MUSCAT – 3,000 expats have embraced Islam in the first five months in 2018, the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in Oman has announced.
“Since the beginning of January until today. Many of the new converts are Europeans, followed by Indians,” an official at the ministry told the Times of Oman.
Over a week ago, the ministry organized an event titled “The Qur’an speaks to you” for non-Muslims to learn about Islam and clarify their doubts about certain aspects.
During the event, two recent converts discussed their journeys to Islam, reasons for converting to Islam, and offered advice to individuals who were considering converting.
Over 800 men and women participated in the event, which also included a live prayer and Iftar. Following Friday’s event, 26 women converted to Islam.
During a similar event in Ramadan 2017, 72 expats converted to Islam.
“Some of those expats came to Oman with media-based bad stereotypical views about Islam, but they were amazed by the real spirit of Islam,” explained a ministry official.
After a person converts, the ministry provides him/her with books to learn more about the religion.
For males, they must verbally accept to be circumcised, which is mandatory, if they didn’t get the procedure done before saying the Shahada, which is also a verbal acceptance of Islam, and then become a Muslim.
“The ministry has an agreement with the Ministry of Health to have the surgery done free of charge as the person is converting to Islam,” an official said. The converts receive a certificate and documents to prove they are Muslims.
In 1990, 1.1 billion people in the world were Muslims, this number increased to 1.8 billion people in 2018. In 2002, as much as 80% of Muslims weren’t Arab.
By 2030 Muslims are projected to represent about 26.4% of the global population (out of a total of 7.9 billion people).