WORTH THE WAIT FOR MUALLAF
Muslim converts feel blessed to be in the Holy Land
FOR a muallaf (Muslim convert), being in the Holy Land to perform the haj for the first time has a special significance, as he or she experiences the great diversity and unity in Islam with millions of Muslims from around the world.
“It is not easy as a muallaf, to step into a place like this. I have such mixed feelings, I don’t know how to describe it. I (truly) feel like I am a Muslim with everybody else,” said Suzila Abdullah @ Susan Santang, 54.
The housewife from Kuching, Sarawak, who is Bidayuh, had harboured a wish to perform the haj ever since she did her umrah in 2004.
“When I did my umrah, I prayed that I would be able to come here again. I appealed (to Tabung Haji) three times, and finally got (to come) this year,” she said.
Suzila added that although she had prepared herself mentally and physically for the haj, stepping into the Grand Mosque was still an overwhelming experience.
“I cried when I saw the Kaaba, and I’m thankful to God. If possible, I want to come again next year,” she added.
Mustafa Kamal Abdullah, meanwhile, was deeply touched to be chosen for the haj this year after almost 10 years of applying.
“This is a golden opportunity, an opportunity of a lifetime, and I am truly thankful. I plan to make full use of this chance to worship as best I can,” said the 64-yearold former headmaster of SK Batu Tellingai, in the district of Kecil Subis, Bekenu, Sarawak.
A Melanau, Mustafa said he converted to Islam in the late 1970s and was guided in religious
matters by his friend Ramli Hussin.
“Of course, I am hoping for the ultimate reward from Allah, a haji mabrur (accepted by God). I will focus on my worship to achieve that target,” said Mustafa, who is performing haj with his wife Asmah Jaman, 56.
Suzila Abdullah @ Susan Santang (left) and Mustafa Kamal Abdullah