JERUSALEM: Over the past two years, about 100 people from 17 western countries reverting to Islam with many choose the Muslims’ third holiest site to embrace Islam.
“Ninety-seven people of 17 western nationalities have announced their voluntary conversion to Islam by repeating the Shahada [at the Al-Aqsa],” said the mosque Imam Sheikh Ekrima Said Sabri, a former grand mufti of Jerusalem in a statement issued this week, World Bulletin reported on Wednesday, January 4.
The would-be converts announced their conversion by reciting the Shahada, or “testimony”, repeating in Arabic: “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” [at the Al-Aqsa]- Muslims’ first Qiblah.
According to the former grand mufti of Al-Quds (Occupied Jerusalem), the westerners who recently converted at the mosque hailed from the U.S., Germany, France, Finland and Britain.
“Islam is the religion of justice and tolerance,” Sheikh Sabri declared. “It is a comprehensive religion; the distillation of all previous divine messages.”
He went on to emphasize that, according to the Quran, conversion had to be done on a strictly voluntary basis.
“As God Almighty says: ‘There shall be no compulsion in [the acceptance of] the faith,” Sheikh Sabri, who is also head of Jerusalem’s Supreme Islamic Council, asserted, citing the holy book.