Moving testimony leaving Islam

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Skenderbeg
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:45 am

Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Skenderbeg »

Its a long story but moving and emotional, lately 1000s of Muslims are leaving Islam in Kosova.

My name is Ibrahim and I come from a Muslim family from Kosovo. Since my childhood I had a great interest regarding religion. I was fascinated with the idea there is a God that has created everything in heaven and on earth and I endeavored to understand how this God looks like. I remember my grandmother teaching me as a child to always speak aloud the Basmala, i.e. the Arabic phrase "bismi-llāhi ar-rahmāni ar-rahīmi" before and after the sleep as well as always before the meal and to thank God after the meal by saying Alhamdulillah. She would often take me in her room to pray with her and she taught me that any time I would be scared from darkness or whatever else, I would be released from the fear by repeating the Basmala three times in a row. And I would do so.

My family was comprised by my parents and my brother who was eight years older than me. At the time I was attending elementary school he enrolled at University. He was very dedicated to his studies until he got poisoned by tear gas in a dormitory. Occupation forces which were at that time in Kosovo had undertaken an initiative to cast out all the students from the dorms and faculties and this was one of the ways to do so. Since that time my brother was not in a good health condition. A year later he got very sick and the doctors were not able to diagnose precisely his disease apart from releasing a statement that his nervous system was attacked which results in muscle feebleness. Not even a year from the outset of his disease he passed away at the age of 22. This tragedy in our family changed the direction of our life. I was 14 years old when I lost my brother. My mother went through a deep depression while my father attempted to find comfort in Islam by starting practicing. For me this was a time of searching and getting to know more about God by deepening my knowledge of and commitment to Islam, without thinking at first about any other religion. I thought only God knew the reason behind the death of my brother and we ought to be patient towards any decision coming from Allah since the good and the bad results from Him.

It was this tragedy that increased my interest in my religion. I continuously went to the mosque, prayed the prescribed prayers (in Arabic language), read the Quran and any Islamic literature and found satisfaction in what I was doing. Every time I would go to the mosque I would thank God for being born a Muslim because Islam was the only acceptable religion before God and the only way to salvation. Very soon I formed a worldview on Islam and generally on religions: Quran is the latest revelation descended from Allah; God is one, He is not born nor did he give birth to anyone; no one is equal to Him. His decisions are sovereign and I was supposed to cope with everything coming into my life. God accepts people directly without any intercessor. God doesn't need a child and that what Christians believe is totally wrong. They will be punished for "shirk", the biggest sin someone can ever perform. Thus, I should always be careful about indulging in idolatry, never associating anything with God because He is harsh and I would be expecting punishment too. Because of this particular reason along with changing intentionally God's Word I hated Christians and Jews. In addition, imams in the mosques which I attended preached against these communities. I remember once when my uncle circumcised his son how the imam taught that Jews are cursed people and nothing good comes from them, only evil, and God surely on Judgment Day will punish them in the harshest way. I didn't fully agree with him since Christians deserved more punishment than Jews because Christians are turning a simple man into God and blaspheming against the oneness of God. I couldn't understand at all how they could do such a terrible thing. It was completely unacceptable for me, incomprehensible, and a very detestable thing.

With these views on Islam and Christianity I moved to the capital city, Prishtina, for the purpose of getting registered at the University. In the second year of my studies I decided to join a cousin of mine and share a room with him while studying in Prishtina. This was perhaps the best time of our student life as we would share and discuss a lot of things from our lives. Religion was one of the topics we discussed and often we would see ourselves talking until the early hours of the mourning. My cousin (then roommate) was also coming from a Muslim background but was more influenced by secular ideas. Despite that fact he would read sometimes books on religion, he believed that God exists but we as "intellectuals" should view our lives not only by religion, rather we should seek our career and ambitions being fulfilled. While we would discuss about these issues, my roommate had an uncle in Finland who converted to Christianity. He was also one of my distant cousins but since he was quite a bit older than me, I would call him uncle as well. He had accepted Christ several years ago and had tried to discuss with my roommate many times before but at a certain moment he ceased talking to him about religious issues as he felt his uncle was imposing his convictions on him. I told my roommate I was interested discussing with him since I heard a lot of bad things about him deviating from the right path including even financial assistance in order to convert to Christianity. This caused me unhesitatingly to open the discussion at the first moment he called us.

For our uncle in Finland this meant a green signal to begin anew with the discussions. “What made you change religion, uncle?”, I asked him. In order to answer this question it was impossible to finish this discussion within only one hour. He continued to do so quite often, sometimes even every day, by talking for hours. I received the first Bible in Albanian from Finland as well as some booklets he had been able to find there in the Albanian language. Along with the literature, he sent us also a package with audio tapes where he would speak more extensively on issues we would raise in our phone conversations. My cousin and I would listen to these tapes each night. There were two issues which were very difficult for me while listening to those tapes. First, besides explaining Christian faith, he was also criticizing Islam and particularly Muhammad. That made me very angry. Secondly, he was praying for us in the name of Jesus, and even more, he was addressing God as his Father. I could not bear to listen to those prayers and would always skip.

After one of those tapes, I opened up my Bible for the first time but after some days of reading in it I stopped doing so. I just couldn’t read the Bible. With every line I read it I would think that it was manipulated and altered by human hands. Furthermore, it was this contempt I felt for the Christian faith and Christians that caused me to feel uncomfortable while reading the Bible. Even so, I continued discussions and talked intensively with our uncle in Finland. At this time even my roommate joined us although he had stopped discussions with him earlier though he was listening to his tapes with me.

Our uncle in Finland was very enthusiastic and on fire regarding his new faith. Very soon I found out that none of the charges our families had brought against him was true. I could sense he was deeply convicted about Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven. However, while he would share much from Christianity I would counterattack him by emphasizing that the Quran was the latest revelation that had descended directly from God, protected by God from any corruption, a book which contains a lot of scientific discoveries and as a result could not in any way be compared to the Bible. There were even a lot of hot debates between us. Now I had my roommate alongside with me and we formed a team for destroying the arguments of our uncle with the facts we possessed. I found some books at the mosque's library one day while I prayed on Friday noon. Most of the books were from Ahmed Deedat which spoke of Bible contradictions, different Bibles Christians have, crucifixion as a fiction and a lot of Bible mistakes (one was especially hot, "50.000 mistakes in the Bible"). I found some other books from other authors too at some friends of mine and I thought these will be our weapons against our uncle. I checked all the books but even though some charges against the Bible sounded reasonable to me, I had great difficulties to believe in all of these charges. I studied a book "Muhammad in the Bible" by Abdul Ahad Dawud who was once a catholic priest and although I believed that Muhammad was mentioned in the Bible I couldn't accept all his claims. According to him even John the Baptist prophesied about Muhammad and every prophecy that was almost crystal clear in pointing to Jesus he was interpreting as referring to Muhammad. These books in fact instead of consolidating my faith in Islam, to my amazement had a contrary effect on me. Anyways, I continued using the books against my uncle but it became clear that proving that the Bible is really contradictory and full of mistakes wasn't an easy task to do at all. That was because my uncle had good answers to my contradictions and mistakes but also these authors disappointed me by trying to make the impossible mission possible by applying to Muhammad a lot of prophecies and other arguments referring to Jesus. My logic didn’t accept them. I just sensed that these authors were not honest in their motives toward Jesus and Christianity even though I was a Muslim too and didn’t like Christianity at all.

