A Personal Testimony, Part X
From Part IX
A MUSLIM'S PERSONAL TESTIMONY
In the next few pages we record the testimony of a man whom God had led to study the Bible and compare it with the Qur’an in desperate search for the truth. At the end of his long search he came to the conclusion that the Bible is the infallible word of God. He believed in his heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and received Him as his Lord and Savior.
I was born in
My father was a Palestinian Muslim who taught English and Islamic studies in the Holy Land, and my mother was an American who married my father during his studies in the
My parents feared the American way of life. So, with two children and my mother pregnant with me, my parents left in 1960 to live in
As I grew up in the
The American Consul in
The war was called the Six Day War because it was won in six days. On the seventh day a Rabbi by the name of "Goren" blew the ram's horn on the wailing wall in
Later on we moved back to
When the Bible class started I would leave the class and remain outside waiting. One day I walked into the Bible class and the class "bully" stood up to fight. He shouted "we don't want this half American and Muslim to be here!" I refused to get out and the lady who was teaching the class asked me to sit down. Since that incident the school's policy was changed and for the first time the school allowed a Muslim to study the Bible. For the next three years I studied it despite all the mocking.
Later my father transferred me to a government school where I grew in the faith of Islam. There I was fed the idea that one day a fulfillment of an ancient prophecy by the Muslim prophet Muhammad would come to pass. This prophecy foretold a battle in which the
This prophecy in fact is documented in the Hadith, Muhammad's Book of Traditions, which states the following:
"The day of judgment shall not come to pass until a tribe of Muslims defeat a tribe of Jews." When Muhammad was asked where will that take place he said: "In
During my youth like my father I was always tuned to Islam and what our Muslim teachers taught. Believing in Muhammad's prophecy I offered my life to "Jihad" or "Holy War" as the only means to obtain either victory or martyrdom. In Islam, martyrdom is the only way you can ensure salvation and entry into paradise especially since Allah and his prophet Muhammad promised it, as the Qur’an states:
Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, [in a Holy War] as dead, nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision (
During school riots against what we called the Israeli occupation I would prepare speeches, slogans, and write anti-Israel graffiti in an effort to provoke students to throw rocks at the armed Israeli soldiers. We shouted "No peace or negotiations with the enemy," "our blood and our souls we sacrifice to Arafat," "our blood and our souls we sacrifice to
Nothing could change my heart, I could only die or a miracle needed to happen. The simplest way to describe myself is that I was one of those whom one would view on CNN throwing rocks and molotov cocktails in the days of the Intifada or "The Uprising." I was one of those whom the Jews would call a terrorist.
The interesting thing is that I was not only terrorizing but I was terrorized by my beliefs. I had to gain enough merit and do enough good deeds to go to heaven but never was sure if my good deeds would out weigh my bad deeds in the scale when I was judged by God. Of course, to die fighting the Jews would ease Allah's anger towards my sin and I would be secure in a good spot in paradise with beautiful wide eyed women to fulfill my most intimate desires. Either way I would win, and terror was the only way.
I remember students used to ask the teacher during our Islamic studies in
And all married women [are forbidden] unto you save those [captives] whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you (
Another verse of the Qur’an says:
O Prophet! Lo we have made lawful unto thee... those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war (
We had no problem with Muhammad taking advantage of this privilege as he married fourteen wives for himself and several slave girls from the booty he collected as a result of his victorious battles. We really never knew how many wives he had and that question was always a debatable issue to us. One of these wives was taken from his own adopted son "Zaid" as Allah declared that she was given to the prophet. Others were Jewish captives forced into slavery after Muhammad beheaded their husbands and families.
In an attempt to change the hearts of Palestinians the Israeli television station would show Holocaust documentaries. I would sit and watch, cheering the Germans while I chewed on food. It was impossible for me to change my mind or heart concerning the Jews. Only a heart transplant would do that job.
