What does it mean to be a Muslim in Indonesia?

Masjid Istiqlal in Jakarta - Masjid is the place where all Muslims are doing the five times prayer in a day, Friday prayer, Eid al-Fitri, Eid al-Adha, and other Islāmic activities

Indonesia is a country that has the largest Muslims population in the world. At least, this is what people in the United States know about Indonesia. Why the United States? Because this is one of the most intriguing countries in the world. I can say so because I have never been in this country before. Now, in this post, I would like to share a bit of my perspective of how being a Muslim in Indonesia. The questions that I would like to discuss are mainly concerned on the way Muslims live in Indonesia and how the word “jihad” is viewed in this country. Please also remember that I am an Indonesian; therefore, I am pretty sure about Muslims in Indonesia.

Eid al-Fitri in Masjid Istiqlal - Jakarta

The life of Muslims in Indonesia (general perspective)

Indonesia, as it is known in the world today, is a country where people are dominantly Muslims. Recently, there are some debates about the controversies of life of Muslims, especially in Indonesia. Some people who are not living in this country sometimes have different point of view of viewing the true of the life of Muslims is. In this post, I would like to give a perspective of the life of Muslims in Indonesia in a general point of view.

In Indonesia, Muslims are seen as people who believe in Islam and the one almighty God, that is Allah SWT. They worship Allah SWT as their God and they follow what Allah SWT teaches them through Qur’an, the holly book of Islam. In living their life, Muslims in Indonesia are facing the dynamics between social and spiritual life. In terms of social life, Muslims in Indonesia are gathered together to form brotherhood and sisterhood to protect their country, Indonesia. They also try to carry out the principle of life by performing the action of solidarity among people. If there are people living in other provinces are having natural disasters, they try to help those people by giving them some helps as the way they can. Meanwhile, in the aspect of spiritual life, Muslims in Indonesia view Islam as religion that determines the way they live. If the religion does not teach them to do certain things, they would basically not do those things. For instance, if they are asked to do prayer five times a day and go to Friday prayer once a week, they will follow that. In other words, the lives of Muslims in Indonesia are reflected through their actions in combining the social and spiritual life. For people who are living in non-Muslims countries, this is the case where some problems might occur. Misunderstanding and misconception might occur but along the way, as more people try to learn about Islam and its teachings, the more they could learn that Islam can be implemented to social life.

Because Muslims have two Sexes, that are Men and Women, it is a good idea for you to know Muslim Men and Muslim Women in Indonesia

Muslim Men in Indonesia

Muslim Men in Indonesia

The very basic thing that is considered as a Muslim in Indonesia to do is known as circumcision. This is the action of cutting a part of penis, which is the foreskin of it, in order to follow the order of the prophet Muhammad SAW.. For boys, circumcision is done when the boys are reaching ten to eleven years old, depending on the customs of the regions where the boys are raised. About this circumcision, there are many researchers studying about this thing. One of the benefits of having circumcision is that the men can be avoided from genital diseases due to free-sex, but, free-sex or promiscuity is not allowed in Islam. Therefore, when the boys are growing up to be men, they are asked to get married or doing fasting to control their sexual needs. To be a man in Islam means that you are not allowed drinking alcoholic. It is forbidden as it is said in the Qur’an. Moreover, being a man in Islam means the man should respect and honor parents. Allah SWT teaches through Qur’an that parents are the “door” for Muslims to get into the mercy of Allah SWT. If a man does not follow a good thing to be a Muslim, then, it might be a serious case for him and as a punishment; the man may end up in the hell-fire. The rest of being a man in Islam would be the same as other men in general. However, those basic things should be taken into consideration in viewing what Muslims men are.

Muslim Women in Indonesia

The same case as in Muslim men, circumcision is also done among women but it is done when they are babies. Women are asked to cover themselves by using hijab or burqa because in that way, they are protected through the wilderness of men sexual desires. Women are created in such beautiful ways to attract men as the opposite gender. If the women are wearing dresses as in such almost “naked” outfit, the possibility for her to be “raped” is high. Therefore, Allah SWT asks women to cover themselves by using hijab. If in this way, men are still victimizing her, then, the problem goes to the men because they cannot control their desire and be the slave of their own passion. Muslim Men are trained to do this so that when they “view” women in this way, they would do “istighfar” and try their best to control things that they see about it. Moreover, being Muslim Women in Indonesia means that your rights as women are respected. Recently, there are many job opportunities are opened for women. The forms of the jobs are various depending on their ability and skills. Even one of the presidents of Indonesia is woman, who is Megawati Soekarno Putri. Some ministers in Indonesia are also from women. These show that women are having their balance position in Indonesia together with men. Women are no longer viewed as those who should be in the “kitchen” or “stayed at home” to do domestic things in Indonesia. They have their own ways of life and that makes them having a well-balance of life as a Muslim and as a woman in Indonesia. Nevertheless, the government and the society are still trying to make better condition of life about this matter. Hopefully, their plans and goals in realizing this could be realized as expected by all Indonesian civilians.

The form of happy family in Indonesia

A picture of happy Muslim family in Indonesia

In order to view this topic, note that the meaning of “happiness” would be different among people, depending on where they live. The standard of happiness in Indonesia would be different from the standard of happiness in the United States, the United Kingdom, or in other countries. However, the basic thing is that the members of the family can be united together in religious events or in any social events. The father, mother, and the children are sitting together in their house to celebrate the events. They also have “enough” way of life together that they can share. Apparently, the happiness of a family in Indonesia is the same with other families in the world. They need to educate the children by sending them to school, to fulfill what the members of the family need, and be responsible with the family ties are basic things of happy family in Indonesia.

Unfortunately, though, some news on how Muslims in Indonesia cannot be trusted 100% true because the news are sometimes bias and driven by certain political issues. The best thing you can do to understand Muslims in Indonesia is by visiting Indonesia and see it yourself. But, be careful with what you think because sometimes, what you think can mislead you into subjectivity.



All pictures above are taken from Internet. To those who own the pictures, I credibly say thank you to you. Jazakillah and syukron!

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