"Kak Aliya, I'm interested in a Chinese girl.. ermm, how to make her interested in Islam?"
I've been asked this question many times after reverting to Islam. Perhaps they thought that I'd know the answer to their problem as I was also a Chinese amoi.
To those who had posed me this question or will do so in future, I'd like to congratulate. Firstly, for being brave to ask. Secondly, for worrying about the way to make his lady friend interested in Islam, and not just focussing on himself. Thirdly, for trying out ways to help her know more about Islam, although I'm not sure if their ways were suitable, because each lady is different.
Frankly speaking, I'm not an expert about the Chinese amoi, although I was one. Now after marriage, I'm a nyonya. In Malaysia, there are 2 types of amoi; one who is Chinese-educated, speaks mostly Chinese and most of her friends are Chinese, and the other who is educated in national schools, well-versed in Malay and English, and has multi-racial friends. It's easier to get to know those from national schools as they're more exposed to other cultures, and they speak Malay more fluently.
1. Always pray to Allah SWT for His guidance, and trust Him Who is All Knowing to get you the best and most suitable spouse. Like the Malays like to say, 'Don't syok sendiri' until you forget about Him. Even if the person is not yet ready to know Islam, you can always pray that He gives her hidayah to be a Muslim, even though you might not end up together.
2. What about her knowledge about Islam? Does she practise her own religion? How receptive is she about the Islamic way of life? Does she discuss religion with you or ask you about why Muslims do this and that? Do you grab opportunities to explain about Islam to her e.g why people slaughter cows during haj, or do you just talk about everything under the sun except religion?
3. Study her personality. If she prefers to wear revealing clothes and hang out at clubs with the guys, you might face difficulties in teaching her about Islamic conduct and the need to cover the aurat. However, I'm not saying that it's impossible. People do change, but it might take more time and more effort. If she's one of those who prefers to be modestly dressed, it'd be easier to guide her. Is she a strong-willed person or does she easily succumb to pressures?
4. Get to know her family. Is she the only child/daughter? How are her family's opinion about Islam and Muslims in general? How about her friends'? Does she have any close Muslim lady friends? Does her family accept you as her friend?
5. More importantly, what about your own conduct? Do you show a good example as a practising Muslim? Do you behave honorably when you're with her? For example, the conduct of my former MG [refer to the last post] was distasteful and showed a lack of respect.
Remember whatever you do, you're projecting yourself not only as a potential suitor but also as a Muslim, so be a good one. No hanky-panky, no maksiat.
Most ladies I know have told me that they fell in love with their Muslim husbands because of the gentlemanly ways and loving attention shown during courting, which are rarely found in men of their own race.
6. How much do you know about Islam? So-so? Enough to be an imam at your own home? Enough to teach your revert wife and children to read the al-Quran? How patient are you? If an average Malay man who marries a Malay wife still faces marital problems, double that for a mixed-marriage. You'd have to teach her about Malay cooking, Malay culture and how to conduct herself in Malay social gatherings. Are you ready for the challenge?
But on the positive side, life will never be boring. You'd learn a new language, a new culture and taste new dishes.
7. If you're not interested to marry her and just befriend her for dates, DON'T. You might think that it's great to be able to boast that you're dating an amoi or had dated one, but remember that what goes around comes around.
Other than making her form negative opinion of Malay men and Islam, you might be challenged with a son or daughter being "fooled" by another person in future. Allah's punishment is not limited for hell only.
8. If you're one who believes that a mualaf makes a better wife because she'd listen more to you, think again. She might question you about everything under heaven for a simple reason - is that found in the al-Quran or hadis? If your purpose of marriage is only to guide her, that'd be the challenge you'd face for the rest of your marriage life. But if you put Allah as the foundation of your marriage life, and marry for love and to build a good Islamic family, insyaAllah the passage will be smoother.
Lastly but not least, remember that marriage and your spouses are decided by Allah SWT.
If you fail to marry her, don't despair. Wish her well and continue to pray for her. He knows best what's good for you.