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Dutch fiancé of Johor princess shares his journey in embracing Islam

JOHOR BARU: Dutchman Dennis Muhammad Abdullah, who will marry Johor princess Tunku Tun Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Ibrahim on Monday has opened up about his interest in learning about Islam which led to him embracing the religion.
The 28-year-old former semi-professional footballer said that embracing Islam has given him peace, and he admitted that he initially began learning from Muslim colleagues in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, four years ago.
"I began learning about Islam in 2014. I asked my Muslim colleagues to take me to the mosque because I want to personally see and hear how they prayed .
"The religious lessons in the Netherlands were conducted in Dutch," said Dennis Muhammad in an interview with the Johor Royal Press Office at Istana Bukit Serene here.
Dennis said he received views and advise from his Muslim colleagues. He embraced Islam on May 31, 2015, in the Johor Baru Kadi Office and started reading various references on Islam on the internet and often went to the mosque to perform his prayers.
After receiving the blessing of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar to marry Tunku Tun Aminah, Dennis was told to start an indepth study of Islam.
"So I started the Fardhu Ain class and began memorising the short surahs in the Quran since the beginning of the year.
"Before that, I completely fulfilled the fasting every Ramadan since 2015 and I would go to the mosque to perform tarawih prayers.
"I'm also interested in learning the Jawi script and at the same time, I get much advice from those who specialise in Islamic teachings," he said, adding that his teachers told him not to hurry to grasp everything but to pursue religious knowledge slowly.
Dennis said he wants to be a good Muslim and learn all obligations such as the prayers.
"My heart is open to accepting Islam because it has brought me peace. I am grateful to Allah because I can follow all my learning perfectly without any obstacles.
"My parents have fully supported my decision to embrace Islam," said Dennis when referring to his parents Martin and Henriette Verbaas.
He said he was also grateful to receive consent for Tunku Tun Aminah's hand in marriage from her parents Sultan Ibrahim and Permaisuri Johor Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah.
Dennis previously pursued vocational education in mechanical engineering and is a former semi-professional footballer in the Netherlands. He was a former manager for the Darul Ta'zim football club's Concept Store and Cafe and former marketing manager for the Tampines Rovers Football Club in Singapore.
Excitement is buidling up for the nuptials on Monday as the compound of Istana Besar and Istana Bukit Serene are bathed in colourful lights as decorations have been put up ahead of the wedding.
Dennis and his father Martin were also seen alongside Johor Council of the Royal Court president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli and other state dignitaries at the "Istiadat Meletak Kerja" (initiation ceremony) on Thursday.

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