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CHANGED LIVES

Former Nation of Islam Follower turns to Christ

By David Kithcart
The 700 Club

CBN.com -  Omar Muhammad had always believed in the solidarity purported by the Nation Of Islam. But while being groomed for the Muslim elite, violence against his own family and the death of major Muslim leaders made him question his faith and ultimately turn to God.

Omar had grown up in the prestigious Muslim elite, watching his father perform his duty as a captain leader at the Newark, New Jersey mosque and enjoying dinners with close friend and leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Farrakhan. One day that peaceful family life would end and the unity he had once known within the African American brotherhood would be shattered.

It started out like any other day. Omar, his brother, and his father were unloading produce for the family store. But something was strangely amiss. Omar noticed a limping man approach them. At first Omar could not decipher what was going on. Then everything became frighteningly clear. Without reason, the man whipped out a sawed off shotgun and attempted to shoot, but the gun would not fire. Seeing the unsuccessful attempt, a cohort exited a parked car with a handgun. Before the cohort was able to shoot, he slipped. Fortunately, Omar's father got away. Omar was shaken that the man who was trying to murder his father was an African American.

After the incident, Omar's father moved the family to Maryland. Omar was understandably depressed at the change, especially since it meant losing close Muslim friends and attending a public school.

In the midst of his suffering, Omar learned of the death of James Shabazz, the minister of the Newark mosque. Omar took the news very hard and began questioning his faith. But nothing could be more disillusioning than the death of Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam's eternal lamb of God. This death was the icing on the cake for Omar. "That's what really showed me that maybe Islam or the Nation of Islam wasn't as binding as I thought it was," he says.

Omar turned to drugs and drinking to drown his sorrows. Because of his rebellious behavior, Omar's parents threw him out of the house after high school. Out on his own, Omar was forced to sell his plasma to survive. In his desperation, Omar searched the Koran for answers. But his religious fervor only led to a deeper depression.

Omar Muhammad Bible Christians Nation Of Islam Muslim Then one day, a friend suggested Omar read the Bible instead. So Omar did, but found the Bible difficult to understand. "The spirit of Islam, I would like to say, put on me a spirit of ignorance and almost deafness and dumbness. I could not really hear any real faithful words of Christians. I just couldn't hear them," he says.

His understanding needed the enlightenment of Jesus Christ. Seeing his despair, Omar's Christian friend suggested he pray for wisdom and understanding from God just as he had prayed to gain insight into the Koran. So Omar prayed. And God answered his prayer. "I'll never forget one time I read the 23rd Psalm. And that Psalm just comforted me, because at this time, brother, I have to tell you the truth that I considered suicide," says Omar.

Omar continued to read the Scriptures. One day while studying the Word of God, Omar sensed God talking to him. At first he chose to ignore God's voice, but the Holy Spirit was insistent. Omar remembers God saying, "You have been spending a lot of time with my Word lately." To this statement, Omar responded affirmatively. Then Omar remembers God's next response, "Well, I just want you to know I'm going to judge you by what you know." Omar was compelled to pray and to follow God, although he didn't know exactly what that meant.

Omar Muhammad Bible Christians Nation Of Islam Muslim Soon after this special encounter with God, someone gave Omar a tract explaining the Gospel message. Omar began to compare Islam to Christianity. Islam teaches that good deeds outweigh bad deeds. But Omar knew that with his marred record, his deeds would never save him. God's plan for salvation was quite different. By simply trusting Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, Omar could be saved. Omar considered Islam's 50/50 plan for salvation. He then considered Christianity, which offered 100 percent assurance of salvation. Omar ultimately chose to pray the sinner's prayer and give his life to Jesus Christ. Instantly Omar understood the Bible and man's need for a Savior.

Omar studied theology and now works as an adult education instructor with the Los Angeles Mission. "I have a great fishing ground for fishing for souls, because at the mission, we can pray with the people, we can counsel, we can encourage, we can teach. You know, we don't have any problem with sharing Jesus Christ with them," he says.

Omar believes being a Christian has made a major difference to his life. He no longer lives in darkness. "Present-day Nation of Islam is primarily powered by will, but Christianity is powered by a living, quickening spirit."

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