These two testimonies are taken from an issue of the newspaper 
"Sach Ye Hai" published in London, which contains about 10 testimonies 
of people of different religious backgrounds (Muslim, Hindu, Sikh,Buddist)
who met the living Jesus in various ways in their life and whose life 
became new when they started following Him.

Some parts are direct speech of the persons involved some others are
background information written in 3rd person style by the interviewer.

                A man with a new name

Steven Masood has not always been Steven. At one point he lost his
name and had to take a new one. How can anybody lose a name? 

   "I was about 13 years old when I got the Gospel in Urdu 
language. I loved reading stories and I found it very inter-
esting, not knowing that several years later I was going to 
become a disciple of Jesus!

   When a Muslim child is about six or seven years old, he 
is sent to the mosque where he learns to read the Qur'an in 
Arabic. He reads and memorizes chapters like a parrot.

   At a later age he may come to know the meaning of the 
Qur'an but not many children learn it with its translation. 
I was one of the fortunate ones.

   There is one Surah (Chapter 112) which even a seven year 
old child would recite by heart. To many Muslims this Surah 
seems to be against the Christian belief of God having a son.

   As a teenager it made me wonder how can God have a son 
when he is not begotten. So the first question I asked my own 
Islamic teacher after reading the Gospel according to John was,
'Is God our Father'?"


  "As a teenager, I was facing many other problems. One of the 
major ones was that other Muslims did not accept us Ahmadies. 
They treated us as non-Muslims. I used to wonder. 'If we believe 
in the same creed and the same Qur'an why do other people say, 
we are not Muslims.?"  I compared Sunni orthodoxy with that of 
Ahmadism. I questioned why on earth God kept a secret for so 
many years to reveal it through the Ahmadiyya sect in Islam.

  The whole of Muslim orthodoxy believes that Jesus ascended 
into heaven but did not die on the cross. He was not even 
crucified. In contrast the sect in which I was born believes 
that Jesus was crucified but did not die on the cross.

   The founder of the sect, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) 
claimed that he received his 'Gospel' from God. Before his 
claim to be a reviver of Islam, he followed the orthodox
Muslim idea.

 After his initial foundation of the sect he claimed that Jesus 
was crucified but revived and later died at the seashore of Galilee.

  Ten years later he wrote a book, 'Jesus in India', in which he 
claimed that Jesus actually survived and was saved by a miraculous 

 Jesus thereafter traveled to India where he died at the age 
of 120 (or 125).

 When I studied all these things I wondered how God, who is 
omnipotent, would tell his "prophet" these contradictions?"

               Good, better and best

   "At about the age of 18 I left my parents and became a Sunni 
Muslim. Indeed, now I know that it was good for me to check every 
major step of Islam. If, in a sense, I had become a follower of 
Christ straight away, there would have been still many doubts in 
my mind about Christianity. I thank the Lord that He helped me.

   I met a Sunni Muslim family who were very influential people. 
They introduced me to some honourable Muslim scholars in the area 
and I had many discussions with them.

  My big dilemma was that even if I followed Islam as a whole, what 
would be my destiny because this life is going to finish, maybe in a
minute, maybe tomorrow.

   Muslims do believe in the hereafter and the judgement. This is 
seen as so horrible that if a sincere Muslim starts thinking about 
it, he would find that on his own he can't save himself from the 
eternal fire. He has to look forward to somebody who will be a kind 
of saviour for him. I found that Islam does not have a saviour.

   Muslims believe that if we do good things we will go to paradise. 
But is there an assurance? I found that Islam does not present such 
an assurance.

   Even the prophet of Islam, Muhammad was uncertain, as is written 
in  the Qur'an: "I am no new thing among the messengers, nor know I 
what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is 
inspired in me, ...". (Surah 46:9).

   I respect Muhammad that he guided people to believe in the God of 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and to have faith in Moses and to consider 
Jesus as the word of God and the spirit from Him.

   However, the question of salvation for mankind remains. I found 
the answer with Jesus in the Bible.

  I found this Jesus in the pages of Genesis to Revelation like a 
central pillar of a building on which the whole structure depends.

  Jesus claims that he is the only way to God (John 14:6). In these 
last days God has spoken to us through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-4).

  It was difficult but at last I gave up and at the age of about 22
I followed him."

                   Truth is painful

  Steven tells that his own people kicked him out and yet he felt 
that he was not accepted by many in the church either. For him 
becoming a follower of Jesus was not a bed of roses.

  He groaned and complained to God but one day he found the answer 
in the Bible where it says, "For it has been granted to you on behalf
of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." 
                                                  (Philippians 1:29).

   "I stopped pitying myself and decided not to judge others." He 
claims to have no regrets, no complaints against Christians or Muslims 
or his parents.
   "I was the only one in the family who became a disciple of Jesus. 
I love my parents. We have an extended family and I love them all but 
when it comes to the truth then I have to stand with Jesus."

