She introduced herself as Janet. She wore skinny jeans, white shirt with crystals on it, red down-jacket and mary jane shoes. She is our tour guide for the vacation. She seems very excited to meet us, but maybe its her anxiety shows in another form.
And that was 4 days ago. Now she's more calm and becoming more like a sister. Dont do this, dont try that, be early, be nice to me, she said.
So, in one of those days of which i cannot recall, we sat in a restaurant near Itaewon. Its a halal restaurant with the smell of kebab, grilled beef, lamb and chicken. Smokey.
"I dont know why, but i like halal meat." says Janet while she stab the lamb ribs in front of her.
"It taste good!" she added, pulling her thumbs up and make her cute face like one in a korean cosmetic commercial.
"How old are you Janet?" i asked.
"Why? Cant an old lady like me do that kind of thing? Youre bad boy." she mumbles.
I smiled and continue eating.
"So tell me about muslim." she said. *sounded more like mu-ze-lim*
"What do you want to know?" I asked.
"Well, why you chose muslim?" she asked.
"Actually i didn't make that choise. I was born in a muslim family. So i became a muslim." i answered.
"I was born in a christian family. But i don't really do christian things." she paused.
"..like going to church." she added.
"I am very sorry Janet. I really don't know how to clear things out for you. Maybe you should asked someone of better knowledge." i said, disappointingly.
"Yeah, maybe i will go to the mosque later." she said and ended it with a laugh.
That happened last year. But i still cant forget about it. I should have answered better. I should have tried my best to explain things instead of diverting and pointing out to someone else. So it kept me thinking of what better answer i could have given Janet. I cant think of any, until today.
Janet, its unfortunate that i lost your contact details. But maybe someone like you could read this and help me get on with my life.
So this is my best answer.
I believe we are all the same despite whatever religion we are born into. We are similar in which, we will all encounter death. That is a fact, believed by all religion, proven and explained scientifically and accepted by every human beings.
But before the time of death comes, we differ in many ways. Even muslims differ from one another. In terms of their conduct of daily life, moral values, how they see things individually and so on. What guidance do we have? What better way to live?
To answer that, comes religion.
This is where one chose based on every options there is. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, even if you dont believe in God you are still in a religion, like Atheism, Scientology (whatever it is spelled).
I chose to continue being a muslim because i want to believe that there is life after death, that i will be rewarded for every good deeds i have done and punished for every unwise decisions i have made. If my good deeds are more than my wrongdoings, i believe i will go to heaven, live for eternity and rewarded with things, ten times or maybe thousand times better than what we have best here in this world.
So to get that reward, i chose to live as a muslim.
Being muslim, I believe there is only one God that manages the world we live in, and that it is He who sends His messenger to bring us His words of guidance and warnings in the Holy Quran. Imagine a world with many Gods, it will be like the Thor movie. Also, living a muslim life, by doing what He wanted, and leaving things He dislike, i find peace.
Maybe it is unfair to say i found peace in Islam as i have never been in other religion and maybe others in other religion would say just the same.
Oh well, debate in religious issues will get us nowhere. So my best advise is go for what you believe in and never stop searching for God, because we muslim believe that if you ask for God, He is near.
So Janet, will you chose the path that ends with death, or one that starts after death? do you want to be reborn again in this world, or do you want to be brought back to life and live for eternity in a place much much better than this?
Kind Regards and