Our third day was begun with the visit to The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Singapore. Here we learned to get to know more of The Baha’i Faith. There are about 2000 Baha’is in Singapore and about seven million Baha’is all around the world. A Baha’i simply means a follower of Baha’u’llah (lived 1817-189, meaning “Glory of God”), the prophet founder of the Baha’i Faith. The holy book of Baha’i is Kitab-i-Aqdas, but Baha’is also considers all others’ holy books (Bible, Qur’an, etc.) as their holy books, too.
For Baha’is, humanity is the expression of God. There are sort of acting we should do in this life, because we are created in the image of God. And the spiritual life goes on, so our life now is to prepare our next journey, like a baby in the womb of a mother. The later time will be 100 times more beautiful than now. Now, we need to develop our spiritual life, so that we can live in a beautiful world and see The Creator later. Heaven and hell is a state of mind, where heaven is a beautiful world, and hell is a suffering in which if we don’t develop our spiritual life we’ll be away from God. Sin is considered as the absence of good.
The Baha’i teachings also teach about the two fold moral purposes, individual life and collective life. In our individual life, we must possess a pure, kindly, radiant joyful heart, and we should treat other people with true intention. While in our collective life, we should think of the wellbeing of mankind, its peace and security. And it will not be attainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. The unity enables us to work together despite of our diversity. Through services and humanity, we can transform the society. In the mobility of mankind, humanity can display the quality of God. Some programs of The Baha’is are the children classes, junior youth spiritual empowerment programs, studying circles, devotional gatherings, deepening on the writings, social action, etc. For the devotions, Baha’is do individual and collective prayer. Most devotions are done at home and can invite others, too.
The explanation and discussion about The Baha’i Faith teachings was very interesting. After the discussion time, we had a tour around the center and had sightseeing for the libraries and meeting room in the building. In the library, we could see many books and writings have been published about The Baha’i Faith to socialize the teachings. After we finished the tour, the lunch had been prepared and we had lunch together, and continued our talk during the lunch. After that, we took picture altogether.
After we left The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Singapore, we went to the Masjid Al Amin to join The Interfaith Harmony Walk, which was collaborated with The Creation Care Singapore and FiTree Community of MUIS Harmony Centre Singapore. We were divided into two groups, and then begun the session with an introductory game, by describing ourselves to one another in a group (using the picture of nature we chose), and after that we had a quiz about the verses of making peace with environment in The Qur’an, Torah, The Prophets Book, and The Gospel. Then, we started our guided walk which routed to Mount Faber Park beside the mosque. During the walk, we had the bingo game to take photos of some species we met during the journey. At the top of Mount Faber, we made a web game of ecosystem in each group to describe how human should have kept the nature as the scriptures also taught us. At last, we took beautiful pictures together and walked back to the mosque to have break and prayer. After the break and prayer, we had dinner and tour around the Masjid Al-Amin. For closing session, we listened to the presentation of Creation Care Singapore and FiTree of MUIS Harmony Centre of Singapore and ended it with a touching poetry “From Walden to Woodlands”.
My personal reflection from the WIHW Singapore 2016 trip:
This is my second time joining this program, and it was a great experience to learn other religions (especially the ones which do not exist in Indonesia, like the Jainism, Sikhism, Baha’i Faith, Taoism, and Judaism) directly from the followers; about the history, beliefs, traditions, holy books and their activities.
I also had chances to have personal dialogue with some people about their faith, and it really amazed me how God created us all in diversity. The Almighty God is really creative in creating all human in diverse ethnics and religions. Each of uniqueness finally is meant to show His Glory as The Creator of the universe. Through all the religion diversities in reaching God, I can see the richness of human effort to know The Creator God, and God will surely show His way for people who search for Him sincerely.
I learn to see and love other religions’ followers as God sees and loves them. As a follower of Isa Al- Masih, I need to learn more so that I can understand deeper about others’ faith and love them in the way that they can understand, just like what Isa Al-Masih taught; to love God and love our neighbor.
Another interesting experience is having new brethren from Singapore and Malaysia, and sharing about our lives and the conditions in our countries. Meeting the interfaith activists in Singapore was also a wonderful experience. I learned some of the conditions and climates of interfaith dialogue outside of Indonesia. I also hope that more interfaith peacemakers from the young generation will arise so that together we can stand up for peace among the world.
So, I will sum up the WIHW Singapore 2016 trip as a wonderful and unforgettable trip, because it taught me how to know, understand, and interact with the other adherents in a loving way as God taught us. Salam Peace Shalom!