Who am I?
My name is Ibrahim who, for the security reasons of my family, also uses the name Timothy Abraham. I am a normal Egyptian from the Nile Delta region. I lived in the countryside, surrounded by farms where the tributaries of the Nile produce fertile land. In my childhood I received a solid Islamic education, studying the Qur’an (al-Kutaab) in the village shop. They taught me to fear God (Allah in Arabic) who created heaven and earth in six days. I had no reason to doubt this religion, which emphasized the fear of God, good works and morality. The recitation of the Qur’an was done to bring peace. I took pleasure in worshipping among the Sufists, for they reverenced the person of Muhammad. It was the group of Abu-al-azayem. I sought to draw near to Allah the Almighty.
The Muslim Brotherhood
One evening around 7.00 pm, in al-Mahatta mosque, after completing al-Maghrib prayer, I was introduced to Muhammad Imam and Sulleiman Kahwash. Their influence was essential for me to enter their group “The Muslim Brothers (al-Ikhwan al-Muslim)” They encouraged me to be a pious Muslim, fasting on Monday and Thursday of each week and breaking the fast in the mosque where we ate bread, cheese, dates (tamr), and delicious salad. I put in a lot of effort to imitate everything that the Prophet Muhammad did. The Muslim brothers were so kind to me. They saw that I was able tobecome a good speaker. So, Sulleiman Hashem, the leader at the time, said to me, “Ibrahim, you are called by the teaching of the Qur’an to proclaim the message of Islam” da’awah.” I began to think , “O Allah! I’m just fourteen and I’m easily intimidated.” Still, Sulleiman gave me a bunch of books to study for the preparation of the sermon that I was to give the next day.
From then on, it became normal for me to preach a sermon on the first Monday of each lunar month. I was filled with zeal because my masters had organized for me the preaching of a mosque in a mosque through the neighboring towns. I was eager to get everyone to follow the Prophet Mohammad’s Tradition, and so my sister had no choice but to obey my Quranic command to wear the veil, a sign of modesty.
I needed the approval of my father. I wondered if he had ever heard his 14-year-old son, the Muslim evangelist, preach. To my astonishment my father was openly criticized by people because he had a son who was now “a fanatic.” The Muslim brothers were regarded as a religious extremist group by the majority of ordinary Muslims. Then my father got angry at my Islamic extremism and punched me in the face. I now have a false tooth. It reminds me of my previous perseverance in being a Muslim fundamentalist and my eagerness to be persecuted until death for my commitment.
My books were burned
My father ended up burning my Sunni library (mainly Wahabi and Salafi). My father knew that Mohammed Mansour, a police informant, was recording my sermons in the bathroom in the mosque. I was so strict following the ‘sunnah’ of Mohammed that I wouldn’t even touch a women’s hand. My only ambition was to become a devoted Muslim.
After prayers in the mosque one day, my father stopped one of the leaders of my group, Sulleiman Hashem, and begged him not to have any contact with me, his son. Afterwards, my father made the “oath of divorce” (hilif alaya bi al-talaaq), so that I should no longer be allowed to enter the mosque where the Muslim brothers were praying, I obeyed my father but I asked permission to let me listen to their messages outside the mosque.
I was never intimidated and continued to preach Islam each day at the taboor as-sabah and in every mosque where I went to teach. It never occurred to me, not for a second, that Islam could be false.
In my quest to spread Islam everywhere, a magazine came into my hands that had correspondence addresses in the United States. I chose one at random and I wrote, hoping to convert this man to Islam. I wrote to John of Pennsylvania, USA for two years, each of us trying to convert the other. I read every book I could get to refute the Bible. Worse, I had no respect for the Bible, trampling it under my feet after I learned from the Qur’an that it was corrupt.
A surprise visitor
Then John surprised me by coming to visit me in my village. It was the first time I saw a true Christian. His sincerity and frankness impressed me. John stayed with me for two months. He had an incredible life of prayer that served as a model for me in my life.
I did not know that the Christians were praying until I saw this “living letter” in my house, a man from a distant land who became one of us and truly embodied the love of Christ . John had an incredible life of prayer because he prayed more than he spoke, using the words of the Bible. I became jealous of the intimacy that John had with God and I increased my recitations of the Qur’an.
