My batchmates from BDS Batch 7, AIMST University.

It has been two years since I move back home to continue my studies, and unbelievably I am in my final year now. how fast time flies, sometimes even without me noticing it. it has been and amazing journey, thanks to all these people, and I'm glad God sent them my way, because everyone is unique in their own special way.

When I first transferred to AIMST, I must admit I had a bit of a culture shock. Coming from Egypt, the land where the Islamic society was very much alive, with those wearing "tudung labuh", "jubah" and "kopiah", to a place where I could see people wearing hot pants and short skirts everywhere. needless to say, I was a bit shocked at first. Being one of the only three muslim students in our faculty, I guess the tudung on my head really differed me from the rest.

I was lucky enough to be a part of such a nice bunch of people. To my surprise, after I got to know everyone, I keep getting random questions about Islam, on a weekly basis, sometimes 2-3 questions by different people. Most of my classmates were from Chinese schools, and never even had a Malay friend before. So I get the most random questions out of the blue like these,

" How many times you have to pray ya?

"What's Raya Haji for?"

"Why do you have to wear tudung?"

"Can you colour your hair?"

And then there comes the more complicated ones;

"Why are the ISIS killing people?"

"When puasa really cannot eat or drink the whole day?"

"How long is your hair?"

And loads of other random questions that I get from time to time. I try my best to answer them in the simplest way to let them understand and not to get anyone offended at the same time. There are many ways to say the same thing out loud, so I always choose my words wisely. though their questions still surprises me from time to time, but I feel happy that they asked because that means that they are curious about Islam. The reason why there are so many misconceptions about our faith, is that both parties choose to stay in the comforts of their cocoon, not getting to know each other better. Be the bridge that connects, not the wall that seperates.

Though there are some awkward moments like when my guy friends wanna shake my hands, or give me high fives, and I had to refuse in the most polite way. But I found that they were kind enough to understand when I explain it to them in a nice way. And in a way people value and respect us more when we choose to practice what we believe in.

Most of the time I feel that the best form of da'wah is not really saying things out loud, but being a good Muslim that practices what our Prophet taught us is a much better way of doing so. Practice what you preach, and people will respect you more for it.

Though I am far from the perfect Muslim, still full of flaws and imperfections, I hope I can still be one, InsyaAllah, InsyaAllah.