While I would continue debates with our uncle, my roommate began to read the Bible. He would do that regularly and his appetite for religious issues was stimulated more. The front between us in this part of Europe and our uncle in the northern part of Europe was now set. Religion was the main thing we would deal with. For a while I even dropped the lessons of the school. Our uncle was well prepared against such charges and I couldn’t see many results from these debates.

This period lasted for almost 6 months or so and it wasn't easy to protect my belief in Islam while getting exposed further to Christianity which seemed to have more and more meaning as time was going by. Being totally preoccupied with these issues, I started even having dreams. At other times I would spent sleepless nights thinking over the issues discussed. In those dreams I saw a few times how I became a Christian and after that I would wake up gripped by fear that this might actually happen. I would imagine all the problems I would have to face with my family but more to that I was afraid that I would get lost in eternity since the Christian faith could not be true with all the shirk they perform. Though I didn't want to read the Bible, from a little what I read as well as from the ongoing conversations with the uncle, some Bible verses would continuously grab my mind: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6); "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30); "He who hears my words and believes... has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24); "He that looks in me, sees the one who sent me." (John 12:45). All these verses had to do with Jesus, dealing at the same time with his divine nature as well and very often were to "heavy" for me. My mind obviously served as a battlefield. I did not have quietness at all concerning the truth. Where is the truth to be found? Is it in the Bible or in the Quran? Was Muhammad the last of the messengers or is Jesus the Lord and the Savior of the world? How about if all of that was an attempt of the devil to convert me to Christianity? How about if Jesus truly came to forgive our sins? Nevertheless, about one thing I was sure: both Quran and Bible couldn't be true; the truth will have to stand on one side. God could not be revealing two contradictory truths. Either the Bible was true or the Quran, either Christianity or Islam. And the battle would continue. But what if Jesus appears to me personally in a physical body as I heard from my uncle that he did so a lot of times? I heard of Gulshan Ester's testimony that she was paralyzed and for three years praying regularly, Jesus appears to her in her room and she gets healed and walks finally. She prayed and did everything in the name of Allah, even visited Mecca several times. But her prayers were met by Jesus. He answered her prayers and changed her life completely. But no, no, I will not allow myself to fall in the trap; I have my faith and am happy with it. Even if Jesus appears to me in person I will reject him. But is it possible to tell him that this is the devil’s fraud? I do not know, I do not know...!

I ended the discussion with the uncle. I told him we have discussed a lot in relation to Islam and Christianity, I understood your thoughts and arguments but sorry I have my belief. I began avoiding him any time he would call me. Now was the time for my roommate to continue conversation with him. The Bible he was reading impressed him a lot. He approached me one day and said: "Ibrahim, I think every intellectual should read the Bible at least one time in his life time. It is a book worth reading." I was really wondering what was going on with him now. At first when I joined him he wasn't much interested in religious issues and didn't allow his uncle to force on him any conviction. And yet now, he is reading the Bible, was talking to our uncle and at the same time was asking me to start reading the Bible anew. I told him yes, even though my mind wasn't thinking the same thing because by this time I got a bit afraid, my foundations were already shaken. Furthermore, the Quran is a book that is difficult to understand and in order to comprehend some verses in a deeper way one should consult with Tafsir. I hadn't had a chance to do so yet although had read a lot of books with comments on the Quran.

I decided to pray to God directly so that he could reveal the truth to me. "O Lord I know that Islam is the right religion but in case it's not, then please let me know." This prayer followed me for a while almost every night in searching for God's truth. I didn't want to talk to anyone about this subject any longer, neither with my uncle in Finland nor with my roommate. I wanted this to be something between me and God as I was really confused.

My roommate continued with Bible readings and he would get insights every day from the depth of the knowledge and teachings he would find there. Not long afterwards, I heard him telling me he had made a very important decision for his life: to follow Jesus and the Bible as God’s Word. The Bible had a deep meaning for him and I sensed I had lost my roommate, my cousin and a good friend of mine. I was in great anxiety. I thought that from now on I cannot be his roommate any longer; I will have to go out from here. I saw him as a barrier since he became a Christian. I got mad at him but what could I have done? It was his choice.

In general, it was not a good time to experience. All these battles in my mind that I was going through would result in me having sometimes unordinary thoughts. A harsh voice asked me one night to jump out of the ninth floor of our building. I realized something was going on with me. But why was God allowing all this experience? I turned to him and asked him to help me out of this situation again. I was 19 years of age and it felt like I was carrying all the burdens of the world on my back.

Only a few days later my cousin and still my roommate brought me a book named "The place I desire most". He had gone through this book and saw it as a good opportunity to have an impact on me. Further he was even praying for me now and trying to help me in every possible way. He was a believer for two weeks now. I promised him I would read the book and left it on the table. He went to sleep while I was reading something else. But something was stirring me up to have a look at that book. I was alone in the working room and opened the first pages of book. It appeared to be interesting enough to continue on. The author belonged to the previous century and usually I wasn't attracted to classic authors. But this book seemed different to me. The sentences from the book were knit so beautifully, at least they looked so to me, and with every line I was reading a sense of relief would accompany me. I was thinking particularly about these verses that said: “God in the Day of Judgment will have this question for you: What have you done with my Son? But I have done a lot of good deeds, God; I did this and did that...! - But God will respond: I am not asking you for your good deeds, but rather what have you done with my Son?” These were the words that amazed me most. Actually they took all my attention. It doesn't have to do with our good acts, I reflected, but with the issue of what we did with Jesus. Have we accepted him into our lives or not? This seemed to be a question of life. Most certainly it was for me now. All that I thought so far, that through good deeds we can come to God, is void compared to this question. This was the moment of brokenness in my life, a revolutionary moment of my soul. I felt like God was speaking to me through every word in this book. And it wasn't long while I was reading and reflecting upon these and other verses when something more wondrous happened to me. I had a vision. An image of two persons appeared to my mind. It was almost like I was watching a scene on the walls of the room, though it was happening only in my mind. I saw that a person knelt down with a very ugly face full of pustules, crying loudly. He had long hair. The other person was standing on his feet and was dressed with a white robe. He seemed like Jesus from the movie I had watched earlier. But I couldn't see his face, it was in the shade. The person dressed in shining white was ripping out the hair of the one kneeling down. I could see clearly his ugly face while hearing his loud cries and screams as well. At first I was really scared what was happening with me now. “I am getting mad”, I said to myself. But soon after, I heard a soft and a clear voice in my mind telling me: “Do you see this one kneeling down. It is a demon mistreating you until now. The Lord is setting you free now and you will forever be free.” A new image appeared to my mind, Jesus Christ on the cross. And the voice continued: “Jesus died for your sins. He is the truth and the only way.” I realized immediately that God was showing me the way and the truth I was looking for. I felt myself a sinner and repented about all my past life and surrendered my life to Jesus. I was absolutely convinced about the truth now. In this moment I felt God closer than ever. It was God in action revealing Himself personally to me in a very direct and miraculous way. It was God answering my daily prayer. I felt a great relief. Actually I was really free now of any voices and other attacks of the enemy. No more battles in my mind. I felt totally renewed, entirely a new person. After all, going through this experience I couldn't ever be the same. I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and, for the first time, I could call him my Lord and Savior. I couldn't resist any longer, my tears were falling down. I couldn't believe myself. All that I believed before, within a moment, it was simply gone. No more fear from shirk neither from punishment. Moreover, I understood now that Christians did not consider a simple man God, but on the contrary it was God coming down in a human form. It seemed now reasonable to me because of His love for us. I felt like I had passed through a small hole to the other side full of light, though bleeding a bit. But now for sure I was in a safe place and the enemy had lost his battle about me. The night of March the 1st 1998 was an unforgettable experience that completely changed the course of my life.

