Wednesday, January 07, 2015

The Road to Allah began with a rough ride.

One of the 'New' problem that I had to deal with while living in Kuala Trengganu  was cats! My wife loved cats to a fault and she would adopt them like we ran a social welfare at the house and the kids were no help either as they  themselves would be in cahoot with her in  making sure that all strays that they came across were given a home and it came to a point that we had over twenty cats running all over the house and in the yard. Then came 'Musashi' the little feisty kitten that my wife found on the roadside and thought it needed a home like the rest of them. It was in the beginning a shy and very defensive, hissing at all the others and i suspected that it was abused. Soon it was fighting for its life against just about everyone standing his ground and i called him Musashi after the famous Japanese Samurai warrior.
One evening as we were pulling out of the driveway to head for Pizza Hut to celebrate my birthday I ran over the little bugger and i could never forget the feeling of  hearing his body crush under my wheel. It was not a very happy Birthday Pizza that we had that evening. Truth being i have no tolerance for cats and as a matter of fact am allergic to their hairs. There were times when I would satart wheezing and sneezing as soon as i enter house the has cats running around, but for my wife and kids sake i braved it having twenty odd cats running my house.

Sometime in March of 1998 my family and I took a trip to Penang to get our Marriage certificate and  religious  papers squared away. My family was getting to be converted to Islam, not that they had any choice as i was converted to the religion when I was twelve years of age. It was a long and tedious experience that I swore i never put anyone through for any religion. The ride from KTr. to Kota Bharu in Kelantan took three hours in a hot and blistering day and the texi we were in had faulty air condition.. I felt sorry for my family but  I kept a straight face. We had to sit and wait for another three hours at the airport as the flight was delayed. What could go wrong on a trip went all wrong and i was having a fit myself. 

After a long day of travelling we finally made it to Penang and lodged at the SRI Malaysia Hotel and as I sat and watched my wife and children asleep exhausted on the bed I saw  a cockcroach crawling across the floor and silently I said to myself,"Welcome Home!"   It was then that i first realized what a big mistake I had made.                                                                                                                                         

"The Road to God is much more treacherous than the Road away from Him"...or so it seems I cannot remeber who said it or where i got it from or why I wrote (Kami-no-Michi) on this page of my journal..

The experience I have had with the Penang Religious Department while in the process of  getting a Muslim Marriage certificate and having my wife converted to Islam was one of Despair! Out of this experience i learned what patience and perseverance was all bout through my cousin brother Mohamad Kalam who drove us back and forth form one religious office to another meeting one religious head of department to another for the next three days. He was the Bodhisatva that delivered me and my family through the process till the end. Wehn all the paper works were completed and we had appeared before everyone from the Khadi, the Mufti and the Judge of the Sahriah Court, there was the final swear in making the profess of becoming a MUslim. I stood and watched the whole show like I was in a 'Twilight Zone' as my wife was being treated like and idiot being made to rise her index finger and reciting the 'Shahadah' after the lady at the desk, who would not accept the Muslim name i had chosen for my wife but insisted that we used the one she thought more appropriate. While all these were going on there wer others in the office with one playing a loud music on her radio and another busy paging through a News Paper and another two chatting away as though nothing out of the ordinary was happening in the office. I had the hardest time in my life from not blowing up and wrecking the place . 

I nver thought that becoming a Muslim was like applying to join the Marine Corp or worse, I often wondered what it would have been like if we were applying to become Christians or Buddhists, they would most probably throw a party for us while making sure that everything was taken care of. The experience left me with disgust for the Islamic department in Penang and had I been living in the country long enough i would have had taken appropriate action that would most probably end up in fireworks.

 My wife broke down and cried eventually when we arrived  back at the Hotel. "I thought it was going to be all easy and everyone would be helpful she sobbed and i was at a loss for what to say and all I could come up with was, "Allah is a Tester and He tested your will to become a Muslim and you made it!"  

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