A Japanese academic who learned about Islam during his religious education in Japan and converted after falling in love with the religion has decided he wants to help promote it in his home country.
Ali Hiroaki Kawanishi, who studied Christian theology at Doshisha University in Kyoto, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that after converting to Islam he became a Ph.D. candidate in Kalam – Islamic scholastic theology – in Germany.
"While studying Christianity, lectures were given at the faculty to provide brief information on different religions such as Islam and Judaism. I also attended these classes. I learned things that were different from the Islam that I knew (earlier)," Kawanishi said.
The academic explained how he decided to become a Muslim: "One day I woke up and decided to convert to Islam."
"That day, without hesitation, I went to the mosque and became a Muslim. In the real sense, nothing happens that Allah does not wish. I can say, 'I have been blessed with Islam,'" he said.
Kawanishi said that in 2015 he began his master's degree in Civilization Studies program at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul, Turkey and that he also studied Islamic sciences at the Istanbul Foundation for Research and Education (ISAR).
Noting that he is continuing his doctoral work at Germany’s University of Tübingen, he said his habits did not change much after he became a Muslim, but he lived a healthier life.
Saying he wants to study Islamic theology in Japan, Kawanishi added that he had never heard of a fellow Japanese working in the field of Islamic theology in Japan or Europe.
"This situation is very special for me. I'm enjoying this," he said.
"If I can make even one person happy by helping promote Islam in Japan in the future, I would be very happy," he said.