Category Archives: From Islam to Christianity

The Qur’an From a Christian Perspective

Steve Cable

The Qur'an from a Christian Perspective
Steve Cable provides a biblical understanding of Islam’s holy book, drawing on James White’s book What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an {1}. Christians interacting with Muslims will benefit from a basic understanding of the development and the teaching of the Qur’an.

Introduction and Background

Beginning with the basics, we need to understand how the Qur’an came into our possession and how it is viewed by most Muslims. The founder of Islam, Muhammad, was born in Mecca around AD 570 and began to receive instruction leading to the religion of Islam at the age of 40 in AD 610. “The classical belief is that while [the Qur’an’s] entirety was “sent down” in one night, the Night of Power, but Muhammad himself received it piecemeal over twenty-two years.”{2} Muhammad did not receive a written version as Joseph Smith claimed to have received for the Book of Mormon. Rather he memorized what was told him by the Angel Gabriel and passed it on to certain followers.

The popular Muslim belief is summarized in a recent guide to Islam as follows: “The Qur’an is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. It was memorized by Muhammad, who then dictated it to his Companions. They, in turn, memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad. . . . Not one letter of the Qur’an has been changed over the centuries.”{3}

“From the position of Sunni Islamic orthodoxy, the Qur’an is as eternal as Allah himself. It is the very Word of God, without even the slightest imperfection. The finger of man has no place in it, as the book held reverently in the hand today is an exact copy of a tablet in heaven upon which the Qur’an has been written from eternity past.”{4}

How this view holds up to a critical review of the history of Muhammad and the early days of Islam following his death will be addressed later in this document. For now it is important to understand that to a devout Muslim, the Qur’an in its original Arabic is above analysis and above question, for it is a matter of faith that it has been perfectly transmitted and maintained. Note the Qur’an exists only in Arabic. Even though most Muslims depend upon a translation for their access to the teachings of the Qur’an, Muslims still would say the Qur’an itself is not translatable and the public prayers must also be done in Arabic.

It is interesting to realize that the Qur’an in multiple places states that Allah “sent down the Torah and the Gospel” as works that serve as guidance to mankind. One cannot help but wonder, why God would send down the Torah and the Gospels when the Qur’an existed from eternity past and according to Muslim thought supersedes and corrects misconceptions men developed from reading these earlier texts. Why didn’t God protect the Gospels in the same way as the Qur’an?

In what follows, we will look at where teachings of the Qur’an are counter to the truth of the Bible and to the historical facts. We will also consider how the current Qur’an came into existence, asking why the creator of the world would pass down his truth in such an uncontrolled fashion.

The Qur’an and Biblical Beliefs

Most Muslims, if they know anything about Christianity, will point to three primary problems with our faith:

1. the Trinity,
2. the resurrection of Jesus, and
3. the corruption of the Scriptures.

Is there anything taught in the Qur’an that causes them to reject the Christian concept of trinity?

In his book, James White describes the key Islamic belief in this way, “Ask any sincere follower what defines Islam, and they will answer quickly tawhid, the oneness of Allah, as expressed in Islam’s great confession, “I profess that there is only one God worthy of worship and Muhammad is His messenger.”  . . . Without tawhid, you have no Islam.”{5}

Interestingly, the word tawhid in that form does not appear in the Qur’an just as the word trinity does not appear in the Bible. They are words to describe a concept clearly taught in those two books. The difference between these two words is a major difference between these religions. The Islamic concept of tawhid is that Allah has only and can only exist in one form, the creator of the universe. The Christian understanding is that the one God is expressed in three ways or persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All the persons of God were involved in the creation of this universe and reflect the full nature of God. The Bible is very clear that the Trinity is one God as shown for example in 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6:

“There is no God but one . . . for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

In Islam, the most feared of all sins is called shirk, associating anyone, or anything with Allah. A person who dies in this state of idolatry cannot be forgiven. In Islamic thought, Allah is free to forgive any other sin if he so desires, but he will not forgive anyone who dies in idolatry.

This teaching causes the Trinity to become an unforgivable sin for Christians. “Many Muslims believe that the doctrine of the Trinity and, in particular, the worship of Jesus is an (unforgivable) act of shirk. This has led many of them to conclude that Christians, as a group, are bound for hell.”{6}

The Qur’an attempts to address the Trinity but does it show knowledge of the concept so that the criticisms offered are accurate and meaningful? “The reason for the question is self-evident: If the Qur’an is the very words of Allah without admixture of man’s insights or thoughts, then it would follow inevitably that its representations will be perfectly accurate and its arguments compelling.”{7}

What does the Qur’an say about the Trinity? First, it holds up monotheism as the correction for the false Christian claim of the “three.” By holding to this concept of the “three,” Christians are actually polytheists, denying that God is one. The author of the Qur’an does not understand that Christians are saying there is one God who manifests in three distinct forms or persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But the misunderstanding goes much further than this. The Qur’an is very clear that the “three” are the Father, the Son, and Mary. As stated in Surah 5:116,

And when Allah said: “O Jesus son of Mary! Did you say to mankind: ‘Take me and my mother for two gods other than Allah?’” He said: “Transcendent are you! It was not mine to say that of which I had no right. . .”

And this view is reiterated in the Islamic commentaries, the hadith. “Nothing in the Qur’anic text actually addresses the essence of Christian faith, even though it is painfully clear the author thought he was doing so.”{8}

White believes this distinction helps us respond to the oft-asked question, “Is Allah the same god as Yahweh?” Although Muslims make reference to the one God of Abraham, they deny the witness of the incarnation and the resurrection. Thus denying the entirety of the Christian faith. “If worship is an act of truth, then Muslims and Christians are not worshiping the same object. We do not worship the same God.”{9}

So, we see the Qur’an misrepresents the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and relegates Allah to a lower status than omnipotent God by declaring that Allah is not capable of appearing in multiple forms.

