We continue the testimony of an Arab Palestinian woman who tells her story with keen insight into the Muslim culture.
“When I went to Jordan to introduce my daughter to my father, he planned to kill me because being divorced and with a child, I brought shame to the family.
A woman from the U.S. Immigration Department reached out and arranged for me to return to family in New York, but my father and my ex-husband plotted and took my daughter from me. They forced me into another Muslim marriage to a cruel man in Connecticut who abused and beat me. I became pregnant on our wedding night, and we had twins. One day he said in Arabic, ‘I am going to kill you.’ He became violent, broke my nose, tore my clothes, and shot a gun in the air.
The police came and an officer told me, ‘You need to leave before you die!’
I heard a voice say, ‘Leave the darkness for the light. Leave the darkness for the light.’ Because of that voice, I had the strength to take my children and leave. I did not know the culture, though, and my children and I became homeless, living on the streets.
One day in a shop I met a woman who was very loving and kind. She hired me as a cook, and we built a friendship. I was puzzled and wondered, Why does she love as she does? She and her husband took us into their home and then helped me find my own place.
When I finally asked her about her love, she told me about Jesus. I interrupted and told her the Qur’an is the truth and Mohammad is the final prophet.
She said, ‘If you believe in Jesus, He will make your life better.’ For two years, she told me about Jesus, but because of my background, I could not believe that God had a son, yet I wanted this love she had.
I was unhappy, though I was making money. I needed truth. I said, ‘Jesus, if You are the Son of God, come down and show me.’
That moment, the room began to change, and Jesus was standing in front of me. I heard His voice, and it was the same voice that told me to leave the darkness for the Light. He then said in Arabic, ‘I am the Truth, the Life, and the Way, and no one comes to the Father except by Me. I am Jesus, the One you denied. I came to save you, to make you a happy person. You don’t have to do anything; know that I love you.’
Suddenly Jesus made sense to me. He said, “You are My daughter.” A new heavenly language was coming from my tongue. I saw multitudes of people of every color and race in the spirit, and I could hear the sounds of every language and tongue, millions worshiping God.”
She had been through so much and tried to follow the Qur’an, but it was Jesus who, at age 29, gave her love, freedom, healing, and security, setting her free.
*Adapted from testimony in 5 Amazing Muslims touched by GOD
Pray that the millions of Muslim women who are being abused, used, and sold in slavery will encounter the freedom and love that Jesus has for them.
Asked to share her testimony, a young, Arab Palestinian girl discussed her life growing up that gives us insight into the Muslim culture. For her protection, we do not share her name.
She writes, “When the Six Day War broke out in Israel on June 6, 1967, my mother was pregnant with me and a cousin moved her from Gaza to Bethlehem. A few days after I was born she died and no one knew where my father was, so I was placed in a Jewish orphanage even though I was a Palestinian child. I was treated well in the orphanage but the wars continued and one day as I was sent to the well for water a bomb came and destroyed the orphanage and everyone within. I was now all alone in the world. A Israeli soldier found me wandering around crying and helped me. Later I was given to an Arab man who sold me to a dirty Bedouin man. I was taken to a large group people in a caravan. A woman covered my head and said, ‘you are a Muslim now’ and taught me the prayers and ways of the Muslim people. I traveled in the Bedouin caravan and lived the Bedouin lifestyle. Even though it was dirty and difficult, I belonged.
One day fighting broke out and along with 50 other children we were put on a bus and taken to Jordan to an orphanage owned by one of King Hussein’s relatives. It was a much better place. We had running water, took baths and had food and clothes. It felt like we were royalty. Learning Islam from the Bedouins, in Jordan I continued to live my Muslim life. I was taught that Muhammad was God and I would obediently do all the Qur’an required.
When I became a teenager I was notified that my father had been found and that he lived in Jordan. I was taken to him. Sadly, my father never accepted me as his child and I became his slave.
At age 15, a marriage was arranged and I was given to a man from New York. After five years of marriage, I had a daughter and my husband convinced me to take her to Jordan to meet my family. He then arranged a divorce from me. My father was going to kill me because being divorced with a child, I brought shame to the family.”
Sadly, many Muslim women around the world face similar hardships in life and according to the Qur’an, this is acceptable. Fortunately, it is not the end of her story; good news is ahead!
