Dusun women, girl embrace Islam

National 1 minute, 30 seconds


THREE Dusun female relatives yesterday embraced Islam in a conversion ceremony that took place in Jerudong.

Surrounded by family and friends, sisters Faridah Marikan, 45, and Fariah Marikan, 39, recited the Syahadah or declaration of faith under the guidance of religious officers from the Islamic Da'wah Centre before assuming their Muslim names Nur Fareeda Abdullah Marikan and Nur Farisya Abdullah Marikan, respectively.

Meanwhile, Faridah’s 15-year-old daughter Helvanatashia Frimashiella Anak Herbert is now known as Balqis Al-Islam Mohd Hairul Nizam.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Nur Fareeda said she had wanted to embrace Islam for years, noting that her interest stemmed from her secondary school days when she attended a religious school.

Other factors for her decision included living harmoniously alongside Muslim neighbours for years, as well as the fact that many of her own family members had converted to Islam.

“I’ve always been interested in Islam, and I felt my heart moving towards the religion whenever I listened to my brother playing recordings of Al-Quran and a Surah Al- Yassin recital at home,” she said.

Similar sentiments were shared by her daughter, who also said she has “wanted to convert to Islam for a long time”.

Balqis Al-Islam said she had been afraid at first to tell others about her decision to convert but found that she received a lot of support when she did start telling people, including from her own parents.

“I wanted to start a new life with this new religion,” she said, adding that she had previously attended a religious school as the only non-Muslim student.

The secondary school student further expressed joy at having a conversion ceremony at the same time with her mother and aunt.

According to the Islamic Da’wah Centre, 540 people converted to Islam from January to November.

The Brunei Times