Still a Believer, But Not so Sure I Believe in the Community Anymore

Tuesday, 20 Desember 2016 - 11:29:09 WIB
By : Vita Kartika | Category: Faith & Spirituality - 4616 hits
I have been distressed about the negative portrayal of Muslims around the world, but I also understand that the issue couldn't possibly offend me unless there was some truth in it and unless there was a little guilt in me, in the very first place.

It has all made me think: what if they are not the group of people I would like to identify myself with? What if they are not the brothers and sisters I could relate to? What if we share the same religion, but we do not share the exact same principle? What if we dress alike but we do not think alike?

It is always difficult to just be yourself when you’re always being compared to people who share similarities with you. People may say that I wear hijab because it's the trend. Yet people may also say that my burqa-wearing sisters are too strict, conservative, or extreme. On the other hand, my other sisters who post her selfies online daily and puts red lipstick are also being judged because: "Isn't hijab about modesty? When you wear hijab and still look pretty then what's the point?".

Our belief seems never right for us. My hijab is never long enough, as if the length of my headscarf is the measurement of my faith. But then, is it?

It is never easy. I believe in my faith, but somehow I'm unsure of my decision. There are days and nights when I hesitate and think about taking off all religious symbols on my body so I won’t be associated with people I principally never agree with.

I wonder, what if I still practice but without wearing hijab? Isn't religion about practicing instead of showing symbols? What if I believe in Allah but I don't think it's necessary to let people know about it? And then I would be thinking that I should have not worn hijab that soon, I was not good enough, I am not good enough. I felt as if I’d made a rash decision and now I'm trapped.

Sometimes I envision taking off my hijab, and justifying it because I'm tired, because I'm scared. And most of all, because this is not the way I want to be seen and labelled. It is not the way I want other people to look at me. I committed myself to hijab because I wanted to be true to myself. Not for this. I know that I owe society nothing but it's always easier to say it than to actually mean it.

My faith in Allah and in myself is getting stronger, but my faith in this community is growing weaker. The string has been pulled out for quite some time it has begun to get thinner. And if someday that string of faith breaks... I don't think I will know myself anymore.

Vita Kartika is a Communication Science undergraduate student at Universitas Airlangga who believes in long life education and the power of process. She writes and criticizes about current issues on She's @vitdgaf on each and every social media account.

Got an opinion on this issue? Let’s talk about it in the comments section below.

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Salma | 20 Desember 2016 | 12:14:31 WIB
A very relatable article for me.
It's such a hard decision to make between the community or yourself. Unconsciously, people started to claimed themself as the most pious and right one.
Ru | 20 Desember 2016 | 12:19:18 WIB
"Isn't religion about practicing instead of showing symbols? What if I believe in Allah but I don't think it's necessary to let people know about it?"

I totally can relate to you in this part. When I was a kid, I recalled one of my family members asked why I didn't wear a cross-shaped necklace. They told me,"You gotta wear it so people can tell right your religion off the bat". During my childhood, I simply refused and lied to them by saying I might lose it if I wear it at school. As I get older and coming across your article, now I finally found the way to address my response if someone asked me the same question. Thank you!
Ica | 21 Desember 2016 | 07:11:16 WIB
Hi there! Thank you so much for writing this article. This is so very relatable. It feels good to know that someone also shares my worries. Recent events have also bothered me. Those made me question my own belief. There are times when I feel sinful for doubting my belief, but then I think again and I believe that God gives us logic and conscience so that we can decide what is right and what is wrong. So I think it's okay to have doubts, it is the process of pursuing the truth. Keep writing and inspiring!
someone. | 21 Desember 2016 | 22:47:16 WIB
If you really feel the spiritual connection between you and your God, and if you feel that it's something special, by all means keep all the prayers intact. I've never been a moslem but my total departure from my religion started from my distrust in the community, too.
And honestly, it gets lonely.
And eventually everyone is as untrustworthy as the devout I despised in the first place.

Hope good things are coming to you.
RH | 19 January 2017 | 08:12:37 WIB
This article is breath of fresh air - I feel the exact same way! Although I am not a woman (so have it easier as I don't have to openly display my faith), I have also become pretty disillusioned with the community, which has in turn affected my attachment to religion. It's reassuring to know that there are others out there who have similar experiences. Can we form our own club?
A new hijabee ukhti | 22 January 2017 | 21:54:10 WIB
Thank you for writing this! :") Someone finally speaks my mind. I can relate to this in sooo many ways. I'm actually a new headscarf-wearer. Now I understand why it is hard to wear it when society is always about judgement of what we are wearing. I used to be a girl on bikinis, some (if not all) people judged me like I was so bad in many ways... You know. Now I'm wearing headscarf those who judged me still judge me, expect me to be as good as a they expect me to. What I'm trying to say is people will always find ways to judge you, to put whatever label they want on you. Hope you still have the faith in keeping your headscarf on to show people that we are not that annoying sisters from community who always judge and judge and judge people.

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