It was a question that I had been asked on more than ane occasion after converting to Christianity. I had heard this question from both Christians and Muslims. From the Christians it was a question of curiosity or emotion upon seeing how God had changed my life. As for Muslims, it was a question which was directed at offending and humiliating me. For the Christians, they wanted to know how and when I decided to follow Jesus Christ. But for the Muslims the question was, "You are a Christian?" (MASIHI in arabic). When I heard this question, in the begining it was dangerous and complicated for me, not because it was difficult or incomprehensible, but rather because it put me in the middle of a confrontation between my soul and the challenges around me. And because of this, the question required a sincere decision in order that I might experience my new point of view conscienciously.
This was just a part of the issue. The other part had to do with the fact that every time someone asked me the question "Why did you stop being a Muslim?", they sincerely wanted to know what I had found in Jesus in order to leave Mohammed. It was in 1976 that I turned 12 years old. That year with my best friend, we bought a Moroccan newspaper in Arabic. At the time I did not know why we bought this newspaper and furthermore at an age so young to read it. But now I understand that God was preparing the way for me to get saved using this newspaper.
What was in this newspaper? Well, my friend and I found an ad in Arabic that said, "If you want to receive a Bible Correspondence course and a Bible, write to this address." It was the address of a Ministry in France that was focused to North Africa.
This announcement didn't really get my attention because I didn't know what these Bible Study courses were all about, nor did I know what the Bible was. Actually, the only thing that got my attention was that it said "... if you want to receive a Bible and some Bible Correspondence courses for free write to ..."
The two of us decided to write to the address in Marseilles, France. After waiting about two weeks, the first course about creation came in the mail. Both of us were really happy to receive these lessons in the mail.
But I was especially happy to the point of selfishness over the matter. It made me feel really important. I didn't want anyone else to discover this address. I only wanted that they write to me and that no one else share this experience. After about two years, my cousin discovered that I was having correspondence with Christians. And he warned me that if the police discovered this, they would throw me in jail. I was just 14 years old and jail was something I feared. So from that moment on I began to ask myself, "Why do the people turn away and don't accept information concerning Christianity?"
For fear of going to jail, I stopped my correspondence. As time went by, I began to forget it all. But for God, nothing is forgotten. One day I was looking for a radio station and I discovered an Evangelical program in Arabic called NUR AL NUR ("Light Over Light" in Arabic). It was broadcasted from Monte Carlo. I could then listen because no one knew that I was in contact with the "Good News". And thanks to the radio, I discovered many addresses that offered me the Gospel.
Both my age and my curiosity continued to grow, I felt pushed without reason like so many other Muslims to reject Christianity. According to the Muslims, the Christians (The Masihiyin):
But Islam teaches us exactly the opposite, i.e. the Christian Bible cannot be respected because it has been altered, there are not four gospels, Jesus was not crucified, and Jesus is not God. So as a Muslim I had to reject Christianity. It was false. And for me to change my religion would would mean that I was blaspheming God (Allah). I would be looked on as an atheist (Kafir). This would be terrible thing to do and a costly decision to make. Up till now I had practiced all the pillars of Islam except that of doing the pilgrimage to Mecca (which can be done at any point in the span of one's lifetime).
It was a continiouse battle in my life, both inside of me and outside. Inside I had doubts about what the truth was and I could not rest because I worried about what people would think of me if they knew I was in contact with Christians. And if they discovered that I was studying the Gospel, what would happen to me? Meanwhile I had a battle going on outside of me because it was difficult to deny the religion of my family and my grandparents. And if it came to this, the people would reject me and I would bring shame on my family like a prodigal son, a disobedient atheist. As a consequence of this terrible battle, I decided to stop doing the Bible correspondence courses and stop listening to the Evangelical Radio programs.
But God would not leave me alone. As it says in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." In 1983, once again something moved me to listen to a radio program that came from Monte Carlo but was broadcast from Malaga, Spain. In that particular program they anounced an address in Modena, Italy to receive Bible correspondence courses. The person that wrote me was a Moroccan believer. He visited at my own home in Morocco; and one year later, another Moroccan believer visited me too. Both they told me about their faith in Jesus Christ, and about the Bible. I continued to correspond with them. During their visits, I asked them a lot of questions concerning my doubts about Christianity, not in order to humiliate them nor did I want answers to my doubts. Instead I wanted these new friends of mine to see that they were mistaken in being Christians. But they gave me good answers to my doubts. Yet in the end, the whole thing really did not seem that important to me because I was not satisfied.
