Parents ask if she has done prayers

NEW EXPERIENCES: Miss Doris Sofea Toh (right) with her fiancé's mother, Madam Mahani Khamin, who is showing her how to wear a headscarf.

Her Buddhist parents were initially opposed to her becoming a Muslim.

But now they are extremely supportive, to the point of even asking her if she has done her prayers, said a recent convert, Miss Doris Sofea Toh, 24.

The teacher at Nan Chiau High School, who is also known by her Muslim name Sofea Adawiyah, said she first became interested in the religion while studying at the National Institute of Education in 2011.

Miss Sofea told The New Paper that her parents objected because they thought "there were too many restrictions in Islam like covering up for women and the fact you had to pray five times a day".

It was a struggle convincing her parents, who are in their 60s, because of the fear that they would be "losing a daughter once I became a Muslim," she added.

"But they eventually turned around when they realised I was serious. I was extremely proud when they came to my conversion ceremony recently. Now, they ask me a lot of questions on being a Muslim. And not only do they ask if I have done my prayers, they also make sure we eat at halal restaurants whenever we are out for a meal," she said proudly.

Miss Sofea embraced Islam in April and will be experiencing her first Ramadan as a Muslim.

"I tried fasting three years ago and it was difficult for me, but I had to train myself," she said.

Even though she fell sick last year, she managed to fast the entire month, she said.

She is confident she will have no trouble fulfilling her duties as a Muslim under the guidance of her 27-year-old fiancé Mohamed Fauzy Juffrey, who is also a teacher.

The couple will tie the knot in November.

Miss Sofea said she has been looking forward to this year's fasting month because she will be doing her prayers and preparing for the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday, which is on July 28.

She said: "I also can't wait to check out the bazaar at Geylang this year, to look at the clothes and food on offer."