Recently, I was treated like a celebrity at a recent event by the Islamic Information Center.
I feel happy that we new Muslims are given a lot of importance in this country. Although we come from another country, the UAE values us and acknowledges the fact that conversion is a big step for any person to take.
Alhamdulillah, as I am able to think things through, I am able to understand, absorb and implement what I read in the Holy Quran and Hadith as well. In fact, I feel encouraged as my colleagues and friends at work and at the mosque appreciate me when they see me practising Islam and when they see me trying hard to be a practising Muslim.
Recently, I was treated like a celebrity at a recent event by the Islamic Information Center, where I gave a brief talk on how I came to Islam and how my first Ramadan was going. The gathering also had a lot of non-Muslims who wanted to know what our experience has been as new Muslims. The more I talk about my experience, the more strength I get to stay on the right path.
Among other speakers, it was good to hear a doctor speak about the health benefits of fasting. Since I am very health conscious, it was quite enlightening. The doctor gave us the scientific health benefits of fasting where he spoke on how our body renews and recovers its cells during fasting and a major detoxification of our body takes place.
I was also extremely moved when I saw about 40 people take the Shahada (declaration of belief in Islam) on stage. It moved me to tears to see how great Allah is and how He guides whom He wills. I was amazed that how God makes it easy for people to go to Paradise by bringing them to Islam.
At the event, there is a famous social media personality whom I follow ardently online; the best part was, he interviewed me that day as if I was a celebrity! I was so happy.
When it was time for me to go on stage and share my experience, I was a bit jittery but spoke my heart out. I talked about how fasting is all about disciplining ourselves and how it is not as difficult as it sounds. I spoke about the many good things that happened to me this Ramadan, including my marriage.
I saw the curious faces among the audience, mostly non-Muslims, who seemed quite excited. Some of them even came up and asked me about my personal experience later. I’m happy to be a source of inspiration to a few people who are amazed at my story of coming to Islam. I hope Allah makes me a source of guidance to many more and whoever I interact with, Insha Allah.
(AS TOLD TO SAMAN HAZIQ)
(Luis Carreno is a 36-year-old Colombian national who is a professional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt coach for the UAE armed forces in Dubai. He embraced Islam in January 2018 at the Islamic Information Center in Satwa.)
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