Naeem Fazal: A Muslim's Earnest Prayer
By Gorman Woodfin
The 700 Club
“We grew up Sunni Muslims, and so we weren’t radical or extremists by any means. We were definitely conservative. We would fast during the month of Ramadan. Friday prayers were normal. My sisters would cover up.”
Naeem Fazal lived in Kuwait. He studied the Koran diligently.
“I can recite passages of the Koran, because there was a value in memorizing the Islamic scriptures,” Naeem says.
While his life was grounded in the Muslim faith, a chain of events took place that set Naeem on a new spiritual journey. His older brother had an opportunity to study in the United States.
“A year later, he came back, and he was different. I knew something was up. That’s when he actually told us that he was Christian. I remember that day, because I threatened to kill him.”
Even though Naeem resented his brother’s change of heart, he decided to visit him in America.
“I hopped on a plane and came to the U.S., and that’s when I got confronted with Christianity.”
Three weeks after arriving in the United States, he went to see a movie with his brother. It was a Christian film. He recalls, “Here I was confronted with this whole new concept of a whole new religion. But it was more than a religion. In that movie, I realized that maybe there was something else out there.”
Naeem was confused and began to question his Muslim faith.
“So I remember praying, and I wouldn’t even call it a prayer. It was more of, ‘I don’t know who’s up there. If You’re real, show me.’
“After that, I had another conversation with my brother. He told me that this God that he was talking about, who came down in the form of His Son Jesus, would pursue me and do whatever it takes to have a relationship with me. I remember making fun of him. I said, ‘Well, will He just come down if I just ask Him?’ And my brother said yes. I remember at that point, I went, ‘This is ridiculous.’ But in my head I was thinking, ‘If this is true, then why don’t You reveal Yourself.’”
That night when he was going to sleep, he sensed what he describes as an evil presence filling his bedroom. The door finally opened.
“I looked up, and the room started to look really strange -- more like death. What walked in was this demon, this thing that I couldn’t even explain. This thing starts walking toward me and somehow communicates that it’s going to kill me. It stopped right on my bed and just disappeared.”
He ran down the hall to his brother’s room.
“He said, ‘The only person that I know that has power over demons and angels is Jesus.’”
Naeem returned to his room.
“I said, ‘Jesus, I don’t kow who You are. I can’t call You the Lord of my life. I can’t call You Savior. I can’t call You any of these things, because at this moment, I’m afraid. I’m scared. I need help. If You will help me, then I will give You my whole life.’ The next moment I found myself sitting on my bed with my eyes open, starting into this presence. I can’t even explain it. It was the presence of Jesus. This peace was so aggressive. It invaded every single thing, every part of me. I felt like it communicated to me saying, ‘Your life is not your own.’ And I believed it.”
He finally understood all that his brother was trying to tell him.
Naeem says, “I wanted to do everything possible. The first month or so, I must have prayed the sinner’s prayer or accepted Jesus like about eight or nine times. I just wanted to make sure.”
As a Muslim, he learned the Koran and knew a lot about Allah but did not have a relationship with him.
“It makes total sense now,” he says. “It only makes sense that God would come to us in the form of a man, a human, to be able to relate to us, but also to redeem us and to have relationship with us.”
In the years that followed, Naeem ministered to college students and met his wife, Ashley. They now have two beautiful children, Asher and Nurah. Naeem challenges those in the Muslim faith to make a specific prayer if they really want to have a relationship with God.
“When Muslims talk with me and we talk about our differences and why I converted, my challenge to them is this. Why don’t you consistently for two weeks or so sincerely seek this God, this Jesus. He’s able to take a person, radically transform them and give them a purpose beyond their imagination. That’s exactly what God did to me. God wants a relationship with them more than they do. So God’s going to pursue them. All they need to do is just ask.”
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