ISTANBUL – A Beninese student in a scholarship to Turkey has converted to Islam, for being highly inspired by his teacher.
“I heard the Azan (the Muslim call to prayer) and loved it but never thought that I would become a Muslim someday,” Thibaut Gbetolossi Gbaguidi, 27, told Anadolu Agency.
Gbaguidi came to Turkey in 2017 to do a doctorate in Zoology at Ankara University, as part of Turkiye Scholarships.
Before he came to Turkey, he used to study at a university in Benin, where he met a group of Muslims for the first time when he was 17.
After studying the Turkish language in 2017, he went to university for doctorate where he met his Muslim inspiration.
“My supervisor Zehra Saricicek asked me many questions about my belief and inspired me to convert to Muslim,” he said.
“Now after converting to Islam, some of my Christian friends did not like my decision. But, I do not regret being a Muslim and I am very happy. I pray 5 times a day.”
Gbaguidi experienced Ramadan iftars for the first time last year when he was invited by his Muslim cousin Attikou Amadou, who is also studying in Ankara, to Asma Kopru International Student Association where people break their fasts.
“I went there but I was not a Muslim. However, I fasted 14 days to empathize with my friends during that time. Since then, I started to learn about Islam.” Gbaguidi said.
One of his friend Malian Mahmud Konta, who is studying theology in Ankara, used to tell Gbaguidi about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.
“I have read the Qur’an a few times before I converted to Islam.”