Sharjah: Russian expat woman passes away two days after converting to Islam

The funeral was held on Monday during Maghrib prayers at the Al Shahaba mosque


Waad Barakat

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Published: Mon 27 May 2024, 8:47 PM

Last updated: Mon 27 May 2024, 10:13 PM

A 62-year-old Russian expat, Liodmila Shtshebynia, passed away just two days after converting to Islam. With no family in the UAE, her death was announced on the Instagram account @Janaza_UAE, which posted a caption pleading, "She has no one, be her sons and brothers," urging people to attend her funeral.

The funeral was held on Monday during Maghrib prayers at the Al Shahaba mosque in Sharjah. "I just received the announcement and posted it immediately. They informed us that she has no one here, and we asked people to attend her funeral," Abdulla Hussain Almarzooqi, the founder of @Janaza_UAE, told Khaleej Times.

Abdulla Hussain Almarzooqi. Photo: Supplied
Abdulla Hussain Almarzooqi. Photo: Supplied

After the post by @Janaza_UAE, messages spread viral on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, calling on residents to attend the Janazah (funeral) prayer. One of the WhatsApp messages said: "Please ask everyone you know to join this Janazah. This sister has no family here and please keep her in your Duaa (prayer)."

Ensuring that no one is buried without prayers, Abdulla Hussain Almarzooqi has run @Janaza_UAE for ten years. Through his Instagram and X accounts, he announces funerals across the UAE, with a following of approximately 283,000 on X and 70,000 on Instagram.

Thousands of social media users expressed their condolences, with one commenting, "Her destiny is that she dies as a Muslim."

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This is not the first such case in the UAE. In March, another Dubai resident, Daria Kotsarenko, who was just 29 years old, passed away after receiving her conversion certificate on March 25. Hundreds attended her funeral, with her sudden demise believed to have been caused by a heart attack.

According to Faris Al Hammadi, a Dubai Imam and Islamic content creator, Daria had visited Dubai three years ago and developed a genuine curiosity about the local culture and religion. This led her to conduct extensive research and eventually convert to Islam.

The news of Daria's passing brought sadness to both Muslim and non-Muslim residents in the country. However, there was a sense of hope as she had passed away during the blessed month of Ramadan, shortly after her conversion to Islam. Scores of Emiratis and expats attended the funeral prayers for Daria at Al Qusais cemetery mosque.


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