A Russian merchant has converted to Islam at a ceremony in Deputy Office for Non-Iranian Pilgrims' Affairs of Astan Quds Razavi in Mashhad.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): A Russian merchant has converted to Islam at a ceremony in Deputy Office for Non-Iranian Pilgrims' Affairs of Astan Quds Razavi in Mashhad.
The ceremony took place at the threshold of the birth anniversary of Imam Reza (AS) and concurrent with the eighth day of Karamat ten-day celebrations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Seyyed Javad Hasheminejad, the director of the deputy office, stated that after the Islamic Revolution and upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, Iran boosted relations with Russia and other CIS republics.
"We have observed an increase in the number and population of Muslims in Russia and some CIS republics during the past decades."
According to him, Islamic values such as equality, brotherhood, peace and friendship have so far attracted a great number of non-Muslims in Russia and also across the world.
Asking the non-Muslims to study more on the religion of Islam and to contemplate before conversion to Islam, Hasheminejad expressed Astan Quds Razavi's readiness to boost the awareness of non-Muslims on Islam, further noting that, "Islam calls upon humans to read books."
The newly converted Russian Muslim, who preferred to remain anonymous due to his business activities in Western countries, said he has studyed about Islam for five years.
"Thanks to my studies, I found Shia Islam the best religion to convert to."
He touched upon Islamophobia in the West, saying European states have pictured a negative image of Islam to mar the face of Islam and Muslims.
The newly converted Russian, who has changed his name to Ali, stated that he converted to Islam for fear of the Doomsday and the life after death.
"I ask the almighty God to have His mercy upon me."
In his second visit to Mashhad, Ali said he has experienced "nothing other than grace and glory at this holy shrine."
The ceremony awarded the Russian Muslim merchant a certificate of conversion to Islam, a copy of the Holy Quran in English and several other books.