By Annisa Essack
In a world where we constantly hear of intolerance and hatred, fear and misconceptions, it is heartening to find that respect, honour and love still belong to humanity.
This story of a father and son who share different faiths is one that warms the heart and restores your faith in the world.
Lim Hun Kheng is the father of 12-year-old Mohammad Firdaus Hong Abdullah and although his son is a practising Muslim, Lim puts in a lot of effort to ensure that Firdaus remains steadfast in his chosen religion.
At 5 am every day, Lim wakes Firdaus to make certain that he does not miss the suhur or pre-dawn meal during the month of Ramadhaan. He then ensures that Firdaus attends the Solat Subuh or Fajr as we know it and later Lim sends his son to his religious class.
The amazing thing about Firdaus is that he chose to embrace Islam in March 2018 on his own will and Lim gave him his full support and encouragement.
“Although his daily activities are packed, I still want him to allocate some time to deepen his understanding about Islam. I allow him to make friends and study Islam with his adopted family.”
According to Lim, Firdaus showed an interest in Islam since he was seven years old and scored extremely high in his Islam education or Pendidikan Islam. Lim and his wife took him to the Kubang Pasu District Islamic religious office to fulfil his wish to embrace the religion.
“I had no objections at all. In fact, I permitted him to convert to Islam because he showed deep interest in the religion,” explained Lim.
As for Firdaus, his second year of fasting during the Ramadan month is nothing but pure joy. Mainly because he has a lot of fun as he goes about fulfilling his duties – like performing the solat sunat tarawih in the mosque or in a surau (musallah) with his friends – as a Muslim.
The young boy shared that his favourite activity is going to the Ramadan bazaar with his father after his Islamic class usually to have his favourite dish of roasted chicken.
The 12-year-old is quite aware that he will face a lot of ups and downs when practising the Islamic faith. Nevertheless, Firdaus explained that after he converted, he found the answers to the existential questions that had been on his mind. But mostly, he enjoyed listening to stories of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He noted that Islamic teachings give him peace and tranquillity. On top of that, the act of fasting during the Ramadan month teaches him patience. When asked about his ability to read the Quran, Firdaus said that he’s already memorising verses during prayer.
In his free time, which is usually on weekends, Firdaus spends some time with his 63-year-old adopted grandfather, Aziz Isa, to learn more about the religion. Firdaus learns how to pray solat berjemaah or prayer in the congregation from Aziz.
Firdaus and Lim have such a beautiful relationship and we pray that they continue to remain loving towards each other.
Their story is one that everyone should learn from, to love everyone, regardless of race or religion.