I reverted to Islam when I was 26 years old. And I used the word revert because Muslims believe that we are all born Muslims and we just reverted back to the religion.
I was born into a family of free thinkers. As a person who believes in facts and science, I felt that the Quran resonates strongly with my beliefs because I found many scientific verses within the holy book.
There was one time when my mom caught me reading the Quran in the room and I could see that she was really upset… Our relationship got worse over the months. As she realized that there was nothing she could do to stop me from learning about Islam and practicing it and she eventually gave me the ultimatum to move out of the house during Ramadan when I was fasting.
Embracing the Change
I think it was hard for my mom to embrace change and to accept that I was becoming Muslim. And all she knows about Muslims are from the media.
I guess some sort of ignorance that deterred her from trying to embrace change.
At first I tried convincing them through words and discussions, but eventually these discussions were turned into arguments and quarrels, and I decided that it wasn’t resolve this matter. So, I had to move out to let everyone calm down.
A Better Person
I decided that actions would be a better way to show that Islam is making me a better person. Over time, they realized that I was being more respectful, I was calmer I guess because I found inner peace.
Islam appealed to me so much because it’s a beautiful religion. It brings about so much peace and calmness and it is something that I love to sick solace in.
When it comes to the religious tolerance in Singapore, I do feel that we are very blessed to have ample folks who accept everyone with an open heart and mind.
However, I do think that there are a lot of people who need a little more education, understanding, and tolerance when it comes to different religious beliefs.
When I tell people that I’m a revert, I mostly get reactions of surprise and shock. I do have some superficial comments made with disgust from other Chinese folks. They will ask questions like:
“Don’t you know that you can’t eat pork anymore? Don’t you know that you know your husband can marry four wives? Do not you know that it’s a very violent religion?”
But I just smile and brush it off.
There is a verse in the Quran, which is coincidentally my favorite, it says:
There is no compulsion in religion. Truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error.
I strongly believe that everyone is given the cognitive ability and science to decide for themselves what they want in life, be it religion or anything else.
If you do not want people to decide for us, we should not judge others for their decision.
People need to understand that there is no standard template to any race or religion; acceptance is even more important than tolerance because with that we can make the world a happier place.