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sal jib

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A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« on: September 23, 2016, 02:15:27 am »
Hello everyone,

First of all, I want to thank God our lord who has given me guidance through my journey to the truth.
I would like to give my testimony, but I’m afraid that it will be very long, and I’m afraid it will have many mistakes because my English is not very good, although I am currently improving my English skills.
In the beginning I was a Muslim from Saudi Arabia, born in a Muslim family, and raised up as Muslim. Although it’s not important to say this, but to my case it will be in the future, I am descendant from a great tribe as well.

I went to religious schools all my life, in preparation to be a scholar, in Saudi Arabia there’s two types of schools, there’s the regular schools, and there’s the Qur’anic schools, I don’t know the right names for these types, but it’s very well known to Saudis. And when I graduated from high school, I went to Sharia college, in Imam’s University in Riyadh.

Like all students who were going to be scholars, I was dressing and speaking like a Muslim scholar, boasting about being amongst the true sect in Islam, which is the Salafism.
And in my first year in college, I formed a big library at home, containing almost every reference in the Islamic sciences.

I was a Salafi at the beginning of my studies in college, and I was also ‘Imam’ (The head of prayers in a mosque) in a mosque in Riyadh, and part of my beliefs as a Salafi is ‘Al-Wala wal Bara’, which is hating and denouncing infidels or the none Muslims, and according to this doctrine I was praying publicly and constantly in my mosque against all infidels including Christians, especially in Ramadan.

And it didn’t take very long, so when I was in the second year of my studies in college, I was doing a lot of self-studies in Islamic theologies, and my boldness and determination and constant reading in a lot of resources and references led me to break the barrier, and call Salafism a false sect, I was so afraid at the beginning to do so, because I’ve been brought up being a Salafi, and the majority of the population in Saudi Arabia are Salafists, but I left Salafism eventually, and when I graduated from college I became an Ash’ari and Sufis lover, like Al-Ghazali the great Muslim scholar.

When I graduated from college, I also finished writing my book about Tawheed, it was in 600 pages, in that book I refuted the views of Salafism about Tawheed, but I never published it, for two reasons: One I was afraid of the government, two I saw a strange dream.

I dreamt that I entered my mosque in the night, and the mosque was full and also very dark, it was a strange thing to see because my mosque never been that full and the light always turned on before the prayers, and I was very angry, because they already started the prayer without me, and all the people were standing in rows, and I was supposed to be the Imam, so I said to myself: how dare they start the prayer without me? and why the servant of the mosque did not turn on the lights?
So I had no choice but to join the last row for praying, because according to Islamic Jurisprudence it’s not allowed for one to wait while a prayer is being performed in the mosque, but I intended to blame the Imam and the servant after the prayer.
And when I joined the prayer, I noticed that there is a gap for one person in the row in front my row, so I was angry again, how dare they not to fill the gaps before starting the prayer? It’s also forbidden in the Islamic Jurisprudence to not straighten all the rows and fill the gaps, so I moved forward from my row to the gap in the row ahead.
Then I noticed again that there is another gap for one person in the row in front of me, but I did not get angry that time, because a light was fixed on the gap from the above, and the light didn’t come from the ceiling, it was rather come from beyond, and I couldn’t see from where, and the light was fixed on that particular gap that fits one person, so I liked it and I moved forward to it, then the dream was over.

Immediately I interpret the dream to be about religion and the truth, but I said to myself, I was a Salafi then I became an Ash’ari, but in the dream I stepped to the next row two times, so does that mean that there’s more truth beyond Ash’arism?

That issue bothered me, despite the fact that I was so convinced about the arguments for Ash’arism.

In all my life I’ve never dared to read the Bible, because there is a dispute between Muslim scholars about the verdict concerning reading the scriptures, the majority of scholars considered reading the scriptures a prohibited act, and I was adopting that opinion, but I don’t want to get in the details about the argument for each Islamic opinion in this issue.

And one time after I was converted to the Ash’ari sect, I got interested in the subject of Secret Societies, and how they are set to destroy Islam and it’s glory, so I started to watch many channels on YouTube about secret societies, one channel was my favorite, and he was constantly urging his followers to read the Bible, so one time he read some verses from the New testament, and it was shocking to me, because the same verse was in the Sunnah (the teachings of Muhammad)!

I had an excuse at that time to calm my curiosity, which was: Muhammad and Jesus are both messengers from God, so it’s ok to find so much similarity.

Then again the man in that channel quoted again more verses from the Bible in different occasions, which made me decide that I should read the Bible.

So with much fear I started reading the gospel of John, I was afraid for this was too much even for me, because Christianity is a different religion, and not a different sect, I told myself: if I made a mistake by leaving Islam then I will go to hell, because leaving Islam means denouncing Muhammad and his Qur’an, but with different sects in Islam you can stand before God and make your case, because anyone says the Shahada “la ilaha illa’llah” will not go to hell for eternity.

I read the Gospel of John, and I was shocked by the many similarities between the Qur’an and the Gospel, these similarities weren’t only in the teachings, but there were similarities in phrases and proverbs, and there were many, so there’s a possibility that Muhammad just stole his eloquence statements from the scriptures, this fact made me think that I should see what Christian apologists say about Islam and what argument that they have against it.

