Something that continues to amaze us about Muslim reverts is how much love, pride and faith they have for a religion they have just embraced. What they see in Islam is a poignant reminder to us - born Muslims - who sometimes take Islam for granted, forgetting just how beautiful our religion is. Such reminders are exactly what Siu Lim, a Chinese American Muslim revert, give.
As a new Muslim, she went through many challenges but instead of letting them dampen her faith, she used them to get even closer to Him😊 Read on to find out more about this inspiring new Muslimah!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself ☺️
My name is Siu Lim and I'm a Chinese American Muslim convert, born in Hawaii and raised in San Francisco, California. I currently live in Malaysia and I've been here for 10 years along with my 4 children. I'm am educator at a centre in KL, tutoring kids of all ages and prepping kids for SATs.
2. Can you share with us more about your journey of how you found Islam?
My journey in Islam starts in University when my Muslim friend asked me if I believed in God. Growing up in a Buddhist family and Christian friends, I always believed in 'God' but I just didn't know about God. Was He a he, or she or it? Human, alien, or not? Big or small? Tall or short? I didn't know. Yet Islam seems to have all the answers I didn't know I had questions for. As my friend told me in this one conversation about 'Allah', I sat there listening but was I ready to be a Muslim? No way. I wasn't even looking for a religion. Being those 'weird religious people' was the last thing I wanted in life.
Before my friend left me that night, he made me make a promise. "Go home tonight and promise me you will do one thing. Pray to your 'God' and say - God if you exist, show me." In so many unexplained ways, Allah showed me and the next year, I said my shahada.
3. What has been the most rewarding experience for you since you began your journey in Islam?
The most rewarding experience I had was to experience peace. How many people can say they have this in their lives? No matter what I went through, whether it was hard or not, I always had this peace in me knowing the fact that Allah is always with me. This rewarding experience is priceless and something that's indescribable. This peace also caused a chain reaction to help me through other experiences such as loving myself, being positive, and just plain happy.
4. What has been the most challenging experience for you as a revert? How did you keep your faith strong?
About 5 years ago, my husband decided to take on a second wife. I know, I know. It's halal. I couldn't understand it though. How come something that was halal, made me feel so terrible? Why did Allah want me to feel so miserable? I felt so depressed and was told that if I was a Muslim, I shouldn't be depressed. So am I not a real Muslim if I was depressed over the fact that my husband did something halal??? I was sooo confused...
Everyone has their own journey in Islam. No one's path is the same but we all want the same result. Through this experience, I learned to never ever ever judge. Everyone has their own journey and only Allah can judge a person not anyone else. Ignore people's opinion and comments and do what YOU feel is right.
5. Could you share one advice you have for Muslim reverts?
Being a Muslim shouldn't change the way you think, who you are, and where you're from. You are still you but now, you have Islam which will enhance you and guide you through life.
6. What is it like being a mother of four? ☺️
I think most moms would agree with me that being a mother is the most rewarding yet overwhelming feeling in the world. Times that feeling by 4....then square it...then multiply by 100, then cube that. That's how it's like being a mother 4. I could never imagine life without any of them and right now they are traveling a bit, but I can't wait until they see the rest of the world. My kids and I learn together, through traveling we will discover what the world is really about.
7. Amidst your busy schedule, how do you still find time to travel?
Having 4 kids and traveling isn't always the easiest thing to do. At first, I found it very hard to leave my kids but after some time, I feel like they've come to appreciate me more.
8. What are 3 of your favourite destinations, and why?
In no particular order:
New York: If you love the city, which I do, New York won't disappoint you. I love the diversity in the city, the energetic vibe (which some call a hectic mess), so much innovation and inspiration in the city, Central Park (to be in the city and then in nature! Wow!), and the food! If I could choose a place to live anywhere in the world, it would be hands down - New Yorkkkkkk.
London: The last time I went to London was earlier this year and i was with my two besties. The company I had while I was London made it even better! Apart from the zen parks, walking, walking, walking, markets, being in another diverse city..oh wait, oh how about that accent??? LOVEEEEE😍
Yosemite National Park: Surprised? After I named two of the biggest cities in the world, I name this random park in California? Well, this park has a lot of sentimental value to me. Not only is it one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen in the world - with it's lovely hikes to the waterfalls, random bears digging through the garbage, the beautiful nature smell, camping next to a deer, and tall, tall trees, I grew up going to this park about once a year with my family. At that time, I never appreciated it but now that I no longer go there anymore (since I live in Malaysia), I miss this place. Just thinking about this park makes me tear because I still remember some memories of hiking with my cousins, picnicking in the dark, running away to the woods when I had a fight with my mum as a teenager...oh the memories.
9. If there was one thing you wish non-Muslims knew about Islam, what would it be?
Islam is such a simple, beautiful religion. At some point, people started abusing things and Islam is now looked at a certain way. Don't look at the people, look at Islam. You'll love it.
10. Fill in the blank: My hope for the world is that…
We pull the good from religion instead of abusing its power.