The Way of Life


Hari minggu malam, seorang teman mengirimkan email, tak begitu jelas apa isinya, namun setelah aku buka, oh…ternyata ada attachment yang mengajakku menulusuri situs “Sunday Times” Online, tak berpikir lama, aku langsung saja meng-“klik” nya.

Terpampang tulisan dengan font huruf yang besar bertuliskan

“Young. British. Female. Muslim”

sebelum menulusuri isi dari artikel yang telah disimpan dalam arsip dan dipublikasikan tanggal 29 May 2010, aku sempat bersikap skeptis, aku berkata dalam hati ah pasti tentang pelarangan pemakaian jilbab di Inggris”. Namun setelah aku telusuri lebih dalam, aku baca kalimat per kalimat dan ternyata artikel itu menceritakan tentang kisah beberapa wanita di Inggris yang memutuskan diri untuk masuk Islam, berikut salah satu kisahnya aku kutipkan.

It’s a controversial time for British women to be wearing the hijab, the basic Muslim headscarf. Last month, Belgium became the first European country to pass legislation to ban the burka (the most concealing of Islamic veils), calling it a “threat” to female dignity, while France looks poised to follow suit. In Italy earlier this month, a Muslim woman was fined €500 (£430) for wearing the Islamic veil outside a post office.

And yet, while less than 2 per cent of the population now attends a Church of England service every week, the number of female converts to Islam is on the rise. At the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, women account for roughly two thirds of the “New Muslims” who make their official declarations of faith there – and most of them are under the age of 30.

Conversion statistics are frustratingly patchy, but at the time of the 2001 Census, there were at least 30,000 British Muslim converts in the UK. According to Kevin Brice, of the Centre for Migration Policy Research, Swansea University, this number may now be closer to 50,000 – and the majority are women. “Basic analysis shows that increasing numbers of young, university-educated women in their twenties and thirties are converting to Islam,” confirms Brice.

“Our liberal, pluralistic 21st-century society means we can choose our careers, our politics – and we can pick and choose who we want to be spiritually,” explains Dr Mohammad S. Seddon, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Chester. We’re in an era of the “religious supermarket”, he says.

Aqeela Lindsay Wheeler

Housewife and mother, 26, Leicester

“As a teenager I thought all religion was pathetic. I used to spend every weekend getting drunk outside the leisure centre, in high-heeled sandals and miniskirts. My view was: what’s the point in putting restrictions on yourself? You only live once.

“At university, I lived the typical student existence, drinking and going clubbing, but I’d always wake up the next morning with a hangover and think, what’s the point?

“It wasn’t until my second year that I met Hussein. I knew he was a Muslim, but we were falling in love, so I brushed the whole issue of religion under the carpet. But six months into our relationship, he told me that being with me was ‘against his faith’.

“I was so confused. That night I sat up all night reading two books on Islam that Hussein had given me. I remember bursting into tears because I was so overwhelmed. I thought, ‘This could be the whole meaning of life.’ But I had a lot of questions: why should I cover my head? Why can’t I eat what I like?

“I started talking to Muslim women at university and they completely changed my view. They were educated, successful – and actually found the headscarf liberating. I was convinced, and three weeks later officially converted to Islam.

“When I told my mum a few weeks later, I don’t think she took it seriously. She made a few comments like, ‘Why would you wear that scarf? You’ve got lovely hair,’ but she didn’t seem to understand what it meant.

“My best friend at university completely turned on me: she couldn’t understand how one week I was out clubbing, and the next I’d given everything up and converted to Islam. She was too close to my old life, so I don’t regret losing her as a friend.

“I chose the name Aqeela because it means ‘sensible and intelligent’ – and that’s what I was aspiring to become when I converted to Islam six years ago. I became a whole new person: everything to do with Lindsay, I’ve erased from my memory.

“The most difficult thing was changing the way I dressed, because I was always so fashion-conscious. The first time I tried on the hijab, I remember sitting in front of the mirror, thinking, ‘What am I doing putting a piece of cloth over my head? I look crazy!’ Now I’d feel naked without it and only occasionally daydream about feeling the wind blow through my hair. Once or twice, I’ve come home and burst into tears because of how frumpy I feel – but that’s just vanity.

“It’s a relief not to feel that pressure any more. Wearing the hijab reminds me that all I need to do is serve God and be humble. I’ve even gone through phases of wearing the niqab [face veil] because I felt it was more appropriate – but it can cause problems, too.

