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F̲I̲N̲D̲I̲N̲G̲ H̲I̲D̲A̲Y̲A̲H̲ :̲ M̲Y̲ J̲O̲U̲R̲N̲E̲Y̲ T̲O̲ I̲S̲L̲A̲M̲


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??????? 1: ???????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ?? ?? ?????????’? ?????.I came to this world and life has brought me all kind of experiences and stories to go with them. Not any different from other people,who have their own life stories. The desire to share mine at the age of 44 was triggered by a friend. His name is Frank de [email protected] Haramain,a revert to Islam from Holland who has been living in Malaysia for quite some time. He wants to write articles about Islam to introduce the faith to those who are not familiar with it yet. Through interviews I share my story with him bit by bit. It is all about how I tried (and still try) to become a good person in this world full of challenges and obstacles through Islam with the ‘kalimah syahadah’ (declaration of faith) .

“I bear witness that there is no God other than Allah and I bear witness that Prophet Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” Hoping that by sharing this I will be able to help my friend to tell others about Islam and sincerely wish those who are not Muslim yet to choose Islam as their religion and guidance in life.
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Let me start my story with telling you all about the beginning of it at the age of 6. At that age I was an active Chinese girl just like all others. Playing from dawn till dusk only to come home for meals and sleep. Most of my friends were Malays. Every afternoon I would follow them to their Qur’an lessons at a nearby house,where a lady I called ‘ustazah’ conducted classes. .I would wait outside for my friends to finish their class. While waiting patiently to continue playing with them I unintentionally learned pretty much the same as they did. Often I felt that I was actually faster in memorizing and reading the Arabic than the rest. In fact,I would correct them later whenever they had difficulties to get the pronunciation right. The most prominent lessons were the recitations of the long verses of ‘Surah Al Fatihah’,what was that all about? That chapter of the Qur’an contains seven verses.
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Below I write down the translation of those verses for you to understand the meaning of AL FATIHAH:
1.In the Name of Allah,the Most Merciful,the Most Gracious
2.All the praises be to Allah,the Lord of the worlds
3.The Most Beneficent,the Most Merciful
4.The only Owner of the Day of Recompense
5.You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help
6.Guide us to the Straight Path
7.The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace,not of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.

If I recall the story of my childhood. I got exposed to Islam as the ‘right path’ to become a ‘better person’ through this (opening) chapter of the Qur’an which I ended up memorizing as a small girl. These verses taught me to be kind towards others. To abstain from doing harm and hurting others to avoid Allah’s disapproval. Allah loves people who do good deeds, even small things, because being able to do good deeds is truly a Blessing from Him. This is how my long and winding journey to Islam started while waiting for my friends at the front door of the ustazah’s house…

*** to be continued ***.

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