New British Muslim converts prepare for Hajj

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Up to 25,000 British Muslims are expected to travel to Mecca the birthplace of Islam to complete their Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam.

Many of the pilgrims are new British converts to Islam with ever more Britons choose to become Muslims.

Mikael is a new Muslim convert, initially he looked into other religions for a spiritual and fulfillment lifestyle but Islam caught his eye and spent more than 4 years studying the religion before he became a Muslim.

Mikael sail, I am Lutheran Christian by my background, I was thinking about Buddhism, meditation and all sorts of things but finally I arrived in Islam and made sense to me bringing peace to me.

Most Britons who convert to Islam tend to perform Hajj pilgrimage as soon as they are well versed in Islam despite its high cost.

Here Mikael declared his intention to do Hajj with his wife Amina. They attended a seminar explaining how to perform Hajj rites and rituals with a few days before he goes on this spiritual journey to the holy land, a trip inflamed his feelings, longing for the moment he casts his eyes on Arafat, Muzdalifa and Mina.

On attending this seminar, Mikael said: I am just here to learn about the rituals of the hajj and try to get all the basics rites and rituals and remembering all the Duaas and things that I need to do. And of course I need to complete my Hajj with my wife.

Amina, his wife, has been his teacher through his spiritual journey. She said, I hope I will be a support for him. We both had the intention to do this and "Alhamdulillah" Allah has made it easier for us by grating us an invitation to the holy land.

A study of a multi-faith group revealed more than 5,500 men and women adopt Islam every year. The 2001 census put the figure of the British Muslims population at 1.59 million out of a total UK population of 57.1 million. However, a recent report on religion has put the figure of British Muslims at more than 2.8 million.