I must give Islam credit for its teaching to its followers of being virtuous, chaste and benevolent. Mohammed remains a genius in the history of the world. It should also be noted that a Muslim will do as many good works as possible in this world and on the day of judgment God will weigh the acts of each individual in a “balance”. Good works will be placed in one tray of the scale, and the bad ones in the other. If the good works are heavier, then the believer will go to heaven, described in the Qur’an as a place of sexual pleasure (sura al-Waqia 56:20 – 23). However, Christ our Lord said, that in the resurrection men will not take wives, but they will be like the angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)
I needed 51% good to get to Paradise
My Muslim friend, according to Islam, if your evil deeds are heavier, you will be cast into the fires of hell. It seems that you will need only fifty-one percent of good to enter paradise. But you will always be unsure whether you are going to heaven or not. You can only say, my Muslim friend, is, “God only knows!” You hope in the mercy of Allah and hope that an angel or the Prophet will intercede for you on the last day to save you from hell. I was like you, my Muslim brother or Muslim sister, until I knew that a person can be absolutely sure to go to heaven. Tears come to my eyes when I remember how lost I was, but now I am saved.
Trembling, in tears, seeing the majesty of God, I rejoice to know with certainty that I have eternal life. The God of the Bible is both just and merciful. His righteousness requires that everyone be punished in hell, for He is a one hundred percent perfect. Despite all our efforts to please God, we will never reach His perfect standard. Our good works cannot help us to approach God. God, however, saw our inadequacy, and decided to pay the penalty Himself. He sent His Word Isa Al Masih (Jesus Christ), who is absolutely pure and perfect, to bear the punishment of our sins on the cross. What can you answer a Judge when He chooses to pay your debt for you? The Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is because God loves us that He sent His Word, Jesus Christ, to die for us.
Islam never gives us the assurance of going to heaven, but Christ does it absolutely! God be praised! Thank you, my Lord, for choosing in Your sovereignty to pay the price yourself in the Person of Your Incarnate Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the complete revelation of the nature of the omnipotent God.
I said, “You’ve made me a stronger Muslim.”
John’s influence remained. I tried to discourage John by saying, “John, your visit made me stronger in the Muslim faith and so don’t try to convert Muslims.” But John prevailed in supplication and prayer. His intercessory prayer led the Lord to wake me up in the middle of the night and I could no longer sleep or have any peace. The inner conflict reached its zenith. Troubled, I took my Bible and opened it at random. . I found, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” I remembered one day in the heat of a debate between myself and John, I laughed at the Bible saying, “John, your Bible is the most absurd thing! How can you believe the story of Saul who became Paul, the servant of the gospel? ” John says, “The story is true, and that’s why I’m patient with you. You’ll be another Paul one day!” I replied, “John, you must be mad to think for a second that I could leave the greatest religion, Islam!” Reflecting on “Saul, Saul …” I said to myself, “Lord! Me? Do I persecute you? I did not do anything to you … I remember I betrayed a medical student to the police … but I did not do anything to you. Is it true that anyone who touches one of your disciples touches the apple of your eyes?”
Islam denies the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ because the Qur’an wanted to deprive the Jews of the victory they claimed, so the The Qur’an says that God put someone like him on the cross in place of Jesus Now my Muslim friends, God is not in the business of fraud, for if He had wanted d to deliver Jesus from the cross, He could have done it miraculously without deceiving them by putting the likeness of Jesus on another person.
Contradictions in the Qu’ran?
This Qur’anic error is too blatant, and proves that the Qur’an has no divine origin. In addition, the Qur’an contradicts itself, for while it announces that the Jews did not really kill Jesus, it also very clearly affirms the reality of the death of Jesus in the sura of the family of Imran 3: When Allah says, “O Jesus, surely, I will put an end to your earthly life and raise you up to Me.”
My Muslim friend, my goal here is not to proselytise, but to raise the ultimate questions, Who is Christ? Was he crucified? And how does that affect you? If the entire history of humanity revolves around Christ, then my entire life and existence should also revolve around Him. To deny the cross of Christ contradicts history itself.
Muhammad himself according to the Qur’an was urged, by God, to refer to the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) if he had doubts about the Qur’an: “And if you are in doubt about What We have sent down to you, then question those who read the Book revealed before you. ” Sura Yunus 10:95 (94) For the first time in my life, I began to ask myself the question “why?” And to examine all that I had accepted as truth. Every issue was examined carefully. This caused me problems in an authoritarian society. Questions, they say, are an offense to Allah. Obey, that’s all. Among the Muslim brothers, our motto was “samaana wa ataana” ie “we heard and we obeyed.”
