I am originally from Pakistan and come from a very conservative and extremely Islamic family. I came to the US about 15 years ago to get a Masters Degree in Engineering which I did in 1983. I was supposed to go back to Pakistan and help the family business but I fell in love with an American girl who was a Christian and we got married. I married her thinking that sooner or later I would be able to persuade her to convert to Islam. Towards that end, I forbade her to go to church etc. In fact I hated the words "Christians or Jesus". I told her that if I hear these words in hers or our daughter's mouth I will take her to Pakistan with me and she would never see her daughter again. I was serious. I was also a "nominal" muslim keeping the fast in Ramadan and going for occasional Friday prayers.
This went on for about 10 years during which I studied the Qur'an in quite a bit of detail and also read the Bible. When I read the Bible I had no doubt in my mind that I was reading "corrupted material". Also during this time the relationship with my wife kept deteriorating because of this great conflict in our lives. She insisted on going to church and taking the kids too. Since I could not stop that "nonsense" I decided that I will go with her to see what they were teaching my kids so I could counter it. I remember that the first sermon I ever heard was on how God will bring about positive change in you and your circumstances if you had faith. It was a good message, and I said to myself that it really had nothing to do with Christianity. Any intelligent and reasonable person could have given that talk. (I even refused to call it a sermon since that would be admitting that it was religious). I started going to church since it made my relationship with my wife better. That was my sole reason for going. I had absolutely no intentions of becoming a Christian or anything like that. On the contrary, I used to pray to Allah while in church. I prayed for guidance for the poor misguided Christians who were all going to hell. I refused to even discuss Christianity with some of the people who tried to approach me on the subject. I let it be known that this is not something that I wanted to even think about.
At the same time, I saw a very definite happiness and sort of a joy in the people who were calling themselves Christians. They truly loved God (it was a pity they thought that Jesus was God!), but nevertheless they lived their lives pleasing God. Much unlike the Muslims I had known all my life. On one hand the Muslims I had known (and still know) were all very pious and perform all the rites and rituals required by Islam. Most of them pray five times a day, have been to Mecca etc. etc. On the other hand their lives do not reflect their actions. Lying, cheating, stealing (not in the sense of actually committing a crime of theft although some do), bribes and corruption are the order of the day. Not so much in this country but in almost every other "Muslim or Islamic" country. I was the same way my self. I had no problem in telling any amounts of lies for any reason including lying to my wife and family. In short my observation was as follows: Those who call themselves "Born again Christians" are leading lives which truly reflect their faith. Those who call themselves Muslims are leading lives which have absolutely nothing to do with what they call their faith.
Now this observation is by no means universal and I am in no way blaming Islam for the general behavior of Muslims. In fact I wanted to defend them by saying that they are not following the true Islam. But the question that ate away in my mind was that we are not talking about just a few people but whole nations. Look at "any" society in this world which calls itself Islamic and you will see what I mean. They are some of the most corrupt on the face of this planet. I am not just saying that. I have first hand information on life in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia which is perhaps the "most" Islamic of all countries. And what I know will make your skin crawl. As I thought more and more about it, I became convinced that I needed to go back to the true Islam and Allah. But in order to do so, I must first convince my wife that Christianity is wrong. So I started by really studying Q'uran, praying three or four times every day etc. etc.
At the same time I knew that I will never convince anybody if I did not personally know Christianity. So I set out to prove it wrong by a logical study of the subject. My logic was as follows: 1) Prove that the Bible is wrong and corrupted; and 2) Prove that Jesus never died let alone rose again. If I could do that in a logical manner, then I would have no problem in convincing my wife and lots of other Christians that their beliefs were flawed. I had believed all along that the Christians were wrong, they worshipped three Gods, they utter blasphemy by saying the Jesus is the son of God, their Bible was hopelessly corrupted and they keep changing it, there was no proof of anything they believe in and Qur'an is the final word. Ahmad Deedat (an internationally known Muslim apologist and a very brash person) became my hero. I read everything booklet he has ever written and watched every video tape he had.
But to be fair, I also decided that I will hear the Christian's side as well. Muslims say that the Bible is corrupted, well lets see how the Christians respond to that charge. Muslims say that Jesus never died, lets see what the Christians have to say to defend this belief. It was during this exhaustive study that I became more and more convinced that Christians were right in their beliefs and Jesus IS the only way. First I became convinced that the New Testament (as well as OT) documents as we have them today are reliable. This was based on internal as well as external evidences that the Christian authors, historians and scholars presented. I must have read every book published on the subject! Once the NT was proved to be reliable, the next step was to prove what it teaches, which is basically that Jesus was crucified, buried, rose on the third day and then ascended to heaven. I read numerous books on this topic, both Islamic and Christian. When I looked at the evidence side by side, the case for crucifixion and resurrection was much stronger than the case for no death as taught by the Qur'an. This whole thing took more than 3 years before I was convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is The Way and I accepted it in August of 1994. But even all this study and logical reasoning is not enough. Only God can guide you. I would encourage you to "earnestly" pray to God for guidance. In the mean time, by all means continue your discussions.
If you are further interested I will be glad to share with you the material and reasoning I used during this long and difficult journey from a staunch Muslim to a believing Christian. I also would like to share with you some very personal and tangible experiences I have had since accepting Christ. It has made the most positive change in my life that I could never even imagine was possible. I am literally a "new" person in my attitudes towards others as well as myself. I hope we can continue this discussion.
God Bless you and your family
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