Miracle Healing Leads Muslim to Jesus
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
CBN.com - “I wanted a God that loved me so much and that I loved so much.” Says Karim Shamsi-Basha, “But the god of Islam, you loved him and he loves you, but salvation is not guaranteed. You fear god because god is very powerful.”
Karim Shamsi-Basha grew up in a devoted Muslim family in Damascus, Syria. His understanding of god was filled with fear and uncertainty. But he longed for the love and grace of God that he saw through his friend Maneer who was a Christian.
Karim remembers, “The God of Christianity that Maneer would tell me about, that –none of that existed. And I just longed for that in my teen years. I saw a freedom in Maneer that I couldn’t have. And I really, really wanted it, but at the same time I was scared to death of even entertaining that thought. You can’t even think those thoughts.”
He moved from Syria to America to attend the University of Tennessee where he was further exposed to Christianity.
“I had a few close friends say, ‘Have you considered becoming Christian?’ I’m like, ‘no way. I can’t. I would be killed.’ People don’t leave Islam because it’s very scary to do so; the consequences are huge, enormous,” says Karim.
After college he became a professional photographer. While on assignment in Alabama, Karim suffered a massive brain aneurism.
“I felt a headache,” he says. “And then within seconds, it was an explosion in my head. I had to shut my eyes because I felt like they were going to pop out. And I started screaming and I fell on the ground… and I went black for three weeks in a coma.”
Nancy McCracken was Karim’s physical therapist during his long recovery. She says, “What happened in his brain was a blood vessel, an artery, had a weak spot that ruptured, and the blood leaked out into the surrounding brain tissue. Those areas were at risk of being damaged. The longer the pressure stays there, the more permanent the damage tends to be. You can be permanently vegetative state or permanently paralyzed or die.”
Karim’s recovery far exceeded the expectations of his medical team.
Karim remembers, “My neurologist, Dr. Randolph George, the last time I saw him, he put his hand on my shoulder, and said, ‘You really need to find out why you survived. I’m very serious. I’ve been doing this for many years and I’ve never seen this before.’ I’m like, ‘okay, I’m alive now. But why? I don’t know.’ People would start telling me that God saved me to tell His love story through my life.”
He began reading the book of John and meeting with Christian pastors in search of answers about his recovery and about Christianity.
Karim says, “I noticed John 14:6, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,’ and I stopped right there. I closed the Bible. I was like, ‘hmm, that’s not going to work because I didn’t want to come to the Father alone and leave my family behind. If they don’t take the same path that I’m taking. Where are they going to go?’”
Though he loved what he read in the Bible about the love of God, he never embraced Jesus as his Savior out of love and respect for his Muslim family. Until one day a friend challenged Karim to put his parents and siblings in the hands of God.
“I said, ‘Well if it’s just Jesus and me. He’s my everything. He’s not only my Savior. He’s my everything. But what about my family?’ He said, ‘Karim, God will take care of your family. But you need to resolve Karim and Jesus.’ And I started crying. Three days later I stopped crying. I was reborn! Reborn! Reborn! I can’t say it enough. And it would open up the door to the love that I longed for my entire life. The God that I always wanted when I was a little boy - now He lives in me. Before that point the Holy Spirit was a foreign concept. After that point, the Holy Spirit was right here. Directing me, guiding me, loving me in a way that I’ve never—words can’t even describe it, man. It’s phenomenal. I mean it’s phenomenal.”
Thus far Karim’s family remains Muslim. He wrote a book detailing his road to salvation from his Muslim upbringing in Damascus called Paul and Me. In it, he urges people of all faiths to turn to Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Karim says, “The power of salvation is a beautiful thing. The grace inherent in Christianity, the simplicity of the fact that it’s a gift. It’s not a thing you have to work for. Muslims work their whole lives trying to prove themselves righteous. Why do you want to work so hard for a god you’re supposed to fear who’s far away who will never commune with you? You can have God in your heart Who loves you unconditionally; that’s how God loves us. Like a Father loves a son. Why would you want anything else?”
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