meaning: a specific task or duty assigned to a person or a group of people
meaning: a person strongly in favour of a program, a set of principles, etc.., who attempts to persuade or convert others
We’ve all heard of it and we all know the work that they do but what happens when during the course of their mission, they end up offending others.
More often than not, we all know what a missionary is and perhaps to some extent, what the end objective is – to convert others. The most prominent of missionaries that we always hear of is the Christian missionary.
They travel around the world to specific locations and perform community work whilst spreading the word of the gospel in hopes that they’d be able to convert those living there to join the Christian faith (forgive me and correct me if I’m wrong). Even in Singapore, we do see missionaries from other parts of the world coming over the spread the word of the gospel to non-Christians here.
I, personally, have been approached by one before.
And recently, a mission group in Singapore, NUS Campus Crusade, was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Read here.
As part of their mission work that they were embarking to several parts of the world namely of particular concern were Thailand and Turkey, the groups’ poster stated:
“Thailand is a place of little true joy…”
It goes on further to state “…The land of smiles needs to hear the gospel message. Come and share with Khonkaen University students that Jesus is the Way, the True and the Life”
In another separate poster focused on Turkey, it stated:
“In a country where much of the population is M, much prayer and work is needed in this place.”
On first instance reading this, I feel absolutely offended at how such words were used and question these individuals’ mission work itself. Obviously, these individuals needed to go on a mission to discover themselves first as Christians rather than to travel to tell and convince others to be Christians.
I don’t think Christianity is an insensitive religion such that it asks its’ followers to go on a mission to convert others whilst stepping on others toes. Actually, I don’t even agree with this mission work to convert others for a few simple reasons.
- Undertaking such missions means that such individuals must see themselves as near-perfect faithfuls of the religion. Since none of us ever were friends with the Prophet, is the Pope, a priest/pastor, I don’t think we’re even qualified to undertake such higher calling missions. Even priests/pastors aren’t perfect faithfuls and end up committing grave sins that they themselves preach.
- Since none of us qualify under point 1, our mission should be within ourselves FIRST. To better ourselves as faithfuls of the religion that we subscribe to. As a Muslim, we have the ‘Jihad’, which is a constant internal struggle – to fight within ourselves, to fight the urges to commit sins.
- If we really believe that it is our calling to go on a mission work, the best mission work to start on after ourselves would be to help the community that we live in. To better the faiths in our family and friends. I’m sure there are many people in Singapore who subscribe to the same faith but aren’t committing their life to god enough – these individuals could use a friend, a volunteer to help him/her get closer to god and to be more faithful. And for as long as there are fellow faithfuls in your community who aren’t faithful enough to god, take it that your mission isn’t done yet and god won’t be happy if you can’t get your own communion to be faithful.
Those 3 points should cover at least the basic minimum requirement to go on a religious mission.
But what do I think would be the best mission?
The best has got to be the mission to oneself.
As a Muslim, the best Muslim ever to have walked on this planet earth is no other than Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). He was a walking Quran. He was the life of what Quran meant. No other Muslim could ever be as perfect as he was and it is in every Muslims’ life mission to live life as how Muhammad did.
If any Muslim wants to convert anyone to be a Muslim, he shouldn’t have to go on any kind of mission anywhere because it is in every Muslims’ task to live like a Muslim. He should simply focus on being an exemplary individual, one that people should and want to follow and that should be his mission. There shouldn’t be a need for him to preach to others about how good it is to be a Muslim because if he did, he’d be gloating and end up becoming less of a Muslim. Let others see for themselves a Muslims’ way of life and should the non-Muslim be given ‘light’ from god, then that individual shall naturally open his heart and mind to want to learn more about it on his/her own.
I seriously hope that the NUS kids reading this will search for themselves and begin the mission work on themselves first. I don’t think Christianity or any other religion has taught us to belittle others – RESPECTING others choice of worship is also what it means to be a faithful to any religion.
Here’s a little something about what Muslims believe about Jesus, Prophet Jesus isn’t dead yet and was never crucified and he’ll be coming back down to earth just before the world ends for his final mission.
We can all then sing “Guess Who’s Back.. Back Again.. Jesus’s back!”
In gist – I DON’T AGREE WITH MISSIONARY WORK OVERSEAS UNDERTAKEN BY ANY RELIGION, NOT EVEN MUSLIMS IF IT EXISTS.