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Seeking Allah…finding Jesus here's my testimony:
Jere 29:12-13 NKJV: Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13, And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Matt 7:7-8 NKJV: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
I was born and raised in a Muslim family. We lived in Hong-Kong, and later in Bangladesh, which is where my parents are from. As a teenager, I read the Quran and did the five Muslim prayers daily, fasted during Ramadan, etc.
I came to the US to attend college. After college, I lived in NYC, and that is where I spent most of my adult life. I had stopped observing the daily Muslim prayers but still believed in Allah.
Fast forward to the end of 2016….I am married to my wonderful husband, Robbie, whom I met in NYC in 2010. We were living in sunny Orange County, California.
Robbie was born and raised in a Hindu family. A few years after we met, in 2013, Robbie became Muslim. We began observing the five daily prayers, fasting during the month of Ramadan, reading the Quran every single day, etc. We were even planning on going for hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to mecca, in 2017.
We loved living in OC but were having a difficult time meeting normal couples… the couples/ friends we had met turned out to be swingers.
I asked Robbie where we should go to meet nice, normal couples. He suggested Church since he remembered meeting super nice people at Church years ago, when he had first given his life to Jesus at Alistair Begg's Church in Solon, Ohio. At the time, Robbie was doing his undergrad at Case Western. Soon after graduating, Robbie had moved to NYC and totally fell away from Christ.
Going to Church to meet nice couples made no sense to me at all since we were very Muslim, but we had tried a mosque near us, to no avail, so I went along with Robbie's suggestion.
We started attending Saddleback Church ….we had seen Pastor Rick Warren on TV once; this was right around Christmas 2016.
We met some of the kindest couples at Church, so we continued to attend every Sunday. We started making good friends there. The entire time we kept observing our five Muslim prayers at home, reading the Quran, etc. Our Christian friends knew we were Muslim.
At Church, every time the name of Jesus was mentioned, I would cross it out in my mind and replace His name with Allah. As a Muslim, I had been raised to believe that Jesus was only a man, a prophet. He wasn't God. I was also raised to believe that Islam was the only monotheistic religion and that praying to anyone other than Allah was idol worship.
During this time, the Holy Spirit began compiling a playlist of worship songs through Robbie; this was on Spotify. Robbie would turn on the playlist daily, and that is pretty much all the music we were listening to.
I enjoyed the songs, but every time Kari Jobe or any other artist would mention the name of Jesus, I would get very upset and tell Robbie that I wished they would just say, "God" and not Jesus. I would even skip to a song that didn't mention Jesus.
On Sunday, April 2, 2017, Pastor Dudley Rutherford from LA was giving a sermon at Saddleback. The sermon was on John 3:16.
After service, Robbie and I went to Irvine Spectrum. Prior to having brunch, we sat on a bench in front of a merry go round for a few minutes. I turned to Robbie and asked him what it meant to have eternal life.
He explained that if anyone believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for their sins on the cross and was resurrected from the dead, he or she will go to heaven.
I looked at him and said, "please stop making this stuff up. It sounds too good to be true." He insisted that is what Christians believed since that is what John 3:16 says.
For the first time, I now realized that when Christians were talking about the "good news," that is what they meant………that they would go to heaven simply because of their faith in Jesus, not because of their works. I told Robbie that it was the most incredible news I had ever heard and didn't understand why everyone wouldn't believe in Jesus?
I was blown away. My immediate instinct was to get up and walk around Irvine Spectrum and share the news with everyone around us. I figured since I hadn't known about this, others didn't know either.
Robbie then asked me if I died, did I know if I would go to heaven? I said, of course, I didn't know since it was ultimately up to Allah. I was to be a good person here on earth, and then Allah would decide after I died.
Robbie referred back to John 3:16. Now I was conflicted, and my heart sank. I wanted to believe that Jesus was the son of God and that He died for my sins. However, I was stuck in my old beliefs. Even if I wanted to believe in Jesus, I just couldn't……..it was insurmountable; So, we came home that evening and did our Muslim prayers.
