Friday, April 11

IMAGINE THESE SCENES HAPPENING TO YOU:

"Mum, I want to be a Muslim."
"What?! Are you out of your mind?"
"No, I'm perfectly sane. I just want to believe in another God called Allah."
"You must have been charmed or under an evil spell. Who is your Malay girl friend?"
"I don't have a Malay girl friend. I don't even have a girl friend at all."
"Then why on earth do you want to be a Muslim for? Don't you love your family anymore? Why do you want to put us to shame by being a Muslim? Isn't being a Buddhist/ Taoist/ Christian/Hindu good enough for you?"
"I don't believe in that anymore."
"Well you can believe in anything you want but don't be a Muslim."
"Can't we talk without you raising your voice?"
"I'm angry with you. I am your mother. I have every right to raise my voice! You are going to disgrace me and your family."
Minutes later.
"Mum! Why are you taking my stuff from the cupboard?"
"I'm throwing them away. They are making you crazy."
"Mum, those are my translations of the Quran and my prayer mat. They are my things. You have no rights to throw them away."
"You dare to talk to me like that? You ungrateful son! After everything I and your father sacrifice to bring you up, give you an education? Now you want to bring shame to us by being a Muslim? What's so good about being a Muslim anyway? You can longer take part in our religious ceremonies, and you can never turn back and be a Buddhist/ Taoist/ Christian/ Hindu again."
"I am still your son, and will continue to be even when I am a Muslim."
"Go! Leave this house if you want to be a Muslim. Be a Muslim and you are no longer my son!"

"Dad, I need you to sign this form."
"What form?"
"This form will prove that you have been informed about my intention to be a Muslim."
"What?!"
Shrekkkk!!!
"Dad! Why did you tear the form?"
"Do you think I'd be crazy to allow you to convert into Islam? Over my dead body!"
"But... but I'll still be your daughter even after being a Muslim. Perhaps I'll be a better daughter to you later."
"If you love me as your father then don't even dare to bring up this issue again. I will never agree to have a Muslim for a daughter. I'll disown you rather than to have people say I don't know how to raise a daughter properly."
The next day.
"Here, drink this."
"What's this?"
"It's for your own good. The temple medium said that you have been under an evil spell. This drink will make you well again (and forget about your wish to convert)."
"I'm not thirsty."
"Drink it! If you consider me your father then drink it."

"I am going to convert to Islam next week."
"So you finally confess that you have a boyfriend."
"Look, I'm telling you that I'm going to be a Muslim, whether you like it or not. It is the new requirement that non-Muslims have to inform their family members before converting. And for your information, I don't have a boyfriend."
"Good then, go ahead and be a Muslim. I will contact my lawyer. The children will belong to me." "Why do you have to bring the children into this?"
"Because they will have to know that their mother deserts them for a Muslim man."
"I've told you, I don't have a Muslim boyfriend. And I am still their mother, and I have my rights towards them too."
"Then why do you want to convert to Islam? Why can't you be a free-thinker? I have never forced you to pray before the gods?"
"I want to live my life as a Muslim. I've waited long enough. It's about time I come out from the closet. You can choose to follow my footsteps and be a Muslim or you can remain in your religion. If you don't, we will divorce."
"I will not divorce you. And when you convert to Islam, you no longer have the rights to divorce me under your Syariah law. Don't think I don't know about Islamic laws. Only I will have the right to divorce you in the civil court. Now that you confess about wanting to be a Muslim, I'll never consent to a mutual-divorce. You can wait three years for the marriage to be dissolved in the civil court if you still want to go ahead with the divorce before you convert to Islam. if you convert now, hahahaa... we'll see how you live your life without a husband (since you can't remarry if I refuse to divorce you) and your children. I will make sure you lose your visitation rights to the children, so that you can't convert them along with you."
"Look can't we be civil to each other?"
"Civil? You stop this nonsense, continue your life as a non-Muslim and we can forget about this whole conversation."

"Alhamdulillah... syukur kerana saudari diberi hidayah olehNya untuk memeluk agama Islam."
"Cik sila isi borang ini."
"Cik sudah beritahu ahli keluarga Cik tentang hasrat Cik hendak memeluk Islam?"
"Sudah. tapi..."
"Tapi apa?"
"Mereka membantah."
"Oh begitu... mana borang persetujuan daripada ahli keluarga Cik?"
"Minta maaf Tuan. Saya gagal mendapatkan persetujuan mereka. Keluarga saya telah membantah hasrat saya untuk memeluk Islam. Malah borang yang saya serahkan juga telah dikoyak."
"Kalau begitu Cik tunggu sebentar. Saya perlu menghubungi pihak atasan untuk mendapatkan nasihat."
"Tuan, tak bolehkah saya memeluk Islam sekarang juga?"
"Sabar Cik, sabar... kami perlu ikut peraturan. Kami tidak mahu berlaku masalah pada masa hadapan."
"Tak bolehkah pihak tuan membenarkan saya memeluk Islam dahulu, baru memberitahu keluarga saya? Apa akan jadi sekiranya saya keluar daripada pejabat ini dan mati dilanggar kereta tanpa berpeluang mengucap dua khalimah-syahadah?"
"Sabar Cik... Ini peraturan baru."

