|code: 261726||Date: 2011/08/25||source: mmail|
Converts to Islam take fasting in stride
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - For new converts to Islam, fasting can be a challenge both physically and mentally.
But judging by the fairly new converts The Malay Mail recently met at the Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) in Jalan Ipoh, they have become accustomed to fasting throughout Ramadan.
Wani Saleha Abdullah (pic), 35, embraced Islam shortly after arriving in Sabah in February 2009 and works as a part-time maid.
"My very first day of fasting two years ago was very difficult and I was only able to fast for the first week before giving up," said Wani, who lives with her Sabahan husband, a soldier, and his son from a previous marriage, in Ampang.
"Last year, I managed to fast continuously for the first two weeks and for this year, I believe I can fast the entire month of Ramadan."
Wani, formerly known as Bhebyina Kibad, comes from the Philippines and was originally a Christian.
"This being my third year of fasting, I have grown used to waking up early in the morning for sahur (meal consumed before fasting)," she said.
Muhd Danial Abdullah, 19, is a Malaysian Chinese who converted from Buddhism to Islam in August 2009.
"When I was in Form Four and not yet a Muslim, I stayed at the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department hostel in Jalan Ipoh and learnt to fast with my Muslim friends there although not throughout Ramadan," said Muhd Daniel who hails from Johor and was formerly known as Ho Ken Kim.
"So by the time I converted, fasting came naturally to me."
After completing his secondary schooling, Muhd Daniel worked as a security guard for a time but is now looking for another job.
Nor Sakinah Carlos Abdullah, 46, was born Gloria Carlos in the Philippines. She came to Malaysia in December 2003 and now works as a part-time maid.
"My Filipina aunt is Muslim and had provided me guidance when I embraced Islam in December 2006," said Nor Sakinah who shares a house in Kepong with an Indonesian and another Filipina, both also Muslims.
"The first time I started fasting during Ramadan in 2007, my body would tremble from hunger and I got tired easily, but the religious teachers at Perkim advised me to be patient and to tough it out. I am now used to fasting and look forward to Ramadan every year as fasting teaches us discipline. For Raya this year, I will be celebrating with my friends at Perkim."
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