During this time one of these Moroccan believers gave me a Bible as a gift and asked me to begin to read it. While I read, I had some discussions with some of my friends im my neighborhood. We discussed issues like whether or not Christianity is true and whether or not the Bible is authentic. And while I was studying the Bible I also read the QUORAN. I made comparisons between the two. And to tell you the truth, during this time I found myself in total confusion with no way to get out. The QUORAN said that it was the last and the only truth inspired by God. But on the other hand, the Bible said the same thing: Jesus said in John 14:6 that he was the only way to salvation. I was perplexed and I asked myself the question, "What is the TRUE way?"
During this period of comparison, I based my beliefs on the foundation of the false ideas that every Muslim has against Christianity. First, I believed that the Bible had been corrupted. Second, I believed that Jesus was never crucified nor did he know death. Third, I believed that Christians believed that Jesus was God (Allah) and the Son of God at the same time. And forth, I believed that the Bible predicted the coming of a prophet after Jesus that would be called AHMED (Mahamad). The trouble was the Christians took it out of the Bible.
What then was the result of my doing this comparison? Well, God illuminaated my mind and with the help of the Holy Spirit I arrived at an answer to my questions and doubts. What I came to see is that the QUORAN contradicts itself. For example, The Quoran denies the Trinity (the beliefs that there is One God in Three Persons, not that there are three Gods). In Sura "The Women (An-Nissaa)", 171 it says: "People of the Writings. Do not exaggerate in your religion. Don't say about God but the truth: that the anointed, Jesus, son of Mary, is the only sent one of God and his Word, that He has communicated to Mary and a spirit that comes from Him. Believe, so, in God and His sent ones."
So for the Muslim this verse only shows that Jesus was a sent one. But can he not see that this verse in the Quoran also confirms that Christ is God? YOU ASK HOW?
The Quoran declares that Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Spirit of Him. So the Word of God and His spirit exist with and in God from eternity and neither His Word nor His Spirit have a beginning or an end. So then, Jesus must be God. This truth confirms waht John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".
The second thing that I discovered has to do with the Bible being perfect. In spite of everything that the Quoran says about the Bible being corrupted, I found that the Quoran orders that each Muslim should believe in the Bible. It says, "Say: People of the Writing do not do anything fundamental while you do not observe the Tora, the Gospel and the Revelation that you have received from your Lord." (Sura "The Served Table", 68). Then the Quoran itself orders me that I apply what the Writings say. That means that the Bible is correct and perfect. It is not corrupt. In accordance with this the Bible says, "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it". (Deuternmy 12:32).
And Revelation 22:19 says, "and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
The third thing that I discovered has to do with the crucifixion and the death of Christ. The Quoran denies the crucifixion and the death of Christ but at the same time confirms this truth when it says in Sura "MARY", 22: "Jesus speaking: the peace on me the day that I was born, the day that I die and the day that I resurrected to life." An in Sura "The Family of Imran", 55 says: "When God said: Jesus! I am going to call you to me. I am going to elevate you to me. I am going to liberate you from that which they don't believe and put, until the day of the resurrection, to which they follow you above which they don't believe."
Besides all this, the most effective argument that I could give in order to leave Islam and refute those doubts and mistaken beliefs that I had towards Christian doctrine had to do with the prophet Mohammed. He himself could not give me any assurance of my salvation because of the fact that he declared himself to be a sinner and need of the forgiveness of God. However, Jesus Christ could save me when he died on the cross and was resurrected from the death. and he did this all for me and for humanity. Anyone who believes on him can know that they are saved as it says in Acts 16:31, "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved..." and 1 John 5:11-12, "and this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. he who has the son has the life; he who does not have the son of God does not have the life."
Before, I practiced the Islamic laws - The "Pillaars of Islam" - without being sure of my celestial future nor did I know how I could fix the matter of my being separated from God because of my sin. But in Christ I found the solution to this problem and I realized that in order to be saved, I needed to accept Christ and follow him as my only Lord and Saviour. I recognized that I was a sinner, that I had broken God's laws and that by believing in Christ and accepting the price that he paid for me by dying on the cross for my sins that I could receive God's pardon and forgiveness for my sins, as John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Therefore, I no longer need the Islamic pillars and more laws in order to please God and reach him. Jesus Christ offered me pardon for my sins and the sins of others through his death on the cross. As it says in Hebrews 9:22, "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," and Hebrews 9:28, "So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." As the Holy Writings says, "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5).
So, in 1985 I made the decision to accept and follow Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life. And I thank God that I am saved and I belong to His kingdom. 12 years have passed since I received this new life and I give glory and honor to God's name for it. But you may ask, did this change in my life come from me or from God?
I believe that it came from God by His grace (His undeserved favor on me) as it says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift od God, not of works we have done, lest any man be able to boast".
I want that this testimony be a help to all those that want to experience the joy of receiving salvation in Christ. May the glory be to God, "who desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4).
Sami el Amin
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