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Reverts recount rest and respite
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 01 - 2017

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By Nisma Rafiq
AS the saying goes: ‘The heart will rest and find relief if it is settled with Allah. And it will worry and feel anxious if it is settled with people." A total of 23 new Muslims were honored by Maulana Hifzur Rahman Seoharvi Academy last Friday; the hearts that found rest and relief after settling with Allah.
The academy and the attendees embraced the new Muslims from India and the Philippines in a warm reception at Lasani restaurant in Jeddah. Bahjat Ayub Najmi, founder and the president of the academy welcomed the guests and reverts. Hafiz Anwar Ali commenced the evening with the recitation of Surah Al-Imran: "So is it other than the religion of Allah they desire, while to Him have submitted [all] those within the heavens and earth, willingly or by compulsion, and to Him they will be returned?"
Sheikh Salman, noted scholar in Jeddah who has been preaching and has reverted several non-Muslims, appreciated the academy's services in promoting and spreading Islam by distributing free CDs, literature and audiocassettes. "The president Najmi and the entire team of the academy has been appreciating and honoring new Muslims for the past five years. It reminds me of how the Ansar welcomed the immigrants after the migration 1400 years ago."
Furthermore, Sheikh Salman highlighted the barriers in preaching, "Few years back, non-Muslims used to listen to us with patience and calm. However, as the companies are shutting down, and employees are unpaid – it has become hard to give the message of Islam. They are unpaid, troubled with debt and iqama issues. We all must pray for their ease and distresses," he told the audience.
The event proceeded as academy's General Secretary Engineer Ashfaq invited the new Muslims to share their experiences.
Muhammad Yusuf from India, whose previous name was Jitandar Kumar and works as a laborer expressed his thoughts: "Islam is the right path, and it is because of Allah that everyone gets guidance. If I miss one prayer in the mosque, I feel restless. I feel peaceful in this path – We all have to be accountable after death so we should pray for ourselves and especially for non-Muslims for their guidance.
"In Islam, there is one god. However, in Hinduism there are many. I studied Islam for three years after coming to Saudi Arabia. I observed how people close shops and businesses and go pray. It created interest in me and I started watching videos and reading books on Islam."
Vijay Shaw, now Abdullah, said: "This made me compare and contrast Islam with my religion. Gradually I learned the way to pray which led my path to the dawa center and my journey to Islam started."
Another revert Muhammad stated, "I came to Saudi Arabia to earn money, but I am grateful to Allah that now I have the treasure of Islam."
On the sidelines of the event, a book on scientific miracles in the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet's Sayings ‘Quran O Sunnat Ka Sciency Aijaz'written by Dr. Mohammad Laiqullah was launched. Releasing the book, noted Islamic scholar from Pakistan and the event's chief guest Moulana Ahtram ul Haq Thanwi said: "Allah has created humans and Jinn to worship Him, so it is the duty of every Muslim to spread Islam in any way possible."
Laiqullah added that it was the duty of all Muslims to take care of those who are lost and confused.
Moulana Thanvi addressed the audience with insightful information and a light sense of humor. He said South India is the center of Islam and declared the new Muslims as sons of Islam and asked them to pray for others' ease.
Badr Al-Khamboshi from Atig Toys advised the attendees to remember that everyone has to die. "You should be a role model for many others who want to join Islam. No matter how famous or rich you are, if you don't have Islam in your heart – you will fail. Real peace of mind is only in Qur'an and Islam."
Chaudhry Shahbaz, noted Kingdom-based businessman and former federal minister in Pakistan, Al-Shareef group, Darussalam Publications, Ismail Surti, Al Esayi Electronic, Ajmal Perfumes, NET pet company and several other sponsors distributed souvenirs and gifts to the new Muslims to encourage and appreciate them.
The blessed and graceful event concluded with a raffle for a ticket prize to home country and Dua'a by Amanullah Ali, who prayed for the betterment of the Ummah.
The academy has been honoring the revert Muslims for the past several years along with distributing CDs and other Islamic literature among Haj and Umrah pilgrims. The academy plans on commemorating the revert Muslim women by the end of this month.

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