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Filipinos hear former singer Freddie Aguilar’s journey to Islam

Filipinos hear former singer Freddie Aguilar’s journey to Islam

Sheikh Nadhir Oquindo gives a powerful and inspirational talk as the Tagalog lecture hosted as part of the 14th Dubai Ramadan Forum enthralls the audience

By Staff Report

Published: Sun 28 Jun 2015, 5:28 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:16 PM

Filipinos hear former singer Freddie Aguilar’s journey to Islam

Supplied photo

Dubai – The non-Arabic lectures on topics relating to Islam and Ramadan are hosted as part of the events and activities of the 14th Dubai Ramadan Forum. On Saturday, June 27, the Forum hosted an inspirational lecture in the Tagalog language, which was delivered by former Filipino singer Freddie (Farid) Aguilar and well-known preacher Sheikh Nadhir Oquindo.

Farid's journey

The session began with Freddie Aguilar, one of the Philippines’ most celebrated singer-songwriters whose 1977 song "Anak" remains one of the best-selling Philippine music records of all time, providing an honest and heartwarming account of his journey to Islam during his presentation titled “How I Came to Islam”. Narrating the factors that influenced his decision to formally and wholeheartedly accept Islam as his religion, Aguilar mentioned that the quest for one true God began long before he became a star.

Born into a Roman Catholic family, Aguilar’s father was a chief of police who, as a parent, was a firm disciplinarian. Discontented with the strict rules and guidelines that he always had to follow, the young Freddie ran away from home and ended up in a province totally foreign to him. The more he became isolated from his family, the more he began to miss them, especially his mother. Inspired and emotional, Aguilar composed the song “Anak” which became a huge hit around the world; the song was translated into 28 languages and sung by more than 100 different artists from various nationalities.

Yet, despite the fame and fortune, Aguilar felt empty. He sought comfort by joining the Born Again Christian community but he knew something was still missing in his life. He became a man without religion after some time, but still in his heart he believed that there was one true God. Years went by, and he found himself falling in love with a young lady (now his wife) whom he met during an election campaign in a province in Southern Luzon. The considerable age gap between them, which was ridiculed by the Philippine press and many of his followers, was the instigator for Aguilar to make the biggest decision of his life. With the help of a Muslim friend, he made a public declaration that “There’s no other God worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad (PBUH) is a slave and the final messenger of Allah”. He then proceeded to adopt the Muslim name, Farid.

Towards the end of his talk, Aguilar mentioned that since he became a Muslim, he felt peace in his life.

The night also saw a powerful and engaging presentation by Sheikh Nadhir Oquindo, titled “The Eternal Life”. In his lecture, Sheikh Oquindo enlightened the audience about the truth behind the concept of ‘life after death.

Following the Tagalog lecture, 12 members of the audience – including 10 women and 2 men – adopted Islam as their religion on the spot.

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