If non-Muslim have to openly declare their intentions to be Muslims to their family members or spouses before they convert, there should also be a law requiring any Malaysian Muslims or of other religions who wish to convert to another religion to openly declare their intentions before the Syariah courts or their own religious bodies before they are allowed to be baptised in a Malaysian church or married in a temple, etc.
I rest my case.

(PUTRAJAYA: The Government will soon introduce a regulation requiring non-Muslims wishing to convert to Islam to inform their family before doing so.)

p/s: Please pray for sis Puisee who had written a comment for this post. May Allah makes her journey easy and smooth, ameen.
There are many brothers and sisters who are waiting for the right moment to officially embrace Islam as their religion even as I am writing this. Spare them a thought and please include them in your prayers so that they'd find strength and comfort in their journey to be Muslims. Thanks.

14 comments:

  1. deila [dalilah]11 April 2008 at 16:02

    hey,'diela' here. i happen to be a passerby in blogger.com as i wanted to update my blog. that is when i came across this tag - ' musings of a mualaf'. i was very interested cause i myself am a muslim and reading and getting know about people who are islam reverts interests me. i hope you understand english cause some of ur posts are written in english. anyway, i live in singapore, knowing that u live in penang. as i was saying, ur posts were great and there was one particular post-
    ' buka atau tutup where u mentioned on a book called beyond face value. i have that book too! so anyway, its not like i comment on random blogs but i feel that ur blog can be an inspiration to other muslim youths in singapore. futhermore, with modifications towards culture and globalisation, i feel that muslims nowadays are not acting like one. therefore, your blog about the challenges of trying to be a proper muslim inspires me to be an even better one. do visit my blog.
    yours sincerely,
    dalilah a.k.a deila

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  2. welcome deila and thanks for your comments :). just doing me best as a muslimah.
    Do inform me about your blog as I can't detect it online. Would love to know about your thoughts too.

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  3. Dear Aliya

    Alhamdulillah and congratulations.

    Share your thots and insyaAllah I will support you in any way I can.

    I believe many of us will.

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  4. Assalamu'alaikum Sister Aliya,

    I'm glad to hear an opinion over this issue from a former revert like yourself.

    The Malaysian government should consult views like yours before passing a law involving future reverts to Islam. It is disheartening to see that in Malaysia, it is becoming harder for people to choose the religion of their choice.

    Dear Sis Aliya, I was wondering if Muslim reverts like you can get together and voice your discontents over this issue to the government and the religion departments. Let them know that the law is not beneficial to the people and to the religion of Islam. I would be more than glad to join you and other Muslims in making it easier for future reverts to live at ease in the country.

    Best regards,
    aN
    Colorado

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  5. Waalaikumussalam,
    Alhamdulillah praise to Allah swt.. there have been many parties including the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Associations, fellow muslims and a state mufti who have voiced their disagreement with the government suggestion. It is double standards as non-muslims who want to convert to religions other than Islam are not required to do so. Since this issue, there are also suggestions from non-muslim NGOs that the law be changed to give freedom to Malaysian Muslims to leave Islam without consent fron the Syariah court.

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  6. Aslm wbt, sister.

    I envy your determination in 'fighting for Islam'. Many people who are 'born with Islam' does not appreciate this beautiful and true religion. I pray to Allah so that He protects u and make u a steadfast Muslimah. May Allah bless u and grant u His Jannah.

    Azri Bohari
    Medicine
    National Univ. of Ireland, Galway
    http://azribohari.blogspot.com

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  7. Waalaikumussalam wbt,
    bro Azri,
    There is a saying.. that you'd tend to be more appreciative of the things that are difficult to attain. Anyway, aren't we all created to serve Him in any way we can?
    Thanks for your doa, and the same to you too :)

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  8. Salam sis Aliya,
    im sasha and ive been reading your blog from time to time and find it very interesting. Alhamdulillah that u have chosen the path of Allah and i am truly grateful because if not, i wouldnt have had the chance to read ur stories here. i agree with brother aziz about not many muslim-born appreciate the divine religion as u do.

    im very much in agreement with u about making in compulsory for everyone who wants to convert to any religion to do the same ie to have to inform their family members of their intention. i am very disheatened by the PM n governments stand on the issue as i feel that Islam has been targeted in numerous and various occassions and they are just puting salt to the wound by mkg those statements.

    have the Muslims who convert out of Islam deal with their family too of they want to convert out.that should make the Persatuan Melayu Kristian jump out of their blankets.

    for me,it all boils down to proper forum!there is NO proper channel for this. even the religious departments are keeping mum about these issues.y in the world are they letting other religious(non-muslim) bodies mkg noise and they don't say anythg?wad is the law on apostacy?i mean u counsel them, make them stay in 'homes' for months, and then wad?

    OMG, im sorry.im flooding ur comment box.
    just my 2 cents on the issue.

