesus in Islam, a lot of things made a lot of sense, because when I researched what the trinity really was I realized, personally to me, that it didn’t make 100% sense to me. It was something I was used to practice and believe in but I didn’t really question because I thought it was wrong to question things about my religion. So I had the idea that it was really wrong to look for something else or have any reasons to do so. I was comfortable with my beliefs and practicing Christianity. I found also that they believe in the virgin birth. And a lot of points I was researching like the difference between the points that the Christians made about Jesus is that Jesus is the son of God and that he is God, compared to what the Muslims said that Jesus is a prophet of God but he is not God himself and that you have to worship God and tell people to worship God only and he didn’t ask people to worship him. So researching the whole different points that Muslims had made and points that Christians had made, and doing it open-mindedly and freely. One of the things I had liked about Islam was that it is OK to ask questions and research if something doesn’t make sense, and it should scientifically, historically or logically make sense. That was really one of the things I enjoyed about Islam, that there is a lot of the scientific points in the religion that were proven to be true. There are a lot of common grounds that the most closely related religion to Islam is Christianity. But one of the points when I did my research that really had personally hindered me when I really thought that Muslims had valid points and that this was a good belief system they had, what I heard about in the media and what I heard about from different cultures. There are so many different Muslim countries and each of them have their own cultural influences in their practices, that is not the actual religious practicing. Islam is a religion that’s almost 1500 year old. Countries have been introduced to the religion, but they changed some of its practices through their cultural habits. Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny? Qur'an 55:13 Sumber : http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/my-journey-to-islam/contemporary-stories/454836-my-sisters-future-husband-introduced-me-to-islam.html Lihat dalam tampilan PDF

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