The Qur’an, Jesus and Salvation

As we consider what Muslims are taught in the Qur’an, we next look at the second stumbling block in their view of Christianity: the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

The Qur’an has quite a bit to say about Jesus as a prophet of God, specifically stating He was not God and was not crucified. The name of Jesus appears 25 times in the Qur’an, almost always as Isa ibn Mariam, i.e. Jesus the son of Mary. Jesus is presented as the result of a miraculous virgin birth. In the Qur’an, Surah 3:47, it is written, “She said, My Lord! How can I have a child, when no man has touched me? He replied, “such is the will of Allah. He creates what He will. When He decrees a thing He only says: ‘Be!’ and it is.”{10}

The question of how Jesus came to be is an important topic for comparison. First, we see the Qur’an says that Allah created Jesus by declaring His existence and having Him born of a virgin. Second, we understand that the author of the Qur’an believed Christians teach that Jesus came into being as the child of a physical, sexual union between God and Mary. Third, Christianity actually teaches that Jesus was the preexistent creator of the universe (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16-17), always and fully God, who became fully man being born of a virgin. Note that the primary difference between the Qur’an’s view of Jesus’ birth and a biblical view of Jesus’ birth is not the role of Mary, but rather the Qur’an says that Jesus was created at His human conception and the Bible clearly states that Jesus is eternal and was not created but rather took on a new form at his birth:

Although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

The words attributed to Jesus in the Qur’an, beginning with words spoken from the crib, are not found in any source from the 1st through 5th centuries. “But the Muslim understanding is that no such historical foundation is needed for lengthy portions of narrative for its words to be true. This is the Qur’an. It has been preserved. For the large majority, that ends the discussion, even when the same believers will then embrace historical criticism to question the value of His words in the Gospels.”{11}

When it comes to the cross, the Qur’an stands firmly and inalterably against the mass of historical evidence and the almost universal view of the populace of itsday. This Qur’anic view is not sprinkled throughout the teaching, but rather appears in only one verse, namely Surah 4:157—

“They slew him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them; and those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge of it except the pursuit of a conjecture; [but] certainly they slew him not. But Allah raised him up to Himself.”

This verse stands alone in the Qur’an and surprisingly without commentary in the hadith literature as well. This verse, written six hundred years after the events, in a place far removed from Jerusalem, takes a position counter to the gospel texts from the first century and counter to six centuries of Christian teaching. In more recent times, various Muslim apologists have surmised various tales to build upon this one verse. For example, some Muslims believe that someone else died on the cross and Jesus fled to India to continue his ministry there.{12} Regardless of what unsubstantiated fairy tales one conjures up to support its claim, this verse is based on no historical knowledge of the events surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“This suggests the author did not have even the slightest knowledge of the centrality of God’s redeeming act in Christ on the cross. . .  The Qur’an places itself, and all who would believe in it, in direct opposition not only to the Gospels but also everything history itself says on the subject. The question must be asked: Who, truly, is following mere conjecture here? Those who were eyewitnesses on the Hill of the Skull outside Jerusalem? Or the author of the Qur’an, more than half a millennium later?”{13}

Without the cross, salvation in the Qur’an comes through an unknowable mixture of predestination, good works, and the capricious will of Allah. “In Islam, forgiveness is an impersonal act of arbitrary divine power. In Christianity, forgiveness is a personal act of purposeful and powerful yet completely just divine grace.”{14}

One cannot attribute these differences between the Qur’an and the New Testament to a minor corruption of the biblical text as they reflect the core themes of these books.

Corrupting the Gospels

As discussed above, most Muslims have been taught there are three primary problems with our faith: the Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus, and the corruption of the scripture. We have dealt with the Trinity and the resurrection of Jesus. Now let us turn to the corruption of scripture.

Most Muslims will affirm to you that the Christian scriptures cannot be relied upon because they have been changed and corrupted over the years and do not reflect the true message of Jesus. But is this affirmation what is taught by the Qur’an, and does it have any basis other than hearsay?

The Qur’an is very clear that the messages sent to the prophets of the Bible are to be believed. For example, Surah 3:84 says, “We believe in Allah . . . and that which was sent down to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes; and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have surrendered.” Or as stated in a hadith, “Therefore, faithful Muslims believe in every Prophet whom Allah has sent and in every Book He revealed, and never disbelieve in any of them.”{15}

Very clearly, the Qur’an states that what was given to the Old Testament prophets and to Jesus was the truth of God. It is not just the prophets themselves who were from the Lord, for the Qur’an states that Allah “sent down the Torah and the Gospel” as works that serve as “guidance to mankind.” If this is the case, why do Muslims not interpret the Qur’an in light of the truth from the Gospels, assuming that Allah’s truth never changes?

In contrast, it is a virtual pillar of Islamic orthodoxy to hold that the Bible has undergone significant revisions so much as to make them totally unreliable and thus, useless to a modern day Muslim. As James White puts it, “Muslims around the world are taught that the Jews and the Christians altered their Scriptures, though there is no agreement as to when this took place. If anything unites Islamic apologists, it is the persistent assertion of Qur’anic perfection in contrast to the corrupted nature of the Bible, particularly the New Testament.”{16}

This position certainly makes sense from a human perspective. For if one takes the position presented by the Qur’an that we are to believe every word of the Bible, then the huge differences between the theology of the New Testament and the theology of the Qur’an leave one little choice: either reject the Qur’an as not from God, or assume that all of the differences are the result of some massive corruption of the message of the Bible. The normal assumption taught to Muslims today is this corruption happened early on, perhaps even with the apostle Paul.

However, the preponderance of verses in the Qur’an which address this issue point to the corruption as being a distortion of the meaning (not the words) of the text. One example is found in Surah 3:78, “And there is a party of them who distort the Book with their tongues, that you may think that what they say is from the Book, when it is not from the Book.” As White observes, “We must conclude that the now predominant claim of the biblical texts themselves, having undergone major alteration and corruption, is a later polemical and theological perspective not required by the Qur’anic text itself. It comes not from the positive teachings of Muhammad but through the unalterable fact of the Qur’anic author’s unfamiliarity with the actual biblical text.”{17}

As noted by a Christian, Al-Kindi, writing to a Muslim around AD 820, “The situation is plain enough; you witness to the truth of our text—then again you contradict the witness you bear and allege that we have corrupted it; this is the height of folly.”{18}

In Surah 5:47, we are urged as Christians to judge by what Allah has revealed in the Gospels. If this admonition has any meaning at all, it must assume that Christians had access to a valid gospel in the 7th century during the life of Muhammad. What Christians had as the Gospels in the 7th century is what we have as the Gospels today. In fact, “each canonical gospel we read today we can document to have existed in that very form three centuries before Muhammad’s ministry. A Christian judging Muhammad’s claims by the New Testament and finding that he was ignorant of the teachings of the apostles, ignorant of the cross, the resurrection . . . and meaning of the gospel itself, is simply doing what the Qur’an commands us to do in this text.”{19}

Thus, while modern Muslims claim the Bible is corrupt and unreliable, the Qur’an appears to teach that the scriptures available to Jews and Christians during Muhammad’s day were correct and should be followed; as long as one did not reinterpret the meaning into something that was not really said. However, doing so would lead one to the conclusion that the Qur’an was written by someone who was not knowledgeable concerning Jewish and Christian scripture.