I searched YouTube for the best arguments against Islam, and I was impartial in my search I did not let my passion for Islam stand against my search.

My search led me to Dr. David Wood, and he is a specialist in refuting Islam, and his videos really shocked me, he answered many problems that I had with Islam, and I realized that Dr. Wood resurrected many fundamental problems about Islam that I had in the past and stored them somewhere in my brain, because I believed that there are answers for them, and will know them in the future, and that is the Islamic doctrine toward the problems that the Muslim might have and don’t know the answer to them, the Muslim is obligated never to think about them.

In the Qur’an Sura.3/ verse7: (It is he who has revealed the book to you, some of it’s verses are absolutely clear, and these are the core of the book, others are ambiguous, those who have perversity in their hearts, always go about the part which is ambiguous, seeking mischief and seeking it’s interpretation, although no one knows their true meaning except Allah, and those who are rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it’s all from our Lord).

And in the most trusted source about Muhammad’s teachings and biography, Sahih Muslim (134) (The Book of Faith): Narrated from Abu-Huraira that the messenger of Allah said: “people will continue to question amongst themselves, till this saying is propounded: This is the creation of Allah, but who created Allah? He who find something like this in his heart should say: I affirm my belief in Allah”.

This is the Islamic doctrine in this matter, when you have a problem with the fundamentals of Islam and you don’t have an answer, then you must affirm your belief and as they say sweep this problem under the rug.

Dr. wood surly destroyed my belief in Islam, so I decided to learn about the trinity, I watched many debates about the trinity, and I was so convinced by Dr. William Lane Craig’s and Dr. Nabeel Qureshi’s explanation.

So finally I said to myself: I am a Christian now. It wasn’t an easy decision, it was a very scary turn to me.

But I am happy that I’m a Christian now, it’s not easy to hide my faith from my wife, but I will continue hiding my beliefs from her, because she is still a Salafi, she wasn’t happy when I told her of my conversion to Ash’arism, and she still think that I am an Ash’ari.

I haven’t been baptized yet, and I don’t fully understand Baptism yet, there’s no churches in Saudi Arabia, and there’s no Christians in this country, in fact, if there was no Internet and I didn’t learn English then probably I would not be a Christian.

This is my testimony,
God bless you all.

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Snoochies

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 04:58:27 pm »
Wow thankyou so much for sharing, that was an unbeleivable read and your English was great by the way.

It would be great to hear more from you here especially about Islam as well to get a better understanding of the Islamic religion.

What is it like in Saudi Arabia for a Muslim to denounce the Islamic faith and confess Christianity?

Thanks again for sharing and welcome, hope to hear more from you.

Peace
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." Psalm 46:1-2

* Forum members please note:- Just because I ask you lots of questions, this does not mean I know something better. I am merely asking to seek clarification and arrive at truth the best I can

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sal jib

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2016, 05:39:07 am »
Thank you Snoochies for your kind words,
In Saudi Arabia no one can denounce Islam publicly, for the capital punishment for doing so is beheading.
As for Islam as a religion, I'm currently writing research about all the things that I've found false about Islam.
I will study the Bible and Christianity but I will need help and guidance.
Pray for me my brother, and God bless you all.

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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 07:26:29 am »
Thank you for your testimony brother. Congratulations on accepting the words of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) and deciding to follow him. You are now one of the People of the Book!

In my own research of Islam, I discovered that the Quran has a high view of Jesus (PBH) and the Gospels. Surah Al-Ma'idah 5:46 says "And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous." (Sahih International Version) --- The Gospels are the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. What the Gospels say is everything you need to know about Jesus (PBH).

And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah,
and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you.
And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me.
The Noble Quran, Surah Ali’Imran, 3:50 (Sahih International Version)

Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.
And because they love me, my Father will love them.
And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.
The Holy Bible, John 14:21 (New Living Translation)


True submission to the will of God comes by obeying Jesus (PBH) for He is Al-Masih (Surah 3:45).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2016, 07:28:06 am by GordonTubbs »
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sal jib

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2016, 11:21:44 am »
Hello brother,
Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your comment.

In my own research of Islam, I discovered that the Quran has a high view of Jesus (PBH) and the Gospels.

I've been with the Qur'an for a long time, and after I read some of the Gospels I can't say that the Qur'an have a low view of Jesus, but I believe that the Qur'an have a confused view of Jesus. In some cases Muhammad clearly didn't know what he was quoting, in other cases he understood what he was quoting, but he wasn't carfule when he gave an Islamic twist to what he quoted.

I will give you a small example:
Muhammad said in the Qur'an (4:157): "And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah ." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain".

Two major problems with the given facts in this verse:
1.why God saved Jesus, and raised him to heaven? While the greater prophet Muhammad -as he claim- died from poison?
2.Why God raised Jesus to him and put in his palce someone who resembles him? That is clearly a decieving act for a large nation that we call today Christians, so is this quality fits God?

There's no text in the Qur'an or the Sunnah that explain these problems.