I wanted to wake up my cousin in the other room but left it for the next day as a surprise. Next morning as soon as he opened his eyes from sleep I cried to him: "Good morning, brother." First he thought I was teasing him, but I insisted, stood up from the bed and told him I believe in Jesus Christ now. He didn’t believe what he was hearing from me. “Last night we had a debate and he strongly opposed me”, he was thinking, “and today he calls me brother?” “Are you sure”, he said, “what are you talking?” “Yes I am absolutely sure I have found the truth,” I said to him. “I have found the truth in Jesus.” I hugged him and shared all the experience from last night, rejoicing together that we share the same spirit now. “This is a miracle”, he said, “seeing you different within a night.” He led me in prayer and we both continued following Jesus.

I was thinking back on what I had been going through and it was truly God's action that made me believe in Jesus. While before believing in Jesus as more than a prophet was my biggest concern and fear so that I would not associate anyone to God, now this matter turned to be comforting that by faith in Him I had eternal life. Every time I would think about Jesus and what he did for me, my heart would get filled with joy, peace and security for the eternal life. It was a huge contrast.

However, the step I took by believing in Jesus as a result of God acting in me was not an easy one. Soon my family became suspicious that something was going on with me. One day a cousin of mine invited me to join him for Friday prayer and I then told him that I could not accompany him to the mosque because I now believe in the Bible as God's Word and in Jesus instead of Muhammad. Initially he thought I was kidding him but after I persisted he believed me. He talked instantly with my uncles and this information quickly spread all the way to my father. One of my uncles was a "hajji", that is what we call those who had performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, and furthermore he was supporting me financially in my studies in Prishtina since my parents could not afford to do so. He was a devout Muslim and I had promised him that I will dedicate myself to my studies and I would continue in Islam. I felt bad about the promise but Jesus was more important to me now. I knew for sure I would lose his support as soon as he finds out about my conversion, even though I had an inner security that I would not be forsaken by God. On the other hand, my father since the death of my brother had begun practicing Islam by praying five times per day. This is going to be shock for him.

As soon as my father heard about me, he came instantly to me questioning whether what he heard from others was true. He said, "I didn't want to believe this before talking to you, is this true?" I told him it is true what you heard from others, I do not believe any longer in Muhammad. My heart was beating the highest it could. I did not believe myself that I could find strength to say that straightly. He got horrified because he hoped that I would deny it by saying the opposite. He went outside immediately and tried to do some work in the garden while thinking about the situation. I was following him from the windows and I could see he was really agitated. He would stop working, touch his head and walk a bit, then would turn back to work again. By the evening time he approached me again and this time he was determined to continue our conversation until the end. He started more softly, “Look here my brothers expect an answer from me tomorrow; I cannot meet them if you do not promise you will become Muslim again. You need to change your mind tonight.” It was a kind of pressure but not in a high tone. I said, “With all my regret I cannot do that. You can ask whatever you want from me apart from giving up my belief in Jesus. I really thought this over very thoroughly before I made this decision and I can't compromise with such things.” While I was talking to him a Bible verse would come to my mind: "Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." (Matthew 10:33). I must not deny Jesus, I thought, it's not a right thing to do after all He did for me. It did not take long until my father knelt down, his eyes full of tears: "I plead with you not to do this thing to me. This is the most embarrassing thing to me. I have lost one son and the only one I have now has turned his back on me. This is even worse for me than the loss of my first son. I can't bear this thing, I can't", he said. This was the worst thing I could have experienced as well. I could never have imagined my dad kneeling in tears in front of me. Furthermore in our culture this was unimaginable. I couldn't stay seated any longer; I couldn't bear this situation either. With tears in my eyes I said to him: "Please do not ask me to deny my faith in Jesus as I can never do that. If my presence in your house will worsen the situation I can leave tomorrow immediately". He became more aggressive in his tone: "But I am your father, I have created you", he said, "And you have to obey me", he continued. "Does your Bible teach you to obey your parents?" I said, "Yes, it says. But first it says you must obey God". I was thinking of Matthew 10:37: "Anyone who loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me..." I ran out to my room praying that God will calm down the situation when I saw my father following me to my room. I had on my table a Bible and a lot of other Christian books. He looked at them first, took the Bible and started tearing it page after page. After he was done with the Bible he took all the other books I had on the table and then went to my shelves took the others too and tore them all up. He said "The Imam was right when he told me do not let your son read those books because they could change his mind. I was pretending to be wiser by telling him, no he is just reading them out of curiosity. I was proud that my son wants to know more. Here you have now all these books and never bring a book like that in my house again", he was yelling. I didn't react at all, knowing the he was out of control, even though my heart was in pain seeing all the Christian books being torn up, including the Bible.

I soon left my hometown for Prishtina where I was studying, praying that I was really on God's hands now. My uncle was making it clear that unless I become Muslim again I didn't deserve his support. I agreed with him that he was right and understood his situation of being "hajji" and not able to support a Christian any longer. I continued believing in Jesus that he would find a way out of the situation. Very soon God provided for me a job in Prishtina so I would not bow down to anyone and compromise my new faith. I had a full time job in an international organization and had to interrupt studies for a few years until I was able to save some income for the years I had to attend the University. This was how I managed to keep up with studies and not beg my uncle or anyone else. God proved Himself faithful and real to me. Not even a single moment I felt forsaken or abandoned. He was showing his gracious hand to me.

The situation with the father continued to be difficult for four years almost. Not even a single word he whispered to me. When I would go home visiting them – particularly my mum, as she was suffering most –, he would leave the house and go meet with the others. I would always try to come closer to him but he wouldn’t give me a chance. For him, I wasn't his son any longer. I betrayed him, I did not obey him despite his pleadings, and I embarrassed him before the others. Based on the Quran and traditions as Christian I wasn't supposed to inherit his house or anything else either. He said he is going to assign everything he possessed to the Islamic Community. Furthermore he said to my mother, Ibrahim can be thankful that Sharia law doesn't rule in Kosovo, otherwise he would have been punished for apostasy. He knew very well what the Sharia law says and was happy himself we are living in a secular country so that I wouldn't be put to death. Still, all my attempts to reconcile with him were useless. I prayed for years about our situation and almost gave up hope that I will see a day where we would talk again. But what looked impossible for me was possible for God. One night while I happened to be home, my father got sick and fainted. I didn't know what was going on. I thought he was having a heart attack. Then I realized he had gone through diarrhea for several days due to a severe infection. I sent him to hospital, took care of him several days and noted his heart was getting softer. He began talking to me again. He began getting closer with me despite that I hadn't compromised my faith. God was now working in his life and I was getting my dad back. I never thought this was going to be the manner how we could get back again. I gave praise to the God anew for His ways are completely different from ours.

The other thing that disturbed my father was my relationship with a Christian girl. After we improved a bit in our conversation he hoped that, perhaps, I would listen him and get married to a Muslim girl and that would perhaps influence me coming back to Islam again. The moment he heard about my relationship with the Christian girl he got disturbed again. He was losing his last hope. He wasn't agreeing at all. He said, “I will never accept them as couple in my house.” But I had to be patient and prayerful enough to walk the next step of faith. Some time later I decided to go and visit my family along with my girlfriend. I wanted him to know my future wife. I was expecting everything; the worst would be to kick us both out. But to my amazement he behaved very well with my girlfriend, he liked her a lot and furthermore he was talking nicely and more to her than even to me. I saw God's hand in action again. We got married and we lived at my parents’ house for almost a year before we moved to Prishtina due to the work.

