Participants: Shakeela Yasuf
Series Code: DOA
Program Code: DOA000011
00:41 to our Muslim brothers and sisters,
00:44 shalom to our Hebrew cousins,
00:46 and peace be upon you our Christian friends.
00:50 Welcome to "The Descendants of Abraham."
00:53 On our program today we have a special guest,
00:57 a young man, who is going to share with us
00:59 his journey to discovery of the God of Abraham.
01:04 I'm sure, you will be encouraged
01:08 and blessed by the story
01:12 that he is going to share with us.
01:14 At this time I'd like to welcome Anwar to the show.
01:19 Anwar, thank you for being with us.
01:21 As-Salaam-Alaikum. Walikum Salam.
01:23 Thank you so much for joining us.
01:25 It's a privilege to be here.
01:27 Why don't you share with us a little bit of your story
01:30 of growing up as a Muslim?
01:33 Okay, well I grew up in a Sunni Muslim family.
01:38 You know, we did normal things
01:40 that Muslim you know children do.
01:43 I went to the Masjid. I learned.
01:46 you know, about all the traditions
01:48 and ways of praying and I, you know, learned to read,
01:51 you know, the Quran in Arabic
01:54 and I had a, you know, fairly normal life
01:58 growing up as a Muslim child.
02:01 Ah, my family is you know, very close, you know
02:04 and very loving and so you know, I grew up,
02:11 you know, there wasn't much wrong
02:13 when I was growing up. I had a fairly happy childhood.
02:17 A normal Muslim childhood that most of us grow up in.
02:20 And what was your relationship with God like at that time?
02:26 Well, I learned lot of things that God,
02:32 you know, we had to do a lot of things,
02:34 you know, in order to please God.
02:37 And I learnt mostly God was more,
02:41 He was out there, He was far, He was really unknowable.
02:46 And it's and it's actually
02:50 a lot of things you know started,
02:52 you know, as I got older started to develop
02:54 and started really troubling me.
02:58 I was raised also by my aunties and my uncles.
03:01 And I'll never forget when I was 9 years old,
03:05 my uncle told me, you know, he told me
03:07 that I had two angels sitting on my shoulders. Yes.
03:10 One wrote the good deeds I did
03:12 and one wrote the bad deeds I did.
03:14 Now on the Day of Judgment
03:15 if I did more good deed than bad deeds,
03:18 you know, I would enter a paradise or heaven.
03:22 And even at 9 that troubled me
03:25 because, I knew God could see everything
03:28 I did, everything I thought, it's everything.
03:32 And I knew and I had the lot of misgivings
03:35 about whether I would go to heaven or not
03:37 and that frightened me.
03:39 Right, yeah, I remember those times in my own life,
03:43 the two angels and the deeds, and so.
03:46 Yes, I can understand,
03:47 I can relate to that about being afraid.
03:50 But, you know, why were you afraid that,
03:53 you know, that God is seeing, He is looking at the deeds.
03:57 Why would you be afraid?
03:59 Well, the reason I was afraid which is--
04:04 you know God, you know, being judging and all knowing
04:08 and I just thought that he was very judging.
04:10 And that you know in a sense it was hard to go to heaven.
04:16 And I always thought, felt
04:18 and thought that he was going to punish me.
04:21 I thought you know actually I was talking
04:23 with the very punishing God.
04:26 He was in a sense you could say capricious.
04:29 You know, He was essentially out to get me.
04:34 Right, right, just waiting.
04:36 Yeah, just waiting, just waiting for me to mess up
04:39 and there was a lot of times I messed up.
04:40 Right, and don't we all. Yeah.
04:42 And I remember the same thing,
04:44 he's just waiting for us to mess up
04:46 and that would be it.. Yes.
04:51 There was no chance of heaven or paradise.
04:55 And, you know, even there were times like
04:58 when I was younger I was so.
05:02 You know, I was, I was actually so scared
05:05 because that would actually--
05:07 there was a couple of times when I was younger.
05:09 You know, I tried to fast because in Islam they have to be
05:13 in the month of Ramadan the 30 days of fasting.
05:16 And there were two instances, where I actually broke my fast
05:21 and I didn't tell anybody.
05:23 And I thought God was for sure going to punish me.
05:25 And it actually, for the next year of my life
05:28 everyday I woke up just in fear.
05:31 And I really kind of developed pattern
05:33 in my life of always living in fear. Right.
05:40 And how long did you really follow this God.
05:45 How long, did you stay in Islam
05:48 and you know-- Where you contented?
05:52 No, I wasn't contented.
05:54 And as a matter of fact the older I got,
05:57 the angrier I got.
