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My Malaysian Affair - Chapter 6
A Promise Kept at a Friend's Wedding
Singapore was as enjoyable the second time, as it had been the first time. I had wonderful hosts, who went out of their way to make me welcome in their home, and I often felt embarrassed at their kindness. I pray that Allah will bless Pakcik Zaidi and his wife for giving me a bed to sleep in, and for making my stay so comfortable. I also thank Makcik Maliah personally for finding me this place to stay, which made my overall impression of Singapore even better.
The highlight for this visit was being able to meet a friend I had only ever written to, and had never ever spoke to. The day I met him happened to be the day before his wedding. Part of my intention for my holiday had been to see his wedding, and that was fulfilled when on the next day, I attended his wedding reception. It was the first wedding I have attended in my life, and furthermore it was done in an Islamic setting. My dear friend himself is Indian but married a Singaporean Malay, and the wedding was Malay style. May Allah bless them both as they each face new challenges in their lives.
My stop in Hong Kong was relatively brief, and was a chance to meet many new brothers and old friends. Nothing impressed me as much as Malaysia had, not suprising when Hong Kong only has a small Muslim population. Nothing in Hong Kong was new to me, since I had explored the whole country on a visit last year, and the handover to China in July 1997 had not changed the country at all.
One day while riding on the MRT train system, I had approached a Muslim couple (I did not know them) and said "Assalamu alaikum" to them. I started chatting to them, and found that they were from Yemen, but living in Singapore. The brotherhood is Islam is something great, which allows such a conversation between otherwise strangers, to be initiated. Within five minutes, I had exchanged addresses and phone numbers with this brother, and we made an appointment to see each other again when I returned to Singapore. Before long I was back on a plane to Singapore, and looking forward to meeting my new friend again.