Dubai: A family of five converted to Islam during an Eid trip to visit relatives in Dubai.
They made the change on Wednesday at the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charity in Dubai.
The Indian family, consisting of parents, daughter, son and daughter in law, converted from Christianity to Islam after the eldest son came to Dubai, and then in turn convinced his family to convert.
He told Gulf News: “I decided to convert to Islam after my Muslim friend started telling me about the teachings of Islam. I slowly started to go deeper into the subject when I came to Dubai and I also started listening to Islamic DVDs.
“The information that I gained just touched me and inspired me to convert to Islam as I was convinced that it was the right path,” said Essa, 35, a sales supervisor.
“I then started telling my wife Sara about the teachings of Islam and how it is the right path and so she converted as well,” he added
Essa started calling his parents Mohammad Abdullah, 65, a businessman and mum Mariam, 53, a teacher, who are living in India, to tell them about the teachings of Islam, hoping that they too would convert.
“At first I was very frustrated with my son I would pick up the phone and he would greet me with ‘Peace be upon you’ then he would start preaching to us about Islam,” said Essa’s mother Mariam.
She added: “His father and I were really upset, we would ask him to come back to India thinking that Dubai had spoiled him.
“However later on I started thinking about what he had told his father and I started discussing the subject, so we started realising that our son was right so we then decided to convert to Islam.”
Essa’s wife Sara, 30, a home-maker, then followed and so did his father.
His parents came to Dubai to celebrate Eid and have since used the time to convert.
Essa’s father said his Christian community in India are not very acceptant of their conversion.
“Our family in India and my community are keeping a distance, but my family and I do not care about what they think as we know that we are on the right path.”
Speaking of his joy that his family have converted, Essa added: “The way I see it, Islam is the straight path to God, it’s like taking Emirates Road from Sharjah to Dubai, it’s one straight path, there are no diversions like other religions that have been changed from their original teachings.”
The family is currently praying five times a day, understanding the teachings of Islam through books, CDs and going to the mosque.
Huda Al Kabi, Head of the New Muslim Division in the department, said that “the family of five visited the department on their own will and with an honest wish to declare their Islam after knowing the true principals of Islam. The family also changed their names to Muslim names the father is now Mohammad, mother is Mariam, son Essa, daughter Aabida and the daughter in law is Sara.”
“Since the establishment of the department in 1996 until September 2012, 19,945 people from 75 nationalities have converted to Islam,” she added.