DUBAI- Omar Penalber and Nuh Caparino inspired 26 Filipino expatriates of Dubai, including 23 women and 3 men, to embrace Islam during the 13th edition of the Ramadan Forum. Thousands gathered at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Saturday (July 12, 2014) to attend the insightful lecture in Tagalog on: ‘Islam: Past, Present and Future’.
Prominent Filipino preachers of Islam, Nuh Caparino and Omar Penalber, spoke about the history of Islam in the Philippines, the importance of the holy teachings of Islam in the everyday lives of followers in the present and the significance of Islam in the future and ‘after-life’ of believers.
Nuh Caparino opened the session by explicating the interesting history of Islam in the Philippines, highlighting the early origins of the religion in the country. He stated that the first real hero of the Filipinos, Lapu Lapu, was a Muslim figure who fought hard to protect the faith of the people. “We have only one God, one Creator and his name is Allah. Moreover, Islam was the first religion of the Philippines and therefore we are not changing our religion. We are just returning to the original roots of our faith,” he said.
Nuh, who has a wealth of experience in spreading the true teachings of Islam among non-Muslims, has served at prestigious da’wah organizations in both KSA and the Philippines for many years. Some of his notable efforts as an Islamic preacher include delivering Islamic lectures at public places such as corporate offices, hospitals, jails, military camps and various Islamic centres in both the countries, leading Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, presenting lectures on radio, training preachers and hosting seminars for new Muslims.
Adding further to Nuh’s insights, Omar Penalber, another leading scholar, explained the value of understanding Qur’an and its holy teachings. He shed light on key noteworthy details and facts about Islamic doctrines, thereby strengthening the faith of Muslims and promoting the teachings of the religion amongst the non-Muslim audience.
Since he embraced Islam in 1988, Omar Penalber has been continually spreading the word on the holy teachings in the Filipino community. In 2007, he served as one of the founders and Vice President of the ‘Islamic Studies, Call & Guidance of the Philippines (ISCAG)’ centre. A frequent traveller, Omar hosts a number of lectures on Islam held at public spots including colleges, universities, military camps and more in both the Philippines and KSA.
As part of one of the key highlights of the Ramadan Forum, Mohammed Ahmed Qasem, an Indian national, gave an encouraging sermon, on the topic, ‘Prophet Mohammed’ during the ‘Preacher of the Nation’ competition. In his talk, the young participant focused on Prophet Mohammed’s (Peace be upon him) virtues and his valuable teachings.
Free Iftar for non-Muslims
Organizers of the Ramadan Forum also hosted a free Iftar gathering for non-Muslims, also held at the DWTC. Arshad Khan, Supervisor for Non-Arabic Programs Committee welcomed the guests and presented a talk on the importance of Islam and the Ramadan period, describing the valuable teachings of the religion.
The 13th annual Ramadan Forum is organized by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation. The 12-day forum will run until July 14, 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), offering an enhanced and bigger agenda of activities and events this year including educational programs, training workshops and more.