He built 16 mosques – until Jesus appeared to him
Tofik grew up in Islamic schools and was made an imam in Saudi Arabia. He founded 16 mosques in East Africa and fought the Christians – until a dramatic turn of life changed his heart.
For several years Tofik (name changed for security reasons) was taught at an Islamic school in Africa to become an Imam. Here he was also indoctrinated hatred of Christians. “Parts of the lesson were about how we can destroy Christianity – and we put the learned into practice.”
The Christians were bad people, had been taught the learners. Tofik and his fellow students had been spurred on to rob them and possibly even kill them. “We beat them, attacked their churches and burned their Bibles. Our teachers taught us to go out each time a new church is built in the city to attack the Christians and destroy the building. So we did it. »
«We will be unbelievers»
Tofik and 13 other students were selected to conduct further studies in Saudi Arabia. Then he became Imam. Over the years, he led the construction of 16 mosques in his area. In addition, he pushed through a strict rule: No one from the town – no visitors – were allowed to proclaim Christianity.
His aggression faded when Christians in a neighboring village started a tree-planting project and asked him if he could take responsibility for it in his area. His assessment of Christians began to change.
A little later Jesus appeared to him in the dream at three o’clock at night. “He clearly told me to follow him.” His wife asked what had happened when he woke up excited. After explaining it to her, she reacted frightened: “What will unbelievers be? We must pray.”
«It’s me, follow me»
Tofik called the Koran suras that Jesus had told him to read in a dream. They would ask to follow Jesus.
He fell asleep again, and the next vision followed. Again Jesus was there and this time said: “It’s me, follow me. If you do, you will pay a price. You will be persecuted, but you will overcome in the end. I’m with you.”
“I also told my wife about this dream. She was reluctant to encourage me to follow him. “He also consulted with his eldest son, who also reacted dismissively. The other family members also rejected the idea of following Jesus.
Soon Tofik visited a neighboring town. Unexpectedly, a young man approached him, who looked like an angel. He took Tofik by the hand and led him directly to a church. “Go to church and follow Jesus, or you will not return alive.” Tofik tried to peer inside, then turned back to his companion, but he just disappeared.
He attended the service and then asked to meet the leaders. They were suspicious, after all, he was one of the most influential imams in the area. “Because I told them about my dreams, they prayed with me.”
A new community is emerging
He also showed his change externally by no longer wearing Islamic-style dresses. His change was rapid, some people cried, “because in their eyes I was as good as dead.”
His tribe was particularly angry. “They came to my house and said, ‘This brother is dead’. In our culture, when someone dies, their property is distributed. “They took his cattle and other property and set fire to his house. In addition, they claimed that he had burned down another house and he was brought to justice. Only in the trial came to light that it was not true because the witnesses contradicted each other.
When Tofik was freed again, other people soon found him through Jesus, meanwhile it has grown to more than 200. “I started a community on the property where I live. Soon I was physically attacked, and again my house was lit.
The beating was so severe that the attackers thought Tofik was dead. They thought they had killed him. “Then they raided the small kiosk I owned and robbed my children as well. They said that now I am dead and the area is free from Christian activities. They were screaming and singing. »
At first, Tofik thought of retribution. But his dreams and biblical content about Jesus showed him another way: “Jesus spoke of my persecution in my dreams, so I knew what would come, and I was ready. Initially, I prosecuted the destroyer of my household, but later I said no and decided to forgive them and leave them to God’s hands; therefore, the persecutors were released. »
Tofik has become Paul from Saul, saying today: “We must begin loving people. We must love them and show them love. We need to make contact with them and be patient. “
* For security reasons no closer place and name details are made.
Author: Daniel Gerber
Source: Jesus.ch / GodReports / Open Doors
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