*Adapted from testimony in 5 Amazing Muslims touched by GOD
Muslims are taught that the majority of those who will be in hell are women. The women of Islam do not have hope for a good life, here or at death. Pray for them, that the love of God will be revealed to them in a powerful way.
Cemil Akbulut* was born and raised in Turkey, a nation with nearly 80 million people. Many people do not realize the seven churches of the book of Revelation were in Turkey, yet today the population is 99.2% Muslim.
Raised by his brother, Cemil was indoctrinated into Islam as he went with him to pray five times a day at the mosque. Their house was full of Islamic religious books. As he grew, he became involved in Islamic cults made up of radical Islamic Shari’a believers. By the age of 26, he was a very committed Muslim and worked translating Islamic books from Saudi Arabia into Turkish.
Isil, a young Muslim woman in England, went to Turkey to visit, and while there, she met Cemil. Their relationship grew; soon, Cemil and Isil were married and lived in Istanbul. He became very radical in his beliefs. His work translating the Islamic books became very frustrating because of various people and issues. Isil also joined the cult that Cemil was now leading.
One night Isil shared with her husband that she saw a vision of Jesus and experienced His power going right through her body. Immediately she knew that it was Jesus. She asked Cemil to take her to a church, which was strange since she knew he was a very zealous Islamic teacher. Cemil said, “since we were just newlyweds, I could not refuse her. As my wife sat praying silently in the church, I was very disturbed. I was an Islamic leader, and here we were in a church, and my wife was praying. What on earth was happening?” The couple returned home that night and did not talk about what they had experienced.
Six months later, during Ramadan, Cemil said he felt like their lives were a disaster. The translating work was stressful, and one night he began throwing books around. Isil tried to calm him down, but he left the room, not wanting to hurt her. Cemil went into the bedroom, and he said, “Suddenly I saw a bright light and a man was standing in front of me. I knew it was Jesus!” Jesus was appearing to me though I never believed in him. He asked me what I was looking for, and I replied, ‘The truth.” Jesus then lovingly told Cemil, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
It was the month of Ramadan, and Christ appeared to Cemil as he was looking for the truth! Many Muslims around the world today are looking for truth that is found only in Jesus! Tomorrow we will see how Christ continued to reveal himself to Cemil and Isil!
* Cemil and Isil Akbulut – 5 Amazing Muslims touched by GOD
Jesus appears to Cemil during the month of Ramadan. Pray today that Christ will appear to many Muslims in dreams and visions during this time, revealing that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
In our last post, we shared how, over five years, Mosab Hassan Yousef was led by God to receive the revelation of Jesus as Lord (John 6:44). Today is the last chapter of his remarkable story.
Concurrently, though he was the son of a founding member of Hamas and had endured brutal treatment in an Israeli prison, Mosab was weary of all the suicide bombings and killings initiated by Hamas. He wanted the evil to stop. Through a set of circumstances, Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence agency, recruited him to give them highly sensitive information about Hamas leaders. They gave him the code name of “Green Prince,” using the color of the Hamas flag and “Prince,” his pedigree as the son of one of the movement’s founders.
Mosab was willing to work with Shin Bet, because he was disillusioned with the violent struggle that his father and friends were waging. Shin Bet considered him a most valuable source within the Hamas leadership. The information Mosab supplied prevented dozens of suicide attacks and assassinations in Israel, exposed numerous Hamas cells, assisted in hunting down many militants, which resulted in many saved lives.
Eventually, after over ten years of this dangerous double life, Mosab made his way to California, where he wrote his book, “Son of Hamas.” Once it was published, his family disowned him, yet he continued to receive comfort from his Christian faith. As believers learned about his conversion, they began praying for his safety.
Mosab applied for political asylum in the United States but was rejected. He faced deportation to Jordan based on the fact that he had once been a member of Hamas. If deported, he realized Hamas would most likely take his life.
Gonen Ben Yitzhak was his primary handler in Shin Bet. Mosab considered this man as “his brother.” Risking his life to fly to the United States to confirm the astounding story of Mosab’s counter-terrorism work, Yitzhak said, “he risked his life every day to prevent violence.” In coming forward to save Mosab from deportation, this courageous man exposed his own identity to all the murderous forces he had exposed for years. After this testimony, the request for political asylum was approved.
