I grew up in an Islamic setting, surrounded by Muslims. As an adult, I was a typical Muslim, very enthusiastic about my religion and culture. I was proud of my identity looking down on all non-Muslims. I was determined to be a good Muslim.
After graduating from college and working for a little while, I started my own business. Running my own business was not easy. It went bankrupt and I built up debts I couldn't pay back. I realized I would soon end up in jail. To avoid this, I sold everything I could and left the country. I left my debts behind too. Those I owed money to could not reach me.
In my new country I lived with two foreigners, one was an Arab and the other a Westerner. We, the Muslims, planned to convert the Christian. We tried to convince him to renounce Christ and follow Muhammad but he was stubborn. During our last debate about Christianity, we ended our conversation like this: He asked me: "Do you believe that God is all powerful and that nothing is impossible for Him?" I replied: "Yes, of course!" He asked, "Would it then be impossible for Him to come to earth and take human form?"
Before I could answer him, somebody came, so we had to change the subject. The topic never came up again, but deep in my heart a seed was sown.
I started another company. This time I succeeded, which made me prideful. I wanted to get rich fast so that I could get rid my debt. I gambled and took some dangerous risks. When I did this, I made enemies. So I fled again, leaving everything behind.
In my new situation in yet another country, I found myself in a deep pit. Sometimes I had to sleep in the street and even go hungry. I lost all hope. I went to the mosque to try to make peace with Allah, but my Muslim brothers turned their backs on me. I became depressed and I thought about committing suicide.
An acquaintance suggested to me that I should find some Christians. He told me they would help me and even provide a job. Despite my attitude against Christianity, I decided to follow my friend's advice.
I didn’t know about churches. But I wasn't looking for a new religion but a way out of my turmoil. One Sunday morning, I found a church in the newspaper and went. The service was different from what I expected, but I enjoyed it. Within a few weeks I made several friends. They welcomed me to their activities even though I was a Muslim. My bad attitude toward Christians began to change. The job was no longer the biggest reason for me to go to Church. I went to church to see the friends I made. I began to think about converting them to Islam.
After visiting the church for awhile, I decided to convert to Christianity. It was an outward conversion. On the inside I was still a Muslim and the same old person. Immediately after being baptized, I secretly confessed the Shahadah. Only God and I knew what was really in my heart at that time.
We opened a new branch of our church. Since I was looking for a job and the church needed a janitor. The pastor asked me to fill the position. I didn’t really want the job, but I didn’t have any other options, so I accepted it. The pastor also told me that I could live in the Church to reduce my expenses. I was amazed that the pastor trusted me. My work was easy, so I began studying the Bible. I thought that, if I could handle the Bible well, it would be easier to lead my Christian friends to Islam.
After my outward conversion, I began digging in the Bible for clues that brought Islam and Christianity together. However, I began to notice that the differences between them were so deep these two religions could not be from the same source. Before long, I had many doubts.
Out of fear, I kept all of my doubts inside. I thought if my pastor knew I had doubts, he would throw me out of the church and take my job. At the time, I was unaware that these fears were a lie from Satan to keep me in darkness and under his control. We can always be honest with God about any doubts.
I finally decided to find the truth at any cost. I fasted for three days in a row and for the first time, I prayed earnestly. I asked God to reveal the truth to me and nothing but His truth. I promised Him that if He would answer my questions and reveal Himself to me, I would follow His path even if it was different than Islam, Christianity, or Judaism.
I waited for several weeks but nothing happened. I became very depressed. Finally, I decided to talk to the pastor. At the end of our meeting, I told him that I couldn't find anywhere in the Bible that talked about Jesus being God or about God being a triune God. Immediately, he opened his Bible and asked me to take a look in the Gospel at John 10:30-33, I John 5:8-12, and I John 5:20.
Suddenly, something incredible happened. It was as if I had been blind and I began to see. I began to read the Bible with more clarity and understanding. The words of the Bible came alive as I read them.
Monday afternoon was a beautiful, clear spring day. It was my third day of exploring God's Word. Whenever I got tired of reading I got up and stood by the window to look outside. One of these times when I looked out something strange began to happen:
A bright light appeared coming from the Southwest. It looked like a star heading toward me. I was amazed because I had never seen a star during the day. I thought it might be a comet coming to strike the earth. As it kept coming, I became more and more scared. I returned to my Bible and tried to look for where it talks about a comet coming to hit the earth. Instead I found Revelation 2:8-10.
Immediately after reading the last sentence I looked again and the star stopped. I looked at it closely to see if what I was looking at was real or just a vision. As far as I could tell, it was real. It stayed in the same place all night.
Still skeptical, I decided to forget about it. I put my Bible away and turned on the radio. The first words that came out of the speaker were, "Yes it's true. All I want is to be with you. Yes it's true, yes it's true!" I knew God spoke to me. I realized that God is not just someone who hears and does miracles but He is also a God who seeks to develop a personal relationship with us. Jesus let me know the consequences of following Him while living in the world and invited me to become His.
A couple days later, I decided to renounce Islam and put my faith in Christ. The next morning, I called my pastor and told him about my decision. We went together to a remote place. There I made a clear declaration that I would follow Christ. We prayed and then we went back to his home.
After turning away from Islam, I confessed my sin and received Christ as my Savior, Lord and God. This time my confession was real. I was baptized immediately. When I went into the water, it symbolized my death to my sin, which was buried with Christ. Coming out of the water symbolized my resurrection into a new life in Isa Al-Masih. This time I was truly baptized with faith in Christ and surrendered to Him.
It has been three and half years since my conversion. These years have been a period of transformation in my character, thinking and behavior. The Lord has met my needs and provided the money I needed to pay my debts. Christ gave me a new family and friends. I am still the janitor and watchman at our Church. I have also begun writing articles and materials about Islam.
Without Christ in my life, I was in a mess. If Christ didn't save and protect me, I would be destroyed without hope. Christ has set me free from my troubles and literally saved my life from destruction. He has given me a new and abundant life, full of hope, peace and joy.
[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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