Monday, May 27, 2013

Best Kept Secret


One of my reverted Muslim friends is going to publish his reversion story at local magazine. Almost every Malay magazine attach along with reverted Muslim stories for inspiration purpose. I gave him an advice that he may tell the reporter anything but not your secret. Especially if the secret involved his family dignity, problematic challenges and dilemma. Also, I advised him to write an email reply instead of face to face interview as for avoid miscommunication happen.

“Why can’t I share my secret like those dilemmas I am facing with, perhaps it might inspire Muslim reader?” He asked
“There are price to pay if you share your secret, I did it while I was revert to Islam few months later.”

Just like his anxiety to spill out every problem he face as a reverted muslim, I did the same back few years ago. Kind of like seeking shelter beneath someone’s advice and compassion, I told a lot of my problems with Muslim colleagues. Embrace Islam is the hardest choice I have ever made in my life, I lost almost all of my friend due to my reversion. As the Chinese community always opposed to whatever Islam preaching towards mankind. I consider myself walk into a lonely journey towards the right path, while others condemn that I’m lost in self deception.

Due to this imbalance prejudice among communities, I started to seek more Muslim friends for myself. As I knew that every Muslims community is just like a large brotherhood regardless of race and background, I tend to build better relationship with every Muslim around me. Just as my family found out that I embraced Islam, the pressure was much higher than I ever have in whole of my life. Every dilemma and problem I went through being kept as a secret inside my heart, and the next thing I did was confess with my Muslim colleagues. Most of them were good listener to my problem and situation, I felt so safe that there were Muslim who willing listen to my situation although none of them gave me any helpful advice. As we all know that being reverted Muslim is the most challenging journey towards Allah SWT, that’s hardly imagine how can be a son or daughter being kicked out without a word from family.

“So it’s true that you were stuck in that dilemma till you take that step?” One of my colleagues came to me. I nodded to her question.

“That’s so funny though, everyone is teasing at you while I met with them at another office. What a hilarious move you have ever made, Ikhwan.” She added.

Well… It’s true that I made an inevitable move to solve my dilemma after back to Islam few months later. I was even informing those Muslim colleagues that I had to choose that move. They were just smiling at me without said a word, at the next moment I found out that my dilemma just became an absurd joke among them who labelled as “Born Muslim”. I was hesitated with what I heard until the next time I visit them, they were coming to me and asked:

“How was your situation back then? Any further news?”

This time I remained silent. I never mean to be a silent person but when there are mistrusted people came to me, my silence become my shelter to protect myself. This incident was so painful that I choose not too close with any Muslim. Live as a lonely reverted Muslim that still didn’t join any social media and blogging for almost two years. I did learn a lesson from my beloved Muslim colleagues to keep my secrets well, just none of anyone business that what kind of life I have. I seek forgiveness from Allah SWT that I was being unsocial with His same faith servants, also encourage myself to read more and more Islamic books to find His eternal guidance.

I started to revise what factor cause me to share my dilemma with Muslim?

Perhaps due to loneliness and rejection of my Chinese community. Whenever every burden and dilemma being kept as a secret, eventually it will be turn out to be self depression. Those negative secret and depression need a way out through confession with someone who willing to listen and trying to understand. In the end, Muslim friends are one of the ways to confess with. I do have a few Muslim friends who helped me a lot in my life, I appreciated them for giving me a helping hand when I needed. Also I do have a few Muslim colleagues who spread exaggerate rumors about myself, they do have the talent to work for mystic magazine with bombastic titles.

“Actually I have a secret that none of the colleagues know about it. I was went through some kind of experience before.”
“What is that secret, Amran?” Amran is one of my aged 30+ Muslim colleagues. He has a cherish smile as always and stay devoted to Islam, I always heard a lot advice regarding living life as Muslim from him. One day he told me that there’re a secret within him.

“What are you talking about? A secret?”
“Well… Where do we have lunch today?” Amran changed the topic.