The Bible contains no errors and conveys no errors
After years of study, I came to two logical conclusions: The Bible is the inerrant written word of God, and Jesus is the perfect and living Word of God. I began to see that it was possible for Jesus to be God. Intellectually, I accepted all the demands of the Christian faith, but in my heart I was always afraid of being struck dead if I called the omnipotent God “My Father.” I needed a miracle! The Bible teaches us that we can not say, “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12: 3). It is no wonder that every experience of salvation is a miracle from the birth of death to eternal life! “From the depth of my heart, amidst an internal conflict, I cried to Allah, even in the mosque, “Show me the truth, and tell me the truth, and this truth to which you lead me I will serve it all my life, whatever the price I have to pay!” I burst into tears as I knew the price could be too much for a weak person like me. For how could I be rejected from my family and sleep in the streets like a homeless? What if my leaders among the Muslim brothers knew that? And if, in their Islamic zeal, they wanted to defend Islam, would they kill me? According to the Islamic religion, an apostate has three days to retract, and then it is legitimate to shed the blood of the infidel in the name of Allah! The words of the Prophet Muhammad sounded incessantly in my ear, “Anyone (ie Muslim) who changes his religion, kill him.” This tradition was reported by Abu Bakr, Uthman, Ali, Muadhibn Jabal, and Khalid ibn Walid.
So I persisted in asking God to guide me. One night, Christ appeared to me in a dream and said to me in a soft, tender voice, “I love you!” I saw how I had stubbornly resisted him all those years and I said to him in tears, “I love you too, I know you, you are eternal forever.” I woke up having been weeping, but my face was filled with abundant joy. Believing that Christ Himself had touched my mind and heart, I gave in. I was filled with a great love for Christ, leaping, singing praises to His name and speaking to Him day and night. I did not even sleep without the inerrant Word of God, the Bible, beside me. I knew what it was to be a “spoiled child” of God: God gave me answers to prayer .
My troubles begin
But the Lord wanted me to love and worship Him for what He was, not for what I got from Him. I tried to keep my faith secret, and I was even secretly baptized in the house of a pastor. However, as I was filled with the joy of my salvation, I could no longer hide or deny Christ. So when my childhood friend asked me if Christ was crucified, I replied, “Yes!” And I explained why. He also prayed saying he wanted to become a Christian.
My previous leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood, wishing to know who was responsible, threatened to kill him if he did not tell them everything about my evangelization. Sadly, he betrayed me and I was beaten in front of the mosque where before I had preached Islam with zeal. For them I was an infidel blasphemer who deserved to be killed unless I retracted. They considered my conversion to be the most frightful way of desecrating Islam and the Qur’an.
Now my secret conversion was publicly known and the Muslims plotted to kill me, I had to flee. I was driven out by Muslims from my village in the Delta, to Ismalia. I eventually arrived in Cairo where my Christian friends lived. But the Christians were not ready to shelter me and I had to go back to the village, seeking refuge in His protective hands. I came back from Cairo and found an angry crowd of Muslims filling our house. My mother wore the mourning garment, dressed in black as usual in Egypt. For her , because I had left Islam, I was dead!
Muslim women shouted at me, “Your mother does not deserve this, why do you cause her all this grief?” Another woman lamented, “The poor mother, her son left him for the Christian infidels, and if it were me, I would kill my son like a dog for running after the infidels.”
I received a letter from a friend in Jordan, who reported that my father was walking in the streets of Jordan, crying bitterly while the Muslim workers were attacking him severely. He remained sick in bed for a month because of this until I spoke to him on the phone. It is absolutely unforgettable that, outraged, Muslims forced their way into our house in a barbaric way.
My mother knelt downstairs at the feet of our neighbor, Said, asking him to spare my life and kill her instead. With indescribable aganguish, my mother denied me and disinherited me in front of all the people of my village. I love my mother more than any person in this world, but no man is capable, as powerful as he may be, of separating me from the love of Christ. I will always live for Jesus. My Bible, all my Christian books, and music tapes had been confiscated and burnt.
I fled to Cairo
I decided to flee from the Delta area to Cairo. Although the police were looking for me, the Lord blinded their eyes and protected me. In Cairo, I hid the home of an Egyptian Baptist friend who comforted me at the time. I burst into tears when he read, “The apostles withdrew from before the Sanhedrin, glad that they were judged worthy to suffer outrages for the name of Jesus.” (Acts 5:41) I am grateful to God that He gave me this friend , who taught me to live a victorious life, rich in worship and thanksgiving. He gave me a pocket New Testament in Arabic and told me frankly that his parents were afraid because I was there.
In addition, someone told me that if they kept hiding me they would be imprisoned. I had nowhere to go. Then, on the advice of my secret pastor, I went back to my village, hiding the Arab New Testament in my socks, praying that it will not fall. I was often arrested and released. I learned what it means to have God as my only shelter. In prison, my Savior knows, I have experienced true peace. I was not shaken because I viewed it as if Christ was imprisoned, not myself. I sang songs of joy amid tears, anticipating the arrival of the Morning Star to deliver me.
