Filipino embraces Islam
A FORTY-FOUR-year-old Filipino who has been working in the country since 2005 converted to Islam yesterday.
The conversion ceremony took place at the residence of Hj Yussof Hj Zainal, in Kampong Lambak Kiri.
Adrina Gusi changed her name to Nur Irdina Abdullah, after declaring her faith through the Syahadah _ the Muslim declaration of the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad (Pbuh).
Nur means the light in Islam and Irdina can be translated to mean innocence, honour or modesty.
The conversion was conducted by a religious officer from the Islamic Dakwah Centre.
The owner of the house, Hj Yussof and his brother Hj Emran signed the form stating themselves as the official witnesses to the conversion.
Afterwards, a dzikir was held to bless the occasion and Nur Irdina was brought around the room to be sprinkled with perfumed Bunga Rampai and greeted by the guests as a new Muslimah.
In a brief interview with The Brunei Times, Nur Irdina said that she started developing an interest in Islam a decade ago after she separated from her husband.
Her then-husband was the son of a bishop in her village but was not religious and they never prayed, said Nur Irdina.
After the divorce, she began searching for a religion that would bring peace to her life.
"When I came to Brunei, I observed the situation here between the Muslims and Christians, it is different and I felt peaceful," she said, adding that back home, there were often conflicts between the two major religions.
"Here, you see the respect among (people)," she said.
"When I read the Shahadah, I felt so happy. It was the first time I have ever felt real happiness," she said.
She added: "Inside my heart, (the moment) I entered Islam, I feel that God was very near to me".
Her family back in the Philippines her brother and mother shared her joy in her newfound religion although they are still Christians.
One of Nur Irdina's sons has already expressed his desire to follow in his mother's footsteps."My son said to me (during a phonecall), 'If it's okay, I want to join (Islam) too'."
She will be leaving for home in October but has already made plans to return along with her sons and start a tailoring business in the country as a new member of the Muslim ummah.
The Brunei Times