I am Muslim

comments     Dina Zaman     Published     Updated

My first memory or rather introduction to my religion was asking Ustaz Dahalan, 'I f God existed, how come I couldn't see Him ?' My mother was mortified, my father rolled his eyes ' Ahh ... Dina, again you ask funny questions ,' and Ustaz laughed.

I was about seven years old then. My unlimited play time was now shortened, as for an hour twice a week, I was to learn how to read and recognise the Arabic alphabets. That attempt was short-lived for not long after, we moved to Moscow.

I am a practising Muslim. I am not a perfect one though, and I certainly am not a role model for a young modern Muslim woman. My religious upbringing was erratic. My father was a diplomat, and we lived here and there, before Father packed in his diplomatic career and brought all of us back to Malaysia, because he did not want his daughters to be heathens.

Speaking no Bahasa Malaysia, and bewildered by the education system ("They don't teach about dinosaurs in school, Bah-bah") and societal values placed on us ("We're Malays, we don't behave this way"), my sister and I came home as foreigners. Liza had an easier time acclimatising to the environment, for she was much younger than me. I was then too Americanised, too 'aggressive', 'too un-Malay', and when I was 15, I was booted to Tunku Kurshiah College to rediscover my roots and religion.

For the rest of this story and more, subscribe for only RM150 a year (full news access)
or RM420 a year (full news + full archive access). If you're already a subscriber, please sign in.

Sign in Subscribe now

Keep Malaysiakini independent!

Malaysiakini will be 18 this year. That we’ve survived this long is because of you.

Your support matters. A lot. Especially those who pay RM150 annually, RM288 biennially or RM388 triennially to keep Malaysiakini independent from government/opposition influence and corporate interests. Advertising alone will not keep Malaysiakini afloat.

Together, we’ve gone far. We’ve covered three prime ministers, four general elections, five Bersih rallies, and countless scandals. But the journey continues.

Help us deliver news and views that matter to Malaysians. Help us make a difference for Malaysia.

Support Malaysiakini

news and views that matter

Sign In