KUALA LUMPUR – Model Felixia Yeap disappointed a crowd which had gathered to watch her convert to Islam at Hidayah Centre in Melawati on Thursday. She failed to turn up.
Many had gathered there from as early as 10am after social media reported on the matter.
Yeap was supposed to recite the Shahadah (declaration of faith), but neither she nor the management were seen at the premises.
At 9pm, she took to Facebook to announce she had embraced the faith at the Taman Tun Dr Ismail mosque at 6.30pm earlier in the day.
“Jam 6.30pm tadi…saya telah selamat mengucap syahadah saya di sebuah masjid di TTDI.
“Alhamdullilah… selamat bergelar seorang Muslimah walaupun diberi extra dugaan hari ini. Amat bersyukur dengan kawan2 yang hadir tadi.“
She said her mother just arrived and gave me two ang pows, saying: “Ma is giving you some money as good luck for you and for your new life.”
“I held my laughter. And I told her: ‘Ma, but your money came from me too…’”
The 28-year-old former Playboy model, however, took to Facebook to deny that she had revealed details to the media and said the location of her conversion was kept a secret.
“To those who spread rumours that I will recite the Shahadah at the Hidayah Centre, Melawati, this is the month of Ramadan, don’t spread false news.
“I never revealed to anyone the location and time the ceremony will be held, since the recital is between me and God,” she said, adding that it was a private matter.
Yeap had previously announced that she would convert to Islam on the fifth day of Ramadan, which falls today.
It also coincided with her birthday.
Meanwhile, in her blog posting titled “Hari ini saya akan pulang” (Today, I am going home), Yeap expressed her sentiments about life and her journey before discovering Islam.
“I went to Catholic church every Sunday evening for 2 years. I’ve tried to understand Christianity. I’ve tried to find meaning in worshipping Kuan Yin and others.
“I also tried to adopt Buddhist practices.
“But my heart never felt close to God. My heart never felt touched.
“Today is a historic date for me. It’s like a rebirth.
“Incidentally, this year, my birthday falls on the 5th of Ramadan.
“I’m more excited to know that this date falls on a Thursday, the Prophet Muhammad’s favourite day,” she wrote.
An increasing number of young Australian men and women are now crossing over and converting to Islam. Now, A Current Affair takes you inside the family homes where everything is changing.
Arnoud van Doorn, a former far-right Dutch politician who later accepted Islam and became a Muslim, has announced his plans to launch a new Islamic party in his native Holland.
The Islamic Party for Unity will be contending for three seats in the upcoming municipal elections on March 19.
Doorn, who once co-produced the anti-Islamic film ‘Fitna’ along with former friend and notorious anti-Muslim propagandist Geert Wilders, told the NL Times on Sunday that it was ‘only logical’ for Muslims to have political representation.
“Our standpoints are based on the Islam. We come up for minorities and the welfare of animals,” he said. Asked about what his party’s stance would be on homosexuals, Doorn said that all acts of affection in general were private affairs and thus should be kept private.
Doorn accepted Islam after criticisms of the film ‘Fitna’ encouraged him to look into Islam. Shortly after converting, he performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. He now acts as a voice for Holland’s one million Muslims, around 15,000 of whom are like himself converts to the religion.
Barmakid Family (600s-900s)
The Barmakids were a family of Buddhist administrators from the city of Balkh, in what is now Afghanistan. When the Umayyad Caliphate conquered the area in the the mid-600s, the family converted to Islam. After the Abbasid Revolution in 750, the Barmakids rose to prominence as talented administrators. They carried with them centuries of experience in the Persian Empire of how to manage large government bureaucracies, something the Arab Abbasid caliphs were ignorant of.
As viziers, they exercised great influence on the formation of the empire in the late 8th century. Yahya ibn Khalid al-Barmaki was particularly influential. He was appointed as the tutor and mentor to the young Harun al-Rashid, who would go on to become the caliph during which the Abbasids had their golden age. Under his tutelage, Harun al-Rashid managed to establish peace with the empire’s neighbors, exponential economic growth, the patronage of scholars, and a system of infrastructure that rivaled that of ancient Rome. The Barmakid family as a whole thus had a huge impact on the political shape of the Muslim world that would continue for centuries.
Berke Khan (Unknown-1266)
As the grandson of the great Mongol conqueror, Genghis Khan, Berke Khan was an important figure in the Mongol world in the mid-1200s. Like other Mongols, he originally practiced a form of pagan shamanism. As the leader in the Golden Horde – a Mongol army – he was sent to the North Caucasus Mountains and Eastern Europe to subdue the Kipchak Turks. He eventually managed to lead armies all the way into Hungary.
Hulagu Khan’s army attacking Baghdad
Then during his travels back towards the Mongol homeland, he stopped in Bukhara where he questioned local Muslims about their beliefs. He was convinced of the message of Islam and converted, becoming the first Mongol leader to accept Islam. After his conversion, many of the soldiers in his army also converted, leading to tension with the other Mongol armies, who were ravaging Muslim lands, including the ancient capital of the Abbasids, Baghdad.
After hearing of the sack of Baghdad in 1258 by his cousin, Hulagu Khan, Berke promised vengance, declaring, ”He (Hulagu) has sacked all the cities of the Muslims, and has brought about the death of the Caliph. With the help of God I will call him to account for so much innocent blood.” By allying with the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt, Berke managed to hold back Hulagu’s army enough to prevent a major invasion (and destruction) of the remainder of Muslim lands in Egypt, Syria, and the Hijaz.
Zağanos Pasha (Unknown-1461)
Of Greek or Albanian origin, Zağanos Pasha was drafted into the elite Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire as a child. Like other Janissaries, he was educated in Islam, civil administration, and military matters. He was soon appointed as a mentor and advisor for a young Mehmed II, who would later become the seventh sultan in the Ottoman dynasty.
When Mehmed became sultan, he appointed Zağanos Pasha as his second vizier. Zağanos Pasha was commonly consulted on all matters of state, especially the siege and conquest of Constantinople in 1453. During the siege, he was given command of a section of the army north of the city, and his troops were among the first to successfully capture a portion of Constantinople’s legendary walls. His legacy lives today in the numerous endowments (including mosques, soup kitchens, and public baths) in his hometown of Balikesir as well as in Edirne.