By Badea Abu Al-Naja
MAKKAH — A Hindu man, who is serving a prison term for giving bribery, embraced Islam few days ago and was allowed, together with a number of prisoners, to perform Haj this year. He has been in prison for three months.
“I thought Muslims persecute any non-Muslim but I was wrong. I have been treated kindly and with respect in the prison despite the fact that I was a Hindu,” the prisoner, who requested anonymity, said.
“Nobody disrespected Hinduism. I started attending the classes given by Muslim scholars and found myself getting drawn to Islam. I enjoyed listening to the Holy Qur’an, which talks to the mind and soul and calls for good morals and ethics. Islam is the natural religion of human beings and I truly believe that,” he added.
Director of Makkah Prison, Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al-Maqati, said prisoners and officers held a small party for their new brother in Islam and showered him with gifts and Islamic books.
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, adviser to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, emir of Makkah region and chairman of the Central Haj Committee, issued orders to allow the Indian prisoner to perform Haj this year.
“We have a program for non-Muslims in which a number of scholars give religious lessons explaining the true meaning of Islam and the Holy Qur’an and leaving the option of embracing Islam to the prisoner himself. Nobody is forced to become a Muslim,” Al-Maqati stressed.