Ramadan in UAE: 8 Filipinas embrace Islam in the first 3 days of holy month

'I am overjoyed. I feel there is light everywhere. I have a lot of feelings inside me, which cannot be expressed in words,' one convert said


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: IACAD
Photo: IACAD

Published: Wed 20 Mar 2024, 2:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Mar 2024, 1:29 PM

The holy month of Ramadan doesn't just bring practising Muslims closer to the religion, but also inspires others to embrace Islam.

This year, in just the first three days of Ramadan, eight Filipina women have begun their journey of spiritual discovery by converting to Islam. The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) in Dubai has confirmed this to Khaleej Times.

Camilla Iman is one among them, her story of exploration and enlightenment stands out from the rest. Having arrived in the UAE in 2014, Camilla immersed herself in volunteer work, engaging in charitable and social efforts during Ramadan.

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“It was my curiosity and adventurous spirit that led me to embrace Islam,” said Iman, who manages a software company and a media and events firm.

Watch below Iman taking Shahada:

Iman’s journey to Islam was influenced by her father's Muslim origins and her exposure to the Islamic faith during a visit to Oman in 2016. “I witnessed the devotion of Muslims during prayers,” said Iman.

“Muslims leave everything behind when the Adhan is called out. I was just amazed by this and asked many of them what keeps them tied to the faith so strongly. It left a great impact on me sparking a deep inquiry into the principles of Islam,” said Iman.

Camilla Iman
Camilla Iman

This Ramadan, while participating in volunteer activities, Iman seized the opportunity to attend Islamic lectures and engage in meaningful discussions. Satisfied with the answers she received to her inquiries, she "decided to embrace Islam wholeheartedly".

“I am overjoyed. I feel liberated. I feel there is light everywhere. I have a lot of feelings inside me, which cannot be expressed in words,” said Iman.

Similarly, Wilfie Nation's journey to Islam reflects a path marked by introspection and spiritual longing. As a manager in a cleaning company and a salon, Wilfie's relocation to the UAE in 2019 provided her with a newfound opportunity to explore Islam. “I was working in Saudi Arabia and kept asking myself several questions on why the call to prayer is given, the concept of one god and a Muslim's devotion,” said Wilfie.

To seek answers to her doubts, she turned to social media platforms and connected with individuals who guided her toward Islam. Wilfie couldn’t hold her desire to embrace Islam. She rang a faithful who she got in touch with on social media and then embraced Islam over the phone. “On March 10, just a few hours before the commencement of Ramadan, I embraced Islam. I offered the first Taraweeh prayers of 2024,” said Wilfie.

Wilfie was surprised when two of her staff members followed suit immediately, with three more joining the next day. “When I arrived to work in an abaya, they enquired and requested me to take them to scholars who can help them embrace Islam. I was in shock,” said Wilfie.

“What was more surprising was that the next day, another three staff members wanted to come into Islam. The six of us took Shahada in 3 days,” said Wilfie.

Along with Wilfie, Rafaela Suba, Jennifer Fortin, Mariane Manzano, Teresita Dadlum, Josephine Nequin-Jamela, and Renalyn Dinsay who embraced Islam in Dubai during Ramadan.

“I am fasting for the first time and it is not difficult at all. Allah is making it very easy for us. We do not even get tired of working in the sun. The feeling is profound and cannot be explained in words. I feel that I have arrived at a higher realm in this life,” said Wilfie.


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