Today Mosab is a frequent guest speaker where he talks about the atrocities committed by Hamas and speaks to Jewish groups about his support for freedom in Israel. God’s hand continues to protect and use his life in an amazing way.
Mosab’s story of political intrigue is revealed in his book, “Son of Hamas.” A documentary adaption is called “The Green Prince” and is available for viewing on Youtube.com.
As we pray for Muslims during Ramadan, be encouraged, all Muslims can be reached for salvation if they are open. I Timothy 2:4 tells us, “God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Draw them, Lord!
As a Muslim, Mosab Hassan Yousef* had never read the Bible or understood the true beliefs of Christianity. When he received a New Testament as a gift, he read, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45).
What? Love your enemies? Pray for them? He had never heard that in Islam. The more he read the Bible, the more clearly he saw this single Truth: loving and forgiving one’s enemies is the only real way to stop the bloodshed. His spiritual eyes were beginning to open.
Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). What a difference between Jesus and Allah! Islam’s god was very judgmental, and Arab society followed Allah’s lead. Everything Jesus said on the pages of the New Testament made perfect sense to him. Overwhelmed, Mosab started to cry.
There is no place in the Qur’an where Muhammad tells Muslims to love people of other religions. By contrast, there are at least three dozen verses that tell believers to fight against non-Muslims. Even the thought of this was revolutionary. For years, Mosab was looking for enemies outside of Islam and Palestine, but he suddenly realized the Israelis were not his enemies. He said, “I saw that enemies were not defined by nationality, religion, or color. I understood we all share the same common enemies: greed, pride, and all the bad ideas and the darkness of the devil that lives inside us. The only real enemy was the enemy inside me.”
Mosab still did not understand that Jesus is God, yet God was leading him to Truth. Through satellite television, he heard about a Coptic Priest in Egypt, Father Zakaria Botros, who exposed the errors in the Qur’an and revealed the truth of scripture. Through his ministry, millions came to Christ. Mosab shared, “He was systematically performing an autopsy on the Qur’an. Father Zakaria was cutting away all the dead pieces of Allah that still linked me to Islam and blinded me to the truth that Jesus is indeed the son of God.” Six years after being exposed to Christianity, Mosab was water baptized by a Christian tourist in Tel Aviv, sealing in his heart that he an eternal child of the true and living God.
*Mosab Hassan Yousef – Son of Hamas
The ultimate reason for the success of Father Zakaria is that, unlike his Western counterparts who criticize Islam from a political standpoint, his primary interest is the salvation of souls. Pray as Christians we will have the Lord’s purity of heart to pray for and reach out to Muslims through God’s agape love, overcoming the walls and barriers in their lives.
In the first century, on the road to Damascus, a man named Saul of Tarsus planned to lead a brutal suppression of a new Jewish sect he considered heretical, a group that would come to be called Christians. Saul (who became Paul) had a surprising encounter in Acts 9, where he saw a bright light from heaven, and Jesus spoke to him. This encounter forever changed his life.
One day, Mosab Hassan Yousef* and a friend passed by the Damascus Gate, and suddenly he heard a man’s voice directed toward him in non-native Arabic. As he tried to converse with Mosab, after a bit of back-and-forth, they realized he was talking about something to do with Christianity and a study group at the YMCA in West Jerusalem.
Mosab, a little bored at the time, thought it might be interesting to learn about Christianity. He had learned so much from the Israelis; perhaps other “infidels” might have something valuable to teach him as well. He attended the study group and had fun meeting new people and a new culture.
Blessed that they gave him a New Testament, he saw it was written in Arabic and English. Because gifts are honored and respected in Arab culture, he decided the least he could do was to read it. Beginning in Matthew, he got to the Sermon on the Mount. He thought, “Wow, this guy Jesus is really impressive. Everything he says is beautiful.” He couldn’t put the book down. Every verse seemed to touch a deep wound in his life. It was a simple message, but somehow it had the power to heal his soul and give him hope.
Mosab then read this: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45).
Thunderstruck by these words, Mosab said, “Never before had I heard anything like this, but I knew that this was the message I had been searching for all my life.”
Tomorrow, in our Ramadan #19 article, we share how the impact of the “red letters in the Bible” dramatically changed his life forever!