The Perfection of the Qur’an

As noted earlier, one of the primary objections Muslims voice toward Christianity is their belief that our Scriptures have been changed and corrupted while the Qur’an in Arabic is exactly the words given to Muhammad fourteen hundred years ago. Does this belief stand up to impartial scrutiny?

The modern Muslim view of the Qur’an does not allow for the critical examination of sources and variations as has been done for the New Testament. Many bible scholars such as Dallas Theological Seminary professor, Daniel Wallace{20}, point out that the large number of ancient manuscripts from different locations and times give us a richness of sources allowing us to identify the original text of the Christian New Testament with a high degree of confidence. Muslims on the other hand are relying on a specific follower, Uthman the third Caliph, who was purported to have assimilated the correct version and to have ordered the destruction of all other versions.

If the Qur’an is a perfect representation of the message from Allah, what accounts for the differences in multiple accounts of the same story recorded in the Qur’an? For example, four different Surahs contain the story of Lot in Sodom. Each recounting of the story is different from the others even when quoting what Lot said to the Sodomites. Thus we have Muslims pointing to differences in accounts among the Gospels but ignoring accounts of the same events throughout the Qur’an which differ in detail, order, and content.

When we find this type of variation in the Gospels, we recognize that each gospel was written by a different author with a different perspective inspired by the Holy Spirit. But if the Qur’an was preexistent in heaven and given to one man by one angel, one would not expect these types of variants. But as James White notes, “We could provide numerous examples of parallel passages all illustrating with clarity that the serious Muslim exegete must face the reality that the Qur’anic text requires exegesis and harmonization.”{21}

In addition to these troubling passages recounting different versions of the same events, we also find legendary stories about the life of Jesus which do not appear in any of the known accounts from the first century. White points out, “The Qur’an fails to make any differentiation between what is clearly legendary in character and what is based on the Hebrew or the Christian Scriptures. Stories that developed centuries after the events they pretend to describe are coupled directly with historically based accounts that carry serious weight and truth content. . . . This kind of fantastic legendary material is hardly the kind of source that can be trusted, and yet the Qur’an’s author shows not the slightest understanding of its nature and combines them with historical materials.”{22}

In addition to the inconsistencies in retelling stories and the incorporation of legends generated centuries after the actual events, we also should consider whether the current Qur’an is the perfectly accurate version of the earliest version supposedly shared verbally by Muhammad with certain followers. The common Islamic claims are strong and clear:

“The Qur’an is the literal word of God, which He revealed to His Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. It was memorized by Muhammad, who then dictated it to his Companions. They, in turn memorized it, wrote it down, and reviewed it with the Prophet Muhammad  . . . Not one letter of the Qur’an has been changed over the centuries.”{23}

“It is a miracle of the Qur’an that no change has occurred in a single word, a single [letter of the] alphabet, a single punctuation mark, or a single diacritical mark in the text of the Qur’an during the last fourteen centuries.”{24}

Interestingly, the hadiths give us early insight into one view of how the written Qur’an was collected and who was involved. At the time Muhammad died, there was no written version of the Qur’an. It was carried about in the minds of a set of men called the Qurra, each of whom had memorized at least a portion of the Qur’an. However, a number of these Qurra were being killed in battles, raising the prospect that a significant portion of the Qur’an might be lost. According to one hadith, Zaid bin Thabit undertook the task of collecting a written version.

“To many outside the Muslim faith, the Qur’an’s organization looks tremendously haphazard and even Islamic literature notes how one surah can contain materials Muhammad gave at very different times in his life. Many Muslims assume Muhammad was behind this organization, but there is little reason to believe it. Zaid and his committee are far more likely to have been responsible.”{25}

Eighteen years later the third Caliph, Uthman, charged Zaid and others with rewriting the manuscripts in perfect copies. In the process of doing this, Zaid reportedly found at least two more passages that he had missed in his earlier compilation. Once this was accomplished, “Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt.”{26}

Not every scholar agrees that this story from a hadith is accurate and many suggest a much later date after AD 705 for the compilation of the Qur’an we find today. Whether it was Uthman or some later compilation effort, since the eighth century, we have had a fairly stable text for the Qur’an with few variants. “Muslims see this as a great advantage, even an example of divine inspiration and preservation. In reality, just the opposite is the case. When a text has a major interruption in transmission, one’s certainty of being able to obtain the original text becomes limited to the materials that escape the revisionist pen. For the Muslim, Uthman had to get it right, because if he was wrong, there is little hope of ever undoing his work.”{27}

Al-Kindi, the Christian apologist writing around AD 820, had much to say on the formation of the Qur’an. He records that multiple versions were collated during the time of Uthman stating, “One man, then, read one version of the Qur’an, his neighbor another, and differed. One man said to his neighbor: “My text is better than yours,” while his neighbor defended his own. So additions and losses came about and falsification of the text.”{28} According to Al-Kindi, this situation caused Uthman to take his action while his rivals, such as Ali (Muhammad’s cousin and the 4th Caliph), created and kept their own manuscripts. Al-Kindi listed alterations and changes made to the earlier documents in creating Uthman’s version. One of the reasons Al-Kindi had access to this type of information was the open warfare between the Sunnis and the Shiites, led to charges and countercharges of corruption.

