In a warm afternoon gathering a number of nine native Dutch announced their conversion to Islam last Sunday, March 31 in Amsterdam.
The event was National Converts Day of Dutch Muslims, a reception Sunday where hundreds of Dutch, high-profile speakers and new Muslims from across the Netherland met to celebrate new Muslims embracing Islam.
And it was a success!
‘I am very happy today,’ Hans, a 72-year old father and one of the nine Dutch who pronounced the Shahadah (the Testimony of faith) during the one-day event, told Kuwait news agency (KUNA).
In a very moving scene Hans’ words uttering the Shahadah echoed around the mosque:
Ashhadu an-la ilaha illallah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and messenger).
The moment was exuberating.
The phrase is known as the First Pillar of Islam that in order for a person to be a Muslim this conviction is firstly needed and is pronounced in public for the very first time.
‘I was influenced by my son and his wife and also my three grand children’, he told KUNA.
Touched by the peace and happiness that painted the life of his son’s family, Hans considered becoming a Muslim.
‘When I saw how my son and his wife talk in peace and pray to Allah and come to solutions with the help of God I was very impressed.’
About his new life as a Muslim and future plans to learn about the new religion, Hans said: ‘I will now try to understand Islam more and more and to study the Qur’an and attend lectures.’
His son, Thomas, at whose hands Hans took the shahadah, has embraced Islam eight years ago after being introduced to the religion by his Tunisian wife.
The one-day event is being held at the Blue Mosque, also known as the Dutch-Kuwait Centre, in Amsterdam, which was opened two years ago, financed by Kuwait donors, the caretakers of the mosque told KUNA.
American Muslim Preacher Yusuf Estes, Greek convert Hamza Tzortzis and Farouk Al Zouman, the first Saudi man who climbed to Mount Everest in 2008, were among the noted speakers who welcomed the Netherland’s new Muslims.
The sixth National Converts Day is organized by the Discover Islam Foundation in cooperation with the National Platform for New Muslims in the Netherlands.
The number of native Dutch Muslim converting to Islam has risen to about 15,000 from 12,000 just a few years ago, according to Jacob von der Blom, a spokesman for the event.
Last month, Arnoud van Doorn, the ex-leading member of Geert Wilders’s right-wing anti-Islam Freedom Party, embraced to Islam after deep quest about Islam and Muslims.
Out of Netherlands’ 16 million population one million are Muslims.
Source: Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)