Muslims expect the gospel to be, much like the Qur’an, a book revealed to Jesus, not a book about His life. Pray they will be curious to read the New Testament to see the Lord’s kindness and compassion, revealing Jesus’ love for them.
As the son of a Hamas founder and leader, Mosab Hassan Yousef saw the hostility and destruction around him, and he hated it. He recognized that living in Gaza he had become a radical.
As a youth, Yousef was arrested by the Israeli government for weapons possession. He spent time in prison as the government tried to get him to divulge all that Hamas in Gaza was doing. They wanted Mosab to reveal, “What is your involvement? Where are the Hamas weapons? Tell us about the organization. Do you know anything about the Islamic youth movement?” Mosab was told, “Israel is a small country, and we have to protect ourselves. We cannot allow anybody to hurt Israeli citizens. We suffered enough our whole lives, and we will not be easy on those who want to hurt our people.”
While a prisoner, he endured brutal treatment at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Life was difficult, but in prison, he witnessed much worse treatment that his fellow Hamas members inflicted on fellow Muslims to keep them in line.
While in confinement, a member of Israel’s security agency, the Shin Bet, approached him. Mosab learned that they knew so much about him, and they wanted him to secretly work with them to help stop the violence and protect and save lives.
His culture—not his father—had taught him that the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and the Israeli people were his enemies. The young Palestinian was unprepared for the treatment he got from the Shin Bet agents. They were “not trying to break me down or make me do bad things. They seemed to be doing their best to build me up, to make me stronger and wiser,” he said.
“As time went on, I began to question my plan to kill the Israelis,” he recalled. “These people were so kind. They clearly cared about me. Why would I want to kill them? I was surprised to realize that I no longer did.” Every time he met with them, the world he knew from growing up in Gaza was relentlessly eroding, revealing another world he was beginning to understand.
God was intervening, and in our next post, we will share the dramatic change about to take place in Mosab’s life!
Mosab Hassan Yousef – Son of Hamas
Through small happenings each day, God was softening Mosab’s heart toward truth. Today this is happening in Muslim lives worldwide, including in our nations. They resist the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Continue to pray that the barriers and resistance to the sonship of Jesus is revealed, enabling them to see how much the true and living God loves them.
Mosab Hassan Yousef* born in Gaza in the Middle East, made a dramatic statement. He shared, “Israel has many enemies, but few have been deadlier than the terrorist group in its own back yard.”
Hamas, the governing body of Gaza founded in 1987, is an internationally known terrorist organization. Mosab stated, “Armed with the Koran and the gun, the people of Hamas are trained to hate Israel beginning at early childhood. For more than two (now three) decades, Hamas has terrorized Israelis through suicide bombings to thousands of rocket attacks.” The suicide bombers and shedding of innocent blood resulted in great chaos, both in Israel and Gaza.
While Hamas military leaders were planning attacks on Israeli restaurants and buses, Mosab grew up as the son of a respected Hamas founder, Sheikh Hassan Yousef. Mosab and had a great love for his family. He honored his father and, as the older son, was groomed to be a Hamas “prince,” to succeed his highly respected father in the group’s leadership.
Mosab said he had watched his father struggle with an irrational internal conflict. “On the one hand, he didn’t see those Muslims who killed settlers and soldiers and innocent women and children as wrong,” he writes. “He believed that Allah gave them the authority to do that. On the other hand, he could not personally do what they did. Something in his soul rejected it. What he could not justify as right for himself he rationalized as right for others.”
The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) knew that Mosab’s father was behind much of the violence against Israel. He would be arrested, interrogated, even tortured, and imprisoned. He would be gone from his family for months at a time, return home, only to be imprisoned again. Sheikh Yousef was imprisoned by the IDF thirteen times, and the family struggled financially and emotionally.
Most lived amid terror, betrayal, and political intrigue. How can the love of God touch Mosab to overcome the conflict and anger in his heart? Stay tuned …
Romans 5:20 says, “Where sin abounds, grace will abound much more.” The places in society that seem most challenging to reach for the Lord have grace abounding in their midst. Just as in other cultures, sin is abounding in the Muslim world. Declare that grace, favor, blessing, and the kindness of God is being released over their lives, opening their eyes to their need for salvation in Christ.
Gaza, a self-governing Palestinian area, is a tiny strip of land with a crowded population of over 2 million people living on 141 square miles (365 square km). Situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it ranks as the 3rd most densely populated polity in the world.