   Usually a Muslim convert tries to stay with his family, but when 
they find out that this person has become a 'black sheep', they try 
to colour him 'white' again.

   There are families who will say, 'You want to be a Christian, okay, 
but don't tell anybody'. 'My parents did the same. I said, I can't do 
that because if somebody asked me, then I would have to tell the truth."

                      New family, new name

   For some Muslim parents it is not just a religious duty, but a matter 
of 'Izzat' - honour. Whether they are Arab or Persian, Indian or from 
the Far-East, 'What will people say?' is the main worry.

  "Like many Muslims, my parents considered that Islam covered the whole 
sphere of one's life: religious, social and even political. But in their 
opinion it was the honour and respect they had gained through the years 
that I had harmed by putting my faith in Jesus.

   I remember my father gnashing his teeth and walking about in his room, 
repeating: 'What will people say? A new branch in our family tree as 
Christian. It is unbearable. If you were a thief, a robber, a murderer, 
it would not have have brought the shame which you have brought
upon us.'

   The Ahmadiyya movement, compared with other sects of Islam is quite 
lenient. It does not believe in capital punishment for apostasy but my 
father did try but failed. At last he disowned me literally. I signed 
some documents that he had prepared, according to which I could use my 
family title no more.

   Today, I am married with two children. Masood was my first name but 
now my children and my own family is called the Masoods."

   "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or 
hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As
it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are 
considered as sheep to be slaughtered.'

   No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him 
who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither
angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be 
able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our 
Lord."                                                (Romans 8:35-39). 

The complete story of how Steven came to face with the challenge of
Jesus is written in the book:
Steven Masood,  Into the Light, A Young Muslims Search for Truth, 2nd ed.
OM Publishing 1992, ISBN 1-85078-098-6


                  A REBEL GIVES IN

{The interviewer, a few years ago, was homeless and without 
any money. Muhammed then took him to live in his room and fed 
him for weeks. It is part of his Asian culture to be open for 
sharing and caring. He enjoys being a host. He can feel for 
others because his life has not always been easy for him, 
although now he is doing well.}

                   School on Sunday

  Like so many Africans in this country, Muhammed's early childhood 
memories go back to his home country.  

  "I can remember the festivals for Ramadan and the mosque, a white 
building. It was very family-like and people showed each other much
warmth. We were prosperous, with servants and everything.

  Coming to Britain was totally different, I'd never seen snow before.
People were so different. In Africa we were respected. Now we had to
do a lot of learning of the new culture and the language.
   A friend of my sister asked us if we would like to come to the Sunday
school. We thought Sunday school meant 'come to school on Sunday'.
My family agreed because it was a good way of learning English!

  There was one family of a friend whom we got to know very well
over the years. His mum and dad were like another mum and dad to
me. If there were difficulties they would always help me out. "

  "I used to get into trouble with police for stealing and vandalizing.
I think the reason was that I had nobody, I was pretty lonely and my
mother couldn't understand the difficulties I was facing. She under-
stood the girls better than me so I was always the odd one out.

   I was also made to go through Muslim religious classes and to learn
the Qur'an. There was a teacher who used to grab me by the ear and shout
until I got it right. It was very infuriating.

 The more stuff they taught me the more I rebelled. At the same time I
was searching and had a lot of questions in my mind."

           Change is possible

 "One summer I went to a Christian holiday camp. There I remember
sitting next to someone and asking him whether he was a Christian. 
He said he wasn't, it was just that his mum and dad were Christians.

  One Wednesday night this friend came into my room and said he'd
been saved by Jesus. I said: 'Sorry?' He said: 'I have become a believer.' I said: 'Oh, that's good.' But I suddenly saw the 
change in him. I don't know what made me realize it but he was 
different and when he left he said he was praying for me.

  He was totally changed in character. There was something about 
him that really puzzled me, so I wanted to find out.

  One of the Bible passages that we were reading was, 'Behold I 
stand at the door and if any man opens the door I shall come in 
and eat with him.' I used to wonder to myself what the door was. 
I thought I've got to ask God into my life, but how would I do 
this? I went to see my friend and said that I'd like to talk to
him. He said that he thought he knew what about.

  It was really good when my friend held my hand and prayed for 
me and that really had an effect on me. I didn't know how to pray, 
what to pray. My friend explained to me that it was like a bridge 
broken between me and God and the only way that bridge could be 
built was to ask Jesus to come into my life and Jesus was the 
link between me and God. I could see that very easily."

                    Between two faiths

 "The trouble started when I came back from the camp. My mum used
to ask if I would go to the mosque. I always said that I would go 
but went somewhere else, to town or to the park.

