From Islam to Christianity Most people believe that choosing one’s religion is a matter of personal preference. For the most part, this is true; however, there are people who do not always get the choice. Some people are born into Judaism, others are born into Catholicism, and there are even people who live in a country where only one religion is accept - and these people are expected to abide by these religions…
I never questioned the religion of my family. I had grown so used to it that it simply became a part of me. When I moved to the United States in 2000, I was met with a significantly different value system. To prevent myself from being tempted by other religions, I held strong to my Islamic beliefs. However, even with praying five times a day, and in a language that I did not understand, it always felt as though my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. God seemed impossible to reach. The distance between God and I only seemed to grow when I found out that my mother had been diagnosed with cancer. After all the praying I had done for the health and safety of my family, I felt that God had failed. It was not long before I turned my back on God, saying blasphemous things and rejecting him entirely. During this rough time, I sought that advice of one of my closest friends, a Christian who I had met in my Physics class. I shared with him my emotional difficulties, my mother’s cancer diagnosis, and my fading belief in God. In response, my friend gave me a copy of the New Testament of the Bible and recommended that I read it. I did so, albeit with great confusion. I felt drawn to the book and to Jesus, who had suffered at the hands of disbelievers, yet still wanted nothing more than to love all people. The more that I read the New Testament, the more at peace that I seemed to be. Excited, I confided in my friend about the peace I was experiencing as I read from the Bible, and I asked him to tell me more about his Lord. As we spent time reading the Bible and discussing the stories, I knew that I was changing spiritually. I did not admit to it, nor did I openly recognize it for what it was, but a transformation was taking place. I realized what was taking place within me when my father contacted me and informed me that not only had my mother stabilized, but her cancer was almost completely gone. She was even well enough to visit me in the United States a few years later. In sheer gratitude by these wonderful events, I thanked God. As I did so, I felt that I was thanking a God that was very different from the God I had grown up praying to, the one I had known as a Muslim. Unfortunately, as the demands of college became more difficult, I altogether stopped reading my Bible. It was not until years later when, as an assignment in a humanities class, I watched the film The Passion of the Christ, that I remembered what I was missing. As I set out to do this assignment, which also required reading selected verses from the Bible, I found myself to have new curiosities into the life and teachings of the Christ. I questioned myself, as well as my beliefs as a Muslim and my knowledge from time spent reading the Bible. If the Islamic view believed that it was the only true and perfect religion, then why do the millions of Christians not embrace Islam? The more that I searched for the answer to this question, and the answers to my doubts, the more sure I became that Christianity was the only true path. Despite my acknowledgement of this truth, and though I began to regularly attend church, I still could not bring myself to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Then came the start of my graduate program. My application was approved to teach Engineering Physics labs at the university, my family was safe and healthy, and ...
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