Today when I compare my current belief with the previous one, I notice a lot of differences. It is not that I haven't been happy with Islam but what I found after is incomparable to anything else. I found Jesus filling the void existing in my heart. The void that was impossible to get filled either by religion or by good deeds, or by anything else because it was created to be inhabited by God Himself.

Additionally, after accepting Christ many other differences between my former and latter belief became clear to me. The first thing has to do with faith, which in Islam was more or less static. I believed God existed above but was far away from me and remote regardless of my prayers and fasting. Everything I did was out of fear of Allah and his consequent punishment. Today my faith is functional and is based on a close personal relationship I have with God. Every good act I perform nowadays comes out of this relationship based on the love towards God rather than fear. The next thing has to with the character of God. God in Bible has revealed Himself to be personal as I have been experiencing Him in the last years and continue to taste that personal relationship with Him every day. God is now my Father and I am his child, which, in Islam is considered to be a blasphemy. I have learnt now that God loves the sick person (sinner) but doesn't love his disease (sin), whereas before I was taught from the Quran that all the sinners will be expecting fire. Then follows the issue of having the security of eternal life. My eternal destiny before as far as salvation is concerned was not safe. Though I tried to do everything possible by good deeds, again I felt like I could not reach heaven. Today I know that Jesus took my condemnation while dying for me on the cross for my sins and I do not have to pay them as they are already paid. This is the confidence I have to escape balancing my deeds on a scale on Judgment Day. Eternal life based on the belief in Jesus Christ is a gift offered to me once and forever. Next, before I was always faced with the question: Why can't I run from the sin regardless of everything spiritual I might do? I did not like that but had not any means to prevent sin in my life. Then as a believer in Jesus Christ I noticed there is a power in me to overcome sin and found myself triumphing over sin. This doesn't mean I will sin no more as I still have the clash between my old nature and new one put on by Christ, but this certainly means that sin has no authority over me any longer. One of the other changes I observe in myself is that the more I believed in Islam the more hate I would have against Jews and Christians. Today this spirit of hate doesn't exist in me. Even more, I love Muslims in spite of their hatred towards me now. The Spirit of hate has been replaced with the spirit of love. Prayer and fasting was mechanic, I would learn the Suras in Arabic, a language that was considered to be the heavenly one but which was not understandable to me and I would recite that to Allah. Prayer today is very meaningful to me because I pray in my language and I do not follow any particular scheme. I say to God everything that is in my heart knowing that He is there always listening me. Even when I fast today, I share this with no one, it is enough that God knows and sees me. By fasting I try to get closer to God leaving aside even the most important item for our lives, food. I reflect upon my life, repent of any sin possible, pray and look forward to the future in accordance with God's will and I worship Him for what He is.

My dear friends, this is my story on how did I come to know Jesus personally in my life. It is the most valuable thing earned ever. It doesn't have to do with religions, which one is better than the other, though there are a lot of differences, but rather has to do with the beginning of a new relationship with God. I would like that all of you reading this story come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by asking God to reveal Himself to you since He is faithful and He is eagerly waiting for you. Moreover, it is His promise to answer you if you search Him sincerely: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7).

Dear friends, I my past I have made many mistakes and I have regretted a lot of things, but in one thing I never made a mistake nor regretted anything and that is the great moment when I placed my belief in Jesus Christ forever, as my Lord and Savior.

Remember at this moment He is extending to you the same invitation for a new life with Him, an abundant life, full of peace and joy. The decision regarding your eternal destiny is in your hands.

Please feel free to contact me with whatever question you might have at this address.

May God bless you richly!


Ibra

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time to wake up
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by time to wake up »

Der Ibra

What a wonderful testimony.

As I read it I had uncontrolled tears rolling down my face, I have read so much about hatred on this site and others that it became a crushing burden to me and my Joy was robbed, now you have restored that, and reminded me that no matter what happens in this life, our security is in Jesus Christ alone and nothing can take that away.

I'm sure your words will have a profound affect on all who read them.

God bless you

Time to wake up
dianagrace
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by dianagrace »

Congratulations and thank you for the inspirational testimony. I have muslims friends and
really wish they could read something like this. But as they say, change begins with one
step forward. I wish you all the best and may you continue to be strong in the faith
despite all the persecution and tests. God bless!!
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ....
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AhmedBahgat
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by AhmedBahgat »

Skenderbeg wrote:Its a long story but moving and emotional, lately 1000s of Muslims are leaving Islam in Kosova.

My name is Ibrahim and I come from a Muslim family from Kosovo. Since my childhood I had a great interest regarding religion. I was fascinated with the idea there is a God that has created everything in heaven and on earth and I endeavored to understand how this God looks like. I remember my grandmother teaching me as a child to always speak aloud the Basmala, i.e. the Arabic phrase "bismi-llāhi ar-rahmāni ar-rahīmi" before and after the sleep as well as always before the meal and to thank God after the meal by saying Alhamdulillah. She would often take me in her room to pray with her and she taught me that any time I would be scared from darkness or whatever else, I would be released from the fear by repeating the Basmala three times in a row. And I would do so.

My family was comprised by my parents and my brother who was eight years older than me. At the time I was attending elementary school he enrolled at University. He was very dedicated to his studies until he got poisoned by tear gas in a dormitory. Occupation forces which were at that time in Kosovo had undertaken an initiative to cast out all the students from the dorms and faculties and this was one of the ways to do so. Since that time my brother was not in a good health condition. A year later he got very sick and the doctors were not able to diagnose precisely his disease apart from releasing a statement that his nervous system was attacked which results in muscle feebleness. Not even a year from the outset of his disease he passed away at the age of 22. This tragedy in our family changed the direction of our life. I was 14 years old when I lost my brother. My mother went through a deep depression while my father attempted to find comfort in Islam by starting practicing. For me this was a time of searching and getting to know more about God by deepening my knowledge of and commitment to Islam, without thinking at first about any other religion. I thought only God knew the reason behind the death of my brother and we ought to be patient towards any decision coming from Allah since the good and the bad results from Him.

It was this tragedy that increased my interest in my religion. I continuously went to the mosque, prayed the prescribed prayers (in Arabic language), read the Quran and any Islamic literature and found satisfaction in what I was doing. Every time I would go to the mosque I would thank God for being born a Muslim because Islam was the only acceptable religion before God and the only way to salvation. Very soon I formed a worldview on Islam and generally on religions: Quran is the latest revelation descended from Allah; God is one, He is not born nor did he give birth to anyone; no one is equal to Him. His decisions are sovereign and I was supposed to cope with everything coming into my life. God accepts people directly without any intercessor. God doesn't need a child and that what Christians believe is totally wrong. They will be punished for "shirk", the biggest sin someone can ever perform. Thus, I should always be careful about indulging in idolatry, never associating anything with God because He is harsh and I would be expecting punishment too. Because of this particular reason along with changing intentionally God's Word I hated Christians and Jews. In addition, imams in the mosques which I attended preached against these communities. I remember once when my uncle circumcised his son how the imam taught that Jews are cursed people and nothing good comes from them, only evil, and God surely on Judgment Day will punish them in the harshest way. I didn't fully agree with him since Christians deserved more punishment than Jews because Christians are turning a simple man into God and blaspheming against the oneness of God. I couldn't understand at all how they could do such a terrible thing. It was completely unacceptable for me, incomprehensible, and a very detestable thing.

