My name is Amir Saleem. I grew up in a strict Muslim country but my family was liberal. I did not consider myself a religious person. I even studied Marxist ideas because I thought they gave answers to my country's social problems. However, I never doubted my faith.
I believed that Islam was God's last and most perfect religion. It was based on the Qur'an, God's final revelation, and his last prophet Muhammad. Other religions were basically the same because they had all been revealed by one God. Unfortunately they messed up the original message of their founding prophets. Islam did not do this.
Religious Views Challenged
My religious views were confronted when I went to Europe for school. I ended up going to a Christian School. After sitting in my first Bible class, I asked, "How come your Word of God says one thing and our word of God (Al-Quran) says something else?" My teacher gently asked, "How do you know the Qur'an is the word of God?"
Her response completely changed me. I grew up in a world where everyone believed the Qur'an was given by God to the Prophet Muhammad. No one ever questioned that belief. That short talk pushed me to start searching for the truth about the Christian faith.
Reactions to Christian Claims
Like other Muslims, I was shocked by Christians’ claims about Isa Al-Masih. How could anyone believe a prophet from God was God Himself? Yet, something about my friends’ lives and faith impressed me. Their relationship with God and with others was different from anything I had ever seen. I often told them I did not want them to deny their faith. I just wanted to find a way that I could hold to Islam and they could hold to their faith.
Troubling Qur’anic Passages
Sometimes I found comfort in the Qur'an, but I began to have more questions than answers. The violent tone of many Qur’anic passages began to bother me. I compared them with the emphasis on love in the Injil.
The section of the Qur'an that upset me the most was about the prophet Muhammad. In Sura 33:37, God gives Muhammad permission to marry his stepson’s divorced wife. I clearly remember the first time I found this verse. I began to cry. All of my life I had been told that Muhammad was the best example to follow. Yet the Qur'an had many examples of how the "revelations" self-served the prophet himself!
Immediately I wrote a letter to my mother. She had one of the most well-known religious leaders in my country respond to me. He told me that I needed to focus on my secular studies and not worry about religion. Yet, as I studied the Bible more, many of my questions were being answered. I realized that Christ’s death on the cross was a historical fact that no honest person could deny.
Christ’s [Isa Al-Masih] character began to make a big impact on me. The most impressive fact was the many Old Testament prophecies about His coming. I was amazed to see how God had used hundreds of years of Jewish history to prepare for the Isa Al-Masih’s coming.
I was very interested in Christ, but I could not reject my heritage. Becoming a Christian was a direct betrayal of my family. I felt torn between these two faiths.
I Cannot Accept Jesus as God
I still could not accept that Jesus was God. He had never said, "I am God and you must worship me." I believed that the claims Christians made about Jesus were based on rumors and unreliable Gospels. The statements about Jesus being God had to be invented by the church.
Meaning of Isaiah 7:14 Revealed
I woke up one morning and suddenly realized the meaning of a verse I had found in Isaiah. I had read it several weeks before, but I had never understood its meaning. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Lord himself will give you a miraculous sign. The virgin is going to have a baby. She will give birth to a son. And he will be called Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
Isaiah then goes on to write, “A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace. The authority of his rule will continue to grow. The peace he brings will never end. He will rule on David's throne… It will last forever" (Isaiah 9:6).
God’s Prophecy is True!
I could not believe it! Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah [Isa Al-Masih] was not going to be just a prophet but God Himself! It was not something that had been made up by Christians! God promised that He would come in the flesh and start a kingdom that would last forever.
Trusting in Christ for Salvation
I trusted in Christ the next day. I cried uncontrollably as I turned to Christ. I had never felt much guilt, but I felt a great sense of relief from the burden of my sins. I had finally found the truth about God and His revelation of love to mankind in Jesus Christ [Isa Al-Masih].
Soon after I trusted in Christ, I decided to dedicate my entire life to telling the Good News of Christ among Muslims, and especially my own people. I came to the United States and received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biblical Studies.
[We invite you to visit us at http://www.isaandislam.com/way-of-salvation to learn more about God’s gift of Salvation. God loves you and waits to hear from you. Isa Al-Masih said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6)]
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