What if I was a Muslim convert?


A lot of people say that to be born a Muslim is something wonderful and lucky. I was born a Muslim but sometimes, I don’t feel so lucky about it.

Zan Azlee, TMI

It’s not that I felt unlucky to be a Muslim. I just wondered how it felt for someone who was a not a Muslim deciding to embrace Islam as a religion.

My experience as a born Muslim in Malaysia is a little bit different than what I imagined a Muslim convert would experience and that’s why I wonder.

In my mind, for someone who is not a Muslim wanting to be a Muslim, he or she must have had a huge epiphany to be convinced into converting. And that must be a wonderful feeling.

I, on the other hand, grew up learning about Islam. I went to religious classes when I was a young kid when I didn’t understand the significance of it.

What I learned were the habits and rituals of the religion. I mean, what else can you teach a kid who had not reached mental and physical maturity yet.

As I grew older, the rituals and habits became more intense as the teachers who taught me began to scare me into practicing them, convincing me that if I strayed, I would be punished.

It was only when I got older, and began looking for another meaning to Islam and being a Muslim that I have come to appreciate the religion and to understand it’s beauty.

So, back to these converts.

Two days ago, I was invited to a dinner at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence. He had a special guest, an Australian Muslim named Susan Carland.

A Muslim sociologist at Monash University, she converted to Islam when she was 19 years old, and is now a leading Australian Muslim thinker.

During the dinner, Carland said that the reason she was able to explore Islam and to convert was because she lived in a society that allowed the practice of any culture or religion.

“In Australia, there is no one form of Islam that is indoctrinated into you by authorities. People can explore and practice whatever form of Islam they felt comfortable with,” she said.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/what-if-i-was-a-muslim-convert