Hussein Nabanga, Vanuatu’s First Muslim

Late Nabanga Hussein, or his real name John Henry Nabanga, certainly took a very important role in the development of Islam in Vanuatu. He is the first Ni-Vanuatu to embraced Islam also the first to introduce Islam in the archipelago. He is the preacher who make these Islam religion received by the people of Vanuatu.

Nabanga born and raised in the village of Mele from a large family with seven children. At around the age of 30, he intends to grasp the concept of worship of God. As a christian, he questioned the true nature of God and curious about the purpose of life in this world and the hereafter.

He went to India, initially to study the gospel and unexpectedly, Islam convinced him and he switch to study Islam in the land of the Taj Mahal, where he met many Muslims and the journey begins.

Nabanga spent five years studying the Koran, and in 1973, he returned to Vanuatu with new status, a Muslim. Arriving in his home country, he began preaching. Eventually after some time, his family began to accept the religion he introduced.

In the Muslim circles in Vanuatu, Late Nabanga is a source of learning of Islam religion. He answered a lot of questions about Islam that emerge in the communities. He also gave a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) which is related to religious matters. He is also well known as a sincere and tireless person because he can teach Islam with patience and in a way that can make sense in the society, and by his ways, surprisingly he was very liked by the people, not only Muslims, but also non-Muslims.

Late Nabanga died in 1993, but Muslims beleive Islam in Vanuatu will continue to grow.

Source: Republika.co.id