Bandar Seri Begawan - Statistics have shown that a total number of 342 individuals have converted to Islam since the beginning of the year until September.
On the beginning of the Hijrah year 1434, another 10 respective individuals of Dusun and Bisaya ethnicity, consisting of three families, converted to Islam in a ceremony held at the Al-Meerah Al-Hajah Maryam Mosque, Kampong Jerudong yesterday.
The converts were Muhammad Asyraf Yalim bin Miang, formerly known as Yalim bin Miang; his wife, Faizah Rokiah Ellai binti Sila, formerly known as Rokiah anak Sila; and three of their children, Al'ya Adriana Azreenaz binti Muhammad Asyraf Yalim, formerly known as Azreen binti Yalim, Al'ya Syaza Syafinaz binti Muhammad Asyraf Yalim, formerly known as Syafinaz binti Yalim and Muhammad Amirash Rios bin Muhammad Asyraf Yalim, formerly known as Amirash Onofre Rios.
The converts of another family were Muhammad Isa Taman bin Bingkong, formerly known as Taman bin Bingkong, his wife. Rossila Maisarah binti Sila, formerly known as .Ros anak Sila; along with their two children, Fadley bin Muhammad Isa Taman, formerly known as Fadley bin Taman, Wali Vassco bin Muhammad Isa Taman, formerly known as Vassco bin Taman.
The final convert was Maryam Liyana binti Sila, formerly known as Maradia Anak Sila who is also the sibling of Faizah Rokiah Ellai binti Sila and Rossila. Maisarah binti Sila.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Religious Affairs, Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad bin Pg Hj Abd Rahman along with his wife, Datin Hjh Halimah binti Md Taib; the Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Pg Dato Paduka Hj Bahrom bin Pg Hj Bahar;
Commissioner of Royal Brunei Police Force, Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Hj Hasrin bin Dato Paduka Hj Sabtu; a Member of the Legislative Council, YB Orang Kaya Maha Bijaya Hj Othman bin Uking and Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
The ceremony began with a mass Asar prayer, followed by the converts reciting the 'Syahadah'. After the new converts successfully recited the 'Syahadah', they were presented with a souvenirs handed by Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad, Pehin Orang Kaya Pendikar Alam Dato Paduka Seri Hj Hasrin, and Datin Hjh Halimah.
At yesterday's event, the Bulletin also had a chance to speak with two heads of the families.
Speaking to Md Isa Taman bin Bingkong, 63, of Dusun ethnicity, he said, "I have loved Islam for quite a while, but my heart just recently opened to convert into this religion. It is unexplainable for me to give the reason why I want to convert, but all I know is that Allah the Almighty has opened up my heart. Today, my wife and my two children have agreed to convert to Islam on this special date."
Md Asyraf Yalim bin Miang, 48, a husband and a father of three had long for conversion to Islam, together with his family members, starting this year. "We wanted to convert to Islam because our hearts are open to accept the religion and practice it," he said.
According to Abd Aziz bin Hj Abd Kahar, Head of Islamic and Guidance Conservation Section of the Islamic Dakwah Centre, he said, "This year, we are focusing more on the quality of newly converts, and not the quantity as we want to increase the guidance to the new brothers and sisters in Islam and help them attain true faith in Islam."
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin