Merhaba! How does it feel to wake up on a new day as a Muslim? I’m so happy! Actually I’m so happy. There are some hardships and difficulties in Korea as a Muslim but instead of that I’m so happy because so many Muslims in Korea said congratulations In all line in YouTube in Instagram in many places everyone said congratulations Mashallah and the happiest thing is, I’ve become a Muslim. Cause I really admire this situation. So now I’m so proud of that I can say I’m Muslim and I’m on the right path and I’m with Allah and… I’m so happy. Yeah. Mashallah man. That’s… That’s amazing. So we have a couple of questions for you. If you’d like to. Sure. You got a lot of messages. Do you get also -you know- bad comments? Sure, there are still many Islamophobia and some people say Oh will you join Isis or will you be a terrorist and… But I don’t care. Negative people always see the negative things. So I don’t need to care about them. You grew up in a Korean family, right? Yes Catholic. Did you have any prejudices against Islam back then? Of course. Of course, I’ve had. When I was 8 years old. There was a 9/11. It was a big shock for me. Because every TV program, media, news always on the news about 9/11. And they talked about Islam, terrorists, Osama bin Laden. So when I was young I thought, “Oh Islam is a dangerous religion. One hand Qur’an and one hand sword, so many people think, “Maybe they can attack people for their religion.” So I had a lot of prejudices. But now I met the real Muslims, not in media. They thought me a lot of positive things and the real things, the real teaching in the Qur’an. Real teaching of Muhammad (pbuh). So I know that was the prejudice. Now I know the truth. That’s really cool man. I mean it’s a hard situation to be in. Yeah! Right, right! But I’m so lucky. I’m so lucky that I knew the real Muslim people. Which resources did you use when you were researching about Islam? You know the Risale-i Nur Collection Oh yeah, good question. At first, I researched in Google. Yeah. But It was not a good idea. It was not a good idea. Because there are so many bad things in the internet. I changed my thoughts “Oh maybe I should, meet, ask Muslim people.” So I searched a Muslim. Asked them: “Why don’t you eat pork? Why don’t you drink?” “Why did you wear hijab?” “What is the purpose of your life? Who is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? What do you think about Jesus?” and many things. And they answered me. And oh! This was totally different than I thought. And I asked Korean Imam. Searched about scholars. Risale-i Nur Collection helped me too. So now I know Islam is a really peaceful religion. And now I’m so happy. I’m so happy to know the truth. Yeah, mashallah. I wanna ask you, what was the thing that fascinated you the most about Islam? This is a really good question. The most impressive thing is the purpose of your life. The attitude of life. Because in Korea, we are educated about the competition. Like, study hard and you have to go to a good college and you have to get a good job Islam teaches you a different thing. Like the good job is not a real success. The real success is following Allah’s teaching well. And after that at the day of Judgement, you go to paradise if you follow his words well. And that is the real success. You know… Yeah like… It doesn’t make any sense for someone to… You just enter to this world and… What is your purpose? You’re just gonna invent something called telephone and then you’re just gonna leave this world. That’s your purpose. Yes! That doesn’t make any sense. Yeah, it doesn’t make any sense. It impressed me a lot. Like… “Wow, this is what I want.” Because I had lost my way. But it feels like, in the darkroom, like He gave me the light. Like I can see where I have to go. So it’s a really amazing feeling. Also what shocked you about Islam, when you were doing your research? So many things. Actually at first the shocking thing was hijab. Because at first, I thought Islam oppresses women. That’s the biggest thing I had against Islam. But when I was in Indonesia I asked them “Oh, why do you wear hijab?” And the answer was really different. Because I thought they’d say: “Oh I wear hijab because they forced me.” “Because it’s an obligation.” “Because I have to wear.” But the answer was totally different. They told me: “I chose this. I chose the hijab because I’m so precious.” Allah teaches me, Allah told me I’m precious. That’s why I wear a hijab. Because I don’t wanna show that to everyone. And that answer shocked me a lot. Oh my God, this is totally different. It’s different than what I thought. After that, I knew that. I realized that that was the faith. The belief. And it shocked me a lot. Allah doesn’t force you to anything. What Allah said, makes you more precious and healthier and happier. And there is always a reason. And it’s a really amazing thing for me. I know how you feel man. What Allah tells you is not oppression. It’s just a thing that will make you happier. Eternal happy. Exactly man. Yeah, it shocked me a lot. There are so many things. Also, did you make any other research about any other religion? Like you were a Catholic and… Sure. I studied about Catholicism first because my family is Catholic. And Buddhism, Hinduism… We have freedom about religion. There is a reason why I cannot choose any other religion. If there’s a God, He’s Almighty. The Only One. The Greatest and The Most High. Only Islam teaches you that. The only One True God. Other religions, they have many different types of God. I didn’t understand that from my heart. So… That’s why I chose Islam. Yeah… And it’s one of the principles that Risale-i Nur Collection proves. Because like… Imagine an army. What is easier? For one commander to command the army, or three commanders? One commander is much easier, right? Yeah, yeah! It’s more logical. Easy to understand. If my heart don’t move, I don’t wanna believe. It touched my heart. So… That’s why. Before taking the shahada and officially becoming a Muslim, were you afraid of some kind of a reaction from your family or your friends? Of course. Surely that’s the… That’s why I hesitated for a long time to do shahadah. But I was really afraid about the prejudice in society. Because in Korea there are so many prejudices and stereotypes. And if you say, “I’m Muslim.” It’s hard to get a job. And today! Today’s morning, my cousin texted my mom. “Oh I saw your son converted to Islam. So you persuade him well. And make him Catholic again please.” In the future I know that there will be a lot of pressure and opposition from society or my family. My belief is mine and nobody can be responsible