Al-Kindi concludes his discussion stating, “You know what happened between Ali, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman, how they hated each other and quarreled and corrupted the text; how each one tried to oppose his neighbor and to refute what he (had) said. Pray, how are we to know which is the true text, and how shall we distinguish it from the false?”{29}

As White states, “It is self-evident that no matter how stable or even primitive the Uhtmanic tradition is, it is not the only stream that can claim direct connection to Muhammad and the primitive period of Qur’anic compilation. The greatest concern for any follower of Muhammad should be what he said (or what he received from the Angel Gabriel), not what an uninspired Caliph later thought he should have said.”{30}

The study of manuscripts shows beyond all possible question that the Qur’an was neither written down in perfection in the days of Muhammad, nor was it never altered or changed in its transmission.

White concludes his study with this thought, “When we obey the command of Surah 5:4 and test Muhammad’s claims in the light of the gospel, of history, and of consistency and truthfulness, we find him, and the Qur’an to fail these tests. The Qur’an is not a further revelation of the God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. The author of the Qur’an did not understand the gospel, did not understand the Christian faith, and as such cannot stand in the line of Moses to Jesus to Muhammad that he claimed.”{31}

Notes

1. James White, What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an, Bethany House Publishers, 2013.
2. Ibid, p. 24.
3. Ibrahim, I. A., A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, Houston: Darussalam, 1997, p. 5.
4. White, p. 19.
5. White, p. 59.
6. White, p. 68.
7. White, p. 75.
8. White, p. 98.
9. White, p. 72.
10. The Majestic Qur’an: An English Rendition of Its Meanings, 4th ed.
11. White, p. 113
12. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, www.alislam.org/library/books/jesus-in-india/ch2.html.
13. White, p. 142.
14. White, p. 158.
15. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Riyadh, Darussalam, 2003, 2:204.
16. White, p. 171.
17. White, p. 180.
18. Newman N. A., The Early Christian-Muslim Dialogue, Hatfield PA, Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute, 1993, 498-99.
19. White, p. 186.
20. Dr. Daniel Wallace, Executive Director of CSNTM & Senior Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, speaking at Prairie Creek Baptist Church on August 30, 2015.
21. White, p. 229.
22. White, p. 237-8.
23. Ibrahim, p. 5.
24. Kazi, Mazhar, 130 Evident Miracles in the Qur’an, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada, Cresecnt, 1997, p. 42-43.
25. White, p.258.
26. Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6:510.
27. White, p. 262.
28. This portion of Al-Kindi’s apology is found in Newman, The Early Christian-Muslim Dialogue: A collection of Documents from the First Three Islamic Centuries, 455-459.
29. Ibid.
30. White, p. 271.
31. White, p. 286.

© 2017 Probe Ministries

(original link)

Apostasy from Islam

Posted by Daniel Mann

Fortunately, it has now been widely reported that the Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is facing the death penalty, having once again refused to convert to Islam to save his life:

Nadarkhani was arrested in 2009 for the crime of apostasy because he allegedly abandoned Islam for Christianity. As a pastor, Iranian clerics believe that Nadarkhani was preaching in order to convert Muslims.

While it is encouraging that many are petitioning for his release and dismissal of all charges against him, it is important to remember that this type of egregious human rights violations is endemic to Islam. Although most Islamic countries will not impose the death penalty if a Muslim converts, I don’t know of any that will allow this to slide. The Koran reads:

• But whosoever accepts disbelief willingly, he incurs God’s Wrath, and there is severe torment for all such people”(Quran-usc 16:106).

Although the Koran does not designate a particular penalty for apostasy, several sayings of Mohammad (the Hadiths) specify death:

• Narrated ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.” (Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, 9:83:17)

According to the Wikipedia, even when Islamic governments do not impose penalties for apostasy, the Imams will:

• The violence or threats of violence against apostates in the Muslim world usually derives not from government authorities but from individuals or groups operating with impunity from the government. An example is the stabbing of a Bangladeshi Murtad Fitri Christian evangelist while returning home from a film version of the Gospel of Luke. Bangladesh does not have a law against apostasy, but some Imams encourage the killing of converts from Islam. Ex-Muslims in Great Britain have faced abuse, violence, and even murder at the hands of Muslims. There are similar reports of violent intimidation of those electing to reject Islam in other Western countries.

The Wikipedia also cites a Pew survey revealing that many Muslims believe that the convert should be put to death:

• A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found relatively widespread popular support for death penalty as a punishment for apostasy in Egypt (84% of respondents in favor of death penalty), Jordan (86% in favor), Indonesia (30% in favor), Pakistan (76% favor) and Nigeria (51% in favor)
.
Double standards abound! While the evangelism of Muslims is strictly forbidden and punished throughout the Islamic world, the Muslim is free to evangelize anyone. Muslims can even marry non-Muslim women – they then have to convert to Islam – men of other religions are forbidden from marrying Muslim women. While no one is free to criticize Islam, Muslims are free to criticize other religions. While no one can deface a Koran, Bibles are routinely destroyed.

If Muslims are going to settle in the West, these double standards have to be addressed, and not indulged out of fear of a violent response.

However, we Christians have to keep these concerns in context of the higher, more glorious spiritual truths:

1. We too deserve only the wrath of God, but were saved by the sheer grace of God. Therefore, we, as individuals, need to treat the Muslim with the same mercy.

2. Knowing that our foremost battle is against spiritual entities, we cannot be bitter against Muslims but must love them.

(original link)

A Cry From Iran | Full Movie

Iran, 1993. A judge issues an official death sentence to Mehdi Dibaj, a man imprisioned for 10 years because he converted from Islam to Christianity. A copy of the official order is leaked to Haik Hovsepian, the leader of the evangelical christian movement in Iran. Haik, at peril to his own life, releases the document and launches an international campaign to bring an end to the civil rights violations of the Iranian Islamic courts. International pressure mounts and the Iranian government is forced to release Dibaj at the eleventh hour. But for Haik, there is a price to pay. Very well done.

