Wednesday, March 21


It's the month of March.
Grandma's birthday.
Cheng Beng festival, the time when most Chinese visit their family members' graves.
And again, I'm not involved.
Grandma chose to neither inform nor invite me over for her 90th birthday celebration, although it's only about 30 minutes' journey to her home. I guess she feels it's better for me not to attend. Me in my tudung, haha.. That hurts a little because I used to be close to Grandma before my divorce [before this second marriage to husband].
Well, I wished her  a happy birthday anyway, when I called her up a few days later.
Her birthday gift? Still in the bag, waiting to be given on the next trip home. [several phone calls were unanswered so I had to postpone visiting her during the school break].

I'm not going for Cheng Beng either.
As a Muslim, it'd be odd for me to attend although it's still permissible. I can just stand and watch them, not able to take part in any of the religious ceremony. Besides, people will talk and stare if they see a tudung-clad woman at the cemeteries..
So, again I'm not invited, hahaa.. because I'm now a Muslim.
Grandma still think and inform people who care to listen that I've become 'one of them', meaning that I've turned into a Malay. Of course, she's wrong but how do you correct a 90-year-old matriarch? Wiser to just remain silent.

I believe that I'm not the only Chinese Muslim n this country who faces these problems.
It's difficult to join in family gatherings and activities when one reverts to Islam.
Some people prefer to have non-halal feasts, and as a result, choose to leave out inviting the 'unfilial'-now-Muslim son or daughter. Even for the annual Chinese New Year eve feast.
And we, the Muslim reverts, often remain quiet and patient, knowing that any question would just cause more friction.
Small sacrifices in the name of Islam. 


  1. Prior to accepting Islam one of our d-i-laws came around to clear her mind on a number of issues, including continued participation in her family Cheng Beng. Today our two families, different in aqidah, have mutual respects. I think they realise that their daughter has not 'jadi Melayu', in fact a better daughter than otherwise. I subscribe fully to the maxim 'no force in Islam'.

  2. Assalamualaikum

    And again I found the word 'revert' in this posting. The word I always admire because it connotes different meaning to the commonly used 'convert'. My husband had just met another Muslim revert, an Indian man. He too used the word 'revert'. The most interesting fact is, he embraced Islam only after 5 years of intensive and comparative research of all religions. His suggestion to my husband especially to those born in Islam : study other religion and you will fall in love with Islam more deeper!

  3. the previous two years me & my muslim family did not go back to my hometown yo celebrate CNY with my mom & siblings due to distance, transportation & the short public holidays (2 days only) but mainly bcoz I wanted to avoid the non-halal reunion dinner. This year it was a long weekend with days of holiday so I told my mom I would be going back & asked her to only buy halal chicken. Surprisingly she prepared a totally pork-free dinner. Alhamdulillah, I was so touched that my mom & siblings forgo all the traditional pork dishes bcoz of us.