I’ve been living in a Muslim country for more than 5 years now. The first time I came here, I was woken up by the prayer in a mosque nearby. I thought I was dreaming. For a while there, I felt lost and confused as to where I am at that moment. I hear the Muslim prayer everywhere: in the bus, in the supermarket, even in the ringtones of some Muslims. I got used to it eventually. Even if I don’t understand it, it felt sacred and peaceful.
Everywhere around, you can see a mosque. Muslims pray 5 times each day called salah. I admire their faith and dedication. Almost everyone greets you Assalamualaikum (peace be upon you). Everyone calls each other brother or sister. It makes me think that Muslim people are peace-loving people in general. But it makes me confused as to why there is war in the Middle Eastern countries.
I was able to embrace the Muslim culture. I have a very high respect for the Muslim community. I have learned some Arabic words like Bismillah (in the name of Allah/God), Masha’allah (in God’s will, or something as an expression of appreciation), Insha’allah (God-willing), and some other positive or good Arabic words that use to praise or greet a Muslim.
I still preserve my Christianity though. I was born and raised a Catholic and I still observe the Catholic traditions. I am very thankful for this country for allowing other people to practice their religion. I was taught in Catholic school to respect other religions as well, because we all pray to one God.
I am not purely religious though. Religion doesn’t dictate my faith. My faith is between God and me; respect in humanity, in all living things, and the world we live in.
Being in a Muslim country has taught me the true meaning of Faith. It taught me that we are all brothers and sisters regardless of race and religion. I still don’t understand why there is war though. But one thing I’ve learned is that, being a Muslim doesn’t associate one as being a terrorist.
I love my Muslim brothers and sisters. Peace be upon you. Assalamualaikum.