I hid my Bible in my mind
I decided to hide the Bible in a place where the police could not confiscate it – by memorizing it. Ever since I got used to sleeping with my Bible at my side. Five years later, I managed to escape from the Muslims’ attempts to kill me and I was shocked to discover that there are some people in the United States who profess to be Christians but who attack the Bible for which I was ready to die.
The Word of God gives me promises of faith that I apply as a little child and pray with confidence. The gates of Heaven are open to us when we pray according to the Word of God. His Word is alive!
Once when I went to give my mother a gift for Mother’s Day, she asked me, “A gift for Mother’s Day?” I replied, “Yes” every time she repeated the question. She looked at me with overwhelming grief and told me, “My son, whom I was expecting 15 years to have and is finally born, but is now dead, I deny you until the day of judgment.” I cried, but Christ touched my heart and it was as if He said, “I am your family now! I am your father, your brother, your mother, your sister, your friend, and everything for you now, Timothy. ”
“I will never leave you or forsake you”
I can not forget the days when my mother called the police to arrest me. She even went to see a witch to put a curse on me and bring me back to Islam. The witch said, “Your son follows a path that he will never give up and he will be victorious all his life as long as he walks in.” These words, from the mouth of a witch, brought my younger brother to know Christ. The testimony of Demons to our victorious Lord makes scepticism an absurd unbelief. (Please read Romans 8: 35-39). You can also be more than conqueror by Christ, your victor who loves you! Believe in Him! I lost my Bible, and all my Christian books were confiscated. All I had was the radio. I took my radio to listen secretly to “Voice of Hope”, looking for songs of comfort during the night. (By the way, I speak publicly now about “Voice of Hope” since I live in a free country, in the United States). But my mother caught me and she immediately snatched the radio from my hand and beat me on the head with her shoes. I was just 20 years old at that time.
I prayed for a Bible and the Lord heard me. I went to get a package containing a Bible from the post office. The director of the post office, Kamal, slapped me hard, punching me in the face. I cried because of the intensity of the pain. He said to me, “Go after these infidels Christians, leave Islam and we will get rid of you. We will send you where you can’t come back!” I felt trapped, fervently praying to leave Egypt to practice my faith in Christ.
“Father of Comfort, You have never abandoned me. Please remind me of your Son, who was nailed to the cross, shouting in the depths of His agony, “My God, my God why have You forsaken me?” Lord Jesus, they have all forsaken you, but you have found rest with your Father. I need to depend on the Father as You did.”
After 3 years I decided to move to Cairo, but it was no safer. The last time the police arrested me, they said, “For us, you are an infidel who committed high treason. Next time we will arrest you, it will be the death penalty.” To make matters worse, the so-called ‘Christian’ landlord told me he could no longer house a fugitive criminal. I was no longer welcome in my own country. Nevertheless, the Lord intervened, and a Palestinian evangelist, Anis Sharrosh, introduced me to Dr. Paige Patterson. He helped me apply for a visa in the United States. At first they refused, but Dr. Patterson persevered. Finally, they gave me an entry visa, and I was able to leave Egypt in a miraculous way.
“Lord, You never deliver Your children from slavery to bring them back later. Help me! Let me find somewhere to live where I can practice my Christian faith without being harassed by the police. O Lord, please do what is necessary for me to live in an environment where people no longer force me to go to the mosque. You want your children to worship you freely even if it means fleeing to save their life as I did so that Christ becomes everything for me.”
Without Dr. Patterson, I would be dead today. God knew he still had work for me. So he used Dr. Patterson to save my life in a miraculous way. The omnipotent God is the Father of the orphans (Psalm 68: 5), and when my father and mother forsook me, as David says, the Lord will receive me.
A student and refugee
Having fled to the United States, I was always afraid of ever having to face the authorities Especially because I had come to the United States with a student visa, I was in danger of exhaling from one day to the next. According to the government I am an infidel who has defamed Islam and also provoked international disunity. The Lord knows that I have no bitterness towards Egypt, my country, or Islam.
Preachers offered me a hiding place in their ranches. I just wanted to live and not be the scapegoat for the religious anger others. A Christian association sponsored me and sent a petition to apply for permanent residence. After six long years of waiting, the Lord allowed it, just a few days before the day of my marriage. My love for my wife was not a momentary emotion, but a covenant in which the Lord is the witness between me and the wife of my youth, my partner and my best friend. (Malachi 2:14)
And now we continue to walk with God-together.