I have been observing the behaviours and traits of my Bangladeshi workers. I am seeing the paradox in them.
They work hard. They are obedient. They are honest. They display exemplary behaviours, courteous, so polite, humble, unquestioning. If you are a student of the way of the prophet, Muhammad I mean, you will easily observe the traits, behaviours as advocated by the teachers of the sunnah.
They are exemplary Bangladeshis. Are they exemplary muslims?
I cannot help but see them as oppressed. I see them as exploited by their own kind, their own systems, their own beliefs, their own behaviours. I see them as those who have not been completely liberated, by the religion which is supposed to set them free.
Is their “religion” or belief system now shackling them?
Before they even board the plane they are already in debt to their fellow country man, for the hefty price they pay for their work permit. And these are the lucky ones who could get away. What about the millions who are staying put.
It reminded me of my my encounter with a Bangladeshi TAHFIZ, who has been soliciting funds to buy these volumes of Bukhari and Muslims for an Islamic Madrassah. I told him to buy a computer instead.
And last Eid Adha, my Bangladeshi workers sacrificed a cow which bring into question their concept of QURBAN or sacrifice. Why should you, I asked? Aren’t you already the subjects of sacrifice and exploitation by others?
They are so compliant, so patient, so tolerant, so unquestioning not the sobar that I understand though.
I am not being objective. I am biased. A lapse in my objectivity. I just realise that I see similar traits in many fellow Malaysians Muslims.