A Cry From Iran is an award-winning documentary. This true story, produced by Haik Hovsepian’s sons, contains hidden camera footage filmed in Iran during the actual events, and will be an inspiration to all who see it. (54 min)

Directors: Andre Hovsepian, Joseph Hovsepian
Starring: Mehdi Dibaj

Changing Tracks: Mario Joseph, Muslim Imam convert

By Georgy

Watch the above video clip. It is an interview with Mario Joseph, the Muslim priest who is right now a Christian, preaching Jesus all over the world, across many countries. This 34 minute video clip is so touching. It really amuses all of us Christians who had never even cared to see what the Quran, the Holy Book of Islam, talks about Jesus Christ.

Download Jesus In The Quran Video Clip (157MB)

You can download the video clip from the above link, in case you need to burn it to a DVD and gift someone. We have converted the main points of this interview into text below for those of you who cannot play or download the video, even after reaching our web page at turnbacktogod.com.

Jesus: God or Prophet

Mario, when he was working in a Muslim mosque as an Imam the Muslim priest, preached that Jesus Christ is not God. Then somebody from the crowd popped the question “Who is Jesus then?”. To know who Jesus really is, Mario went back and read the entire Quran once again, all the 114 chapters, all the 6666 verses in the Quran. When he completed reading Quran, he found that the name of the Prophet Mohammad was only found in 4 places, but the name of Jesus was seen in 25 places. That itself confused him a little. Why does Quran give so much preference to Jesus Christ?

Second thing was that Mario was not able to find the name of any women related with Prophet Mohammad in Quran, his mothers name, wife’s name, children’s name, no nothing was there. In the entire Quran, he could only find one woman’s name and that was Mariam, the mother of Jesus Christ. Even chapter 3 in Quran is titled as ‘Family of Mariam’ and the chapter 19 has the name ‘Mariam’ itself. This made him all the more curious. Quran goes on to say even that Mary was born without original sin and her assumption to heaven is also specified clearly in Quran.

10 Points about Jesus in Quran

Quran, chapter 3 verses 45 to 55 has 10 points about Jesus. The first thing is that Jesus is called the ‘Word of God’. Second thing is that Jesus is called the ‘Spirit of God’. And the third mention is the name ‘Jesus Christ’. Quran says that Jesus spoke when he was very small, almost 2 days old after his birth and that he created a live bird with mud. He took some mud, formed a bird, breathed into it and it became a live bird. This means Jesus can give life. Quran also says Jesus cured a man born blind and a man with leprosy. It also says that Jesus gave life to dead people. Jesus went to heaven. Jesus is still alive and He will come again.

Jesus: A prophet even greater than Mohammed?

When Mario saw all these things in Quran, he was just wondering what Quran says about Mohammad. According to Quran, Prophet Mohammed is not the Word of God, not the Spirit of God, never spoke when he was 2 days old, never created any bird with mud, never cured any sick people, never raised any dead people, he himself died and according to Islam he is not alive and he will not come back. So there is a lot of difference between these two prophets.

Mario’s debate with his Teacher

Mario was never calling Jesus as God, he considered Jesus only as a prophet but after reading all these, he learnt that Jesus is a prophet greater than Mohammad. To clear his doubts, he went to his teacher one day, the same teacher who taught him 10 years in Arabic College. Mario asked him “Teacher, how did God create the Universe?” to which his teacher replied that “God created the universe through the Word”. Then Mario asked again, “Word of God is Creator or Creation?”.

Quran says Jesus is Word of God. If his teacher says that the Word of God is Creator, which means Jesus is Creator, then the Muslims must become Christian. Suppose if the teacher says the Word is creation, that will be wrong as he had already said that everything is created through the Word. If the Word is creation, then how did God create the Word? So he could not say the Word is Creator or the Creation. This made him so mad, he pushed Mario out of his room.

Mario told to his teacher then that Word is not the Creator, not the Creation and that is why Christians say the Word is Son of God. Then his teacher asked Mario that if there is a son for God, Mario must show him the wife of God, as there is no chance for having a son without a wife. To this Mario responded stating some verses from Quran which says God can see without eyes, God can talk without tongue, God can hear without ears, and these are all written in Quran. If that is the case, then of course God can have a child without a wife.

There was a huge argument and in the end, Mario took his Quran, put it on his chest and said “Allah, tell me what I should do because your Quran says Jesus is still alive and Mohammad is no more. You tell me whom should I accept.” After the prayer, Mario opened the Quran, not asking to anyone else, just to his Allah. When he opened Quran, he saw Chapter 10 verse 94. And that says “if you have any doubt in this Quran which I give to you, go and read the Bible, or ask the people, those who read the Bible. The truth is already revealing that.”

So Mario goes on to say that If you ask him who made him a Christian, it’s not any fathers, sisters, bishops, cardinals, and not even Pope. But the holy Quran converted him to Christianity.

Are we Slaves or Children of God?

John Chapter 1 verse 12 says if anyone accepted Jesus, Jesus will give them power to become Children of God. In all the verses of Quran, Allah calls the human beings as slaves and Allah is master. Master cannot love the slave and slave cannot love the master. Even no one would like to be called by someone as a slave. But Quran says you are my slave. But John 1:12 says “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. So immediately his heart said I need Jesus because I want to be a child of God. And from then he started to call God Daddy. Until then he never knew that he can call God his Daddy.

The prayer Jesus taught us starts with Abbun , our God who art in heaven. Abbun in Arabic means “Our Dad”. Mario goes on to explain his immense joy and pleasure when he calls the creator of the Universe as his own Dad, that truly is an experience which can never be told, but which should be felt by ourselves.

His family tried to kill him

The rest of the above video interview goes on to explain the reaction from his dad and family when they learnt that he got converted to Christianity. They tortured him so hard and even tried to kill him. They did all these because its written in Quran in more than 18 places to fight with the non-believers and in some places in Quran its even written to kill the one who rejects Islam. As his dad and family strictly followed Quran, they went to all the extent of even killing their own son. When he wanted water, his brother came and passed urine in his mouth saying that is the punishment for him for believing in Christ.

Mario’s miraculous escape

Finally, with knife in his hands, his dad asked him to believe in Allah if he wants to live or die if he still needs Jesus. Mario chose to die in Jesus as he was confident that dying in Jesus name can bring him back, just as Jesus rose from his death. When he made this decision, suddenly a light fell on his forehead, an electric shock passed through his veins and he was so energized, from somewhere so much energy was flowing to his body. With that much energy, he pulled the ready-to-kill hands of his father and cried out JESUS.

