An estimated 1,200 converts to Islam from across the Kingdom performed Hajj this year, according to reports.
Renee, a Filipino convert, returned to Riyadh on Wednesday from his first Hajj pilgrimage, an experience that he said made him feel like he was reborn.
Renee, now known as RayanBalangue, is among nearly 700 converts from different nationalities residing in Riyadh.
They were sponsored by various Cooperative Offices for Call and Guidance (COCG), including one based in Batha that sponsored 400 new converts, according to a source from the COCG.
Rayan told Arab News that he feels “completely overhauled spiritually. It was a life-time experience similar to what I have witnessed among several expatriates from different nationalities around the world wearing the same white cloth.”
“I used to think that Muslims are mostly Arabs, but to see all races and colors in one place from all over the world in the same garb, rubbing shoulders with one another, was an amazing experience,” said Rayan.
“It really indicates that we are in a place where there is no differentiation between race, leaders and ordinary people,” he added.
Rayan expressed his gratitude to those who made his journey possible without paying a single riyal.
“I would really like to meet whoever paid for my Hajj expenses to pay my respects and thanks. A sum of SR8, 000 is a big amount for me and I really could not have afforded that amount on my own,” he said.
AmrullahDiambangan, a graduate from the Islamic University in Madinah who teaches voluntarily at these Islamic centers, was among the preachers who accompanied the group.”
(Source: Arab News)