RIYADH: Twenty expatriates, most of them from the Philippines, embraced Islam after Taraweeh prayers on Tuesday night.
According to Gaddy Albani, a Filipino preacher who accompanied them, all work at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Riyadh.
The imam of the grand mosque in Dubhat district, Malaz, Sheikh Turky Qelaiwy, announced the news after Taraweeh prayers, and also had the new Muslims recite the Shahada.
Members of the congregation embraced them, while others took pictures and videotaped the proceedings. “This is a time to rejoice for all worshipers who are with us tonight,” said Qelaiway. “I am proud of you and everyone is happy to welcome you as new brothers in Islam.”
“You may find it difficult to carry out some of Islam’s commands, but Islam is so easy and does not oblige you to do something you cannot do, for health or other reasons,” he said.
“If you cannot fast this year because of these reasons you can do so next year,” he said. “But as new Muslims you will now have to adopt Islamic ways.”
Qelaiway told Arab News that the people who know Islam are aware that it is “the right and plain religion and will adopt its practices.” Despite attempts to tarnish the religion, Islam remained the first choice of most people seeking a new faith, he said.
“Christianity is a religion of Almighty Allah. We all believe this but Islam came to replace it. As such, it is the last belief accepted by the Almighty Creator,” he said.
He said people embrace Islam in Ramadan because this is the month that the Devil is chained. They are also impressed by how fellow Muslims treat them, he said.
One revert said he embraced Islam after reading about the religion. “I found out that it is indeed the last religion that people should follow,” he said.