Adding to these problems, Muhammad said in the Qur'an (24:35): "Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth".
But in the Gospel of john (KJV 9:5) Jesus said: "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world".
Both lights are not literal in the meaning, I mean both Allah and Jesus are not entities  made of light.
But also both verses are stating a precise fact, so one of them is wrong, I choose Muhammad, because it's been proved that he was quoting from the Bible.
In a very reliable narration from the prophet of Islam Muhammad, Zaid bin Thabit said: (the apostle of Allah ordered me, so I learned the book of the Jews for him, and he said: "By Allah I do not trust my book to the Jews", so I have learned it, it didn't take half a month for me to learn it, so I was writing for him if he wanted to write, and read for him if something is written to him.
[Sunan Abu-Dawood (3645), and Jamie At-Tirmidhi (2715)].
And this is (Sahih) reliable narration.
And in Saih Ibn-hibban (7092) Muhammad asked Zaid to learn Syriac.

So yes! Jesus is the light of the world.

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Gordon Tubbs

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2016, 08:37:02 am »
Quote
Two major problems with the given facts in this verse:
1.why God saved Jesus, and raised him to heaven? While the greater prophet Muhammad -as he claim- died from poison?
2.Why God raised Jesus to him and put in his place someone who resembles him? That is clearly a deceiving act for a large nation that we call today Christians, so is this quality fits God?

I don't know if this helps, but here is an excerpt from an essay I wrote last year:

The two basic components of any Christology are definitions of: 1) the person of Christ, and 2) the nature of Christ. For many Christians, it may be difficult reading the Quran without imposing Christian theological terminology onto the text. How can the Quran affirm Jesus as the Word of Allah, a divinely appointed Messenger, a Prophet, and the Messiah, but yet deny the crucifixion and Christ’s nature as the Son of God? The Quranic Jesus then might better be understood from Christian heterodoxy.

The central verse that you pointed out is the illusion of the crucifixion (4:157), or that Christ only appeared to suffer. This view is essentially Docetism, which arose in the 1st century and theorized that the person of Christ appeared to suffer because his nature was beyond suffering. Docetism was regarded as a heresy because without the flesh of Christ actually suffering, atonement for sins could not be satisfied. It is curious then that the Quran would affirm Jesus as an incarnate being, only to invoke an illusion at the crucifixion, and then seemingly ignore whatever the Bible said regarding the resurrection three days later.

Considering Uthman ibn Haffan oversaw the compilation and canonization of the Quran during his reign as the 3rd Caliph (from 644-656), the Quran we have today is likely the same one Muhammad preached from 610-632. Given the time period, it is undoubtable that Muhammad encountered and was influenced by the Assyrian Church of the East, which flourished under the Sasanian Empire between 224-651. The Council of Ephesus (431) could therefore be seen then as a starting point for the historical Christological conversation in the region. During the Council of Chalcedon (451), the views of Nestorius were debated. Nestorius contended that Christ was two distinct persons: the Word of God (a spiritual being) and Jesus (a human being). This is why Docetism influenced Nestorius, because he thought that it was Jesus who died on the cross, while the Word of God transcended it. The similarities between this view and Surah 4:157 cannot be underestimated.

As time went on, the ecumenical church would continue to refine its definition of Christology through the Second (553) and Third (680-681) Councils of Constantinople. Since Muslims view the Quran literally, it’s easy to see how their definitive Christology flourished in a time when Christology itself was still debated. At most then, the Quran could have been considered only marginally heterodoxical. If so, should Islam be considered a sect of Christianity? Was the Prophet Muhammad a Docetic Christian without realizing it?

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BleeBlat

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2016, 02:55:06 pm »
Wow, that's a fascinating story. Quite an encouragement. Congratulations on rolling your own even though your university and government and probably your wife is not so supportive. You have support here as well, that's really impressive!

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searcherman

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2016, 03:40:22 pm »
Sal Jib, As an atheist, I know there is great danger from the state if one becomes an "apostate". The execution of the Shia leader sent a chill down my spine. Stay safe.
Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification.- K. Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

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TheCross

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2016, 07:06:06 am »
Welcome to the truth, and may god bless you and keep you safe.
Gal 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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rap2017

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Re: A testimony from Saudi Arabia
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 04:16:21 am »
Hello Sal Jib
The Koran is not as old as you think. It is in fact a 20th Century document. Historically I believe you are referring to "Mohammedanism" which was a doctrine formulated by Iban Al Arabi 1165 to 1240. He began this doctrine, which spread by his disciples across Arabia and the surrounding environments.
When the Ottoman Turks began usurping the Byzantine Empire in 14th Century, there motto was "Mohammad" or "die" to whoever they confronted. They adopted Mohammedanism because they wanted control of this doctrine. There was no such thing as Islam until the 20th Century. There is a great deal of false information in history.
You are correct to notice the similarities between the Bible and the Koran. In fact the Koran is simply a rewrite of the Christian Bible with the Pentateuch, the 5 books of Moses, the book of Psalms and interspersed with the New Testament, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.
My question is who really wrote the Koran.....?