By Nusrat Aman
I was born in an orthodox Muslim family in Pakistan in 1958. I studied in Islamic missionary school and college administered by Ahmadiah Movement in Islam, Pakistan. During study in a very zealous Islamic missionary school and college, I developed an interest to study Islamic religion. So, I joined the Ahmadiah Movement which was declared a non-Muslim heretic religion in 1974 by the Government of Pakistan.
I came to know the word, “Christ or Messiah” first time in the literature of Ahmadiah Movement against Christianity. The founder of Ahmadia Movement, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be, “Masih Maud” (Promised Messiah). I was very happy and enthusiastic to preach the doctrines and teachings of Ahmadiah Movement which were new and very attractive to me. I remembered all the references about second coming of Christ in the Bible and Koran without having deep insight into it.
A blunder that saved me
One day I was passing in front of a church, I thought it to be a good opportunity to ask the priest why he does not become a Muslim and a follower of Mohammad; all the prophesies have been fulfilled in the personality of Mohammad? I went to Church and asked someone that I want to meet the priest. That person guided me toward the priest and I introduced myself that I am a Muslim and want to know why you don’t believe the Prophet Mohammad whereas Jesus himself told that he isn’t good enough to carry His sandals. The priest offered me to have a seat and became busy talking with other people. After relieving from other people, he asked me, “would you please give me reference where has Jesus said this thing?” I took the Bible from the priest and immediately opened the book of Matthew chapter 3:11-12 and read it before the priest. He said me to read the whole chapter from verse 1-17. I read, when I finished, there was no need to explain me whose sayings are these words and about whom are these words said. I was embarrassed and suddenly offered another reference which was:-
“I cannot talk with you much longer, because the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me,”
The priest said I don’t disagree with you if you want to apply this verse on your prophet Mohammad. He explained this verse in the light of other verses in the same book that the terminology, “ruler of the world” is used for Satan in John 12:32 and John 16:11 also.
I was ashamed within myself and very angry with the organization and the so-called Second Messiah who himself used these quotations in his revealed books. I quitted the priest office silently without even saying thank you for your help.
I became reactionary and decided to study, Koran as well as the Bible more in detail and in depth. For this purpose, I joined a correspondence course with a Bible Correspondence School in Pakistan. Being zealous preacher of Islam, my thirst to be well equipped with Koran and the Bible urged me to study the Bible to develop insight into the word, “Messiah” and the second coming of the promised one, as I studied the Bible, I felt need to know the prophesies about first coming of Messiah and its fulfillment.
I was well versed in Koran and its language, so while studying the Bible an automatic comparison between two books came to my mind. The Greek Christian Scriptures (New Testament) pictorial language impressed me and I realized that it is not just a biography but in every narration there is a happening of great events reflecting that God was walking with man.
Whereas reading of Koran doesn’t show anything special, more than two-third of it is from pagan legends or distorted jest of Torah (first five books of the Bible). No person can keep his/her concentration while reading the Koran as its topics and issues change frequently after every two or three verses abruptly.
I realized that Jesus in His earthly ministry showed a great authority. He was confident, authentic and offensive to His critics. His critics always escaped from confronting Him. We read in John 6:41, 43 that when Jesus was addressing a crowd along a lakeshore, the people started grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven but didn’t dare to criticize openly instead that Jesus answered, “stop grumbling among yourselves.”
At another occasion, Jesus said, “I talk about what my Father has shown me, but you do what your father has told you. You are the children of your father, the devil and you want to follow your father’s desires.” (John 8:38, 44)
In contrast, instead of Prophet Mohammad, his critics were offensive and confident. They said,
“We will not believe you until you make a spring of water gush forth from the earth for us; or until you acquire an orchard of date-palm trees and grapes, and produce rivers flowing through it; or let chunks of sky fall over us, as you assert (you will); or bring God and the angels as a surety; or you come to possess a house of gold; or ascend to the skies, though we shall not believe in your having ascended till you bring down a book for us which we could read.” (Sura-17:90-93) In response to this entire Prophet Mohammad said, “I am only man and messenger.” (Sura-17:93)
The Turning Point
I studied the Koran and the Bible vigorously. One verse of Koran stuck me, all of my beliefs and dedication crumbled to earth. This verse is in the Koran,
Sura (chapter) 46 “Al-Ahqaf” verses 9:-
“Say: “I am not a new Messenger to come, nor do I know what is to be done to me or you. I only follow what is revealed to me. My duty is only to warn you clearly.””
I could not have the courage to wait (destruction) undecidedly until the Day of Judgment. How could I follow a person who doesn’t know about himself and doesn’t know about the persons having trust in him?
In Pakistan conversion to Christianity was a social, economic and cultural challenge for me, where 95% population is Muslim. Christians are a tiny minority and a change of religion means dis-fellowship of all community relations. A constant fear of mob action, Muslim crowd can do any thing against Christians in the name of Islam. Even relatives and close friends settle their personal grudges and property disputes against Christians accusing that they have said against Islam or Prophet Mohammad. Christians can be sentenced to death under law of blasphemy or by the Muslim mob itself whereas the false accusation in the name of Islam does not have any punishment.
In this scenario, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and baptized in 1979 secretly from my parent and relatives. For 10 years I was Christian among the Christian circle and Muslim before my parent. The pressure from my parent to marry in a Muslim family forced me to disclose my faith that I can’t marry with a Muslim girl (marriage between a Christian male and a Muslim female is not recognized in Muslim Personnel Law in Pakistan).
I am happy that my Savior Jesus Christ knows who He is (John17:14, 21) and what can He do for me? (John17:02) I have confidence in Him.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.”(John 14:06)
Now, it is my burden to preach the Truth as commanded by Jesus (Matthew 28:20) and how terrible it would be for me if I do not preach the gospel! (1-Cor 9:16)
I worked in Pakistan as a project manager community development until 2001 and then migrated to Canada in an independent category.
I am a volunteer and ready to welcome any queries, criticism or dialogue on Christianity.