Dubai: Hundreds turn up at funeral of woman who died soon after converting to Islam

Daria Kotsarenko first came to Dubai three years ago which is when she showed a genuine curiosity about the local culture and religion


Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi


Waad Barakat

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Photos: X/janaza_uae
Photos: X/janaza_uae

Published: Sat 30 Mar 2024, 11:46 AM

Last updated: Fri 5 Apr 2024, 12:16 AM

Hundreds of strangers became mourners as they came together to pay their respects to a Dubai-based expat who died days after accepting Islam. Daria Kotsarenko, who was just 29, passed away in Dubai on Friday after receiving the conversion certificate on March 25. Her sudden demise is believed to have been caused by a heart attack.

According to Faris Al Hammadi, a Dubai imam and Islamic content creator, Daria had first visited Dubai three years ago, where she showed a genuine curiosity about the local culture and religion. This led her to conduct extensive research, ask questions, and delve deeper into her search for knowledge.

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After her initial visit, Daria explored other countries before returning to Dubai, where she embraced Islam.

The motivational speaker shared: "Even before she embraced Islam, Daria was known for her modesty. She led a virtuous life, devoid of any haram relationships, and dressed modestly. She abstained from alcohol and other prohibited activities."

The imam further praised her by stating, "Her Islam was hassan," indicating that her acceptance of Islam and adherence to its principles were commendable.

The woman had no family or relatives in the country. However, hundreds of people — both Emiratis and expatriates — turned up as she was laid to rest in Dubai’s Al Qusais Cemetery.

The news of Daria's passing brought sadness to residents, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Messages of condolence and sympathy flooded the Emirates, accompanied by a sense of rejoicing for her. The community found solace in the fact that she passed away during the blessed month of Ramadan, shortly after her conversion to Islam.

"Oh God, she died after converting to Islam when she was 29 years old. She went to God and her paper was pure white,” said @Saad_turkmeni on X. Another person @LuayPrince commented, “May God have mercy on her. Congratulations to her on winning the true path. May God grant her Paradise.”

The imam in his viral video also praised those who played a role in her journey to Islam, highlighting the support and teachings she received from individuals who remained steadfast even after her untimely death.

Scores of mourners arrive

Scores of Emiratis and expats turned up at Al Qusais cemetery mosque to offer funeral prayers for the woman on Friday, as seen in the photos shared by janaza_uae. Daria's story had touched many, leading to a massive crowd at the funeral prayers for her on Friday.

The woman also had no family or relatives in Dubai, janaza_uae said in a post on X on Thursday, prompting an outpouring of grief, love, and support.

Here are photos of the crowd during her funeral, as shared on X:

Photos: X/janaza_uae
Photos: X/janaza_uae

Daria arrived in the UAE as a tourist and eventually started looking for a job, according to several social media sources. During her search, she encountered not only career opportunities but also the beauty of Islam.

A widely shared document indicated that Daria was a Christian who converted to Islam in Dubai on March 25. Her death was believed to have been caused by a heart attack. As a new Muslim in Ramadan, she was fasting when she died.


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