From Islam to Christ
The writer has been saved for over 40 years. For his own safety, his name must be withheld from this account, but he is well known to respected missionaries who serve the Lord in his part of the world.
My first contact with Christianity was when I was a boy at school. Our teacher had confiscated a book from a pupil which contained, as he said, Christian writings. He then burned the book. This left me wondering why. Some years later, I was at a university in Morocco, studying Islamic law. We were discussing at much length the place of miracles in the works of God and what our leading Islamic teachers said about them. I asked the professor how a virgin could give birth to a child and what was the reason for this remarkable miracle (the virgin birth of Christ is acknowledged in the Koran). Another student said it was intolerable that I should question the Koran, and then another one said that if God could create Adam from dust without parents, then it was not a great difficulty for Miriam (the Islamic name for Mary) to give birth to Jesus. Moslem theologians have written many books on the subject, but after reading them I was still perplexed. In another discussion, a student expressed his hatred of any who did not follow the Koran or who deviated from its teachings. Apparently this was said with the approval of the professors, and it made me see the fanatical and bitter character of many Moslem teachers.
In my spare time I had been helping a builder, and we had to go into a Roman Catholic Church to carry out some repairs. (Despite being a Muslim state, Morocco still allows certain nominal Christian denominations to continue to function for the exclusive benefit of expatriates working in the country). The images I saw made me realize that I knew nothing about Christianity but I felt that I could not return to that building even had I been allowed to, because, while what I saw revealed to me one aspect of Christianity, I also saw the idolatrous character of that building.
Three events followed that influenced me in my seeking after the truth. The first one was when I visited an acquaintance, and discovered, to my surprise, that he possessed a number of Christian books. As a practicing Muslim, I hardly dared look at them, but I was left with a burning impression that they contained treasures that I knew nothing about. Shortly after that I visited an International Book Fair at Casablanca (this was before Morocco became independent). A Swiss Bible society had a stand there, and for the first time I saw a Bible. This beautiful leather-bound Arabic Bible had the words, “The Holy Bible,” in gold embossed lettering on the cover. I picked it up, leafed through the pages, but then put it down. I did not dare to purchase it but was sure that it would change my life. When I left, I had determined that the next time the stand was there I would buy this book. What I didn’t know was that a day or two later one of the Christians at the stand would be stabbed to death by a Muslim fanatic. That was the last time the Bible was on display at this annual book fair.
The third event brought me to a knowledge of the gospel. One day I picked up the local newspaper and on the front page was the title: “Who is the Lord?” The text that followed was the reproduction of a Gospel tract that had been given out in the town. The police had gone to the editor of the newspaper and told him to reproduce the tract. The editorial was a warning against the dangers of such literature that was poisoning the country. The editor complained about the laxness of the authorities to repress the influence of Christianity. This tract, which contained an address in Europe, offered studies on the person of Christ, followed by others on the contents of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. These studies answered all my many questions and brought me to a saving knowledge of the Gospel. I believed on the Word that became flesh, Who died on the cross to save my soul. I realized that the virgin birth of Christ was something that only the redeemed can understand and properly appreciate. I believed on Him that came to save that which was lost (Matt 18:11). He came into the world to save and deliver men from their sins (1 Timothy 1:15). I was born again, walking now in the narrow way with a tranquil spirit and an appeased conscience, waiting with desire for the second coming of the Lord Jesus to take up His believers to heaven. “Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus.”