Gaza is located in the biblical parcel of land (Genesis 15:18-21) that nearly 4,000 years ago, Almighty God gave to Abraham for a nation. The Lord confirmed this in scripture, giving the land to Isaac, to his son, Jacob, and it is validated in many other verses of the Word of God.
What is it like to grow up in the Middle East, specifically in the location of Gaza? Few westerners come close to understanding the complexities of the Middle East and its people. Mosab Hassan Yousef grew up as a son of that region, a child of Islam, and the son of an accused terrorist.
Yes, Mosab is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founding leader of Hamas, internationally recognized as a terrorist organization and responsible for countless suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israel.
In his book, “Son of Hamas,” Mosab shared that Israel became a state in 1948; the Palestinians did not want to be a part of that state. Instead, they are a self-governing territory. Gaza is 98%+ Muslim, and Islamic religious law is the highest order, without a constitution to maintain some semblance of order.
Mosab revealed, “Before the age of 21, I saw things no one should ever see: abject poverty, abuse of power, torture, and death. I witnessed the behind-the-scenes dealings of top Middle Eastern leaders who make headlines around the world. I was trusted at the highest levels of Hamas, and I participated in the so-called Intifada. I was held captive in the bowels of Israel’s most feared prison facility. And I made choices that have made me a traitor in the eyes of the people I love.”
As Mosab’s amazing story unfolds over the next few days, we will learn the reason he was called “Green Prince.”
In so much of Muslim society there is abject poverty and abuse of power, a sad existence. The Bible teaches that the times when Jesus was “moved with compassion,” miracles happened. “Heavenly father, we pray for the 1.9 billion Muslims in the world, and in compassion, we declare that the goodness, kindness, and mercy of God is being revealed supernaturally in their lives, drawing multitudes to salvation in Christ.”
Kamal Saleem* experienced the trauma of a car accident when his neck was broken in two places and then was shocked that his Christian surgeon invited him to recover in his home. The love from the family, the children praying for him and calling him Uncle Kamal, etc., had left him confused. The Christians that he considered infidels had overwhelmed him with their love.
Kamal recovered and returned to his own home. He sought Allah, crying out to hear from him, and all he heard was silence. Kamal felt that because he questioned his faith, the honorable thing to do was to end his own life.
Kamal shared, “I went to reach for my gun, and suddenly I heard a voice. The voice was so real; it was kind, gentle and meek, like a father’s voice. The voice knew me by name and said, ‘Kamal! Why don’t you call on the Father of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob?’ I fell on my knees and put my hands to the heavens immediately as I heard the voice. I cried out with every fiber within me, ‘God of Father Abraham, if You are real, would You speak to me? I want to know You.’ Well, God of Father Abraham came to the room and filled the room with His glory. His name is Yahweh; the Lord is one. He has holes in His hands. He has holes in His feet. His name is Jesus. I said to Him, ‘Who are you, my Lord? Who are you?’ He said, ‘I am that I am.’ I said, ‘I’m a simple man with a simple mind. What is that supposed to mean?’ He said, ‘I am the Alpha. I am the Omega. I am the beginning. I am the end. I am everything that is in between. I have known you before I formed the foundation of the earth. I have loved you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Rise up! Rise up, Kamal. Come. You are my warrior. You are not their warrior.’ I said to Him, ‘My Lord, I will live and die for you.’ He said, ‘Do not die for me. I died for you so that you may live.’”
That day, instead of taking his life, Kamal yielded it to Jesus and had a total transformation! It is 36 years since he left the Islamic faith, and even threats of violence and death cannot stop him from sharing his story. Through his ministry, KoomeMinistries.com, Kamal now has a new mission for Christ, traveling, speaking, and challenging Muslims to question their allegiance to Allah. Thousands, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, have responded to the call of salvation. Kamal shared, “My heart’s desire is to reach out to my brothers and sisters, the 1.9 billion Muslims who have not tasted the freedom in God, and see them receive His amazing love!”
A loving God is calling Muslims to Him. We are at the middle of Ramadan, and because they sacrifice during the day with no food or water, they become weary. Today we declare to Muslims, “Rise up from your weariness to God’s true call on your life! Receive the salvation of the Lord today!”