By Mohd. Saleem
I am no more than an ordinary man who has been spending life as if knowing nothing. I was born in a wealthy Muslim family in Pakistan, but when I was a few months old, I was carried to Saudi Arabia by my father. When I was about six, my mom passed away. As I grew older I had so many questions like almost everyone experiences at some point in life. Why am I here? Where did I come from? Is there really a God and if so where is He? Why doesn't He talk?
I have been studying the Quran since I was around 12. Later I also started reading other kinds of Islamic books like the Life of Prophet Mohammad, Hadiths, etc. I have been Wahabi or Ahlae Hadiths like most of the Saudi Muslims are. (Osama Bin Laden is also one of them.) They are very extreme and I have been one also.
I had been taught that Islam is the only way to Heaven. I was told, "If you do this, you'll get so and so blessings in Heaven," and "if you do that, you'll get so and so blessings in Heaven." I became an extremist for the religion Islam.
Well, I believed what I was doing was right, and if it is right, then there is no risk in digging. I had read about the prophets in the Quran and Hadiths, but Jesus Christ was the only personality that really touched me more than any others. I found out that Christians believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I very much wondered why they believe that. I started searching for Jesus Christ more and more. I had a Christian friend who used to study with me. I asked him one day if I could have his Bible. He was surprised and said "Sorry, you cannot have it." I assured him no one would ever know, "It will remain between me and you." But my father came to know that I read the Bible and that it was in our home. He was very angry and he knew I have only one Christian friend. So he took me with my uncle to this friend's home and warned them saying, "If you do this again and try to preach Christianity to a Muslim child, you'll have to suffer a lot and you know it. We will complain about it to Islamic Police (Mutawa) and you could be exiled from this country forever." I was a bit worried. I shouldn't have done this to my friend's family.
My father warned me, and so did my uncle, to pray five times a day as I used to pray, and one time in the mosque. I kept going, and many times when there was no one in the mosque I used to cry and ask God to show me, "who is this Jesus and who are you?" Often while the Imam (leader) of the prayer was praying in Arabic (as it's compulsory to pray in Arabic only), I did not give much attention to what he was saying. One day I was praying in the Mosque, during Zuhar's prayer (noon prayer). I wasn't thinking of Jesus Christ that time. I saw an image of a handsome person on the floor where we bow our heads in prayer. I was shocked. I never saw such a thing before. It was kind of an image on water. I heard in myself that this is Jesus Christ. This is the Lord!
My hunger to know about Jesus Christ grew more and more.
I did not have a Bible with me anymore. One day I was passing with a friend through shops and I came to an internet shop. I was on the Net on yahoo.com and there came a thought in my mind: type "Who Is Jesus?" I did, and got lots of web sites. I was amazed that I could search about Jesus Christ there.
A web site provided very nice information about who Jesus is, and prophecies about Him in the Old Testament, and how amazingly they are fulfilled in the New Testament.
I was very much amazed. I kept coming to this web site often. One day I thought of giving Jesus a try and so I said the salvation prayer on their web site.
I also had been seeing that same image of Jesus Christ often when I used to go in the Mosque to pray. One day I was walking toward a market using a short cut. It's a bit lonely area. Not many people cross through there. I was walking and had been thinking and asking God if what I was doing was right and should I be Christian or Muslim? I heard a voice behind me saying "My son, you are on the right path." I was again amazed. I had never had experienced these kinds of things.
But in all I had been going through, I became happier when I came to know the Holy Bible, which says many things. For example it says,
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"1
And it says,
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."2
God has been faithful to me!
Where would I be if I did not search my Bible and ask God's guidance for my life? The God of the Bible replies like no other! That is reality!
In the Quran it says that some revelations are abolished or forgotten.3
What does that mean? In fact it's exactly the opposite in the Bible.
In the Torah, Numbers 23:19,
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind."
And in Zabur (Psalms) 31:5,
"Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth."
And in Injeel (the Gospel of John) 17:17,
"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth."
Never did I find a single verse in the Bible saying that God lies or that He changes His verses and leads people astray.
In the Quran we are told to believe in all prophets and all the revealed Books of God which includes the Torah, Zabur, Injeel and even Daniel. If we do not believe in them, that they are the words of God, we are not Muslims. Many measures and efforts have been taken to destroy the Bible from this earth but they have never been successful. That proves that God who revealed knows very well how to keep it protected. I challenge all who say that the Bible has changed to prove it to me with evidence. Hundreds of scientist have studied it and have confirmed its clarity and what has been written.
