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Tolerance, ethics attracting people to Islam: Imam of UAE mosque
Sunday September 20, 2015 0:14 AM, Ahmed Shaaban

The Muhammad Hassan Al Shaikh Mosque at the Twar-2 area, where believers from all nationalities flock to for the five daily prayers, is seeing a person convert every two weeks.

The famous mosque sees an average of 2,500 to 3,200 worshipers every Friday, according to Shaikh Sherzad Taher Abdurrahman, Imam of the mosque, known for his soulful recitation.

"The phenomenon of regular conversion is not new to the mosque which, since its inception in 2002, has seen so many people who have willingly come forward for giving Shahada or declaring their acceptance of Islam," said the Imam.

The number has significantly grown in recent years, he added. "Not only one person declares conversion of Islam here every two weeks but sometimes there are three at a time."

Shaikh Abdurrahman said people are attracted to the tolerance of Islam and the unique spirit of fraternity among Muslims here in the UAE.

"They are impressed by the principles of Islam which impartially deal with all people disregard of their nationality, colour, race, and only consider good ethics for judging people", he said.

Affirming, he said non-Muslims are interested in knowing about Islam which promotes peaceful coexistence.

"They willingly come to us to seek the truth and find answers to their misconceptions about this great religion", he said.

The new converts are mostly Americans, Europeans, Asians and Arabs. "They are between 17 and 80 years, and hold different positions ranging from poor basic workers to wealthy general managers and directors."

Super stars, dignitaries, professors, businessmen and famous football players were among the many people who converted to Islam in the Shaikh Muhammad Hassan Al Shaikh mosque, he said.

"The door is always open for anyone to ask about Islam or even give Shahada anytime, while declaring such conversion is only made on Fridays or after Taraweeh prayers during the holy month of Ramadan."

Such public announcement is meant to let other worshippers share the serene moment, support and congratulate the new convert, Shaikh Abdurrahman said.

"The person behind the conversion is then given a chance to narrate his story and how he convinced the new Muslim to accept Islam so that other worshipers do the same" the Imam said.

What is interesting is that converts have announced their conversion not due to preaching by a particular scholar or preacher, but with the help of regular people.

"Calling for Islam in the most tolerant, attractive and persuasive way is not restricted to scholars but is the duty of all Muslims," said Shaikh Abdurrahman.

One of the converts was an Asian professor in pharmacology who came to declare his conversion.

"When asked about the person behind his acceptance of Islam, he said it was only the tolerance of Islam and good ethics of Muslims that made him a Muslim," he said. [Courtesy: Khaleej Times]

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