On the other hand, my mother tried to teach me what she called God's plan. She taught me Bible prophecy. She said that the return of the Jews to
She also told me about many future events to be fulfilled in our generation which are surfacing every day now. She told me that false messiahs and counterfeits who would arise. But all that had little effect, for my heart was set on fighting against the Jews.
Many times my mother would take me on trips to several museums in
I remember the times when I was tormenting my mother by calling her an "infidel" and a "damned American imperialist." I would show her the pictures in the newspaper of all the teenagers supposedly martyred as a result of violence, demanding answers from her. I hated her and always asked my father to divorce her and remarry a good Muslim woman.
I lived in
I was fascinated with Islamic history as I learned that the prophet Muhammad exterminated a Jewish tribe from the
I will be honest, all my life I was terrified every time I read the Qur’an, as many of its verses declare the threat of hell fire for this sin or that. All I wanted was to receive Allah's forgiveness. But the Qur’an says:
And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night. For those things that are good remove those that are evil. That is a reminder for the mindful (
I failed to keep count of all my sins and my good deeds, and I was sure that at the end, my sins would outweigh my good deeds. So I lived my sinful life with no assurance of forgiveness. I always wondered about my destiny. Lost in my fears and doubts, I really hated the idea of killing Jews or Christians that I might be saved.
Sometime in 1992 I was fascinated when I read a book titled Armageddon, Appointment with Destiny, by Grant Jeffrey.
Some of the things explained in this book had many detailed prophecies about Jesus: his birth, life, death, and resurrection; and the re-creation of the state of
What also amazed me was to find out that the chance for a man to predict hundreds of historic events written hundreds and thousands of years before their occurrences is one in zillions.... What is more fascinating is that the margin of error had to be zero, especially when the fulfillment of many of these prophecies are happening in my generation. This kind of evidence had to come from a divine origin. That origin had to be God Almighty.
The struggle began. I was confused. How could the Bible be corrupted by the Jews and Christians while the very land I grew up in spoke and cried out, as thousands of pieces of archeological evidence surfaced from its antiquities, confirming the Bible. A scroll of the book of Isaiah was discovered in the Qumran caves by a Muslim named Muhammad Deib who was from a town near
I decided to read the Bible to find out for myself who Jesus really was. God finally led me to the bottom line and I read what Jesus said:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty (Revelation 1:8)
Christ also said to the Jews:
Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM (John 8:58 NKJ).
Vowing to make a decision for The Truth, I stayed up late many nights comparing many details between the Qur’an and the Bible. At some point during my study I prayed saying "God, you are the creator of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Moses, and Jacob, you are the beginning and the end, you are The Truth the only Truth the maker of the true Scripture, the one and only word of God. I suffer to find your truth, I want to do your will in my life, I long for your love and in the name of The Truth I ask, AMEN!!!"
I wanted real gold and would not settle for an imitation. I started to scratch very hard to look beyond the surface of the world's plastic religions.
I discovered many serious historical errors in the Qur’an, one of them concerning a person named Zul-Qarnain. Commentators of the Qur’an say that he might be Alexander the Great, or an ancient Persian King, or a prehistoric Himyarite king. The Qur’an gives us no material on which we can base a positive answer concerning this person. All what the Qur’an says about him is:
When he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a muddy spring (
Who would accept that the sun sets in a muddy spring?
With many of these discoveries the claim that the Qur’an is a miracle was in question. The foundation I was standing on tumbled down as sinking sand. I found out that the Bible prophecies, which were written hundreds and thousands of years before, were all true. It is of great importance to notice that many of the nations mentioned by the Prophet Ezekiel in Chapter 38 which will gather against
I was also amazed at the great number of Bible prophecies concerning Jesus Christ from his birth to his crucifixion, to his resurrection and ascension. All these prophecies were fulfilled to the letter. No one has ever presented such detailed prophecies concerning future events without having more errors than truth. I realized that the Qur’an lacks that prophetic element. There are no real prophecies in the Qur’an. The only one who knows the end from the beginning is God, who said:
I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:9, 10).
