BY DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL MAR 10, 2022 –
Bünyamin Yıldız, a Netherlands-born Turkish imam, takes pride in having helped 150 people convert to Islam during his stint in the country. Working at mosques operated by the Netherlands Diyanet Foundation associated with Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs (DIB), Yıldız says Prophet Muhammad’s words guide him to lead more people to Islam.
During his tenure of nine years in two mosques in the European country, his efforts converted people from the Netherlands, as well as from Poland, Russia and China to Islam.
Yildiz, 34, hopes to convert more people in his last post as imam of Ulu Mosque in Bergen op Zoom, a city in the southern Netherlands.
Yıldız told Anadolu Agency (AA) his inspiration was “sahabe” (sahabah – companions of Prophet Muhammad who spread Islam to different countries). “I carry the same intention and get the results. I feel blessed to help others,” he said. He attributes the conversions to the conduct of Muslims. “My guide is Prophet’s hadith (saying) which urges the faithful to ‘make things easy for the people, make them calm with glad tidings and do not repulse them.’”
Sydney Zandwijken, a 21-year-old man, is among the Muslim converts he guided. The two met at Mevlana Mosque where Yıldız previously worked in Rotterdam. He says he was influenced by his Muslim friends and Yıldız helped him convert. “I was looking for peace and Islam brought it to me,” he said.