25 Filipinos Embrace Islam After Lecture
As was the case in the last ten sessions of the Ramadan Forum, the Philippines
night has proved to be the most eventful this year also with tens of people
converting to Islam.
Prominent Filipino scholar Sheikh Omar Penalber, 57, delivered a lecture in
Tagalog on ‘The Path to Salvation' as part of the six-lecture cultural
programme for foreign communities of the 11th session of the Ramadan Forum in
Al Twar-2 area on Thursday night.
As many as 25 Filipinos converted to Islam following the three-hour long
lecture in which Sheikh Penalber affirmed that the Holy Quran is the rain that
brings forth true life on earth.
Mohammed Alhashimi, chairman of the forum's organising committee, said the new
Muslims are to be accompanied to the Department of Islamic Affairs and
Charitable Activities to get an official conversion certificate.
''They are also given books, booklets, CDs and cassettes on Islam in a simple
and attractive style, and in several languages.'' Elaborating, Alhashimi said
reciting ‘Shahada' or testifying that there is only one God worthy of worship
— Allah the Creator, the Sustainer, the Lord of the Heaven and the Earth and
all that exists — and accepting that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is
the final messenger of Allah is all that is required for converting to Islam.
''The new Muslim then needs to sincerely observe four more pillars to be a
true faithful. These are five daily prayers, fasting in the holy month of
Ramadan, paying Zakat or obligatory charity when having certain amount, and
performing Haj or pilgrimage when affordable.''
While Sheikh Penalber helped 127 people embrace Islam in the 10th Ramadan
Forum and 125 others in the ninth session of the annual event organised by the
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, he assisted 1,200 Filipinos
convert to Islam in various parts of the Philippines in the first half of this
In his lecture, he said the Quran, and nothing else, can guide us to God
Almighty. It is the path that leads the traveller to Allah. ''It is His
brilliant light that illuminates the darkness of uncertainty and disbelief. It
is His mercy of guidance and source of happiness for all creation. It is the
bridge that connects His devotee to Him when all else fails.''
Sheikh Penalber said the more a soul delves into its depths of the Quran, the
more it increases in insight and guidance. ''The Quran is the cure for mankind
from diseases of the heart. It is life to the hearts and pleasure and
brilliance to the souls. It is the harbinger that calls night and day ‘O
seekers of good, hurry to me'.''