As many as 1,365 people converted to Islam from January to June this
year as compared to 878 over the same period last year, according to
Huda Khalfan Al Kaabi, head of the New Muslims Section in the
Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai.
“This is basically due to the tolerance, modesty, transparency and
greatness of Islam which meet people’s needs in all places and
times,” she said.
Observing that 3,763 expatriates from 72 countries had converted to
Islam in a year-and-a-half in Dubai, Al Kaabi said most of them were
from the Philippines, Russia, China and India.
Kaabi indicated that most of the new Muslims were women. “While 576
of the 878 new Muslims in 2008 were women, 984 of the 1,365 people
who embraced Islam in 2009 are women,” she said.
“They are just touched by the instructions of Islam which require
the followers to be honest, fair, kind and tolerant when dealing
with all people, irrespective of their religion, race, language and
colour,” Al Kaabi pointed out. After spending 13 years as a
missionary, 32-year-old Filipina Rowena Fernandez said the fact that
she did not see a Muslim converting to another religion made her ask
and read about Islam deeply and logically.
“When I came to work in Dubai as an executive secretary, I read some
books on Islam, and started comparing its teachings with all I have
been taught by my religion. The comparison was perfectly in favour
of Islam. Therefore, I willingly and happily embraced this great
religion,” she said. Al Kaabi said that the New Muslims Section
provides fully-integrated and free services to three categories –
Muslims of all nationalities, new Muslims, and
“When dealing with non-Muslims, we do not call them for (conversion
to) Islam. We instead focus on holding other programmes not related
to religion, such as Arabic language. This is mainly aimed at
integrating them into the UAE society and enlightening them about
our religion and culture,” she said.
“As for new Muslims, we organise various courses about the Holy
Quran and Sunnah, along with the pillars, rituals, teachings and
ethics of Islam. Open lectures are also held for new Muslims and
“We have also launched Itasel Bena (Call us) service at the
department’s website to respond to all queries and doubts about Islam,” she said,
stressing that polygamy, circumcision and burial technique in Islam
are the main issues non-Muslims usually ask about.
“Questions may also be submitted in person or by telephone. The
seven male and female staff counsellors are equipped to answer all
questions in various languages.” Al Kaabi said that regular visits
are paid to the consulates, departments, hospitals, shopping centres
and prisons to explain the teachings of Islam to all people, using
moral and scientific techniques.