हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Yousuf Youhana converted to Islam: Teammates

Published: Saturday, September 17, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Karachi:Religion is generally a very sensitive and potentially explosive topic in Pakistan. So it is natural that when one of the country's top cricketers decides to embrace Islam after being born a Christian, it should invoke a lot of discussion and interest.

And for various reasons one as a rule tends to avoid reporting on such issues which are purely of a personal nature and specially so when the concerned person himself is not keen to speak about it publicly.

But the fact remains that Yousuf Youhana is a much celebrated cricketer of Pakistan and when he decides along with his family to say the Kalma, it is an event that can't be ignored even if Youhana himself is not eager to speak about it and is neither denying or confirming the event.

But some of his teammates and friends confirm that Youhana on a recent trip to Jeddah finally took the decision to convert to Islam and he was supported in this by his wife Tania and children.

"The conversion took place with members of a tableeghi jamaat present with him in Mecca where he and his family said the Kalma and later performed Umra. Youhana and his family have also been issued certificates in the holy place confirming their Muslim status which allowed them to perform Umra," confirmed one player.

Those who are aware of how events led to Youhana converting to Islam say he had gradually started becoming interested in the Islamic teachings some years back when he moved around with the Pakistan team and saw them praying and preaching.

"It is also true that two players of the Pakistan team played a key role in helping him take the decision which was first opposed but then supported by his wife," a source said.

"The truth is Youhana had tried to take the decision to become a Muslim some years back but facing lot of opposition and emotional blackmail from his wife, parents and other relatives he stalled the inevitable. He then convinced his wife and children of the need to become Muslims and some players had also played a key role in this process."

The source said Youhana had already taken his children out of a modern private school in Lahore and enrolled them in a school with more Islamic leanings.

"He is facing a tough time because his parents are not happy with his decision. And he is at the moment trying to balance things and get them through this tough period," the source said.

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