Eminent Islamic scholar from the Philippines Omar Penalber invited Muslims and non-Muslims to the “Path to Salvation” while delivering a lecture at the 11th Ramadan Forum under the slogan ‘A Breeze of Mercy’ organised by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM.).
He started the lecture by discussing various criteria for salvation and said that today there are many religions that claim to be on the right path that will help people achieve the true salvation. Although, they know only a little about it.
“Reflect yourself whether your religion is one of the criteria. If not please seek the truth,” he said.
Then he discussed about the meaning of Islam at length and gave proof from the verses of the Qur’an that only Islam is the religion of all the prophets and the only religion that is acceptable in the sight of Almighty “Allah”.
He also discussed various topics like the oneness of Allah and gave proof from the verses in the Qur’an and saying of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). At the same time he also discussed about the Articles of Faith and the five Pillars of Islam while mentioning verses from the Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
He also cited some historical background of the Philippines. He explained that the Philippines were Islamic country before the Spaniards invaded the country 700 years ago. And that, there were lots of Datu’s and Raja’s who fought for their people and beliefs.
He called upon everyone not to judge Islam by what they see portrayed of some Muslims in the biased media. “Judge Islam by what it teaches about and surely you will attain the true meaning of life, success, happiness and peaceful living in this world and the hereafter. As long as we are strong, don’t hesitate to seek the truth, because the truth will set you free,” he said.
After the lecture, a few members of the audience raised many questions such as: Whether those people who died before Islam or those who did not become Muslims as they didn’t hear about Islam will attain Paradise? Why Jesus will come back? Why Muslim woman wears abaya? Why a Muslim man can marry four wives and woman can’t? Why I didn’t hear about Mohammad (PBUH) while reading Bible, but now as I am studying Islam I always hear about Jesus and all other prophets that I believe in Christianity?
As the scholar answered all the questions, it also opened the minds and hearts of 25 Filipinas who accepted Islam and declared that there is no god but Allah and Jesus was a prophet and Mohammad (PBUH) is the last and final Messenger of Allah.
At the end of the programme two men and two women won free Umrah trips. The lucky winners were Noorah Saira, Girly Viloria, Julius de Vera besides the fourth winner whose name was not available immediately. Gregorio Balierete and Jennifer Abonado won an iPad each.