SHAFAQNA– Ezequiel Hussein Diaz is a young student of Al Mustafa International University of Qom where he and his wife study Islamic studies. He converted to Islam in early age of his life when he was only 11 years old.
Hussein Diaz was born in Tierra del Fuego, Rio Grande, south of Argentina in 1987 in a Catholic family; his father was an engineer and his mother a homemaker. He attended his primary school in Tierra del Fuego and studied accountancy at a university in the capital Buenos Aires. In 1998, Hussein’s parents converted to Islam at a mosque in Buenos Aires.
Later, his father began looking for ways to help him study Islamic faith. In 2007, Hussein Diaz made his first trip to South Africa and began studying the holy Qur’an in depth. Following his return in 2009, he started working as an instructor of the holy book in an Islamic school in Buenos Aires. After a while, he made three trips to the Islamic Republic of Iran. On his first trip, he attended an intensive course where he managed to know Shiism better. Hussein‘s second visit was for an international Quran competition in Tehran. On his third trip, he and his wife went to the holy city of Qom where they started another stage of their life as students at the Al Mustafa International University.
In an exclusive interview with Shafaqna, Hussein Diaz spoke about Islam in Argentina.
Shafaqna: Why are you interested in reciting the Quran?
Hussein Diaz: The Quran is the last book revealed by God to humanity, it is a perfect book to which everyone in their lifetime should at least once give themselves the chance to read it. I got interested in the Quran recitation when I was about 11, my parents had converted to Islam and since then I never heard anything more beautiful than the recitation of the Quran. I thought the Quran should be read like every ordinary book but it did not turn out to be like that. The combination of melody and sounds used to recite the Quran was one of the most beautiful topics that made me approach Islam and especially love the holy Quran.
Then I decided to learn Arabic to read the Quran and to study its grammatical rules commonly known as Tajwid which is by the way the correct way to read this text. It was difficult but never stopped me from learning, because the Quran is written in Arabic and being able to read it takes a lot of practice. Learning Arabic is also very difficult for Italian and Spanish-speaking people. It is much easier for a person born as a Muslim or of Arab origin to learn Arabic even though if they don’t know this language at all.
Shafaqna: How do you introduce Islam and the Quran to the followers of other religions?
Hussein Diaz: Islam is the last religion revealed by God Almighty. If anyone wants to talk to people of other faiths he or she should remind them that Islam is a religion of peace and submission to the divine will of God. Islam is not just a religion but rather a system of life. The holy Quran does not look like any other book, it has come from God, through the Archangel Gabriel was conceived to the Prophet Mohammad peace be with him and his family.
Shafaqna: What do you think about the position of the Quran and Islam in the Argentine community?
Hussein Diaz: Argentina has had an Islamic community for 60 years. The first Muslims of this Latin American country came from Lebanon and Syria. Those immigrants settled in different parts of the country and built communities. After the Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979, Islam grew worldwide and in Argentina it had a significant growth. Today, thanks to the efforts of our Muslim community, there are primary and secondary schools whose main objective is teaching the holy Quran to boys. They also teach basic knowledge of Islam to Muslims, Christians and followers of other religions.
As if you have a school, there is a recreational center for Muslim youth where they can play sports, do different activities in line with Islamic teachings. Thanks to God and the efforts of the Argentine Muslims, Halal products could be found at every store and shop, there is a Muslim cemetery where our dead are buried based on Islamic traditions.
Shafaqna: Do you consider international Quran competitions as an effective way to boost unity among Muslims?
Hussein Diaz: The holy Quran competitions are very effective to unite Muslims. In the contests held in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Quran reciters from all over the world attend. They see the friendship of Iranians and are treated and hosted well by the Shia. This shows them that the Islamic world is one as is the Quran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammad (S).
This text originally released by Shafaqna Spanish and translated by Shafaqna English.
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