So I’ve been going about my day to day life on my own for a while now. The wife has work over in the Klang Valley area and I have school here in Penang, so I’ve been by myself at the apartment for about a month now.
Living alone isn’t new to me. I’ve been living by myself for quite a while even before getting married, so I really am used to it. I was just reminded of how living alone can test your faith when you’re a self-proclaimed Muslim who tries to pray his five daily prayers.
It was when I went to study in Sydney when I first felt a sense of freedom when it came to the aspect of my faith and how I chose to practice it. Because there was no one to monitor my actions over there (as opposed to being at home with your parents or in a higher learning institute where Muslims were a huge majority), there was no one to tell me to pray my five daily prayers. Indeed, if I could have decided to skip all of them and invested all that extra time to watching more Youtube videos or something. There would be no one to question me, no one to pressure me into praying at all.
But I didn’t. I felt that my five daily prayers mattered too much to me for me to just leave like that. I guess it was a testament to how well my mother had raised me to have me feel like prayer was an essential part of my identity. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving prayer, since it made me feel like I had betrayed not only God or myself, but my mother too. I couldn’t do that to her.
Fast forward to today, and that thought hovered around my mind again as I sat alone in my rented apartment. I could just as easily not pray and literally no human being would ever know. But I don’t. I can’t. It’s become too important a thing for me. If I still want to call myself a Muslim, pray I must. And a Muslim I am.