Muscat: Seventy two people in Oman converted to Islam in June this year, the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs said.
Non-Muslims living in Oman embraced Islam during the Holy month of Ramadan after several events organised by the ministry took place during the month, where non-Muslims were given the chance to learn about the religion and clarify their doubts about certain aspects of the religion.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al Khalili, head of the Department of Islamic Knowledge and Cultural Exchange, said some of the converts were surprised about the amount of respect and tolerance shown to one another that is typically displayed in Oman.
“Some of them came to Oman with a previous knowledge of what Islam was like. Of course most of them think it is harsh and tough (like on media) but they were amazed by the amount of love and respect we have for one another,” explained Al Khalili.
“Some of them tried to understand the religion better before deciding to convert to Islam or they would come to us and declare that they wanted to convert,” he added.
He said that those who convert must be convinced that they are doing it for the Almighty and not just because they are under pressure. They must also understand that once they embrace Islam they cannot go back.
Those who converted included 21 Filipino women and one Filipino man, 11 Ugandan women, 10 Sri Lankan women and 29 people from other nationalities.
“After they convert, we will give them books to learn more about the religion to make them better Muslims and for them to understand the religion,” said Al Khalili.
Al Khalili also said they must verbally accept to be circumcised, which is mandatory (for the males), if they aren’t and get the procedure done before saying the Shahada, which is also a verbal acceptance of Islam, and them become a Muslim.
“The ministry has an agreement with the Ministry of Health to have the surgery free of charge as the person is converting to Islam,” said Al Khalili.
“The converts will receive a certificate and documents to prove they are Muslim, which the ministry processes during their conversion,” he added.