Mus­lim con­verts feel blessed to be in the Holy Land

New Straits Times - - News -

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

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