Najma was born into a Sunni Muslim family, where she witnessed the intense persecution of her parents when they decided to follow Jesus. As a result, she determined that Jesus was not for her. Then, one desperate day, she saw the power of praying "in the name of Jesus" and that changed everything. Here is her story...
Note: Najma 's story is part of Prayercast's Love Muslims project, over 130 new prayer and testimony videos designed to help lead millions in prayer for the world’s 1.8 billion followers of Islam. Visit lovemuslims.org to learn more about this global prayer movement.
[My name is Najma. My mom came from a Christian family, but] married a Muslim man. In fact they had a Muslim wedding. She almost lost her faith, but then a year later she realized, ‘No, I come from a Christian family, and I know what is true – who the true God is.’ And so she started praying for my father.
It is very difficult for a woman to become a Christian and to bring a Muslim man to Jesus; it is very difficult. The only thing she did was to pray. And she prayed. Even when she cooked food for my dad, she would pray over that food, saying, ‘Lord, when he comes back and eats this food, speak to him. Tell him that you are the true God.’ When she would wash his clothes, she would pray over the clothes, saying, ‘Lord, when he wears this, speak to him that you are the true God.’ So I think prayer really works: after five years, my dad said, ‘I want to be a Christian.’ And that is how my dad came to the Lord.
Both Najma’s parents were Christian, but were unable to practice their faith without severe abuse from their family. As a result, Najma wanted to reject her parent’s faith.
So I hated Jesus. I said to my parents, ‘Why do we have to suffer for this fellow Jesus? I do not want him! I just want to grow up a happy child – live a happy life! I don’t want them to beat you up everyday and have problems because of this fellow.’ So, I hated Jesus so much!
Then one night, they poisoned my mom. They poisoned her, and then at midnight, my mom started shivering. My sister, and brother, and I were very young, and we did not know what to do. We just cried. My dad was away that night because of his work. And my mom was shivering. I just thought that I was going to lose my mother forever. But I just kept hearing her praying in the name of Jesus: ‘…in the name of Jesus …in the name of Jesus.’ And suddenly some kind of black water came out of her body.
And then after some time, she stopped shivering, she changed her clothes, and she said, ‘Let’s go to bed.’ And we slept! And that night I came to know that Jesus is powerful! His name is
powerful, and in His name there is healing.
The next morning they came to see what had happened. They said, ‘We poisoned her last night. Is she alive or not?’ They came to check it out. And my mom was alive! And they said, ‘How is this woman alive when we poisoned her last night?’
So they called a witch, a kind of shaman who could chant and see things. So they made my mom sit in front of the witch, and the witch started chanting many things. And then suddenly [the witch] broke into a big voice and said ‘The God whom she worships is the God who created the universe and the earth!’
And this was like a bomb to my paternal families. They got angry with the witch and sent her out. But for me, that event remains a marker of knowing who Jesus is in my life.
But the domestic abuse went on until 2004, when my whole clan came together and said, ‘No, this cannot go on. They have to decide whether they want to come back to Islam or not. Or we will kill them or send them out according to Islam.’
So finally in 2004, on Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, they said, ‘We are going to kill this couple,’ – my parents – and, ‘We are going to put these children in madrassa so that they can grow up as good Muslim children.’ And they started beating my parents literally black and blue.
But then, suddenly, the imam of our village came to our house. My uncle was already holding the axe to chop off my parents’ heads. The imam’s duty is to say, ‘Ok, kill them. Finish them off in the name of Allah.’ But that day, it was so amazing!
The imam said, ‘Stop beating them. At least, don’t kill them. Let them go. Let them go from the village.’ And that was how my parents’ lives were spared. Then the following day, they decided to send us away without any property or belongings. They said, ‘You can go.’
Najma and her family left their house with nothing. They were excommunicated from the mosque and a fatwa is now against them. Returning to their home would be a death sentence.
But then, that very month, I was thinking, ‘I used to hate Jesus, but should I follow Him now or not? We have left everything. How am I going to survive?’ That was my big question. But then I saw Jesus providing a way for us to live, to eat, and to have shelter. For me, it was a tangible experience of knowing Him through that.
I have a powerful God who can heal, who can save even at the moment when somebody is holding an axe to chop off a head. So I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior that year. And I started loving Jesus. I said, ‘Lord, I love you. I invite You into my life, and I want to follow You. But it wasn’t easy for me to love my own uncles and aunts. It took a long time for me to forgive them, because I hated them for torturing my parents. I hated them for excommunicating us. In fact, it took almost ten years of my Christian journey to forgive them.
But today I can say that after 13 years I love them truly. I have forgiven them. Jesus has taught me to love my enemies and to pray for those who persecute me. So I truly pray for them, that they will come to the knowledge of God. So today I am working among the Muslims in India.
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