05:59 By the time I was a teenager
06:02 I wanted nothing to do with Islam
06:06 or my people, I was angry.
06:09 You know, and I just couldn't believe that,
06:12 you know, this angry God could really exist.
06:15 So essentially I became an agnostic. Interesting.
06:18 Yeah and so you know probably by that time I was 16,
06:22 you know, I really started to rebel,
06:26 you know, against everything I knew
06:27 and everything I was thought
06:29 because it was just, I couldn't live up to it.
06:32 And, you know, I started using drugs
06:35 and alcohol and my hate and my anger
06:39 really just took over my life.
06:40 All that fear that caused hatred it just took over my life.
06:43 Got the better of you. Yeah, at that point.
06:46 And you think that this was all
06:49 because you were trying to please a God
06:51 that could not be pleased.
06:53 Initially in the beginning yes, yes. Okay, okay.
06:57 How did you come to know about Christ?
07:01 You know your journey to that point.
07:06 By that time I was 19.
07:08 And the alcohol, you know, it gotten the better of me.
07:12 I knew I couldn't keep living my life
07:14 as I was in the complete darkness
07:17 and despair, you know.
07:19 God had actually used all those bad things,
07:23 the alcohol and everything to put me into a place
07:29 where I was so despairing that I knew I needed something.
07:33 You know, I was willing to look at this point for God
07:38 and you know, growing up as a Muslim.
07:42 I was taught a lot of things
07:44 and one of things I was taught is,
07:46 you know, especially about Christians as you know.
07:49 They worship three gods and later I come to understand
07:53 what I was taught was incorrect. Okay.
07:56 You know, Christians do not worship three gods.
07:59 And so I actually I used to make fun of and scoff,
08:04 you know, at Christians and their religion.
08:05 But at this point of my life I was pretty desperate
08:09 and God had put a Christian man in my life.
08:11 And the first time, you know, he put, you know this man,
08:15 when I actually started to listen to him.
08:17 He would talk, you know,
08:18 because he went through hard times too.
08:20 And he would talk about what Jesus said
08:22 and what Jesus did.
08:24 And he would tell me what Jesus did in His life.
08:26 And it started to make sense, things started to click.
08:29 And I could tell, you know, that this man had faith
08:32 and this faith he had worked for him.
08:36 And he would, he would talk about Jesus
08:39 so much, I finally, you know sometimes
08:41 I would spend the night
08:43 and I would spend the night on his couch.
08:45 And I would read his Bible.
08:48 And I loved it so much. I got my own Bible.
08:52 And you know I still at this point
08:54 you know, I was a student I lived at home with my parents.
08:58 And you know I was, I was scared.
09:01 You know, I was always scared
09:02 that my dad will find out that I was reading the Bible.
09:04 That you have a Bible, yes.
09:05 So late at night what I would do is
09:07 I would actually hide underneath my coverage,
09:09 hide the Bible underneath my coverage and I would read it.
09:12 So that if anybody came in
09:13 and I could just put it down. Right.
09:16 And nobody would know.
09:18 The thing that the reason I loved
09:21 reading the Bible so much is
09:23 essentially the words of Jesus impressed me so much.
09:27 I have never heard anything
09:30 like the words of Jesus in my whole life.
09:34 And, you know, so it just meant a lot to me.
09:39 Okay, you know, you mentioned about
09:43 not wanting your parents to find out
09:44 that you're reading the Bible.
09:46 I know I went through that, I was--
09:48 we're afraid to pick the Bible.
09:50 We're afraid to look at it because we're told up
09:52 like you said about the three gods
09:54 and that the Bible is corrupt and so on.
09:57 So we are afraid to let them see us read the Bible.
10:02 How has your life changed
10:05 since accepting the teachings of the Bible?
10:10 Well, before I talked about how it has changed.
10:13 I want to talk about something in particular. Sure.
10:16 About Jesus and the saying of Jesus
10:18 and how this transformed me. Right.
10:21 In Matthew 6, Jesus, He says a lot of things
10:25 and these things were profound to me.
10:28 See I was thought, it's okay an eye for an eye,
10:31 a tooth for a tooth and that's okay. Right.
10:33 I was taught that.
10:34 Jesus said, it's not okay
10:37 what Jesus said is when somebody strikes you,
10:40 turn the other cheek
10:42 or when somebody steals your coat,
10:46 go the extra mile and give him another one.
10:49 And He also said you know, when you pray,
10:54 pray into, you can pray in secret.
10:56 Don't pray so everybody can see you
10:57 but pray in secret.