With these views on Islam and Christianity I moved to the capital city, Prishtina, for the purpose of getting registered at the University. In the second year of my studies I decided to join a cousin of mine and share a room with him while studying in Prishtina. This was perhaps the best time of our student life as we would share and discuss a lot of things from our lives. Religion was one of the topics we discussed and often we would see ourselves talking until the early hours of the mourning. My cousin (then roommate) was also coming from a Muslim background but was more influenced by secular ideas. Despite that fact he would read sometimes books on religion, he believed that God exists but we as "intellectuals" should view our lives not only by religion, rather we should seek our career and ambitions being fulfilled. While we would discuss about these issues, my roommate had an uncle in Finland who converted to Christianity. He was also one of my distant cousins but since he was quite a bit older than me, I would call him uncle as well. He had accepted Christ several years ago and had tried to discuss with my roommate many times before but at a certain moment he ceased talking to him about religious issues as he felt his uncle was imposing his convictions on him. I told my roommate I was interested discussing with him since I heard a lot of bad things about him deviating from the right path including even financial assistance in order to convert to Christianity. This caused me unhesitatingly to open the discussion at the first moment he called us.

For our uncle in Finland this meant a green signal to begin anew with the discussions. “What made you change religion, uncle?”, I asked him. In order to answer this question it was impossible to finish this discussion within only one hour. He continued to do so quite often, sometimes even every day, by talking for hours. I received the first Bible in Albanian from Finland as well as some booklets he had been able to find there in the Albanian language. Along with the literature, he sent us also a package with audio tapes where he would speak more extensively on issues we would raise in our phone conversations. My cousin and I would listen to these tapes each night. There were two issues which were very difficult for me while listening to those tapes. First, besides explaining Christian faith, he was also criticizing Islam and particularly Muhammad. That made me very angry. Secondly, he was praying for us in the name of Jesus, and even more, he was addressing God as his Father. I could not bear to listen to those prayers and would always skip.

After one of those tapes, I opened up my Bible for the first time but after some days of reading in it I stopped doing so. I just couldn’t read the Bible. With every line I read it I would think that it was manipulated and altered by human hands. Furthermore, it was this contempt I felt for the Christian faith and Christians that caused me to feel uncomfortable while reading the Bible. Even so, I continued discussions and talked intensively with our uncle in Finland. At this time even my roommate joined us although he had stopped discussions with him earlier though he was listening to his tapes with me.

Our uncle in Finland was very enthusiastic and on fire regarding his new faith. Very soon I found out that none of the charges our families had brought against him was true. I could sense he was deeply convicted about Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven. However, while he would share much from Christianity I would counterattack him by emphasizing that the Quran was the latest revelation that had descended directly from God, protected by God from any corruption, a book which contains a lot of scientific discoveries and as a result could not in any way be compared to the Bible. There were even a lot of hot debates between us. Now I had my roommate alongside with me and we formed a team for destroying the arguments of our uncle with the facts we possessed. I found some books at the mosque's library one day while I prayed on Friday noon. Most of the books were from Ahmed Deedat which spoke of Bible contradictions, different Bibles Christians have, crucifixion as a fiction and a lot of Bible mistakes (one was especially hot, "50.000 mistakes in the Bible"). I found some other books from other authors too at some friends of mine and I thought these will be our weapons against our uncle. I checked all the books but even though some charges against the Bible sounded reasonable to me, I had great difficulties to believe in all of these charges. I studied a book "Muhammad in the Bible" by Abdul Ahad Dawud who was once a catholic priest and although I believed that Muhammad was mentioned in the Bible I couldn't accept all his claims. According to him even John the Baptist prophesied about Muhammad and every prophecy that was almost crystal clear in pointing to Jesus he was interpreting as referring to Muhammad. These books in fact instead of consolidating my faith in Islam, to my amazement had a contrary effect on me. Anyways, I continued using the books against my uncle but it became clear that proving that the Bible is really contradictory and full of mistakes wasn't an easy task to do at all. That was because my uncle had good answers to my contradictions and mistakes but also these authors disappointed me by trying to make the impossible mission possible by applying to Muhammad a lot of prophecies and other arguments referring to Jesus. My logic didn’t accept them. I just sensed that these authors were not honest in their motives toward Jesus and Christianity even though I was a Muslim too and didn’t like Christianity at all.

While I would continue debates with our uncle, my roommate began to read the Bible. He would do that regularly and his appetite for religious issues was stimulated more. The front between us in this part of Europe and our uncle in the northern part of Europe was now set. Religion was the main thing we would deal with. For a while I even dropped the lessons of the school. Our uncle was well prepared against such charges and I couldn’t see many results from these debates.

This period lasted for almost 6 months or so and it wasn't easy to protect my belief in Islam while getting exposed further to Christianity which seemed to have more and more meaning as time was going by. Being totally preoccupied with these issues, I started even having dreams. At other times I would spent sleepless nights thinking over the issues discussed. In those dreams I saw a few times how I became a Christian and after that I would wake up gripped by fear that this might actually happen. I would imagine all the problems I would have to face with my family but more to that I was afraid that I would get lost in eternity since the Christian faith could not be true with all the shirk they perform. Though I didn't want to read the Bible, from a little what I read as well as from the ongoing conversations with the uncle, some Bible verses would continuously grab my mind: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6); "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30); "He who hears my words and believes... has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24); "He that looks in me, sees the one who sent me." (John 12:45). All these verses had to do with Jesus, dealing at the same time with his divine nature as well and very often were to "heavy" for me. My mind obviously served as a battlefield. I did not have quietness at all concerning the truth. Where is the truth to be found? Is it in the Bible or in the Quran? Was Muhammad the last of the messengers or is Jesus the Lord and the Savior of the world? How about if all of that was an attempt of the devil to convert me to Christianity? How about if Jesus truly came to forgive our sins? Nevertheless, about one thing I was sure: both Quran and Bible couldn't be true; the truth will have to stand on one side. God could not be revealing two contradictory truths. Either the Bible was true or the Quran, either Christianity or Islam. And the battle would continue. But what if Jesus appears to me personally in a physical body as I heard from my uncle that he did so a lot of times? I heard of Gulshan Ester's testimony that she was paralyzed and for three years praying regularly, Jesus appears to her in her room and she gets healed and walks finally. She prayed and did everything in the name of Allah, even visited Mecca several times. But her prayers were met by Jesus. He answered her prayers and changed her life completely. But no, no, I will not allow myself to fall in the trap; I have my faith and am happy with it. Even if Jesus appears to me in person I will reject him. But is it possible to tell him that this is the devil’s fraud? I do not know, I do not know...!

I ended the discussion with the uncle. I told him we have discussed a lot in relation to Islam and Christianity, I understood your thoughts and arguments but sorry I have my belief. I began avoiding him any time he would call me. Now was the time for my roommate to continue conversation with him. The Bible he was reading impressed him a lot. He approached me one day and said: "Ibrahim, I think every intellectual should read the Bible at least one time in his life time. It is a book worth reading." I was really wondering what was going on with him now. At first when I joined him he wasn't much interested in religious issues and didn't allow his uncle to force on him any conviction. And yet now, he is reading the Bible, was talking to our uncle and at the same time was asking me to start reading the Bible anew. I told him yes, even though my mind wasn't thinking the same thing because by this time I got a bit afraid, my foundations were already shaken. Furthermore, the Quran is a book that is difficult to understand and in order to comprehend some verses in a deeper way one should consult with Tafsir. I hadn't had a chance to do so yet although had read a lot of books with comments on the Quran.

I decided to pray to God directly so that he could reveal the truth to me. "O Lord I know that Islam is the right religion but in case it's not, then please let me know." This prayer followed me for a while almost every night in searching for God's truth. I didn't want to talk to anyone about this subject any longer, neither with my uncle in Finland nor with my roommate. I wanted this to be something between me and God as I was really confused.