The next morning, Monday, April 3, 2017, when I woke up and went to the kitchen, Robbie was already up. He looked at me and said that he had fully committed his life to Jesus and was no longer Muslim.
I looked at Robbie and told him that I was happy for him. However, deep down, my heart completely sank. I was a devout Muslim, and Robbie was now Christian. How on earth was this going to work? I believed that we were definitely going to get divorced over this since my Muslim faith was very important to me, and I couldn't be with a non-muslim.
Even if I really wanted to believe in Jesus, I just didn't know how. I believed that I would die being a Muslim and couldn't even believe that Jesus is God.
I found out later that Robbie initially didn't want to share the news of his conversion with me for fear of my reaction. He only did so because of the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
I went to our bedroom and got on the Muslim prayer mat. After the morning Muslim prayer, I got down on my knees and cried profusely. I believed deep down that I would die, not believing in Jesus, but even if He was God, how could I undo my lifelong beliefs about Islam and Allah?
As I sobbed, I said out loud, "Allah or God, I know without a doubt that you exist. All I want to know is the truth. I want you to please show me which path, whether Islam or Christianity, is the true path. I only want the truth and nothing but the truth. Please show me." Then I got up from the prayer mat, folded it, and set it aside.
I walked out of the bedroom with a heavy heart and, for the first time, began to read the Bible on my phone. I had no idea where to begin. Robbie told me to begin with the gospel of Matthew and showed me where it was. Then Robbie left me alone and did not say another word.
I found out later that the Holy Spirit had told Robbie to keep quiet and that the Holy Spirit would guide me.
As I began reading the gospel of Matthew, something in me stirred up, and I knew that it was like nothing I had ever read. It was as though God was speaking directly to me. Before that day, I had been reading the Quran every morning.
The words seemed to come directly from God. But how could it be? I was still Muslim and had my Muslim beliefs about Jesus. Then somehow, as I was reading the Bible, God took me to a website where I read several pages about the origins of the Quran. It just so happened that the content had been written by a former Muslim from Bangladesh who had found Jesus.
For the first time, I learned that the Quran and Islam came about 600 years after Christ, 600 miles away. After reading numerous pages, the Holy Spirit took me to other websites. By that evening, I was floored. Everything I had believed about Allah and Islam was completely shattered. God had completely changed my heart and showed me that the Bible is the true living Word of God and that Jesus is the Son of God.
God literally moved mountains to reveal Himself to me…..all in one day……….that morning I was a total unbeliever. By that evening, I was a total believer. He saved my life, my marriage…., and so much more!
I got down on my knees, cried, and thanked God with all my heart. I knew that He was the true living God since there was no way that I could have made such a radical heart and belief-change on my own.
Incredibly, neither Robbie nor I led one another to Jesus. It was all the Holy Spirit. Robbie had given his life to Jesus at 9 am. I had given my life to Jesus at 6 pm. The same day. Only our God can do that.
I took the Quran, my Muslim prayer mat, prayer beads, along with Robbie's, and threw them all down the garbage chute.
Robbie told me that evening that he had been secretly praying to Jesus on the Muslim prayer mat for the past couple of weeks.
For the next month, I was entirely engulfed by Jesus and His unfailing love. I was on cloud nine. It was like an out of body experience, and I was overflowing with joy. I was on the biggest high ever. I had never, ever known a love so deep, so vast. I was in Jesus' arms and enveloped in His love. It was surreal.
Prov 8:17 NKJV
This was just the beginning. So much has happened since then…so many testimonies….so many miracles, including seeing our son raised from the dead….the Holy Spirit has us on an incredible journey.
Thank You for saving me, my dear sweet Jesus! I will never be able to repay You for what You have done for me. I love you with all my heart.
Saila: United States