The prophecies made in the Bible are being fulfilled in our very day. These are some of the most amazing things and confirm who is the author of this book. The very creator of this world knows what is going to happen tomorrow and the coming days. He does not predict it like a psychic but knows it!
It's also amazing to understand the differences between Jesus and Mohammad. In the Bible it says:
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God!"4
Why is Jesus Christ called the Glad Tidings, the Word of God, held nearest to Allah, but nothing is mentioned about Mohammad as such?
Also, why was Jesus Christ faultless and without sin, whereas many times in the Quran, Mohammad is reminded to repent of his sins. Every Muslim who reads the Quran with understanding knows it very well.
The Bible also says Jesus Christ did miracles and did many other things which no one except God can do...things like giving life to death, and healing the sick.
Why did Mohammad never do that? Despite many people of his time asking for miracles he refused. But one miracle is recorded in the Quran that he parted the moon in two. What benefit did it bring to humanity?
Before Jesus Christ was born, angels were sent to announce the noble birth of a faultless son through a virgin. But Mohammad being the greatest of Prophets in Islam does not have that much privilege? Why is nothing similar said for Mohammad?
If God really was able to make a virgin give birth, then why would it be difficult for Him to call Him His Son?
The Quran tells that there will be a revelation for mankind and mercy.5 Muslims will have to read the Injeel (Gospel) to find out about God's mercy for mankind.
In the Injeel (Gospel), Mark 10:46-47, one blind man cries out to the Lord Jesus Christ saying:
A blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
Also in the New Testament:
"Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life."6
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."7
The Lord Jesus Christ is not the mercy that was meant for people of His time or of His area only. God made Him Mercy for ALL MANKIND EVEN AFTER MOHAMMAD.
We know from the Bible that we are sinners and away from the Lord. Jesus Christ is the only provision for us to reconcile us with the Lord, because He was sinless and became sin for our sake. Our sins were transferred to Him.
Jesus Christ bore our sins and became sin for us. In Injeel (Gospel), it says:
"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."8
To many other people, He said "your sins are forgiven" indicating He wants them to be saved from sins! He bore their sins!
Also from the New Testament:
"God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."9
Many people have found God's mercy in the Lord Christ and have been changed. One of them is me. Many look for the miracles, authority, Truth and only truth in the wrong places, and I also have been doing so, until I met Him, the only One who not only knows the way to God but Himself is The Way. In Jesus' very words:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."10
Mohammad and Muslims have been praying every day many times in their much-devoted prayers for guidance, and amazingly the last and greatest of Islam's Prophet kept praying for it till his death.11
Was Mohammad on the straight path? Is Islam the straight path? I encourage all Muslims to ask him or herself is it really true what they are doing to get to heaven?
I do not believe heaven is a place with a price tag on it, which can be bought by our deeds, but only through God's Mercy and grace. I pray God will give hunger in each of us more each day and we will turn to Him for our Spiritual food and our salvation! It is made so simple like never before. Come to Him with a humble heart. Seek His Face and find yourself in His arms!
We become a new creation in Christ. It was written long ago, but today it is still true! How our minds and our thoughts change because the One who created us knows how to fill that missing gap and to reinstall our spiritual life in the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only Way to Him!
So Brothers and sisters, open your hearts and minds to accept His amazing Love. Allow the Lord Jesus Christ into your life and see what happens next. The greatest adventure in the Universe begins. Whenever I have been in trouble He has been there and comforted me like no one ever could. He has shown me that He's alive forever and He loves us very much.
I praise and thank God for sending His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die for me and for all of us, and making the marvelous and glorious bridge to reach Him! To understand how to begin a relationship with Him, please see: Why Jesus is God.
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Footnotes: (1) Isaiah 30:21 (2) Jeremiah 29:11-13 (3) Surah Al-Baqara 2:106 (4) (Injeel) John 1:1 (5) Surah Maryam 21 (6) Jude 21 (7) 1 Peter 1:3 (8) Injeel (the Gospel), Matthew 1:21 (9) 2 Corinthians 5:21 (10) John 14:6-7 (11) Surah Al Fateha 3