and i am a chinese muslim.
i just reverted last year, it was a beautiful experience and it has become a challenge since.
i found Islam in the most natural way; it was because of Prophet Muhammad SAW. as a former christian, i was told that the Prophet was a pedophile. he married a child, Aishah - and this, i use as my ammo to backfire the muslims who tried to talk me into Islam.
one day, i was just googling about life, inspirations, stuff like that because i was feeling very empty when i stumbled upon a tumblr that has all the inspirational quotes i needed, and they were all quoted by Prophet Muhammad SAW. i bookmarked that page and after a few months, i started to question about him, and thus began my journey towards Islam.
I love Islam, I love Allah and I love Prophet Muhammad SAW.
but still. 30 years of being a chinese cannot vanish overnight, and i don't want it to. i am chinese by ethnicity, it's just that i'm a muslim.
for some reason those malays who got to know that i'm a muallaf, they expect me to become malay. i should speak more malay, wear baju kurung, wear tudung, celebrate Raya malay style, lepak at mamaks like the usual malays do.
it's really annoying.
my colleague once asked me why i don't wear baju kurung at all and when i told her i don't like wearing it, she made a face that spoke a thousand words and i knew, i was judged.
it wasn't just her. but her whole gang.
they don't mix with me as friends (not that i minded, they were a group of gossiping makciks) but it made me disappointed. i mean, they have been muslims longer than me, they should know how to treat new muslim friends, heck, how to treat anyone! but that's them, going around with their tudungs blinged up and their baju kurungs clinging to their bodies, judging people, gossiping while working, and always always instagramming! it drives me crazy sometimes because i don't see why they can't prioritise work!
ok that's the chinese in me.
oh well. forget about them.
i wanted to start learning to read the Quran. i thought i could learn via internet, and it was ok at first, i managed to memorise Al-fatihah, Al-Ikhlas, Al-falaq, An-nas and all other doas in a prayer. but i went to a muslim convention a few months back and the Ustaz said that if we don't read the words properly, it will bring different meanings and our prayers may not be accepted, since we read everything wrongly.
i didn't know why i haven't thought of that. even in mandarin we have the same thing. we need to pronounce the letters properly or it will bring different meaning(s).
so i went to a mosque nearby my house. Alhamdulillah they have a mengaji class every thursday night for free!
now, here's my story.
it was about 2 months ago. my mengaji class starts straight after maghrib prayers, breaks for isyak prayers, and continues on till however long we can. i always stop at 10pm. the ustazah didn't seem to mind too coz she said she doesn't have anything better to do when she's back home. =)
so after my class ended that day, i realised an indian guy followed me to my car. at first i thought that he probably just heading the same way but he was there too the next week! i was freaked out then, that halfway i ran towards my car, and drove off in panic. but before the third week, i wanted to give him a piece of my mind.
before class, i remembered to use a different bag and bring only my essentials, like my Quran, my telekung, phone, IC and license. and after class, there he was. the indian guy who follows me to my car!
i have been plucking up my courage for that time, so i spun around and yelled,
"HEY! YOU MAU APA HA?! YOU INGAT SAYA TAKUT KA!? SAYA PANGGIL ITU JAGA KALAU YOU MARI DEKAT! YOU SAPA HA!?!"
i could tell he was shocked coz i saw the whites of his eyes widened and he raised his hands in surrender. he stuttered a bit, then said,
"sorry miss! saya cuma nak make sure you sampai your car dengan selamat! malam malam bahaya tau kat sini! sorry miss!"
walauwei. i was shocked leh. this indian guy wanted to teman me? so i asked, more calmly, "you.. you buat apa sini juga?"
he answered "saya pun baru keluar masjid"
i asked "you muslim?"
suddenly he laughed, and i felt so stupid! what kind of question is that!?
he answered "ye la! takkan bukan kot!"
he sounded so malay despite looking like an indian, i thought. i hesitated for a while to ask my next question.. this guy was still patiently waiting, not making any moves towards me.
i asked "you... indian?"
he smiled softly and said "mamak".
at this point, i was just embarrassed. i just wanted to go home as it was becoming alarmingly awkward.
i just said "ok, assalamualaikum" and ran into my car and drove home.
we became friends shortly after.
oh! a few days ago, we were waiting for our burgers at the burger stall at our housing area. he was drinking a can of laici drink and i was chewing a gum.
we were talking about serious topics, when he asked me how come i don't wear tudung?
i rolled my eyes. "not you too.. look, how come just because i'm the muallaf here, i have to be more islamic than others? how come i have to wear jubah and tudung, whereas there are so many other malay girls who CONFIRM are muslims prancing around holding hands with guys they're not married to, wearing bikinis to the beach, NOT WEARING TUDUNG AND JUBAH (stressed this part), wearing more revealing clothes than i've ever had, even when i was a christian, drinking alcohol, and all that haram stuff? why do i get the pressure and not them? if you're going to quote me Surah An-Nisa ayat 30 to 31, it's ok. i know it off by heart. i want to cover up, but why should i do it just because it's what expected of me? i'll wear tudung when i want to."
he sipped thoughtfully, but he didn't say anything. well, he shouldn't. but i asked him what he thought about it anyway.
"what you said, was more or less what my sister said" he said.
i asked "does she wear tudung now?"
he was silent for a while, sipping his laici little by little. "she would've. if she knew she didn't have more time".
"what do you mean?" i asked.
he sighed, looked at me directly and said "she meninggal dunia. last year. accident."
i just starred at him with my mouth hanging slightly opened. we changed topic immediately after a few seconds. when we got our burgers, we both left, and i just couldn't get our conversation out of my mind. that night i cried and repented about how arrogant i've been to Allah SWT.
He has blessed me with life, Islam, opportunities, and many more, but just because i don't want to satisfy people's expectations of me being a revert, i have turned away from His commands. i was waiting to see other people change into my expectations - that's the truth.
but life is given by Him, and He can take it anytime, anywhere.. i've read the Quran's translations and even though i didn't memorise enough, i know that if we were given a knowledge, we should act upon it because if we ignore it, it will make us among the hypocrites. nauzubillah..
i cried to sleep too that night.
now, i am wearing tudung. i don't wear the fancy kinds like my colleagues do, i just wear the express type because it's easy to wear. i'm trying to get used to wearing long sleeves and socks. it's not as easy as i hoped.. i have too many short sleeved tops and my cardigans are too thick! and socks with sandals is too weird. but it's the right thing to do! i have to suck it up, go through it day by day, and in sha Allah it'll be a breeze.
as for him, i don't know. there's something about my mamak friend that makes me become a better person.
maybe Allah SWT is setting us up?
............... amiiiin! hehe!
//not related to anyone. story is only made up and inspired by real reverts. saje je buat cerpen.//
//my grammar tonggang langgang, and ayat macam tak tersususn sangat, but please just don't mind it ekk! =)//