Islam is not "Malay Jiao"

Who says Islam is Malay Jiao ?

                                "Islam is not Malay Jiao” (religion)

Yesterday, when I said that statement in front of my students, they were extremely shock. It was so obvious that you can see from their faces. I’m sure they never expected that statement to come from my mouth. Anyway, it did and I’m happy that it did. In fact, I just smiled looking at their response and reactions as I’m sure they never thought I would blurt out that statement. Thanks to the subject syllabus, I have the opportunity to explain Islam to my students whereby all of them are actually non Muslims. The presentation was something like an introduction to Islam. In fact, prior to that, I’ve also explained Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. So, can you imagine that, a Muslim talking about other religions to those people who are actually embracing the religions?.

I felt sad of course looking at my students. Innocent and clueless when it comes to their religions. I’m not saying that they have zero knowledge, but their knowledge is very shallow and in fact superficial. When I asked their opinions on their religions, or maybe what do they believe, most of the answers would be or “I don’t know” or maybe “I’m not a religious person”. In fact, I made it a point that it’s not necessary to be a religious person in order for you to know your own religion.

Back to the above statement. Yes, for most of the Chinese(other races included) in Malaysia, they always perceive Islam as being the Malay religion. That’s why for Chinese, they call it as “Malay Jiao”. When I presented Islam to my students, I’ve learned that even though they are living in a majority Muslim country, it is as if they have never met any Muslim throughout their entire life. Sad? Surprised? Disappointed ?-Yes-you just name it.

In fact, one student admitted to me not having any Muslim friend which I find it really surprising. Put aside Jackie’s (my Chinese student) answer when I asked him what does he know about Islam. His answer was Friday prayer. When I asked him the reason, happily he said ‘traffic jam’. That one might be laughable, but for other answers from other students, it only shows that they are not really interested not only about other religions, but also the religion that they themselves profess.

Alhamdullilah, I managed to explain quite a number of things to my students- among them:

Pillars of faith, the articles of faith, status of women in Islam, Jesus as viewed by Muslim and a bit on practices of a Muslim. It was really a worthwhile session as I tried to tell them the beauties of Islam, the concept of God and what does it mean to be a Muslim. I took around an hour to explain everything and the remaining period I showed them a video called “Muhammad a legacy of a prophet”. The video was supposed to be a 2 hour video but I only managed to show it halfway. Anyway, nothing to lose showing the video as I know that video would be worth watching.

Surprisingly, after I finished the class and went back to my office, a female student came to me ask something regarding the assignment that I gave them a couple of weeks before. I explained here and there until she satisfied and before she left, she told me that she likes my lecture. In fact, she told me that she likes the video that I had shown them earlier. I was quite surprised when she said that. I really thought my students would look at the video as somehow boring. It was even more surprising when she told me that, she felt like wanting to embrace Islam after watching the video even though the video was not even showed until the end. Taken by surprise, I just smiled and deep inside, Alhamdulillah.. May Allah open her heart so that she would able to know more about this religion in the future.

Allahu A’lam.

p/s: InsyaAllah, please check on the youtube for the rest of the videos of “Muhammad: a legacy of a prophet”

Just got an email from my student, asking what topics would be covered in the coming mid semester exam. The email says :

“ Sir,
Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, IslamiCity -all will come out in the exam? ”.
Oh God, Please Help me !


Ikhwan Ng said...


LOL that's a tough exam at the ending part! Comparison Religion hehe... Yup well said teacher actually religion in most people still remain as "believe" that never ask too much.

Unlike Islam, where muslim are strive hard in proven everything, that's why science also automatically attached to the Islam.

aliya said...

As a secondary school teacher, I always make it a point for my students to mix with those of other races and religions but it's tough because they like to stick to their own friends, even changing seating places when I wasn't around.It gets worse whwn they grow older, huh.
Some Chinese students even praised me for being able to speak Mandarin, taking me for a Malay although I had explained many times to them that I am a Chinese lady with Islam as my religion. It's as if once one become a Muslim, one automatically turns into a Malay :)

a.j. said...

Salam. Brother THW. how are you? Future sister in law also have that problem with the immigration, if you muslim, as if u must be convert to Malay, and she cant keep her chinese status. =(

aliya said...

Waalaikumussalam a.j,
That's wrong. I'm still Chinese in my IC and pasport. If anybody said that one has to change into a Malay once become a Muslim, just show him/her the Kad Masuk Islam and IC, which are official documents which still states one's ethnicity as a Chinese. If the person refuses, demand to see his/her superior officer[which I did each time I deal with the government officers nowaday].Unless of course, she has changed her status from Chinese to Malay in her IC.

Hajar said...

Salam bro.

Haven't heard from you for a long time. So you're in the teaching line? Awesomeness!

TheHumbleWayfarer said...


Bro. Ikhwan Ng:
Firstly, Thanks for dropping by. Yes, you are right, science and islam are two things that cannot be separated =)

Sis Aliya :
Subhanallah..Sis Aliya, I feel honored to have you here =P
Anyway, what you did was really right. When your students tell you that they dont have any muslim friens, it's really a disspointment. That's basically what had happened to me. When I explained Islam to them, I can see that it is as if they were listening about this religion for the first time in their lives. I'm not making this up, but its true. As we are in the academic line, surely there's a lot of things that we have to do. isn't it kak aliya =)

I also recommend you that video. It's really really useful I believe =)

Alhamdulillah. what about you akh?
It's been a while. I'm really sorry for everything.

akh, that's why we have to do something to fix the mentalities of our society that equating islam with a particular race only. There's a lot of work to do to educate our society about the real meaning of Islam. InsyaAllah, I'm sure you have done your part =D

Sis Aliya:
Thanks for that clarification.

Sis Hajar:
Yes, I know. Evr since I joined the academic line, its been a bit hectic for me. this would be the first semester for me and that's why it takes time to cope with evrything =)

Yup. true ! Awesomeness! =D

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

when my student used the word'islamicity' instead of 'islam' in the email, I was totally flabbergasted.I'm sure you dont want to know my reaction =P

Oh God

Al-Hamra said...


As for the last part, which is the email from your student, I like to tell my students like this:

" Nanti masa exam saya bagi tahu"

When they asked " Teacher, exam keluar apa nanti?"

Teaching is indeed a wonderful experience =)

Ikhwan Ng said...


Bro wondering do you have FB?

Do have an invitation to our group..

TheHumbleWayfarer said...

Al Hamra:
Thanks for your beautiful comment. Yes.teaching is indeed wonderful experience =)

Bro. Ikhwan:
Akh, to be honest. I don't have actually. Anyway, jazakallah for the invitation ^_^