for my life. This is my choice. And the relationship with Allah is only mine. And that’s how you dealt with it. You just faced it. Yes right. Yeah that’s brave and really good. How did your first prayer feel like? Oh yeah. Actually I did it in the … masjid. And Indonesian imam helped me. It felt like I was connected to something. I didn’t know that was Allah but it felt like I was connected to something. And it made me so peaceful. I’m with Him. So… And I pray to Him. Five times. Everyday. You pray five times a day? I’m really trying to do prayer. Because I really love those moments. Because it feels like I connect and I’m close to Allah. And it feels… It gives me peace of mind. Yeah. I really love the prayer. In the mosque. And I did it all together. You know. With my brothers. And I felt that “Oh I share this feeling… Between left side, right side, and this line. And this is in Korea. And the world. Billions of people share the same feeling with me. And it felt so amazing. Yeah. It’s like… The world… everywhere brothers share the same feelings together. And on the same direction. And how about your first fasting? How did that feel like? Was it hard? I remember because it was so hard. Because I didn’t know that I’d be thirsty. Because I thought, “Oh fasting? Just don’t eat food for a couple of hours. It’s not a big deal.” I felt like I’m dying. I practiced the feeling of a Muslim. What they did. And after fasting I drank the water. And it felt like I got everything of the world. And that moment was really important for me. Because that moment is when I started to have belief. It made me stronger. Every single day for a whole month. Because I did fasting for a month. When you drink water and eat something after fasting you feel grateful for the water. I’m so thankful for the food, water, “Oh then who created this? Who creates this water? Who creates this food? Who creates this nature?” and final question, “Who creates me?” And you understand the real owner of things. Yes! That’s what I got from Ramadan for fasting. I really wanna say: “If you want to understand Islam, why they believe this, just try to fast. And do you think worshipping is hard in Islam? I think compared to other religions it’s not easy because you have to take the time. Five times in prayer. Can’t eat something like pork or drink. At first it’s not easy. And especially for Koreans it’s not easy. But if you understand the reason… Why Allah says don’t eat pork? Why Allah says don’t drink? Why He says pray five times? Why He says fast for a month? If you understand the meaning of that then you can understand that it benefits you. Finally afterlife of course. But in your life. It benefits you too. Yeah it’s hard but if you overcome the injury then you can benefit a lot of things. Yeah and it makes total sense too right? Cause like… Imagine… He’s the One that gives you twenty four hours and He just wants one hour back by, you know, doing the five times prayer. Yes! And like, He feeds you all the time and He just wants you to give a break for one month. And that’s not much. Right? Yeah it’s just small hardships. Very small hardship. Allah is so merciful. You were an example for a lot of people. A lot of people heard about Islam after watching your videos. Were there any Korean people who watched your videos. And started doing research about Islam? I’ve never thought Koreans would watch my videos. Because I think Koreans are a bit negative about Islam. And they’re not interested in Islam. But I got some messages in Instagram. “Oh I was Korean who was interested in Islam. But I was also really afraid. But, I saw your video and I got a lot of information. And also I got the courage that I can tell other people. So if I get those kinds of messages I get so happy. That is amazing! That made me happy too man! Really that’s pretty cool! It’s all because of Allah! What do South Koreans think about Islam? Are they afraid, still? After the 9/11 attacks? Korean people are. They are not aggressive to Islam like other Islamophobic country. Because we don’t know about Islam well. So we are just afraid a little bit. Curiosity. Because if you don’t know something you are scared. If they know Islam well. Not in media things. Then I think their perspective will change. I am sure. What do you think about Turkish people? Oh it’s a good question. Actually most Koreans have good images about Turkey. Because there are some points. At the first World Cup, 2002, and we remember that. And so many people think Turkey is a brother country. And the second thing is so many Turkish people helped South Korea when we had hard times. Like you know. Korean war. They came to Korea and fought for us, and they took care of the war orphans. And the Koreans know about that. And we really appreciate that. And we think Turkey is a brother country. And I also think Turkey is a brother country. One person, helped me a lot to convert Islam. Oh really? Actually Turkey has a really big meaning for me. Yeah. He was Turkish? The person. Yeah. I made a video with him in his home in Ramadan. And I saw the Muslim family. That was my first time. Seeing the Muslim families dinner. So it was so impressive. And it was so beautiful. “Oh Muslim family. Wow it’s so amazing.” It touched my heart so. It was the moment that I wanted to become a Muslim. I feel you man. That’s amazing. Was it the guy that had the Risale-i Nur Collection? Yeah he had. And he gave me the book. Yeah about him. So he told me about the theories and the thoughts about actually he was really interesting And he talked about the universe, and Muhammad, and Allah, and Qur’an. And I think it’s really interesting. So many things I’m impressed. Cause you know. The Risale-i Nur Collection is also the tafsirs and commentaries that we read. It’s very common in Turkey isn’t it. It’s very common in Turkey and also in the world cause it’s been translated to. I think more than fifty languages. Hmm. Oh yeah right I’ve heard. Yeah actually it impressed me. And the last question. What would you like to say to your brothers and sisters who are watching you? Why should people choose Islam? I just wanna say that. See, Muslim people are just the same as other people. Islam is not a dangerous religion. That is the first step. Like for me, “Oh Islam is not a dangerous religion. Oh then what is different? And who are they? And what do they practice? What is in their religion? What is in the Islam? What is in the Qur’an?” Then in this process you can get a lot of things. That’s amazing man! I’m really happy to meet you too. I hope one day you can come to Istanbul so that we can have a whole conversation.