New Muslim women honored in Jeddah
New Muslim women honored in Jeddah
Moulana Hifzur Rehman Seoharvi Academy, an organization that aims to preach and spread Islam in the Kingdom, had organized the welcome reception.
Organizers and attendees welcomed them and gave them gifts. The new Muslims coming from different communities narrated their experiences of their trials and tribulations on their way to embracing Islam. The newly reverted Muslim sisters were Wajida Bano (the old name Vijay Lakshmi), Shaikh Fatima, Zahida Bano, Alia Baker (earlier Jeannine Baker), Fatima Faheem (old name Binu), Dr. Bindu, Zainab (Shruti) and Muna (Mona).
Dr. Bindu (she didn’t change her name) told everyone how she came "from darkness to the light of Islam" and her trials and tribulations while leaving her husband, house and family for the sake of Islam to be a true Muslim.
She shared her miseries and obstacles with everyone "to encourage those who wanted to revert to Islam but are still confused and those who are born Muslims but forgot their responsibilities."
“When I came here I was a very religious Hindu who always looked to worship her lord. I found it difficult to be here, as people I saw don’t pray to many gods, as Hindus do. But when I saw people worshiping only one Allah, it touched my heart,” she explained.
She further said that she developed an interest in her heart to know more about Islam. With the help of a Muslim colleague and friend she start reading the Qur’an and listening to Muslim scholars.
“My knowledge about Muslims was not correct. In fact, many Muslims living in India also don’t have correct information about Islam. I went to India to see my sick mother and I talked with my husband. In the beginning he agreed to my acceptance of Islam. He had no problem, but when we reached India, he changed. I had no other alternative but to leave him and my home and come back to Kingdom with my daughter who was my real inspiration in fighting back to stay on the right path,” she said.
Another new Muslim, Fatima Faheem (Binu) said that she was studying in a university where she had a Muslim friend. One day he asked her about the meaning of 'namaste' (a common greeting in the Subcontinent). As she couldn’t answer, she with the aim to corner him asked about the meaning of Assalamu Alaikum, which he replied by saying it meant 'peace be upon you.' The answer came as a surprise to her.
“I was shocked by the answer. I met his family who were very religious. Slowly I started learning about Islam. It was very difficult to convince my family that I wanted to marry a Muslim man. My whole family was against the decision but later gradually I succeeded in convincing my dad. He gave me to my husband in marriage. I learned about the Qur’an and its meanings from him and his family. I tried to convince my father to accept Islam, unsuccessfully though, but I succeeded in bringing my younger sister to the fold of Islam,” she said.
The program was graced by Alia Baker (Jeannie Baker) as chief guest. Others who attended the function included Seema Malik, Umme Khalid, Ayesha Surati and Chaudhary Shahbaz.
“I never knew how new Muslim sisters sacrificed their families and husbands. I am very lucky because I am married to a Saudi who helped me understand Islam. My family was very accepting, so Allah made my path very easy,” explained Alia Baker.
Umme Fakeha Zinjani, incharge of women’s wing of the academy, gave the vote of thanks.
Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030
- Vision 2030 seeks to make Saudi Arabia non-oil based economy and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and, NEOM, are part of the efforts to lure in investors and promote tourism sector.
JEDDAH: June 21 marked one year of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia.Since assuming the role, the crown prince, fondly known as MBS, has been working for the socioeconomic transformation of the Kingdom.
He is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and reduce its dependence on oil income.
Among the reforms envisaged in the Vision 2030 plan are the reopening of cinemas and allowing both sexes to attend concerts.
Another major development is the lifting of a ban on women driving. From June 24, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to take the wheel. The crown prince’s Vision 2030 reform plan seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from the current 22 percent.
In a statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that as the architect of Saudi Vision 2030, the crown prince was inspiring the country’s youth and introducing structural changes to the Saudi economy and society.
Al-Othaimeen said that in one year he had taken many important initiatives at the national and international level and reinforced Saudi Arabia’s leading role in defending and supporting issues related to the wider Muslim world.
In this area, the OIC chief said, the most notable achievement was the creation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.
Vision 2030 seeks to boost the Saudi non-oil based economy, and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and NEOM, the futuristic mega city, are part of efforts to attract investors and promote the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
Saudi Minister of Telecommunications and IT Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that the Kingdom is geared up to achieve the goals of socioeconomic transformation as envisaged in Vision 2030. He said that during the last year Saudi Arabia had achieved great success in this ambition.
Civil Services Minister Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan said that last year was characterized by many achievements. The Kingdom, he said, witnessed the continuation of the successful implementation of the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which covers all aspects of life.
Saudi Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa said: “Our country is looking forward to a bright future in line with an ambitious vision. It is standing at the threshold of great transformation.”
Saudi Arabia has also witnessed several unprecedented developments since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began implementing his reform plans. In a bid to ensure transparency in the financial system to promote international investments, the Kingdom launched a drive to root out corruption from society without discrimination.
Saudi Justice Minister Dr. Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, who is also president of the Supreme Judicial Council, said that the crown prince is a leader whose impact has surpassed local and regional levels. He has emerged as one of the most influential figures at the global level, he said.
Islamic Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ashiekh said: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a comprehensive national development program that seeks to achieve prosperity for the country. The crown prince has worked very hard to achieve many goals in record time.
“The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has received a great deal of support and attention from the crown prince to help fight extremist and deviant ideologies.”
The minister said that these efforts come within the framework of Vision 2030 to eradicate all sources of corruption.
MBS’s history of philanthropic initiatives has earned him many awards. In 2011, he established the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which enables young Saudis to learn, develop and progress in the fields of business, literature, culture, science and technology, and sociology.
“The crown prince’s initiatives in relief and humanitarian work have been admired and praised by the UN and its related organizations,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and an adviser to the royal court.
Al-Rabeeah said that the crown prince had allocated $66.7 million to fight the cholera epidemic in Yemen, in addition to his efforts to help the needy throughout the world without discrimination.
He said that the crown prince had worked hard to build a new phase of progress and prosperity for the country with the help of the youth who are the core of the Kingdom’s future.
In recent years, the crown prince has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. In a country where about 60 percent of the population is under 30, the young crown prince is widely seen as an icon in the push toward socioeconomic reforms.
The crown prince also heads the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which aims to establish a seamless mechanism to achieve Vision 2030 goals.