When he cried out, his dad fell on the ground and there was a big wound on his chest caused by the big knife which he himself was holding. There was bleeding and some kind of foam was coming from his dad’s mouth and he was screaming. Mario could escape from his room when all the family members rushed his dad to the hospital. Mario directly took a taxi and went to Potta. Thus he escaped from his family’s prison.

This incident revealed to Mario that Jesus is still alive and among us, protecting him all through these 18 years after his conversion where there had been so many attempts on his life. His family even did a mock funeral ceremony of Mario and he has his grave in his hometown.

Die in Christ

Mario continues: If you believe in Mohammad and die, as you know, Prophet Mohammad died, people buried him and afterwards, we don’t know where he went. If you believe in him and die, you don’t know where you will go. There are so many Gods in our country, all including the many Hindu Gods, Buddha etc, they lived, created history, they died, people buried them and we don’t know where they went. So if you believe in all these Gods and Goddesses, you wont know what is your future.

But Christ, who died, HE came back. So please have the hope that If you die in Christ, you will come back. So its better, be sure of death and that should be in Christ. To have eternal life, you need Jesus.

Forgiveness of Sins

In Islam, they offer animals for the sins that they committed. In Hinduism, there is birth and rebirth. In Christianity, Jesus took away my sins by his death on Earth and he will be saying to the Heavenly Father that this human is pure because I took away all his sins, he is purified now. So now you can take him to Heaven. So Jesus is my Savior.

We did not write down the entire 34 minute video clipping of the interview into words here. So we request you to please watch the embedded video at the top of this article here or if you are reading this in an email, visit us by clicking on the article heading to go to our web page to play the entire video clip.

original link

Islamic Muslims: Brave Enough to Find the Truth

Incredible stories of Muslims, Babak, Farhad, Hassan and Hossein. A Muslim Journey to Hope presents the stories of people who have had a life-changing experience. Each story is true, and each story is different. Yet they are as different as the lives of each person: Women and men. Young and old. Rich and poor. From many countries in the world. Each story tells how each of these people has found hope.

Muslim Dreams – The Story of Khalil

Khalil started memorizing the Qur’an at an early age and developed what he called a “love for the word of God.” As he grew older, his views hardened into a radical form of Islam and he joined an Islamic group. He engaged in terrorist acts designed to overthrow the Egyptian government, and for a time received military training in a remote, desert area of Yemen.

The group’s Emir, however, eventually came to the conclusion that a military option was not practical in achieving their aims against Christian missionaries. The Emir, instead, proposed an intellectual approach. He assigned Khalil the task of writing a book that would discredit Christianity by exposing the Bible as a corrupted text and revealing the passages in the Bible that foretell of the Prophet Mohammed. Khalil was repulsed by the idea that he would have to read the Bible as part of his research, but eventually took on the job at the Emir’s insistence.

When he had completed reading the Bible and cross-referencing it with numerous texts from the Qur’an (as well as commentaries on the Qur’an), Khalil discovered the Bible was neither inaccurate nor corrupted. Furthermore, he found no mention of the Prophet Mohammed, and he discovered the Qur’an itself acknowledges that Isa (Jesus), the Messiah, is God.

Growing doubts now made Khalil’s life miserable. He had always loved Islam and had always believed the only way to God was through the Prophet Mohammed. But now he asked: If Jesus and God are one, then who is the Prophet Mohammed and what is the way to heaven? Khalil began to put his thoughts on paper. He knew his conclusions were not what the Emir would want to hear, but his honest enquiry offered no alternatives.

One day, the Emir came to visit Khalil in his house and discovered the manuscript, which Khalil had entitled “Is the Qur’an God’s Word?” The Emir was shocked at Khalil’s premise, and especially his conclusions regarding Jesus. He threatened to kill him if he ever shared his heretical ideas with another Muslim. As far as the Emir was concerned, Khalil had become a kafir (infidel).

Khalil, however, could not deny his growing conviction that Christianity was the way to God. He began to cautiously seek out Christian acquaintances at work, hoping to learn more about their faith. One day, as he placed a phone call to one such friend from a café, his briefcase was stolen. The bag contained his manuscript, Bible and identity card. Khalil rushed home, troubled and tormented. Alone in his room, he repented for daring to think the Prophet Mohammed was not sent from God and the Qur’an was not the Word of God. He knelt on his prayer mat only to discover that he could not say his prayers or utter one word of the Qur’an. Instead, he prayed in his own words—from the heart—asking God to show him the truth.

That night, Khalil fell into a deep sleep. In a dream, a man came to him and told him he was the one for whom Khalil had been searching. He also told Khalil to read the Book (the Bible). Khalil said he loved the Book, but had lost it, to which the man replied, “The Book cannot be lost. Stand up and open your closet. You will find it there.”

Khalil awoke from the dream, got out of bed and opened his closet door. His Bible was inside on a shelf. Khalil hurried to his mother’s room, woke her up and begged her forgiveness for his years of harsh treatment. As the sun rose that morning, he went outside, greeting friends and strangers alike. He sought out the Christian owners of businesses whom he had robbed or mistreated, and begged their forgiveness, too.
Over the ensuing months, Khalil grew in his faith, gradually winning the trust of local Christians and finding fellowship at a church where he was baptized in water. He has braved persecution but is convinced that no price is too great to pay for the joy of serving the One who gave everything for him.

Muslim Dreams: the story of ALI

Ali was born in southeastern Turkey, the eldest of nine children. In his youth, he helped support the family by working as a shepherd. Spending long hours alone in the countryside, he talked freely with God, telling Him how much he admired the beauty of His creation.
By the time he reached his twenties, however, Ali had lost his boyish innocence. He became a heavy drinker, and typically returned home from work drunk. He began to abuse his wife, Zehra, and terrify his children with his violent behavior. Deeply ashamed, he preferred to live for extended periods in Istanbul, knowing his family would be protected from his alcoholism by physical distance.