My roommate continued with Bible readings and he would get insights every day from the depth of the knowledge and teachings he would find there. Not long afterwards, I heard him telling me he had made a very important decision for his life: to follow Jesus and the Bible as God’s Word. The Bible had a deep meaning for him and I sensed I had lost my roommate, my cousin and a good friend of mine. I was in great anxiety. I thought that from now on I cannot be his roommate any longer; I will have to go out from here. I saw him as a barrier since he became a Christian. I got mad at him but what could I have done? It was his choice.

In general, it was not a good time to experience. All these battles in my mind that I was going through would result in me having sometimes unordinary thoughts. A harsh voice asked me one night to jump out of the ninth floor of our building. I realized something was going on with me. But why was God allowing all this experience? I turned to him and asked him to help me out of this situation again. I was 19 years of age and it felt like I was carrying all the burdens of the world on my back.

Only a few days later my cousin and still my roommate brought me a book named "The place I desire most". He had gone through this book and saw it as a good opportunity to have an impact on me. Further he was even praying for me now and trying to help me in every possible way. He was a believer for two weeks now. I promised him I would read the book and left it on the table. He went to sleep while I was reading something else. But something was stirring me up to have a look at that book. I was alone in the working room and opened the first pages of book. It appeared to be interesting enough to continue on. The author belonged to the previous century and usually I wasn't attracted to classic authors. But this book seemed different to me. The sentences from the book were knit so beautifully, at least they looked so to me, and with every line I was reading a sense of relief would accompany me. I was thinking particularly about these verses that said: “God in the Day of Judgment will have this question for you: What have you done with my Son? But I have done a lot of good deeds, God; I did this and did that...! - But God will respond: I am not asking you for your good deeds, but rather what have you done with my Son?” These were the words that amazed me most. Actually they took all my attention. It doesn't have to do with our good acts, I reflected, but with the issue of what we did with Jesus. Have we accepted him into our lives or not? This seemed to be a question of life. Most certainly it was for me now. All that I thought so far, that through good deeds we can come to God, is void compared to this question. This was the moment of brokenness in my life, a revolutionary moment of my soul. I felt like God was speaking to me through every word in this book. And it wasn't long while I was reading and reflecting upon these and other verses when something more wondrous happened to me. I had a vision. An image of two persons appeared to my mind. It was almost like I was watching a scene on the walls of the room, though it was happening only in my mind. I saw that a person knelt down with a very ugly face full of pustules, crying loudly. He had long hair. The other person was standing on his feet and was dressed with a white robe. He seemed like Jesus from the movie I had watched earlier. But I couldn't see his face, it was in the shade. The person dressed in shining white was ripping out the hair of the one kneeling down. I could see clearly his ugly face while hearing his loud cries and screams as well. At first I was really scared what was happening with me now. “I am getting mad”, I said to myself. But soon after, I heard a soft and a clear voice in my mind telling me: “Do you see this one kneeling down. It is a demon mistreating you until now. The Lord is setting you free now and you will forever be free.” A new image appeared to my mind, Jesus Christ on the cross. And the voice continued: “Jesus died for your sins. He is the truth and the only way.” I realized immediately that God was showing me the way and the truth I was looking for. I felt myself a sinner and repented about all my past life and surrendered my life to Jesus. I was absolutely convinced about the truth now. In this moment I felt God closer than ever. It was God in action revealing Himself personally to me in a very direct and miraculous way. It was God answering my daily prayer. I felt a great relief. Actually I was really free now of any voices and other attacks of the enemy. No more battles in my mind. I felt totally renewed, entirely a new person. After all, going through this experience I couldn't ever be the same. I placed my faith in Jesus Christ and, for the first time, I could call him my Lord and Savior. I couldn't resist any longer, my tears were falling down. I couldn't believe myself. All that I believed before, within a moment, it was simply gone. No more fear from shirk neither from punishment. Moreover, I understood now that Christians did not consider a simple man God, but on the contrary it was God coming down in a human form. It seemed now reasonable to me because of His love for us. I felt like I had passed through a small hole to the other side full of light, though bleeding a bit. But now for sure I was in a safe place and the enemy had lost his battle about me. The night of March the 1st 1998 was an unforgettable experience that completely changed the course of my life.

I wanted to wake up my cousin in the other room but left it for the next day as a surprise. Next morning as soon as he opened his eyes from sleep I cried to him: "Good morning, brother." First he thought I was teasing him, but I insisted, stood up from the bed and told him I believe in Jesus Christ now. He didn’t believe what he was hearing from me. “Last night we had a debate and he strongly opposed me”, he was thinking, “and today he calls me brother?” “Are you sure”, he said, “what are you talking?” “Yes I am absolutely sure I have found the truth,” I said to him. “I have found the truth in Jesus.” I hugged him and shared all the experience from last night, rejoicing together that we share the same spirit now. “This is a miracle”, he said, “seeing you different within a night.” He led me in prayer and we both continued following Jesus.

I was thinking back on what I had been going through and it was truly God's action that made me believe in Jesus. While before believing in Jesus as more than a prophet was my biggest concern and fear so that I would not associate anyone to God, now this matter turned to be comforting that by faith in Him I had eternal life. Every time I would think about Jesus and what he did for me, my heart would get filled with joy, peace and security for the eternal life. It was a huge contrast.

However, the step I took by believing in Jesus as a result of God acting in me was not an easy one. Soon my family became suspicious that something was going on with me. One day a cousin of mine invited me to join him for Friday prayer and I then told him that I could not accompany him to the mosque because I now believe in the Bible as God's Word and in Jesus instead of Muhammad. Initially he thought I was kidding him but after I persisted he believed me. He talked instantly with my uncles and this information quickly spread all the way to my father. One of my uncles was a "hajji", that is what we call those who had performed the pilgrimage to Mecca, and furthermore he was supporting me financially in my studies in Prishtina since my parents could not afford to do so. He was a devout Muslim and I had promised him that I will dedicate myself to my studies and I would continue in Islam. I felt bad about the promise but Jesus was more important to me now. I knew for sure I would lose his support as soon as he finds out about my conversion, even though I had an inner security that I would not be forsaken by God. On the other hand, my father since the death of my brother had begun practicing Islam by praying five times per day. This is going to be shock for him.

As soon as my father heard about me, he came instantly to me questioning whether what he heard from others was true. He said, "I didn't want to believe this before talking to you, is this true?" I told him it is true what you heard from others, I do not believe any longer in Muhammad. My heart was beating the highest it could. I did not believe myself that I could find strength to say that straightly. He got horrified because he hoped that I would deny it by saying the opposite. He went outside immediately and tried to do some work in the garden while thinking about the situation. I was following him from the windows and I could see he was really agitated. He would stop working, touch his head and walk a bit, then would turn back to work again. By the evening time he approached me again and this time he was determined to continue our conversation until the end. He started more softly, “Look here my brothers expect an answer from me tomorrow; I cannot meet them if you do not promise you will become Muslim again. You need to change your mind tonight.” It was a kind of pressure but not in a high tone. I said, “With all my regret I cannot do that. You can ask whatever you want from me apart from giving up my belief in Jesus. I really thought this over very thoroughly before I made this decision and I can't compromise with such things.” While I was talking to him a Bible verse would come to my mind: "Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." (Matthew 10:33). I must not deny Jesus, I thought, it's not a right thing to do after all He did for me. It did not take long until my father knelt down, his eyes full of tears: "I plead with you not to do this thing to me. This is the most embarrassing thing to me. I have lost one son and the only one I have now has turned his back on me. This is even worse for me than the loss of my first son. I can't bear this thing, I can't", he said. This was the worst thing I could have experienced as well. I could never have imagined my dad kneeling in tears in front of me. Furthermore in our culture this was unimaginable. I couldn't stay seated any longer; I couldn't bear this situation either. With tears in my eyes I said to him: "Please do not ask me to deny my faith in Jesus as I can never do that. If my presence in your house will worsen the situation I can leave tomorrow immediately". He became more aggressive in his tone: "But I am your father, I have created you", he said, "And you have to obey me", he continued. "Does your Bible teach you to obey your parents?" I said, "Yes, it says. But first it says you must obey God". I was thinking of Matthew 10:37: "Anyone who loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me..." I ran out to my room praying that God will calm down the situation when I saw my father following me to my room. I had on my table a Bible and a lot of other Christian books. He looked at them first, took the Bible and started tearing it page after page. After he was done with the Bible he took all the other books I had on the table and then went to my shelves took the others too and tore them all up. He said "The Imam was right when he told me do not let your son read those books because they could change his mind. I was pretending to be wiser by telling him, no he is just reading them out of curiosity. I was proud that my son wants to know more. Here you have now all these books and never bring a book like that in my house again", he was yelling. I didn't react at all, knowing the he was out of control, even though my heart was in pain seeing all the Christian books being torn up, including the Bible.

