In a sensational development, British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, recently announced that he had converted to Islam.
The news of Collis embracing Islam was made public on Twitter, when people began to congratulate him on the microblogging site.
Soon after Collis, who’s fluent in Arabic, converted to Islam, he performed Hajj with his wife. This is the first Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca ever performed by a senior UK diplomat.
The photo of Collis with his wife Huda wearing the traditional white garments of Muslim pilgrims in front of the British consulate in Mecca has now gone viral on social media platforms.
Confirming the news, the 60-year-old diplomat wrote on Twitter, “God bless you. In brief: I converted to Islam after 30 years of living in Muslim societies and before marrying Huda.”
— Gihan (@Gihanovich) September 14, 2016
Collis is now being hailed as “Haji Simon” using the title reserved for those who perform Hajj in Mecca.
Collis had embraced Islam in 2011 shortly before marrying his Syrian wife. His conversion was known to a handful of his friends in the British diplomat fraternity, it was not a public knowledge in Riyadh.
Saudi Arabian writer Fawziah Albakr tweeted the photos on Twitter. She wrote in Arabic: “First British ambassador to the Kingdom undertakes the Hajj following his conversion to Islam. Simon Collis with his wife Huda in Mecca. Praise be to God.”
أول سفير بريطاني للمملكة يؤدي فريضة الحج بعد اسلامه:سيمون كوليز مع زوجته السيدة هدي في مكة. الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/Gk3323d3ce
— فوزية البكر (@fawziah1) September 12, 2016
Collis has had several postings in Muslim dominated countries such as Syria, Iraq, India, Qatar, UAE, Tunisia and Yemen before being posted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, in 2015.
(With inputs from Telegraph and Independent)