Ali moved to Saudi Arabia after hearing that alcohol was forbidden there and work was easy to come by. Though his struggle with alcoholism continued (Ali was able to buy liquor on the black market), he became more determined than ever to overcome his addiction. While living in Saudi Arabia, he made the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, determined to please God as a true and devout Muslim.

While in Mecca, Ali had a dream that changed his life forever. In the dream, Jesus appeared to him and said, “You belong to me.” Jesus also touched Ali’s forehead and said, “Depart from here. You belong to me now.” When Ali woke up, he was filled with indescribable joy. The dream had seemed so real! What had happened to him? Then he heard the voice of Jesus again, speaking to him, “Ali, you belong to me. You will not make this pilgrimage. Leave this place.”

The next day, Ali cut his pilgrimage short and returned to the city of Akba, where he shared an apartment with several other Turks who, like him, had construction jobs in Saudi Arabia. As he washed up from his long journey, he again heard the Lord speaking to him. He fell to his knees, declaring that he would do whatever God asked him to do. That evening, he heard the Lord’s voice again, telling him he should return to his family in Turkey. Ali left Saudi Arabia a few days later.

Back in Turkey, Ali’s friends and neighbors came to his house to celebrate his return. Hearing the voice of Jesus again, Ali announced to everyone that Jesus had appeared to him in Saudi Arabia and that he was now a Christian.

None of the neighbors took Ali seriously, but his wife and children saw the positive changes in his life. Ali reconciled with his wife, Zehra, asking forgiveness for the way he had treated her. In turn, Zehra expressed her willingness to join Ali in his new faith. A major obstacle remained, however. Ali and Zehra had no Bible to read and there was no church for them to attend. They didn’t know anyone who was a Christian.

Needing work, Ali returned to the metropolis of Istanbul, finding a job easily enough and earning a good salary to meet his family’s financial needs. After a few months, however, it became clear that this arrangement would not work for long. Zehra and the children missed Ali so he made the decision to return home.

One day, while listening to the radio, Ali heard the announcer talking about Jesus. He called Zehra to his side and told her that he had found the voice of Jesus—inside the radio!

Through this Christian radio program, Ali received a New Testament in the mail.

Today, Ali continues to share his Christian faith openly and unashamedly. Alcohol no longer has dominion over him, and he cherishes his wife who he once treated so badly. Truly, Ali has become a “new creation in Christ.”

Muslim Dreams: The Story of Khosrow

Even as a small child, Khosrow questioned the “meaning of life.” Everything around him raised questions, such as: Why do flowers have color? What’s beyond the stars? Where do we go when we die? When no one could answer his questions satisfactorily, his sensitive nature gave way to a growing depression.

As a young adult, Khosrow decided not to attend university and instead worked in a low-level position at the local telephone company. He resolved himself to a meaningless existence. Day by day, his situation worsened. He felt an emptiness in his soul, and tried to get close to God by reading many different books and participating in religious gatherings and activities.

One day on his way to work, he passed an Assyrian Christian church which he had passed many times before. This time, however, something was different. It seemed as though a voice from within the church called to him. On his way home, he decided to go inside. During his second visit to the church, he encountered a few elderly people and a pastor speaking in Assyrian, a language he could not understand.

After the church service, the pastor made a point of speaking to Khosrow. The pastor gave him a stack of books. The books were all in Farsi and among them was a copy of the New Testament. He told Khosrow this was the most important book he could read.

Khosrow proceeded to read the New Testament from cover to cover in hopes of experiencing a positive change in his life. But no change was apparent, so he decided to read the New Testament a second time, then a third time. Still, there was no change.

Returning home from work feeling angry and hopeless, Khosrow went into his bedroom and threw his copy of the New Testament across the room. In despair, he cried out for God to reveal Himself to him, or leave him alone forever. Just then, the form of a man appeared in front of him in a vision, extending his hands toward him and telling him, “Give me your hand, and your life will change.” Khosrow took the man’s hand and a wave of what he describes as “electricity” flowed through his body. Kneeling, he began to weep, making such a loud noise that his parents came into the room to see what was wrong. They were shocked to see Khosrow crying for the first time in many years.

From that day forward, everything in Khosrow’s life began to change. In his own words, he became “a new human being.” The heavy load of depression lifted away and in its place grew a deep love for God, his family and other people.

Khosrow returned to the Assyrian-speaking pastor who had given him the books and he described the experience of the vision. The pastor concluded that Khosrow had been born again and needed to be taught as a Christian. He sent him to another pastor who spoke better Farsi, and Khosrow began to grow in his Christian faith. He studied the Bible thoroughly and eventually became a pastor. He also married.

The persecution of Christians in Iran forced Khosrow to flee with his wife and two children to Turkey, where persecution was less intense. Later, they were forced to flee again. This time, they sought refuge in Austria. To get there, they flew initially to Bosnia. Then, with the help of smugglers, they made their way by car and on foot toward the Austrian border. It was winter and bitterly cold.

While crossing a river late at night, Khosrow’s son, Joseph, lost his footing on a makeshift bridge and fell into the freezing water, dragging his father into the water with him. The river was fast-flowing and deep. Khosrow flailed about in the dark water, searching in vain for his son. Suddenly, Khosrow felt someone putting Joseph in his hands. He also felt as if the same person—invisible to his eyes—helped him carry Joseph to the river’s embankment. Both he and his son were saved, and the family made their way to Austria.

Khosrow compares the invisible hands that saved him and his family that night to the hands he saw and felt in his vision of Jesus. He tells the story of being asked once by a skeptic how he could know the vision wasn’t a product of his own imagination. Khosrow asked the skeptic if he was wearing clothes. The man was taken aback by the question, but the analogy was clear. Khosrow’s vision was as real as that and more.

Muslim Dreams: The Story of Mohammed

As a young Fulani boy growing up in Nigeria, Mohammed followed diligently in his father’s footsteps. He learned how to rear cattle (the principal livelihood of most Fulani men) and was devout in his spiritual practices as well. As a teenager, he appealed to his father to let him study the Qur’an at a special school in the town of Bauchi.

After studying three years in Bauchi, Mohammed continued his Islamic studies in several other cities. He learned to read and write Arabic and hoped to study in Saudi Arabia.

At this juncture, Mohammed returned to his village at his father’s request. His father told him it would be better for him to get married before leaving for Saudi Arabia.

