My name Is Martha, and I grew up in a culturally Middle Eastern home in the United States. Islam was our cornerstone faith. I believed that Allah was the one and only true God, and Mohammad was His messenger. I was not allowed to question Allah, the Quran, or the Islamic faith.
As a child, I was very inquisitive about Allah. The Quran Says that Allah’s nature is transcendent and distant from His creation. There was no way to bridge the great divide between humans and Allah. I thought that if Allah knew how much I loved Him, He just had to love me back and would want to become my friend.
I begged and begged my father for a Quran, and finally got one. I read furiously through the book, but my hunger was never satisfied. If I pursued Him tirelessly, why would He not pursue me back? Unsatisfied, I put my quest on hold.
My need to pursue Allah started to grow again while a junior in college. I was chatting in the student union one day with two of my closest friends when all of a sudden I said to them, "I’m not sure that Islam is meeting my needs. I’m just not satisfied, and I don’t think that the problem is me anymore."
Little did I know that my two friends were followers of Isa.? Also, shortly before our meeting in the student union, they had been praying for me. They now knew that there was an open door for them to talk to me about Isa Al-Masih.
Ever since I was a little girl, I was told that Christianity was wrong, and if I ever converted to Christianity, I would go straight to hell. Therefore, I didn’t want to hear what they had to say to me then. But they challenged me to just "Talk to Allah." “No! No! You don’t understand,” I said. “You don’t just talk to Allah. You have to become ritually clean before prayer, and you can only recite the Quran. There is no window to have a conversation with Allah. He is so distant!”
My friend, Mary, told me that the Allah of the universe is a God of love and compassion, and He desires a relationship with all His people. The one thing I was desperately seeking was a relationship with Allah! And the stark realization that Allah’s love could possibly be found through belief in Isa Al-Masih left me paralyzed with fear.
However, I did finally talk to Allah that night, confused as ever. Could Allah really pursue me the way I had been pursuing Him? I called out, "Okay, Allah, here I am! I’m talking directly to you in English, not Arabic. And I’m not reciting anything. Could you please tell me who You are? I’d really like to know." There was no flash of light, no booming voice from the sky, nothing. I quickly fell asleep.
While entering the mail-room a week later, I spotted Mary. I quickly approached her and asked, "Can I come to church with you sometime?" And as soon as I asked that, my hand went right up to my mouth in disbelief. She happily agreed, and invited me to go with her that next Sunday.
I had never been to a church and did not know what to expect. I don’t remember the sermon message that day, but I do remember the warm congregation. They were genuinely happy to speak with me even though I did not believe what they believed.
I went home to be with my family during our winter break. Mary called me there to invite me to go with her to a Christian youth conference over New Years. While I was contemplating on how to ask my dad, Mary and her small group at her church were praying furiously for me. When I asked my dad if I could go to the conference for four days and four nights, he cheerfully said, "Sure, have fun!" However, he told me to make sure it was okay with my mom. Again, the answer was yes!
At the youth conference, I had never seen so many people filled with such spiritual satisfaction and love for Allah. I learned about sin and why it separates us from Allah. But even more important, I learned about Isa Al-Masih’s mission here on earth. I learned about His death and resurrection which bridges the great divide between Him and people. I learned about His pursuit for mankind, and that every individual matters to Him and has a purpose on Earth.
I knew then that I had found what I’d been searching for since my childhood! I gratefully gave my heart, mind, body, and soul to Isa Al-Masih at that conference.
I knew that my acceptance of Isa Al-Masih as my Savior could result in me being disowned by my family. That was especially difficult for me since I am the oldest of four siblings. Even after my conversion, I was wary about my decision. I was on the brink of giving up my new faith for fear of my sibling’s future if I had to go away. No! I just can’t go through with this, I thought.
That evening, I prayed to Isa Al-Masih to help me somehow know that the decision I had made was the right one. Then I went out with a friend for a meal. There was a homeless man in the restaurant, and my friend began talking to him. Abruptly, my friend excused himself to use the bathroom.
Now the man and I were sitting alone. I looked up and met his eyes, and he gave me the warmest smile. He pointed his finger right at my heart from across the table and said, "I know that Isa Al-Masih is in your heart." And just like that, I knew that Allah had given me my answer. I was filled with unshakeable courage at that very moment. I knew that what I just experienced from this homeless man was a gift from Isa Al-Masih just for me--to encourage me in my new faith!
When I shared my new faith with my family, as expected, I was disowned. But I am now blessed with a new family--both earthly and divine. My heavenly Father now takes care of me daily, and we talk and talk. We live life together. I have finally found what I was looking for--a relationship with Allah in Isa Al-Masih. I’m now praying in faith to Isa Al-Masih to open the eyes and hearts of my parents and three siblings to join me in my faith in Him.
[Allah is a God of love and Compassion. We invite you to come learn more about His love and compassion given to the world in Isa Al-Masih. Read more testimonies of Muslims whose lives have been changed by Salvation in Isa Al-Masih.]
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