God did not only foretell future events, but brought them to pass, unlike the Qur’an which simply used terror tactics to force Muslims to believe. Since I dismissed the belief that the Bible was corrupted, I spent many days searching it to find a prophecy concerning Muhammad, for he claimed in the Qur’an that the Bible wrote about him, but my search was in vain.
I was blind, but with the Bible I began to see, I mean really SEE!!! I began to see that sin is the source of all man's problems, and that the Devil is man's worst enemy. I was led to view the world and the meaning of life, and I felt my need for salvation.
I continued reading the Bible diligently. I found out that the Jewish prophets were chosen by God to write God's Word, and God's plan for salvation through Jesus the Messiah and the Redeemer of man. I also learned that Jesus was Jewish. He was born in "Beth-Lechem" which means "House of Bread" as he said:
I am the Bread of Life, he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst" (John NKJ).
Beth-Lechem was given its name before Jesus came to this world. The prophet Micah prophesied that the Messiah would be born there (Micah 5:2).
I saw Jesus Christ, The Truth, and The Life and received him in my heart by faith. This changed my way of thinking from believing in Muhammad to believing in Christ, from believing lies to knowing the truth, from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive, from living in darkness to seeing the light, from being damned to being saved, from doubt to faith, from hate to love, and from evil works to God's grace through Christ.
This transformation taught me that, without the (true) Word of God, things could look good on the surface but in the core lays deception. I accepted Jesus the Messiah, as my Lord and Savior, who died for all of my sins, I submitted to Him.
Testing the Qur’an in the light of true inspiration proves that it is not inspired by God. Will you be another Walid? Will you believe in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord? Listen to Jesus' final words to his disciples:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-3).
Jesus is coming again. He is coming soon. The Qur’an says:
And [Jesus] shall be a sign [for the coming of] the hour [of judgment]: therefore have no doubt about the [hour] (
Are you ready for the second coming of Christ? Is Christ your Saviour and Lord? Then rejoice in Him and wait for His return.
IT IS YOUR DECISION
Your eternal destiny depends upon your decision. This is why this concluding section is written as an extended invitation to you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, not only as a great teacher and prophet, but as the eternal Son of God, the only Saviour of mankind, the final message of God to man.
A desperate man asked the apostle Paul and his fellow worker Silas "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts ). That man felt the heavy burden of sin, the agony of guilt, and the fear of the coming day of judgment. He wanted to be saved from all of these.
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved" (Acts NKJ) was the answer of Paul and Silas. The desperate man believed and was saved and his heart was filled with joy.
You can do as he did. Think about Jesus Christ, His sinless life, His love for His enemies, His love for sinners, and His forgiveness. Think about His death on the cross for you, to pay the penalty for your sins -even before you were born. He knew everything about you even before your birth. The prophet David said:
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139: 15, 16 NKJ).
You can be saved if you confess your sins to God and put your trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. He said:
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6 NKJ).
Jesus Christ is not a way, but He is the only Way. He does not just tell the truth, He is the Truth incarnated. He does not point us to life, He is the Life. The apostle John says:
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life (I John 5:9-12 NKJ).
The apostle Peter says:
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts NKJ).
In the Gospel of John we read:
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him (John ).
When you believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, it means that your name is written in the book of life. It means you will be with God in heaven on the Day of Resurrection. You will never enter Hell or pass over it. On the other hand, you have to expect that while you are on earth you will be persecuted, afflicted, imprisoned, and possibly even executed for the sake of Christ.
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29).
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy ).
Jesus said to His disciples:
These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble...Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me (John 16:1-3 NKJ).
That is the price of your faith in Jesus Christ, but in all your afflictions for His sake you will never be left alone, you will always feel his presence, for He promised:
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).
In addition, you will be rewarded with great reward:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans NKJ).
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Revelation 21: 1, 3-6).
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there (Revelation 22:3, 4).
This is the destiny of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Monday, 11 May 2009
Islam, the Qur’an and Mohammad
A Personal Testimony, Part X