|Berita Harian newspaper clip|
"I'm sorry, I can't betray my parents especially I'm their only son. I just can't make it no matter how I try.. let's just end this relationship."
Jim was telling this to Shila calmly, as if there's no big fuss about the situation. Just say good bye, turn around and never come back. Full stop.
"But you told me that you'll learn more about Islam and persuade your family? What's wrong.."
"There's nothing wrong, I'm very sorry and I have to go now.. I'll have a meeting later." Jim took his briefcase and leave. It's a tough decision to break a girl's heart but there's nothing else he could do.
There was no meeting waiting for his attendance. Instead he went to buy The Star and Berita Harian newspaper.
"Macam biasa, kasi kawan-kawan office baca punya.. (This newspaper is for my colleagues..)" As usual, he told the mamak seller who tighten up newspaper with rubber band. The seller was smiling and say nothing.
Before enter office, Jim straightaway flip to the "religion" pages in Berita Harian and open Google Translate app in his smartphone. The one thing that Shila didn't know is Jim always reading Islamic article from the Malay newspaper. He won't step into bookstore and buy Islamic books as he afraid customer and cashier would feel uneasy with his intention. "Why would a Chinese go to buy a Islamic book? Isn't there other religion's book available?" People trying to tell Jim the message with their facial expression. Therefore Jim gave up to buy any in bookstore.
While reading the religion part in newspaper, the title captured his attention. "Don't judge a book by its cover, follow the footsteps of prophet Muhammad saw."
Which one to choose? Family or lover? You are putting our family in ashamed situation if you ever dare to marry her. Jim's parents told him a day before. They had a terrible argument while he was trying to tell his intention to get married with non Chinese.
Tell me! I have raise you up for over 20 years, is that how you pay back our efforts?
Jim stuck in the complicated situation, he had nothing much to say but remained silent. He loves his parents, his colleague Shila from different departments, moreover he has interest in Islam long before he met Shila. Tasawwur Islam, the subject that he took for SPM exam to gain more 'A's, as some of his Chinese friends told him to register this subject together before sitting for SPM exam, the easiest subject to score high marks.. no calculation and essay writing, just memorize the teachings of Islam. Although Jim scored B- for the Tasawwur Islam subject in SPM exam afterwards, he still remember what he reads and slowly falling in love with it..
The message is simple and easy to understand.
After reading newspaper for few minutes, he made a call to his parents.
"Mom, I'm very sorry to tell you this, I guess I'm going to continue pursue my will, the hidden will that come from my heart long before I met Shila."
inspired by another true story