‘Islam has given me peace’
Johor princess’s fiance first learned about religion from colleagues in the Netherlands
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.
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.
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.