It was few times that Amran seems like wanted to tell me something, but then the secret remain veiled. Till last year November he transferred to another state, I still don’t know what he was trying to tell. As I went through my own experience, I wasn’t force him to reveal his secret anyway. Amran knows better what will be the outcome if a secret slipped away from our mouth, rumors will be wide spread till every corner of the office. I do impress with his courage not to share too much private matters. While Facebook begging us to share our deepest thought with a few clicks of the keyboard, his Facebook profile isn’t updated much about his life matters except sharing some Islamic quotes.


The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”
(al-Muhasibi)

While we are working together in organizing activities and attend courses, sometimes Amran do share a few interesting Islamic value that captured my attention. Most colleagues wouldn’t give a care about what I’m working on, but he do advice me a lot when I was a bit confused with certain Islamic protocol. I was so frustrated with Muslim’s attitude but he is the one who changes my perception regards Muslim. As stated hadith above, slowly I realized that basically Muslim can be divided into two types, whether they are bluffing around for nothing or remind us about Allah SWT with an advice, or just few knowledgeable sharing. I do like the second type, though there are hard to find them as our companions.

Best kept secret is inside our prayers and supplicant towards Allah SWT. You should try to confess every problem in your prayer after Sholat, for Him is the All Knowing and Al-Mighty who can solve any of your problems.” Amran said it once to me.

I couldn’t agree more with him. Where is the best alternative place to keep our secret except our God who Most Merciful? Allah SWT never criticize His servants while we are striving towards His straight path, none of the al-Quran verse humiliates reverted Muslim and also anyone who come back to Islam willingly. On the other hand, most servants of Allah SWT tend to make mistake and twisting fact into rumors along with their nafs. Since reverted Muslim situation is very complicated and troublesome, Allah SWT do reward us of every difficulty we face instead of teasing us.

“And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein.”

(Surat Qāf (The Letter "Qaf") 50:16 )

Instead of begging advice from judgmental human beings, I turn to Allah SWT and confess every secret I have in my life. Every dilemma and hardship in striving towards the straight path as Chinese Muslim isn’t understandable by most people, however Allah SWT does know the situation more than anyone. I seek for and only His forgiveness and advice from al-Quran, looking for good example from our prophet’s Sunnah. For now it’s doesn’t matter if the whole world misunderstood me as long as I am striving on the right path towards Islam, Allah SWT knows best.





At the moment I finished this blogpost, Amran just back from Umrah trip last week. I do admire his ambitious will to achieve Umrah at young ages. May Allah SWT bless his ibadah and sincerity in his pilgrimage to Mecca. Ameen.




Best Kept Secret is inside our prayers. 



8 comments:

  1. ...setuju dengan bro ...hanya pada Dia tempat terbaik segala galanya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alhamdulillah.. ya hanya pada Allah kita memohon dan berdoa.

      Delete
  2. Assalam Alaikum Bro Ikhwan~

    It can understand what you went through... The phase of keeping quiet~
    Everyone wants to know a revert's story but few know the struggle one has to go through~

    It used to be 'lonely' for me in beginning as well but slowly, I've learnt to enjoy the moments of salah as that is the time during sujood that I let everything out...

    Just my creator and me... And I know my creator will not laugh at me or shame me as He keeps secrets~

    The 'loneliness' that the reverts feel is actually a gift in disguise~ A gift so dear that few will understand except those who strives and stuggle to be close to Allah (swt) ..

    Enjoy this gift, Bro Ikhwan! =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walaikumsalam. I'm so sorry that I overlooked this part of article comments.. take me very long while to reply all of you, my apologize ..

      I believe every revert going through all sort of tough test and challenges, only Allah SWT may reward us for what we sacrifice.. while some people is just prefer to criticize.

      Yup let's enjoy the gift :)

      Delete
  3. Thank you for your article, it helped ease my pain and loneliness I feel inside, as a muallaf..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome.. only Allah SWT is Most Knowing His servant's problem..

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Alhamdulillah... the inspiration is come from Allah SWT.. :)

      Delete

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