GEORGE TOWN: The concept of fasting attracted Vietnamese Nur Alisha Nguyen Thi Phuong Lam to embrace Islam.
The 29-year-old, who works as a line leader at a factory in Bayan Lepas, said fasting, one of the five obligations that every Muslim fulfils, brought with it virtues like patience and tolerance.
“When I saw people fasting, it really opened up my heart to the religion.
“I could see the true practice of Islam through the act of fasting,” she said.
Nur Alisha, who converted to Islam before Ramadan last year, said she always spent time in prayer to strengthen her faith.
“I have been in Malaysia for 10 years, but it was only last year that I decided to embrace Islam. I am so grateful that my family and friends have accepted my decision,” she added.
Nur Alisha said she was slowly learning about Islam each day.
“I’m still learning how to read the Quran,” she added.
Nur Alisha was among 600 guests who attended Iftar Perdana, a buka puasa event organised by Penang Hidayah Centre Foundation at Pesta Pulau Pinang in Sungai Nibong on Monday.
Earlier, Nur Alisha, together with two speakers and a moderator, held a forum to discuss fasting for those who were new to the practice.
About one-third of those who attended the event were mualaf (Muslim converts), who came with their family members and friends.
The guests enjoyed meals comprising mutton and chicken served with rice.
Organising chairman Mohd Yusni Ghazali said the annual event, which was in its ninth year in Penang, was organised nationwide at respective states.
“This is part of our efforts to raise funds for the centre. It is also a chance for people to get together and know one another.
“We are also thankful to those who collected donations for us at Ramadan bazaars,” he said in his opening speech.
Mohd Yusni said 200 new Muslims were at the event.
There was also a montage presentation, mass prayers and nasyid performance.