Religion. Faith. Belief. 

Suddenly these three words have come into limelight, not because of positive reasons, but thanks to the forty fifth president of the United States, who once again proved that his inability to govern a nation of diversified beliefs, stands true in a tough time like this. Today all over the world, Islam is misunderstood for more than one reasons. Before you think I am a pro-Islamic or a Muslim, let me clarify that I am a practicing Hindu, and very much believe in my religion, my culture and my faith. But on the same side, I also feel bad about what my Muslim friends go through, just for being believer of one faith! And before I proceed further, let me say that –

I live with a Muslim.

This statement in itself is very bold to make especially in 21st century when half the world has started associating Islam with terrorism, but we need to speak up. I live with a Muslim. She is my classmate and recently we moved out of the hostel, and rented out an apartment here in Kerala. I am currently doing my post graduation and that is also one of the reasons behind my absence from my blog. But, living with a Muslim certainly taught me a lot of things and one of them is that – they are not terrorists! My Muslim-roommate has stopped eating non-vegetarian food inside the house as I am a vegetarian. Whenever she has to eat chicken or fish, she prefers going out, something which she does out of respect and I appreciate and love her for the same. My Muslim-roommate has always contributed equally in household chores, and has rather cooked for me on more than one occasions. Whenever I am fasting, she’s the one who waits for me to complete my fast so that we can have dinner together. Whenever I am unwell, she takes care of me like my mother. I have met her a couple of months ago, and now we are like a family. A family which does not believe in any barriers.

I wish, the world was just like my home. A place where a Hindu and a Muslim live together happily, watch movies, share secrets, eat and cook good food, sing songs, dance and enjoy life. The only time we ever faced problem was when on Eid I asked her to make sevaiyan and on Diwali, she asked me to make halwa. I go to temples, she visits mosques. I do not cover my head, while she wears a scarf, we both look out for each other like sisters, and I can’t thank my Gods enough for bringing her in my life! With her, I always feel so happy and safe. Whenever she goes home, I miss her like crazy. Whenever she comes back I make sure I pick her up from railway station, and cook her favorite dishes to make her feel at home once again. Hostel times are tough, especially when you are so far away from your family. Here, only your friends are your family, and she’s the one for me.

I am proud to say that she’s the first Muslim-friend I ever made. In Punjab there is minority of Muslims, and call it my bad-luck that I never met or befriended any Muslim before her, but now that I’ve met and lived with her, I really experienced what I have been missing out in my life, and that was – knowing a whole new culture, a whole new religion, from perspective of someone who practices it. Otherwise, the world is always busy in stating faults and discrepancies in every culture. People have a problem with Gods of every religion, so they can’t be trusted when it comes to understanding a different religion from an outsider’s point of view. Our beliefs and our vision are highly dominated and influenced by the kind of culture/society we grow up in. For an extremist Muslim, a Hindu is a kaafir, and for an extremist Hindu, Muslims are terrorists, and that is the biggest problem of the world right now. Instead of giving the other person a chance, we just want to throw accusations at him, and expect him to take the blame.

Many Muslims have gone through worse conditions just for being Muslims, and the biggest example is the war going on in Syria. ISIS is an extremist Islamic group, but the ones they are targeting and attacking the most are also Muslims. If the terrorists are Muslims, then the victims are also Muslims. No Saudi country has opened its gates for refugees from war-stricken countries like Syria, and that shames me as a human-being. And now even USA has done the same, out-casting majority of innocent people who have no contribution in anything what-so-ever. This move, of banning Muslims, has come as a result of pre-historic and conservative mentality, that the current POTUS holds, and it saddens me as a human-being that thousands and millions of people and their families now have nowhere to go!

The only message I want to convey through this post is that ‘we’, as a world, as humans, hold a great responsibility towards our Muslim brothers and sisters, and we should all adopt an ‘accepting’ behavior, rather than a forbidding one. Let’s step up for them and build a world where no one has to die because he believes in a certain faith.

Let’s drop the ‘barriers’

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  Comments (8)

  • Sarita

    February 11, 2017

    Hi mehek
    Well said, even I think the same. I have Muslim friends n their behavior is nice to all around. But some bad are throwing mess all over. I respect Muslim religion very much.

  • Ammar Yasir

    May 4, 2017

    If everybody in the world was like you, this world would have turned into heaven.

    • Syed Ali

      June 11, 2017

      But this world is a harsh and unforgivable place

  • Faizal Shaikh

    June 11, 2017

    It feels imense pleasure, when a non-muslim post such an beautiful article.
    Hope the world gets the eye to see the real beauty which you have seen..

  • Rohit

    August 10, 2017

    It’s really nice that people like your friend exist.
    But ma’am not everything that you see can be derived from personal experiences because if you go by personal experiences then even I have my share of personal experience which goes like this.
    I study computer engineering in muslim majority college and I was of the same opinion as of yours that we can’t judge anything unless we experience it which I interpreted by reading your answer. To answer this straight and small I was being ostracized by others for having different religious opinion then theirs which was not biased to any religion. It was something that I till now regret for telling my buddies about my views on religions, they asked me about. And after that comes the discrimination part as I was the one who didn’t have the same kind of view that they had with Islam which they came to know through Q&A session which they conducted on me. I think no one was bad or worse in general but when a certain belief dictates the way you live, without any rationale then there is a problem which I find among people who are following Islam has the most in it. Now about extremism how can you judge if someone is extremist or not when the whole set of persons I came across has the same set of ideas and thinks that it is good to befriend kafirs and discriminate them.
    And ma’am that to in an educational environment, Just because my views are not same as that of theirs.
    I thought that this was a small bunch of people but then I came across the stark reality that more than half of them thinks that I was a threat who will spoil their belief. So I don’t have many friends in my college I just go there to submit my assignments and give exams.
    This was the thing after knowing my views on religions. I thought that might be I was the one having such views but I found many

    • Mehek

      August 20, 2017

      People are SHEEP. They follow each other just because that’s easy. In majority, only fools believe, and no, educational institute or anything has NOTHING to do with it. People in majority will always, ALWAYS try to dominate, no matter what the geography. Talking about my own college, I studied in Punjab, I’m a Hindu and my college had over 80% Sikh population. I felt all sorts of discrimination, even teachers indulge in it at times, which is strange, and hurtful, but then it’s the norm. They’re in majority. That’s what even Hindus do. I’m not saying it’s the right thing to do, but I’m just trying to explain the human psychology behind it. That does not mean they’re all wrong. Maybe out of a hundred, twenty or say, fifty have orthodox and separative mentality, but not everyone is the same, however, to remain in the herd, they have to follow the lead-sheep. That’s it.

  • Inayat

    February 4, 2020

    Very good article. The essence of Humanity or friendship lies in the connection of the heart.
    The heart demands visa-free entry to all cultures, caste, creed, religion or race.

    Keep it up !!!

    • Mehek

      May 7, 2020

      Thanks! 🙂