While at home, Mohammed had a series of frightening dreams in which mysterious figures in black attacked and tried to kill him. Mohammed always awoke terrified from these dreams, unable to go back to sleep. After several such nightmares, however, a figure in white clothes began to appear in his dreams, delivering Mohammed from harm and taking him safely home.

Hearing about Mohammed’s dreams, his father became concerned and took his son to see a native doctor. The native doctor prescribed certain herbs and enchantments to ward off the evil. But the terrifying dreams continued. Only the heroic figure in shining white clothes brought relief to Mohammed, never failing to come to his rescue in the dreams, guiding him safely home again, and telling him he loved him.

In the final dream, Mohammed found himself under a tree, reading many books. The man in white appeared beside him and asked him what he was reading. At the time, Mohammed didn’t understand what he was reading. The man in white asked Mohammed if he wanted help. Mohammed said yes.

The man in white then took one of the books Mohammed had been reading and said, “This book is from God. It contains the very Word of God.” The book was the Bible, which Mohammed had never read before. The man in white showed him numerous verses, including John 14:6, which says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The man in white then told Mohammed that He was the One of whom this verse spoke—that He was Isa (Jesus), the Savior of the world. Jesus asked Mohammed if he wished to accept Him as his Savior. Mohammed agreed. Jesus then disappeared and the dream ended.

to Mohammed more fully the way of salvation. At that point, Mohammed made a full commitment of his life to Jesus.

Eventually, Mohammed’s father learned that his son had become a Christian and ordered him to renounce the Christian faith, or leave the family home. Mohammed addressed his father with great respect, but told him he could never abandon the Lord Jesus Christ.

After several months trying to change Mohammed’s mind, his father ordered men in the village to surround Mohammed so he couldn’t escape, and forced him to drink poison. Mohammed prayed, swallowed the poison and went to bed. The next morning, to his father’s dismay, Mohammed was still alive.

Soon after that, Mohammed’s father banished him from the village. As Mohammed walked into the bush, relatives ambushed him and tried to kill him with poisoned arrows. Mohammed was wounded and would have died, but a man from Jonathan’s village found him and helped him to the nearest road. A passing motorist stopped to take Mohammed to a clinic. He spent a month there, recovering. Later, at his father’s request, Mohammed was arrested and spent time in prison. Eventually, he was released from prison and taken home by the police.

Mohammed’s father began a new tactic to persuade him to leave Christianity. He gave Mohammed cattle and told him he would pay the bride price for three wives if he were to abandon the Christian faith. Mohammed knew he had to make a firm decision.

He thanked his father for his generosity. There was, however, one need his father had not—and could not—meet. Mohammed asked his father if he could give him eternal life. Mohammed’s father, of course, realized he could not, to which Mohammed replied that if his father could not give him eternal life, then he could never leave Jesus Christ.

Mohammed’s father apologized to him for the many things he had done and said against him. Mohammed assured his father he had already forgiven him and led him in a prayer to receive Jesus as his Savior. Three hours later, his father died. Naturally, it was a sad event, but on the other hand, it was cause for rejoicing. Not only had father and son been reconciled, but Mohammed’s father died in peace, knowing that in the world to come he would be with Jesus for all eternity, and—someday—be with his son again in heaven.

Muslim Dreams: The Story of Dini

Twelve-year-old Dini had always been close to her father, so when he died suddenly she was devastated. That devastation turned to anger and resentment when she learned her father had been having an affair with his sister-in-law, Sundari, who was now pregnant. She also learned that her mother, Wulandari, was pregnant from her father. Aunt Sundari left town in disgrace, while her sister, Wulandari, struggled to make ends meet. After the birth of her child, Wulandari placed three of her children up for adoption and relocated to the town of Semarang with Dini and the rest of the children. Four years passed and Wulandari decided to remarry. Dini felt betrayed because her mother had made the decision without consulting anyone in the family. Her father had disappointed Dini by his behavior, and now, in Dini’s eyes, her mother was doing the same. Dini began to make friends with troublemakers at school and went through a rebellious period. She skipped classes, didn’t wear her school uniform and got into fights. When several of her friends faced serious problems, Dini began to ask: “Is this really the kind of life I want? Life within the confines of religion hadn’t made me happy but a free life without rules wasn’t something I wanted either.” The month of Ramadan arrived and Dini became diligent in fasting and prayer. One night, during Ramadan, she decided to pray the tahajud prayer, which includes petitions asking God for signs. Her heart was filled with faith that God would answer her prayers. She confessed her confusion as to how she could attain God’s approval and cried many tears, asking God to show her the right way to live; the correct path to follow. Furthermore, she promised God that if He were to show her in an unmistakable way His will for her life, she would follow Him wherever he chose to lead her. At that point, a bright light appeared in front of Dini and she saw the figure of a man approaching her. The man was wearing a white robe but she couldn’t see his face clearly. Without being told who he was, she realized that he was Jesus. He held out his hand to Dini and said, “Follow me.” Dini was confused. She thought to herself, “Lord, I’m a Muslim. How can I follow you?” In her heart of hearts, however, she knew that following Him was the right choice to make. She said, “God, if this is the way of truth, then I want to follow you.” At that moment, she felt a peace she’d never felt before and the figure in shining white clothes walked away. Following the experience of her vision, Dini gave her life to Christ and began reading the Bible. When her family discovered she had become a Christian, persecution began. She did not back down on her commitment to follow Christ, however, and when she was 16 years old, she was forced to leave home. She moved to another town where she went to school and supported herself through part-time jobs. Over time, she also pursued reconciliation with her family. She accepted her half-brother, Bambang (Aunt Sundari’s son born out of wedlock), and repented of her ill treatment of her Aunt Sundari. She also reconciled with her mother and other family members. Her greatest test came when she was faced with the realization that bitterness had kept her from forgiving her deceased father and his perceived betrayal toward the family. One day, as Dini sat on a stalled train beside her hometown, she took the much-needed step of forgiving him, too. Dini continues to make every effort to demonstrate love and forgiveness. Her life is a stirring example of one who can “do all things through Christ who strengthens” her. (Philippians 4:13)