10:59 See, it has to do with the relationship
11:02 that I have with God.
11:03 See, I pray when I pray I'm sincerely talking to God.
11:07 I actually have a relationship
11:09 with the Creator of the earth, the one who created me.
11:12 I'm in relationship with Him.
11:14 I'm praying and I'm talking to Him.
11:16 Directly to Him. And He talks back to you.
11:18 And He talks back, amen. Yes, yes.
11:21 You also mentioned that you found
11:25 the Book of John in the Injeel,
11:26 the Book of John 1, interesting.
11:29 Can you tell me a little bit about that?
11:30 Yeah, I was telling you earlier
11:32 that it was difficult for me to understand,
11:36 you know, the trinity because, you know,
11:38 I always been taught that Christians worship three gods.
11:42 And in the Gospel of John in the first chapter,
11:46 it explains it so beautifully.
11:49 It says in the beginning,
11:51 what's the word, the word was with God.
11:53 I'm not going to do for obeying him
11:55 but you know, this word that is talking about
11:59 it was the word of God, which God spoke
12:03 when the universe came into being,
12:05 He just spoke it.
12:06 Now there is no difference between God and his word.
12:10 He is His word.
12:12 And then it goes on to say,
12:14 how His word became flesh and dwelt among us.
12:18 And that word that became flesh
12:20 and dwelt among us was Jesus Christ.
12:24 He was fully human and fully God,
12:26 this is what the Bible says.
12:28 And that to me was so profound
12:32 and it made so much sense.
12:35 And so that really impacted you.
12:37 Oh, absolutely, absolutely
12:39 because, you know, at this point,
12:42 you know, in my studying, in my journey,
12:45 you know, I came to understand,
12:46 you know that, you know, Jesus being
12:48 fully God and fully human.
12:52 There was only see--
12:54 when I talked about my rebellion and my hate
12:57 but that's what you know the Bible calls sin. Right.
13:01 And, you know, that sin was in my life.
13:03 And God, you know, I come
13:05 to understand he is very holy God.
13:07 And, you know, He wants relationship with us.
13:12 But He can't if, you know, we don't accept Him,
13:20 because, you know, the fact that He is a holy God
13:23 and He cannot be around sin.
13:25 You know, sin cannot enter His presence. That's right.
13:28 You know, on the Day of Judgment
13:29 if we have sin in our life,
13:31 He will cast us in the outer darkness.
13:33 You know we growing up as a Muslim
13:35 everything was about works. Right.
13:38 And I couldn't do enough.
13:42 And that's difference between
13:44 the big difference between Islam and Christianity is that
13:48 I just couldn't do enough.
13:49 You know, now in Christianity Jesus goes on the cross,
13:54 takes my punishment for my sin
13:57 that I committed and He takes that upon Himself.
14:02 And God pours His wrath out on Him instead of me.
14:07 And so He died for my sins.
14:09 And henceforth does that make you feel
14:10 because you know, we, you know, we grow up in Islam
14:14 and I'd never heard of a forgiving God.
14:20 I never heard of a God that forgives my sin
14:23 or you know, we hear of a merciful God
14:27 but I never really saw a merciful God.
14:31 So you know when you look at the God we grew up to know
14:38 and the true God of Abraham.
14:41 What are some of the difference that you see?
14:45 Well, first of all, primarily
14:46 forgiveness unmerited forgiveness.
14:49 Forgiveness I did not deserve because I sinned.
14:51 The Bible says, when I sinned
14:54 I sinned against God and only God. That's right.
14:57 You know, there is nothing I can do it
15:00 to merit His forgiveness
15:02 and there is nothing I can do it to merit eternal life.
15:06 He has given that to me. It is a gift.
15:10 It is a gift of grace by God
15:12 and God alone through Jesus Christ.
15:15 And how does that make you, you feel toward Him?
15:21 I can't put in the words.
15:25 I just, I can't put it in the words,
15:27 it makes me feel.
15:29 I couldn't even describe it,
15:30 I mean wonderful obviously. Yes.
15:33 You know, I want to tell everybody about Jesus
15:37 and I tell a lot of people about Jesus. That's right.
15:40 And He means so much. Yeah.
15:43 How, since you have discovered this Jesus.
15:49 How has it changed you life in some other ways.
15:53 Well, first of all, I understand God
15:57 as a loving God, He loves me.
16:00 And I understand that through the concept of the cross
16:03 that He loves me.
16:05 And the other things that's changed is
16:07 I'd actually have a personal relationship with God.
16:11 I read the Bible daily, I love it.
16:14 You know, it's just like God He just,
16:17 He keeps telling me things,
16:19 revealing things to me about Himself.
