“I was raised as a strong Muslim. When I was young, my father forced me to go to the mosque and keep all rituals. I, however, did not want to pray simply because I was forced to. I often cried “God, I would like to know you. Talk to me!”
Once, I was sitting in a train, next to a foreigner called Bill. We talked, and got to know one another, and met again some time later. I was astonished to hear that he was a Christian. He showed me a Koran.
“I am a Christian, and have a Koran. You’re a Moslem – do you have a New Testament?”, he asked me.
“No, why should I? It’s forbidden,” I replied.
“Can you show me the verse in the Koran which forbids it?”, he asked. I could not – I had only heard that it is forbidden from the Iman.
Bill showed me the verse in the Koran which tells us that we should also read the earlier books, not only the New Testament (Injil), but also Moses and the Prophets.
On one occasion, I asked Bill “How can God have a son? You’ll burn forever in hell for believing that. Let me save you from this false belief.”
He replied “Be open and don’t reject the truth. God created you and will be able to show you. Ask him!” That started a storm in my heart. I was so used to the Islamic rituals.
Bill said “Kneel in your room and ask God in the name of Buddha, the Hindu god, in Mohammed’s name and in Jesus’ name. See which name he answers to.”
I washed my face, closed the door to my room and closed the window, then knelt before God and said “God, I have prayed to you all these years. You know my heart. I want to know you. Speak to me. You are the God who created me. Come to me in Buddha’s name.”
I waited. There was no answer.
“Come to me in the name of the Hindu gods. If you want, I will worship all these gods.”
For 10 minutes, nothing happened. Then I prayed with a heavy heart in Mohammed’s name. For all these years, I had prayed to Allah. In tears, I waited 10, 20, 30 minutes for an answer. None came.
Then I said, unwillingly, “If you would like me to pray in Jesus’ name, then please come and speak to me.” I didn’t have to wait 30 minutes: in that moment, it was as if someone walked into the room. All my hair stood on end. From my head to my feet, I felt as if someone was touching me.
I heard a voice saying “Omar, I am Jesus, your Lord. I love you. Do you want to know more?”
I cried. “No, my Lord. I trust you. From now on, you are my Lord. Today, you have answered me.”
I could not sleep that night. I was baptized soon afterwards, and today, I serve Jesus.