  Then one day the teacher from the mosque knocked on the door and
told my mum that they hadn't seen her son for about a year. I knew 
I was in trouble and I tried to run away from home. The police 
picked me up and took me back home. I was very scared of this 
teacher and so I started to go to mosque again.

  I started working for one Muslim, who owned a business. On 
Fridays the shop would be closed for two hours when we would all 
go to the mosque. There were times when I was sneaking back to 
church again and was hoping somebody would stop me to speak to me.

  I found myself thinking about many things and questioning about 
my faith."

                        Full stop

  'One night I was ill and I was really terrified of dying. I 
remembered that as a child, when we used be scared we were told to 
pray to Allah for healing or protection. I remembered praying and 
nothing happened. I screamed for my mum and nobody came. It was 
really strange for a grown man to be scared.

  I picked up my Bible and just opened it. My eyes went to the 
verse  which said. 'What shall it profit a man if he gains the 
whole world  and yet loses his own soul.' It really hit me. I 
wasn't happy inside,  although materially and physically my family 
was happy, because I was doing well, and was going to the mosque. 
I remember praying that night  asking God to give me peace.

  I remember sleeping for a while. I got up about six o'clock to 
make some coffee. I went to the park for a walk, sat down for a 
while and everything seemed so different. I saw the sun rise on 
the horizon and I was thinking to myself that life goes on, people 
are so busy in their little world making money. They never think 
about God or heaven until somebody is dying.

  It was strange, it was beautiful, a new day, a new morning and 
I just sat there for two or three hours thinking of what to do 

  I went to the doctor's. The doctor examined me and said that 
I'd have to go to hospital for an operation. He asked what would 
have happened if I had died last night. I said: 'I prayed.' He 
looked at me and asked how I was feeling. He must have thought I
was a bit cuckoo.

   I went to the casualty and was taken in and the nurses started 
taking tests and giving me oxygen and then I was taken to the 
operating theater."

               Taking sides

 "I had a Christian friend working in the hospital. He came to see 
me and brought my Arab friend Anton along. Just then my Muslim 
friend Sahid came to see how I was and brought me some clothes. 
They started a debate on Islam and Christianity and both had good 

  I was sitting there, people talking and Anton started talking to 
Sahid and they were having a good debate and I was thinking that 
I was sick here, and these were my friends. Surely they came to 
see me and not to argue!

 Then one of them said, 'Why don't we ask Muhammed what he knows?'
and so I was caught up in this debate.

  I just said to Sahid, that I cared a lot about him and that we 
would always be friends. Then I told him 'I believe in Jesus 
Christ and I have given my life to him.' And boy, that was it. 
He just went mad and said I'd been brainwashed. My two Christian 
friends were sitting there with big smiles on their faces."

            Get out of the house!

 "Two days later my mother said wasn't her son any longer, and 
told me to get out of the house. I loved her and cared a lot. 
I didn't have the courage to lift a finger against her. I was 
saying to myself, 'Okay, Lord. I've done it, where do I go?'

 I opened the Bible and read: 
  'Only one thing I desire, this is what I seek, to dwell in 
  the house of the Lord all the days of my life and gaze upon 
  his beauty.' 

  And about a couple of verses later it said that 

  'Even if my father and my mother forsake me, 
   Lord, you will receive me '."

 After this Muhammed stayed with a Christian family. A Muslim leader
often went round but would never go inside. Both good and bad was
used in trying to make Mohammed to follow the Muslim religion again.

  "Sometimes my Muslim friends would cross over if they saw me on 
the street but they couldn't speak to me because their parents 
wouldn't allow them for the fear that the would become Christians 
as well.

  There were times when I felt at my lowest and pretty lonesome, but
it was at those times when I sensed the presence of God in a real 
way. Life is nothing to me but my faith. Knowing I'm going to heaven
means a lot more to me than just being killed or murdered."

              Honor the family

  "It has taken me a long time to build up the relationship with my
family again. I've tried to draw the line between what is honoring 
God and what is honoring my family, and sometimes it is very 
difficult to get priorities right.

  Many of my Christian friends don't understand this. I'm still 
trying to fulfill the role and responsibility of being the eldest 
male of the family. I'm working to take care of my mum and also 
to make sure that my brother has a good education. These sort of 
responsibilities are not often taught about in a Western society.
In a lot of ways the relationship between me and my family has 
become better over the years. My mum, meeting an Asian friend of 
mine, said to him that she loved her son but just didn't know how 
to say it. I realized how much my mum did care but just didn't know 
how to convey her feelings towards me because she still saw me as 
an outsider.

 My brother had some problems recently, and one of the things my
mum had said was: 'Why can't you have friends like your brother,
Christian friends who care?'

  It made me realize that my mum could see the difference between
my Christian friends and my brother's friends. I realized that she 
really understood that my friends cared very much for me, helped me, 
supported me and encouraged me.

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