16:21 All I want to know is God.
16:24 That is the most central part of my life
16:26 and almost the only.
16:28 Everything else you know the Bible says
16:31 "Seek ye first the kingdom of God
16:33 and the rest will be added."
16:36 So since I'm seeking God,
16:37 I'm going after God with the passion.
16:40 Because of what He has done for me
16:42 and in that seeking
16:44 He just keeps revealing Himself to me
16:46 and revealing more and more
16:47 and more of His love, His mercy.
16:49 You know, even the passion He has for me.
16:54 You know that's wonderful I see it in your eyes.
16:56 I see it in you face.
16:57 I see that love and that passion for Him in you.
17:02 And that wasn't there before.
17:06 Absolutely not, absolutely not.
17:09 What do you think it's different?
17:10 I was an empty shell. Uh-huh.
17:12 I was an empty shell.
17:14 And, you know, and I was also like I said full of hate.
17:20 I realized after reading the Bible
17:26 and just seeing what the love of God looks like
17:30 and actually how much He care for me.
17:33 I came to understand that I saw my sin for what it was.
17:39 So and so what I did, you know, I repented.
17:42 I turned from my sin
17:44 and I put my trust in the Savior,
17:47 in Jesus Christ on His work on the cross.
17:51 Isn't that a wonderful thing.
17:52 Not my work-- Not your work.
17:54 Nothing that we can do, nothing that we can do. Yeah.
17:57 To earn the salvation. But He has done it.
18:03 Does your family know that you're Christian now?
18:05 Well, you know, my dad he is the head of the family.
18:09 You know, coming from a patriarchal society.
18:11 He is the head of the family.
18:14 I have been a Christian now for 13 years.
18:18 And when I was about,
18:20 you know, four years into my journey.
18:23 I told my dad I sat him down and I said dad.
18:25 I'm the follower of Christ.
18:28 And in so many ways and he still does.
18:31 He knows that but he denies it. Right.
18:35 You know, one of those things he doesn't want to talk about,
18:37 he never wants to talk about it.
18:40 And you have tried talking to him. Yeah.
18:43 Was he angry, upset. He was angry.
18:45 He was angry, he was very upset.
18:47 You know, he thought,
18:49 he thought I was being brainwashed. Right.
18:51 But I wasn't being brainwashed,
18:52 as matter of fact, only the Bible led me to Christ.
18:56 Right. To the true God of Abraham.
19:00 Yeah and only, you know,
19:02 God's word is the inherent word of God.
19:04 And it speaks, it's the only book that I read
19:09 that actually read my heart back to me. Yes.
19:13 I have heard and said that God,
19:15 the Bible and the word is
19:18 God's thoughts made audible. Absolutely.
19:21 So what you're saying, it speaks back to us. Yes.
19:25 You know, it's not just the one way worship
19:29 or one way relationship.
19:31 Absolutely, you know, there is this saying that I have heard.
19:34 It's--if you want to hear the audible voice of God,
19:37 open up the Bible and read aloud. Yes, yes.
19:42 You told me little bit about your dad.
19:45 What is he doing now?
19:47 You said, he is still in the community.
19:51 Yeah, he is still in the community.
19:54 He is very active in the Islamic community.
20:00 And a leader. Yes, and he is a leader as well.
20:02 He is still a leader. And he still loves you.
20:06 And you know what he does.
20:08 He does as a matter of fact,
20:11 you know, a lot of, you know Muslims
20:15 get ostracized by their family.
20:17 But, you know, God has actually blessed me
20:20 because my family still loves and accepts me.
20:24 But the change, the change is undeniable. Yes.
20:27 The change that Christ has done in my life,
20:29 it's undeniable.
20:31 And that can be a witness to them. It is.
20:34 To the family as they see it.
20:36 They will question it. Absolutely.
20:38 And wants to know more.
20:41 If--and let me ask you what would you like to say
20:47 to our brothers and sisters?
20:50 I'd like to say
20:51 probably the most important thing I can say.
20:54 And this was told to me when I was 14.
20:56 I didn't like it very much.
20:57 It was actually from a Christian man
21:01 and you know and but I heard what he said.
21:05 He told me, and then I want to tell everybody else.
21:09 The ones who have accepted Christ
21:13 and they put the trust in Christ.
21:17 If we're not sure who God is,
21:21 when you lay your head on your pillow tonight.
21:23 It doesn't matter if you're married
21:25 or you're not married but you're there alone
21:27 and you're there alone and God is listening.
21:33 Ask God who are you truly because He wants to tell you.
21:39 He wants you to know.