    Sasha Lyna

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  9. Hi,

    I believe I should address U as Kak Aliya. This blog title is so close to me as I've been in similar scenes....

    It was abt 3 years ago. But it was just when they found out I was with a malay muslim bf (since 2003).

    It was emotional, dramatic (similar to what U encounter, with extra, my parents said they will publish in the newspaper stating that we are no longer related as I convert into Islam), stressful etc.

    All these years I've been asking myself, "Adakah saya 'kemelayuan' atau 'keislaman'?" Last month, finally I'm brave, sure & ready enough to break the news and let my family know that I'm converting to Islam plus I wanna get married to my bf.

    To my suprise, my family has less negative reactions / replies. It seems like they kindda of 'have to accept' me being 'kemelayuan' (since I was 13) eventually 'keislaman'.

    Life has its peculiar way of revealing a lot of matters. It's not an easy journey for mualafs, that's for sure....

    I hope you can share more with me and others :) I shall be converting in 3weeks time, wif His Grace. Do pray for me. Thanks for your write-ups in this blog, they just made me feel more calm & motivated....May U have a great April ahead

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  10. W'salam pretty sasha,
    Only those who have actually undergone such problems will understand how difficult it is to face family members who oppose one's choice of religion. Well, here in M'sia Muslim reverts are still considered as 2nd-class Muslims by some members of society, otherwise this issue of requiring non-muslims to inform before they convert to Islam wouldn't even be considered. oo bad, most seem to forget that the Hui community in China(my Mandarin teacher is one- great lady!) and some Indians have been Muslims even before Islam reached the shores of the Malay Peninsular.

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  11. Peace to you, puisee,
    Well actually my father (I seldom mention him in this blog for many reasons) had threaten to disown me when I wanted to divorce my ex-husband, so I don't know if he has actually disowned me after I embraced Islam, huhuhu...It's normal for Chinese parents to say that they'd disown their "unfilial" children but they seldom see it through, so don't worry too much about it.
    Continue being 'kecinaan' because that's who you are. The most important thing after embracing Islam officially is not about being a Malay but the continuous strife to be a good Muslim.
    Allah looks for taqwa or obedience in a Muslim, not how long one has been one or how good one can read the al-Quran.
    All the best in your coming 'special event.' May Allah Almighty bless and guide you.
    I believe all readers of this blog will pray for you and all others who are on their way to recite the 2-khalimah syahadah officially in public. Yes dear, you are not alone in your quest :)

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  12. Thanks to those who save a prayer for my new journey. May Allah bless all of us with His Grace....

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  13. You make it seem like non-Muslim religions have more freedom when the reverse is actually true.

    You want a law to require Muslims who wish to revert to another religion to apply before the Syariah court when such Muslims may be summarily declared murtad and forced to attend Islamic rehab to 'renew' their Muslim faith. And look at the case of Lina Joy who got no joy from the syariah court.

    Your example of a woman who wanted to convert to Islam and got so worried about dilanggar kereta before mengucap kalimah syahadah is baseless. First a person's faith is not determined by signatures on some piece of paper. The law about informing is not a hardship since its not about obtaining consent.

    Obviously there shouldn't be a necessity for a non-Muslim to declare their intentions before their own religious authorities before converting because it makes no difference since they are all still under the jurisdiction of civil law. Becoming a Muslim however automatically means the convert is under Islamic syariah court with
    differences in matters of custody, divorce, maintenance, inheritance etc.

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  14. Let me get this clear to you. Muslims who embrace Islam are reverts because al-Quran clearly states that all living things submit to Allah swt, are all Muslims so by returning to Islam, we are reverts, not converts as other religions normally name their new bro & sis.

    You must remember that Lina Joy is a Malaysian. She is bound to Malaysian law, and as a born Muslim also bound to Syariah law. Islamic law is not man-made; they're based on the teachings of the Quran & Prophet Muhammad. We don't care if Lina Joy wants to call herself whatever if she stays in another country - that's between she and God. However, when she tries to renounce her faith here, she's challenging the sanctity of Islam and the courts in this country.Whatever you say, the official religion here is still Islam.

    As for the lady without an official document stating her religious leanings, do you think that person wants to be buried with the burial rites she no longer believes in? If it's true that faith is not determined by a piece of paper, why does Lina Joy is so worked up about wanting to renounce Islam in her ID card?

    Why can't there be a law requiring all those who want to convert to other religion to declare their intention if those who intend to revert to Islam are asked to? Why the double standards? It's no just a matter of law; it's also a matter of feelings and acceptance among family members, which Islam takes into serious account and requires all to treat one's family kindly, although of a different religion. The reason why there is no difference when a Christian converts to another religion other than Islam here is coz there's no written religious law in any holy books of other religions than Islam, regarding matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance, inheritance. Civil law is based on common law from Britain but Syariah law is based on Islamic teachings, Quran & hadiths.
    Those who truly revert to Islam are fully aware of the implications, and they don't wish to return to their former faiths. There are always a few bad eggs among followes of a religion, so don't blame everyone for the mistakes of a few.

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