I soon left my hometown for Prishtina where I was studying, praying that I was really on God's hands now. My uncle was making it clear that unless I become Muslim again I didn't deserve his support. I agreed with him that he was right and understood his situation of being "hajji" and not able to support a Christian any longer. I continued believing in Jesus that he would find a way out of the situation. Very soon God provided for me a job in Prishtina so I would not bow down to anyone and compromise my new faith. I had a full time job in an international organization and had to interrupt studies for a few years until I was able to save some income for the years I had to attend the University. This was how I managed to keep up with studies and not beg my uncle or anyone else. God proved Himself faithful and real to me. Not even a single moment I felt forsaken or abandoned. He was showing his gracious hand to me.

The situation with the father continued to be difficult for four years almost. Not even a single word he whispered to me. When I would go home visiting them – particularly my mum, as she was suffering most –, he would leave the house and go meet with the others. I would always try to come closer to him but he wouldn’t give me a chance. For him, I wasn't his son any longer. I betrayed him, I did not obey him despite his pleadings, and I embarrassed him before the others. Based on the Quran and traditions as Christian I wasn't supposed to inherit his house or anything else either. He said he is going to assign everything he possessed to the Islamic Community. Furthermore he said to my mother, Ibrahim can be thankful that Sharia law doesn't rule in Kosovo, otherwise he would have been punished for apostasy. He knew very well what the Sharia law says and was happy himself we are living in a secular country so that I wouldn't be put to death. Still, all my attempts to reconcile with him were useless. I prayed for years about our situation and almost gave up hope that I will see a day where we would talk again. But what looked impossible for me was possible for God. One night while I happened to be home, my father got sick and fainted. I didn't know what was going on. I thought he was having a heart attack. Then I realized he had gone through diarrhea for several days due to a severe infection. I sent him to hospital, took care of him several days and noted his heart was getting softer. He began talking to me again. He began getting closer with me despite that I hadn't compromised my faith. God was now working in his life and I was getting my dad back. I never thought this was going to be the manner how we could get back again. I gave praise to the God anew for His ways are completely different from ours.

The other thing that disturbed my father was my relationship with a Christian girl. After we improved a bit in our conversation he hoped that, perhaps, I would listen him and get married to a Muslim girl and that would perhaps influence me coming back to Islam again. The moment he heard about my relationship with the Christian girl he got disturbed again. He was losing his last hope. He wasn't agreeing at all. He said, “I will never accept them as couple in my house.” But I had to be patient and prayerful enough to walk the next step of faith. Some time later I decided to go and visit my family along with my girlfriend. I wanted him to know my future wife. I was expecting everything; the worst would be to kick us both out. But to my amazement he behaved very well with my girlfriend, he liked her a lot and furthermore he was talking nicely and more to her than even to me. I saw God's hand in action again. We got married and we lived at my parents’ house for almost a year before we moved to Prishtina due to the work.

Today when I compare my current belief with the previous one, I notice a lot of differences. It is not that I haven't been happy with Islam but what I found after is incomparable to anything else. I found Jesus filling the void existing in my heart. The void that was impossible to get filled either by religion or by good deeds, or by anything else because it was created to be inhabited by God Himself.

Additionally, after accepting Christ many other differences between my former and latter belief became clear to me. The first thing has to do with faith, which in Islam was more or less static. I believed God existed above but was far away from me and remote regardless of my prayers and fasting. Everything I did was out of fear of Allah and his consequent punishment. Today my faith is functional and is based on a close personal relationship I have with God. Every good act I perform nowadays comes out of this relationship based on the love towards God rather than fear. The next thing has to with the character of God. God in Bible has revealed Himself to be personal as I have been experiencing Him in the last years and continue to taste that personal relationship with Him every day. God is now my Father and I am his child, which, in Islam is considered to be a blasphemy. I have learnt now that God loves the sick person (sinner) but doesn't love his disease (sin), whereas before I was taught from the Quran that all the sinners will be expecting fire. Then follows the issue of having the security of eternal life. My eternal destiny before as far as salvation is concerned was not safe. Though I tried to do everything possible by good deeds, again I felt like I could not reach heaven. Today I know that Jesus took my condemnation while dying for me on the cross for my sins and I do not have to pay them as they are already paid. This is the confidence I have to escape balancing my deeds on a scale on Judgment Day. Eternal life based on the belief in Jesus Christ is a gift offered to me once and forever. Next, before I was always faced with the question: Why can't I run from the sin regardless of everything spiritual I might do? I did not like that but had not any means to prevent sin in my life. Then as a believer in Jesus Christ I noticed there is a power in me to overcome sin and found myself triumphing over sin. This doesn't mean I will sin no more as I still have the clash between my old nature and new one put on by Christ, but this certainly means that sin has no authority over me any longer. One of the other changes I observe in myself is that the more I believed in Islam the more hate I would have against Jews and Christians. Today this spirit of hate doesn't exist in me. Even more, I love Muslims in spite of their hatred towards me now. The Spirit of hate has been replaced with the spirit of love. Prayer and fasting was mechanic, I would learn the Suras in Arabic, a language that was considered to be the heavenly one but which was not understandable to me and I would recite that to Allah. Prayer today is very meaningful to me because I pray in my language and I do not follow any particular scheme. I say to God everything that is in my heart knowing that He is there always listening me. Even when I fast today, I share this with no one, it is enough that God knows and sees me. By fasting I try to get closer to God leaving aside even the most important item for our lives, food. I reflect upon my life, repent of any sin possible, pray and look forward to the future in accordance with God's will and I worship Him for what He is.

My dear friends, this is my story on how did I come to know Jesus personally in my life. It is the most valuable thing earned ever. It doesn't have to do with religions, which one is better than the other, though there are a lot of differences, but rather has to do with the beginning of a new relationship with God. I would like that all of you reading this story come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by asking God to reveal Himself to you since He is faithful and He is eagerly waiting for you. Moreover, it is His promise to answer you if you search Him sincerely: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Matthew 7:7).

Dear friends, I my past I have made many mistakes and I have regretted a lot of things, but in one thing I never made a mistake nor regretted anything and that is the great moment when I placed my belief in Jesus Christ forever, as my Lord and Savior.

Remember at this moment He is extending to you the same invitation for a new life with Him, an abundant life, full of peace and joy. The decision regarding your eternal destiny is in your hands.

