Nearly 3,000 expats embraced Islam in the first five months of this year, according to the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in Oman.
An official at the ministry told the Times of Oman,
“Since the beginning of January until today, approximately 3,000 people have converted to Islam. Many of the new converts are Europeans, followed by Indians.”
On one Friday in May this year, 26 women in Oman converted to Islam at an event organised by the ministry, in which non-Muslims were given the chance to learn about the religion and clarify their doubts about certain aspects of it.
During the event titled “The Quran speaks to you,” two recent converts discussed their journeys, reasons for converting to Islam, and offered advice to individuals who were considering converting.
Over 800 men and women participated in the event, which also included a live prayer and Iftar, so that non-Muslims could learn more about the act.
Oman is known for its high mountains, silky sand dunes, preserved fortresses, and breathtaking fjords. Bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the southwest, and the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, the Sultanate of Oman – a historic seafaring nation of traders and fishermen – opened itself up to tourism since the 1980s.
Last year, 72 expats converted to Islam during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
During the event, which is organised by the ministry and a number of other bodies, individuals are afforded the chance to learn about the true nature of Islam.
“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 (as portrayed often by the media), but they were amazed by the amount of love and respect we have for one another,” explained an official.
After a person converts, the ministry provides them with books to learn more about the religion to make them a better Muslim and to understand the religion.
Males are required to vow that they will undergo circumcision, which is mandatory, in the case that they had not had the procedure performed prior to saying the Shahada, a verbal acceptance of Islam.
“The ministry has an agreement with the Ministry of Health to have the surgery done free of charge as the person is converting to Islam,” an official said.
The converts will receive a certificate and a document to prove that they are Muslim, which the ministry processes during their conversion.
May Allah keep them all steadfast on the straight path and continue to guide more who seek the truth.
“Thus do We explain the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, laws, etc.) in detail for the people who reflect.”