Filipino preacher helps over 1,000 Asians embrace Islam By IRFAN MOHAMMED

Ronaldo, who convinced more than 1,000 Asians to embrace Islam, talking to a reporter. (AN photo)

JEDDAH: Ronaldo, a Filipino worker in Riyadh, has convinced more than 1,000 Asians, including his own family members, to embrace Islam during the past few years, Al-Sharq Arabic daily reported yesterday.

Ronaldo, who works at a broast restaurant in Riyadh, said he accepted Islam as his religion several years ago after understanding the meaning of a Qur’anic verse.

He still remembers the question asked him by one of his Muslim colleagues at the restaurant: “Why don’t you pray with us. Don’t you want to enter Paradise if you die tonight?”

Ronaldo said that question had inspired him to learn more about Islam. He later heard about a Qur’anic verse which means: “And whoever seeks other than Islam as religion it will not be accepted from him; and in the Hereafter, he will be among the losers.”

Ronaldo then accepted Islam as he believed that he would not be able to enter the Paradise without following its teachings. An Indonesian friend took him to the nearest Dawa Center in Rowda where he learned more about the Islamic faith and its teachings.

He later became a propagator of Islam. He visited companies and residential compounds of Asian workers and explained to them the salient teachings of the divine religion. Meanwhile, a Saudi group helped 50 newly embraced Filipino Muslims to perform Haj. “Many of these Filipinos had exerted great efforts to convince their families and friends to embrace Islam and most of them were successful in their noble endeavor,” said Saud Al-Rajhi, organizer of the program.

Al-Rajhi said they have coordinated with the Dawa centers in the Philippines to provide the new Muslims with necessary books on Islam and courses on the religion.

The pilgrims were brought by the Charitable Society established by Sheikh Abdul Mohsen bin Saleh Al-Rajhi in 1417H.

“Previously we were bringing less than 1,000 new Muslims for Haj. Now the project has expanded and we help a large number of new Muslims to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, meeting all their expenses,” he said.

Twenty-four-year-old Michael from Virginia was among the new Muslims who performed Haj with the group’s support. Michael said the participation in Haj has given him a feeling that he is part and parcel of the Ummah.

“It gave me an opportunity to live with Muslims from different countries, wearing the same form of dress and participating in the same forms for worships and rituals,” he said.

About 6,250 new Muslims performed Haj this year under the charity, which arranged 180 preachers and 180 supervisors to enlighten the new Muslims about Haj and Islam.

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