Please feel free to contact me with whatever question you might have at this address.

May God bless you richly!


Ibra

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Hahahahaah, I like how apostates delude themselves

yeh, very moving indeed, it gives me the pleasure of knowing the jerks that should never be Muslims from the first place
User avatar
kenmirzz
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:08 am

Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by kenmirzz »

Hahahahaah, I like how apostates delude themselves

yeh, very moving indeed, it gives me the pleasure of knowing the jerks that should never be Muslims from the first place
hi my human family.

of course islam is for you ahmad baghat. suraa al mu'minun: wallazhinahum a'laa furrujihim haafizun. illa a'laa azwaajijim AW MAA MALAKAT AYMAANUHUM fainnahum ghairu maluumiin.

humanity is but one family. :)
capner
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:02 pm

Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by capner »

Welcome to the world of the saved. It is marvelous how GOD is choosing people from every race and tribe on Earth.
Praise be to GOD and Jesus. Praise HIM. ;)
katmandu
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:29 pm

Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by katmandu »

Dear Ibrahim

Thank you for what you wrote; am touched and deeply impressed, and admire your courage to stand up to your father's demands.

This could be the essence of the difference between Islam and CHRIST:
"Because you have not received the spirit of slavery in order to fear again, but you have received the Spirit of the Son which makes us say 'Abba, father' Romans 8 :15

"
Beloved, let us love each other, as love is from God, and anyone, who loves, is born with God and knows God. He who doesn't love, doesn't know God, because God is love. Herein is the love of God revealed to us, that God has sent His only Son in the world, so that we ccould live through Him. Herein is love - not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son for the forgiveness of our sins". 1 Johannes 4 :8-10
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Santiaguista
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Santiaguista »

welcome to the world of the living Ibrahim :D
fc7711
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by fc7711 »

I'm glad that you escaped from the mental shackles, the sad thing is that you just switched one brand of nonsense for another . There is considerable evidence pointing out that Jesus was only a mythological figure, not an actual person as the Christian cult would have you believe. Christianity is more modern and more tolerable than Islam but that doesn't make it any more true, they are both as false as the thousands of pagan gods that people invented before the current god of Judiasm/Christianity/Islam, same lie, different name. Read Victor Stenger's books, he basially proves that a god with the traits that the big three religions worship does not and cannott exist, as much as you can prove that an invisible spirit doesn't exist, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, use your reason and leave faith to children for Santa Claus. Take as many science classes as possible in the University, eventually you will realize that all religions are false, there is no god, no spirits, angels, souls etc. There is only the material world. Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. It's the only one you'll have.
Mr Preet
Posts: 372
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:17 pm

Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Mr Preet »

fc7711 wrote:I'm glad that you escaped from the mental shackles, the sad thing is that you just switched one brand of nonsense for another . There is considerable evidence pointing out that Jesus was only a mythological figure, not an actual person as the Christian cult would have you believe. Christianity is more modern and more tolerable than Islam but that doesn't make it any more true, they are both as false as the thousands of pagan gods that people invented before the current god of Judiasm/Christianity/Islam, same lie, different name. Read Victor Stenger's books, he basially proves that a god with the traits that the big three religions worship does not and cannott exist, as much as you can prove that an invisible spirit doesn't exist, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, use your reason and leave faith to children for Santa Claus. Take as many science classes as possible in the University, eventually you will realize that all religions are false, there is no god, no spirits, angels, souls etc. There is only the material world. Enjoy your life and live it to the fullest. It's the only one you'll have.
I have no hatred for ANY religion (or for that matter non-religion), even if its followers worship rocks, frogs or trees, IF that religion/cult make him/her a better person who will make this world a better and peaceful place to live in.

The fact that Jesus is a mythical figure does not invalidate his meaningful preachings which, if carried out to the fullest would make this planet a better place to live in. His non-existence person doesn't hurt anyone and THAT's all that matters.
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Ahmadi Muslim
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Ahmadi Muslim »

dianagrace wrote:Congratulations and thank you for the inspirational testimony. I have muslims friends and
really wish they could read something like this. But as they say, change begins with one
step forward. I wish you all the best and may you continue to be strong in the faith
despite all the persecution and tests. God bless!!
ALL RUBBISH. A person that moves away from ISLAM was NEVER a muslim.

2ndly GOD did not have any son, does not have any son.

Time to go back to sleep.
None of the Charges against Prophet Muhammad pbuh have been substantiated. They are lies. http://www.*you_got_to_be_kidding*/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(Mod [she removed her name from here] deleted my signature and sent me a warning cos it was too BIG, reported by Whale)
crazymonkie_
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by crazymonkie_ »

First: How do you know that? Maybe there is one god, but it tests people by making religions where one has to submit, or ignore empirical evidence in favor of 'faith'. Maybe there are lots of gods. Maybe there's one god, but it's a sadist, or a trickster.

Second: You just put a limit on a supposedly limitless being. Congratulations, you just proved fc7711 correct. Though I strongly disagree with his absolutism regarding all religions. I do, however, demand logical arguments for the proof of various spiritual or religious claims. So far nobody's been able to do it, despite centuries of promises to the contrary.
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expozIslam
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by expozIslam »

Ahmadi Muslim wrote: 2ndly GOD did not have any son, does not have any son.
.
and why not?
“The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false.”
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Ahmadi Muslim
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Ahmadi Muslim »

expozIslam wrote:
Ahmadi Muslim wrote: 2ndly GOD did not have any son, does not have any son.
.
and why not?
Everyone, this expozislam is being exposed on the following link.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4489

He has run away from that post. Please see the link, how silly these people act.
None of the Charges against Prophet Muhammad pbuh have been substantiated. They are lies. http://www.*you_got_to_be_kidding*/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
(Mod [she removed her name from here] deleted my signature and sent me a warning cos it was too BIG, reported by Whale)
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expozIslam
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by expozIslam »

Ahmadi Muslim wrote:
expozIslam wrote:
Ahmadi Muslim wrote: 2ndly GOD did not have any son, does not have any son.
.
and why not?
Everyone, this expozislam is being exposed on the following link.

viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4489

He has run away from that post. Please see the link, how silly these people act.
See, you have no answers. Your quran gives a stupid reason of God not having a consort for not being able to beget a son and that actually trashes the whole argument of God being all-powerful and creator of everything.
“The truth, of course, is that a billion falsehoods told a billion times by a billion people are still false.”
Mr Preet
Posts: 372
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:17 pm

Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Mr Preet »

expozIslam wrote:
See, you have no answers. Your quran gives a stupid reason of God not having a consort for not being able to beget a son and that actually trashes the whole argument of God being all-powerful and creator of everything.
He (like all other muslims) just cannot detach their minds from their acquired experience. Their idea of 'son' is that of the usual father-mother-daughter-son in a family.
piscohot
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by piscohot »

AhmedBahgat wrote:
Hahahahaah, I like how apostates delude themselves

yeh, very moving indeed, it gives me the pleasure of knowing the jerks that should never be Muslims from the first place
:lol:

killing you inside isn't it?

Iblis winning again?

No worries, we will leave Islam for foul mouthed, potsmoking, compulsive liars like you.
You will complement each other.
Quran miracle (16:69) : Bees eat ALL fruits
Quran miracle (27:18) : an ant SAID, "O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they perceive not."
Mr Preet
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Re: Moving testimony leaving Islam

Post by Mr Preet »

expozeIslam wrote: and why not
Ahmadi Muslim wrote:Everyone, this expozislam is being exposed on the following link.
You're not answering the man Ahmadi Muslim! Please answer him.
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