How a 30-minute Presentation Can Change Someone’s Life?

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Merve Koca

Translator: Fatıma Nur Dinçer

Until a few years ago, we were informing foreign visitors about the Blue Mosque and Islam in the Sibyan School(infants’ school) building, which is as historic as the mosque, adjacent to the courtyard wall of the mosque. We would carry these out in English, accompanied by a slide show, by inviting visitors who were waiting around the Blue Mosque during congregational prayer times at noon and the afternoon, as then the mosque is only open to worshippers.  

That day we only had one attendee: a French woman living in Slovenia. It was in fact a rare scenario, giving a presentation to a single person. Having had a ready presentation the heart wished that more people would listen, but now I look back on it, it was all worth it. Our guest listened to the presentation alone, got emotional from time to time, then asked a few questions, and finally took some materials and left. 

So far everything is as normal as it should be. If the same person had not come back three months later, we most probably and naturally would have forgotten her. So, this is when things get interesting. 

In a lesson that I had attended on Wednesday that week, we had read the following Hadith; “It is better for you to guide a person (to Islam) than to have red camels.” Our teacher also added that dawah (preaching) can be done in many ways and that we should look for opportunities and find creative ways for this. 

The following day, I met an American mother-daughter outside, whom I had met before in Sultanahmet, and of course, this seemed like a good opportunity to do some dawah. We had breakfast, we spent about three hours together. But for some reason, a manner of stillness came over me that day, I could hardly even speak. I listened to them; hours passed with almost no direct subject of religion. This later bugged me, and I found myself saying “I could have said this, the right time had come, I could have said that…,” I even lost my sleep at night because of this. Forget finding a creative way to preach, I was not even able to mention the most standard of things that day.  

A Surprise Visit  

The next day, on a blessed Friday, I asked God for something beautiful to happen which would lift my morale. At least it will put my mind at ease, I was in the full knowledge that guidance was not in our hands, but a hint indicating that we are doing our best and that Allah is pleased with us was all I wished for. 10 minutes later, a woman had entered the room and mentioned how she had attended this presentation before. When she mentioned that I remembered her, she was the lady who had come a few months ago, listened to our presentation alone, and had teary eyes from it. And now here she was, saying that she had read the books we presented her then, researched Islam, and that she wanted to take her shahada (testimony of faith)! She was unsure how she would be able to do this in Slovenia so she had decided to travel here. She took her shahada next to us, and later even moved to Turkey. 

For me, this event was like a miracle, an indication that Allah always watches over us and answers prayers. 

This article was originally written in Turkish. Click to read it! Yarım Saatlik Bir Sunum İnsan Hayatını Nasıl Değiştirir?

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