Sunday, September 12, 2010

Of being a Muslimah in Malaysia and the UK

A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook msg from one of my readers (Sister Naz). In her PM, she asked "how did u overcome living in a non muslim country from a muslim country? i would like to know more." Having read her PM only then I realised I have never spoken about my migration to the UK. So, sister Naz, if you don't mind, I'm sharing this response in my blog.

Normally, when I come across new people in the UK they will always ask me "how long have you been in the UK?" And of course, my answer changes every day, so for today the answer will be "8 years, 9 months and .... days" Yup, I can get it that precise because the date I first entered the UK is a memorable date and whenever I have to fill in documents in the UK, they will ask me that question. Want it or not, I have to know the exact period I've been here! Some might feel that 8 years is such a long time but to me, I've still not had enough of the UK. I have to say that my day in and out routine in the UK is monotonous and somewhat boring to some. It's always, wake up, get Khairaldin ready, bla bla bla bla (u don't really wanna know) and so on, it's the same everyday! But I never get bored of it. I feel the day seems quicker if I have the same routine because I can do it like a pro. :D When I have new things to accomplish, I feel like it's a drag coz I don't know when it's going to end. I'm sure some of you might have an opposite view altogether.

UK, as compared to Malaysia is a peaceful and quiet place to live in. They don't have those 24 hours 7 days a week shops to waste your precious time at. I feel rather tired everytime I go back to Malaysia because life begins after 11pm, unlike in the UK, I'm in bed by 11. So I have better things to do in the morning and not feel lethargic and lazy instead. I have always been an introvert person that's why I can live in the UK.

As for the question about living in a non-muslim country, truthfully, I've never taken that question into consideration... maybe because I have never came across it before. Personally to me, I don't think Malaysia as an Islamic country so there's no difference in that aspect. No doubt I learnt more about Islam in Malaysia but education in Malaysia is all about theory rather than practice. We learn and learn things but hardly ever put them into practise. We were asked to memorise this and that du'as which we will do it for the exams and once it's done, it's being forgotten.

In the UK however, I mix around with a lot of non-muslims. My passion for Islam grew even more when I came to the UK. Reason is because people are rather intrigued with the things we Muslims do hence they ask loads of questions. Sometimes I just don't have the answers in hand to give them. When I started college, my mates bombarded me with questions about hijab, Halal food, muslim women etc etc. Sometimes I just could not answer them. This then made me want to learn more about why I do the things I do. Of course most of the time I answer "because my religion tells me to/because it's in our Holy book (Al-Quran)" but this isn't the answer they want to hear. Heck, even I find that answer rather inappropriate and as if I'm bashing my religion! So I had to re-learn about Islam to make myself satisfied. Thankfully my parents packed me some easy-to-understand books on Islam, prayers and so forth. I started reading slowly and Alhamdulillah, now I managed to give them answers that made them satisfied and not leave them blank.

Even though I am able to answer their questions, I did not stop learning about Islam. When I got married, my life changed even more. Having a husband makes u think about the religion even more. Some famous wedding vows almost always ends with "till death do us apart!" but I always think, how can that be? We are married for years and what will happen to us after we die?? Does our relationship ends there and then? No, in Islam, husband and wife will carry on living together even in the 'after life'. So I became more passionate about Islam and wanting to know how I can maintain this love and relationship. I suppose you can now guess why I became more "Islamic" ever since I gave birth to Khairaldin? My heart not only grew for the people I love but mostly for my beautiful religion- Islam! I don't want my love and hardwork ends in this world but I would rather bring it over to the hereafter. That is why I'm working extra hard to learn about Islam so that I will live happily in the hereafter, Insha'Allah.

The knowledge about Islam doesn't end because of where you live or planning to live. In fact, if you plan to migrate with the intention of getting closer to Allah swt, Insha'Allah, your heart will tend to open and accept HIM. It is good to go from one place to the other to broaden our knowledge. The only thing is to always make sure that our intention is to do it for Allah swt. Here's a hadith that I came across: `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "The reward of deeds depends upon intentions, and every person will get his reward according to what he has intended. So, [for] whoever emigrated for Allah and His Messenger, his emigration was for Allah and His Messenger. And [as for] whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he had emigrated for" (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

No matter where you are, Insha'Allah, HE will always be there to guide you to the right path. Remember to seek HIS guidance when in doubt as HE loves those who seeks HIM! Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion. Say: "The Guidance of Allah,-that is the (only) Guidance." Wert thou to follow their desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst thou find neither Protector nor helper against Allah (Surah Al-baqarah verse 120). So, don't be afraid to move to a non muslim country, make sure your intention is to be closer to Allah swt always. Who knows with you being the minority could lead to the place being a better one. Insha'Allah!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

1 comment:

Harteeny said...

Sekadar visiting UK pn, I feel I'm behind - but in Malaysia rasa cam tahu sgt... (I get that feeling, ni blum kena stay sana lagi...)

:)

Hi, Teeny ni. saje2 leave a comment. Have a nice weekend!