21:42 And pray that you have ears open to listen
21:44 to what He has to tell you.
21:47 And the ones who are on the fence who know that--
21:51 See Jesus said, "I'm the way, the truth in the life."
21:54 And nobody enters you know,
21:57 nobody comes to the father except but through me.
21:59 And the people who know that and are still on the fence,
22:03 they want to live their life their own way,
22:05 do their own things.
22:06 My words would be to them is to repent of their sins.
22:11 Turn from their sins and put their faith in Christ
22:13 right now because tomorrow is not promised.
22:16 That's right. Thank you.
22:18 You know, you mentioned repentance quite a few times.
22:22 Did you hear about repentance
22:23 when you were growing up as a Muslim?
22:25 Did you hear that word much? Did you understand?
22:31 You know, I didn't, I didn't really.
22:36 Yeah, I know I didn't. I didn't hear about that.
22:39 When you, you know when I sin
22:42 when I was growing up it was in the book.
22:46 It was you know it was in the books
22:48 and that was that. There's no going back.
22:50 Right, there's no, there's no way of erasing it.
22:53 And that's a horrible way to live.
22:55 And that's what got you to that point.
22:59 Are you happy now with Jesus in your life?
23:07 You know, I'm and one of the truth
23:14 I have come to understand it's, if it's not being about,
23:20 it's not about being happy you know.
23:23 And we're fulfilled or you know,
23:26 what kind of car you drive,
23:27 what kind of money it's not about that.
23:30 It's about following that one true God
23:33 and only peace comes through Jesus Christ, true peace.
23:38 You know, I thank you so much for coming
23:43 and sharing your story with us.
23:47 I know that are lot of people will be blessed by this
23:51 and the way you have encouraged them to search,
23:59 search for the true God
24:01 and He will find you if you seek Him.
24:05 Anything else you would like to share
24:07 before we close the program.
24:10 It's just been a really, real blessing,
24:13 you know, to be here and it's, you know,
24:15 like I said it in the beginning, it's a privilege.
24:17 Anytime I get to share about Jesus,
24:21 it's a privilege.
24:22 Because you know there is point in my life
24:24 where you know I didn't want to live, you know.
24:29 Okay, well, you know, thank you so much, Anwar, again.
24:34 I'm blessed by your story, really.
24:38 And I hope you'll come back on
24:43 and share how your life is going.
24:45 And we can pray that we can bring Jesus
24:50 to the rest of our families. Amen.
24:53 And they too can join us
24:56 following the true God of Abraham.
24:59 When you get to the Descendants of Abraham,
25:01 you can be sure that you're lighting the way for all
25:05 in search of the Creator God
25:07 and His message of love and forgiveness to all nations.
25:10 Thank you for your support and for your prayers.
25:14 All contributions are tax deductible.
25:16 Please visit us online today
25:18 at www.descendantsofabraham.org
25:22 or write to us at the address you see listed on your screen.
25:25 All correspondence will be kept confidential.
25:30 The holy word of God tells us that we should continually
25:34 offer the sacrifice of praise to God.
25:38 That is the fruit of our lips,
25:41 giving thanks to His name.
25:44 But do not forget to do good and to share
25:49 for which such sacrifices God is well pleased.
25:55 I would like to thank Anwar for doing
25:57 just that today by sharing his testimony with us
26:01 of what God has done in his life.
26:04 You know, it's one of those things,
26:06 you know, when something good happens,
26:08 you want to tell it to everybody.
26:10 It's just like, you know.
26:12 When I, you know, met my wife
26:14 and I got married my beautiful wife.
26:16 You know, I wanted to, you know, I wanted to take her
26:19 around to everybody to show and now God has saved me
26:22 and it's hard for me not to shout it from the rooftops.
26:25 Amen. Thank you so much.
26:27 You know it's also,
26:28 you know, like a parable Jesus talks about.
26:32 If a man finds a treasure in a field
26:34 he sell all that he has and buys that field.
26:37 Yes, and that's what you're doing.
26:40 That's exactly what I'm doing.
26:42 Praise God, praise God. Thank you so much.
26:46 Well, we still have a couple of minutes here to
26:51 in the program left.
26:52 I would like you to please go to our website
26:56 at www.descendantsofabraham.org.
27:00 You will find some resources there
27:03 that you can look at
27:04 and some more information and contact us.
27:07 All the correspondence is kept confidential.
27:10 Please, feel free to contact us.
27:12 And join us again next week
27:14 as we continue to reveal to his descendants,
27:19 the true God of Abraham.
27:22 Thank you again for being with us.
27:25 May you be blessed.