“When people see a white girl wearing a niqab they assume I’ve stuck my fingers up at my own culture to ‘follow a bunch of Asians’. I’ve even had teenage boys shout at me in the street, ‘Get that s*** off your head, you white bastard.’ After the London bombings, I was scared to walk about in the streets for fear of retaliation.

“For the most part, I have a very happy life. I married Hussein and now we have a one-year-old son, Zakir. We try to follow the traditional Muslim roles: I’m foremost a housewife and mother, while he goes out to work. I used to dream of having a successful career as a psychologist, but now it’s not something I desire.

“Becoming a Muslim certainly wasn’t an easy way out. This life can sometimes feel like a prison, with so many rules and restrictions, but we believe that we will be rewarded in the afterlife.”

———————-Akhir dari pengakuannya

Selepas membacanya, teringat olehku akan Firman Allah “Azza wa jalla

إنك لا تهدى من أحببت ولكن الله يهدي من يشاء وهو أعلم بالمهتدين

“Sesungguhnya kamu (hai Muhammad) tidak akan dapat memberi hidayah (petunjuk) kepada orang yang kamu cintai, tetapi Allah lah yang memberi petunjuk kepada siapa saja yang dikehendakiNya, dan Allah lebih mengetahui orang-orang yang mau menerima petunjuk.” (QS. Al qoshosh, 56)

Lihatlah…. jika allah berkehendak walaupun seluruh umat manusia di dunia dan Jin bersatu untuk menghalangi apa-apa yang telah Allah tetapkan, maka tidak akan memberikan mudharat sedikitpun jika Allah menghendaki keselamatan kepada hamba-Nya, da begitu pula sebaliknya.

Jika kita merenung kembali, betapa mahalnya hidayah berupa “Islam” yang telah kita miliki, tak sepantasnya lah kita yang semenjak lahir telah mengenal Islam justru menyia-nyiakan apa-apa yang telah Allah jadikan untuk kita Islam sebagai Dien kita.

Aku teringat beberapa hari lalu sebelum aku menuliskan artikel ini, Istri-ku mengirim pesan sms kepada saya, dan ia mengatakan bahwa temannya telah berani mengatakan bahwa Allah telah memberikan kelonggaran kepada ummatnya, sehingga Atheis ataupun beragama adalah sama saja, … Innalillahi wainna ilaihi raji’un.

Banyak orang yang saat ini mengaku sebagai pemeluk agama Islam, namun mereka tidak tahu hakikat hal itu. Mereka juga tidak mengerti kemuliaan yang mereka peroleh karena nikmat dan anugerah Allah ta’ala yang agung dengan memeluk agama ini, padahal itulah nikmat yang paling besar yang tiada bandingannya.

Di antara hal yang membuatkan bertambah mulia dan bangga

Dan aku hampir menginjakkan kedua kakiku di atas bintang kejora

Adalah masuknya aku ke dalam firman-Mu, “Wahai hamba-hamba-Ku.”

Dan Engkau utus Ahmad sebagai utusan-Mu

Abu Hurairah radhiallahu ‘anhu meriwayatkan bahwa rasulullah shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam bersabda,

“Setiap bayi adalah terlahir dalam fitrahnya, lalu kedua orang tuanya yang membuatnya menjadi Yahudi, Nasrani, atau Majusi.” (HR. Muttafaq ‘alaihi).

Saat ini banyak diantara kita berbondong-bondong mengusung kebebasan berpendapat, hak asasi manusia,kebebasan wanita, emansipasi wanita dan produk-produk yang mengatasnamakan kebebasan berekspresi sehingga banyak para wanita muslim mengumbar aurat. Dan atas nama kemajuan jaman mereka rela menanggalkan pakaiannya satu demi satu, bergaul seperti layaknya kaum jahiliyah, mereka selalu berkiblat ke kehidupan ala orang barat disaat orang-orang barat berbondong-bondong untuk lebih jauh meninggalkan kehidupan mereka dan beralih ke Agama Islam.

Sedemikian naif kah kita sehingga kita jauh terlalu dalam dalam angan-angan kosong tentang mengangkat harkat dan martabat wanita?

Lantas siapakah yang menjatuhkan harkat dan martabat wanita itu sendiri? dan siapakah yang lebih memahami tentang bagaimana wanita itu dihargai?

Manusia? ataukah Allah yang maha kuasa?

Jalan mankah yang akan kau tempuh wahai wanita?

2 thoughts on “The Way of Life

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