My name is Kazim, and I come from an Iraqi Shiite family. I was tired of the war that has eaten up my county. I saw my people killed every day because of the hatred between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Life was miserable. I was afraid that I would be killed by a suicide bomber. Why do we not live in peace together? I wondered. We are all Muslims. Don’t we share the same beliefs, the same Qur’an, and follow “The Straight Path”?
I have been following the path of my father, grandfather, and all my ancestors. I read the Qur’an, fast during Ramadan, keep Ashura’, and visit the shrines of the Imams. I am a good Shiite Muslim. But in fact, some things were really bothering me and filling me with questions. Why the hate verses in the Qur’an that are used to justify killing each other, such as Surat Al-Tawba (chapter 9)? I used to cry as I called to God (though men should not cry according to our traditions): Why don’t You stop this war? But things got worse, and our family decided we needed to leave the country, so we went to Jordan. It was peaceful there—no suicide bombers or cars used to bomb and burn buildings, cars and people and shred them to pieces.
I started going to a gem in Amman. I met various people there, but there was one person who was different from the others. I watched him for weeks. He was calm and always smiling and encouraging people. I felt that I needed to win him as a friend. I spoke with him, and he invited me to eat with him in a nearby Iraqi restaurant. He seemed to want me to feel at home. I wanted to know what made him so different from others. Where did his joy and peace come from? So I asked him these questions, but I nearly choked on his answer: He told me it was Jesus, or as we call him in Islam “Prophet Isa Al-Masih.” For hours he shared with me about Isa from the Qur’an and the Bible. He knew the Qur’an more than I knew it. He said something that captured my attention: Isa is the One who gives peace in the Qur’an and the Injil (the gospels). I argued with him on some things, but he was calm and friendly. He never argued with me, but showed me verses from the Qur’an and the Injil.
I started reading the Qur’an, hadith, and other Islamic books, searching on the Internet and watching television programs and YouTube videos to answer him. That led me to start reading the Qur’an in a different way. There was a battle going on in my mind. I began falling in love with the Isa he told me about. Isa was different—loving, close, and peaceful—but I could not believe that He was God. That is shirk, the only sin that God will not forgive.
One day he surprised me by giving me a special copy of the Injil. He told me to read it, and we could talk about it. I had never seen a Bible in my life. I was afraid. I accepted it out of respect for my friend, but I was not planning to read it. That night before I went to bed, I hid the book in my closet.
That night I had an amazing dream. In it I saw a man wearing white, shining like the sun. He told me to read the book my friend had given me. I asked him, “Who are you?”
He answered me, “Read the book, and you will know.”
I woke up and immediately started reading the book. I fell in love with it. I could not stop reading it. I knew who had come to me in the dream. I knew that my friend is right. I knew I needed to start worshiping Isa (Jesus). I had found what I was missing.
My new love for Isa caused me many problems with my family and friends. During that time, my friend was so helpful. He encouraged me to stay with my family and witness to them through my life so that they could find the truth I had found.
I have found Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. I love Him and praise Him every day. I cannot live without His presence in my life. I am still living with my family, using the method of peace, kindness and love that my friend uses to show them who Jesus is. I am praying that Isa will appear to them in dreams so they can worship Him and be saved. Please keep me and my family in your prayers.