‘Is­lam has given me peace’

Jo­hor princess’s fi­ance first learned about re­li­gion from col­leagues in the Nether­lands

New Straits Times - - Front Page - CHUAH BEE KIM JO­HOR BARU news@nst.com.my

TUNKU Tun Ami­nah’s fu­ture hus­band talks about his in­ter­est in learn­ing about the re­li­gion, four years ago.

DUTCH­MAN Den­nis Muham­mad Ab­dul­lah, who will marry Jo­hor princess Tunku Tun Ami­nah Maimu­nah Iskan­dariah Sul­tan Ibrahim on Mon­day, has opened up about his in­ter­est in learn­ing about Is­lam, which led to him em­brac­ing the re­li­gion.

The 28-year-old for­mer semipro­fes­sional foot­baller said em­brac­ing Is­lam had given him peace, and he ad­mit­ted that he started learn­ing the re­li­gion from Mus­lim col­leagues in Am­s­ter­dam, the Nether­lands, four years ago.

“I be­gan learn­ing about Is­lam in 2014. I asked my Mus­lim col­leagues to take me to the mosque be­cause I wanted to see and hear how they prayed.

“The re­li­gious lessons in the Nether­lands were con­ducted in Dutch,” said Den­nis in an in­ter­view with the Jo­hor Royal Press Of­fice at Is­tana Bukit Serene here.

He em­braced Is­lam on May 31, 2015, in the Jo­hor Baru Kadi Of­fice and started read­ing ref­er­ences on Is­lam on the In­ter­net.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the bless­ing of Sul­tan of Jo­hor Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskan­dar to marry Tunku Tun Ami­nah, Den­nis was told to start an in-depth study of Is­lam.

“So, I started the Fardhu Ain class and be­gan mem­o­ris­ing short surah in the Qu­ran since the be­gin­ning of the year.

“Be­fore that, I fasted ev­ery Ra­madan since 2015 and would go to the mosque to per­form tarawih prayers.

“I’m also in­ter­ested in learn­ing Jawi. I get much ad­vice from those who spe­cialise in Is­lamic teach­ings,” he said, adding that his teach­ers told him not to hurry to grasp ev­ery­thing, but to pur­sue re­li­gious knowl­edge slowly.

Den­nis said he wanted to be a good Mus­lim and learn all obli­ga­tions, such as the prayers.

“My heart is open to ac­cept­ing Is­lam be­cause it has brought me peace. I am grate­ful to Al­lah be­cause I can fol­low all my learn­ing per­fectly with­out any ob­sta­cles.

“My par­ents have fully sup­ported my de­ci­sion to em­brace Is­lam,” said Den­nis when re­fer­ring to his par­ents, Martin and Hen­ri­ette Ver­baas.

He said he was also grate­ful to re­ceive con­sent for Tunku Tun Ami­nah’s hand in mar­riage from her par­ents, Sul­tan Ibrahim and Per­maisuri Jo­hor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sul­tan Idris Shah.

Ex­cite­ment is build­ing up for the nup­tials on Mon­day as the com­pound of Is­tana Be­sar and Is­tana Bukit Serene are bathed in colour­ful lights as dec­o­ra­tions have been put up ahead of the wed­ding.

Den­nis and his fa­ther, Martin, were seen along­side Jo­hor Coun­cil of Royal Court pres­i­dent Datuk Ab­dul Rahim Ramli and other state dig­ni­taries at the Is­ti­a­dat Mele­tak Kerja (ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony) on Thurs­day.

PIC COUR­TESY OF JO­HOR ROYAL PRESS OF­FICE

Den­nis Muham­mad Ab­dul­lah, who will marry Tunku Tun Ami­nah Maimu­nah Iskan­dariah Sul­tan Ibrahim on Mon­day, read­ing verses from the Qu­ran un­der the guid­ance of deputy di­rec­tor (en­force­ment) of the Jo­hor Is­lamic Re­li­gious

De­part­ment, Us­taz Khalid Sono.

PIC COUR­TESY OF JO­HOR ROYAL PRESS OF­FICE

Den­nis Muham­mad Ab­dul­lah (sixth from left) and his fa­ther, Martin Ver­baas (fifth from left), join­ing Jo­hor dig­ni­taries such as Jo­hor Coun­cil of Royal Court pres­i­dent Datuk Ab­dul Rahim Ramli (sec­ond from left) and state sec­re­tary Datuk Azmi Ro­hani (third from left) dur­ing the ‘Is­ti­a­dat Mele­tak Kerja’ (ini­ti­a­tion cer­e­mony) on Thurs­day.

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