How God my Father in His mercy was controlling the events of my life becomes evident by the subsequent happenings. The Lord God Almighty "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heavens with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and hills in a balance"; and before Whom "the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; behold He taketh up the isles as a very little thing." (Isaiah 40: 12, 15). Even He in His great love stoops to "feed His flock like a shepherd," and to "gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His


bosom." (Isaiah 40:11). Another step nearer to His fellowship, and another experience of His grace was now to follow.

One day at the usual hour of my study of the Bible with Mr. Steinthal, he introduced me to a friend of his, evidently a visitor, for this was the first and the last time when I had the privilege of reading the Scripture with him. He took the first chapter of St. John's Gospel from verse twenty-nine to the end of the chapter, and then pointing out to me how Andrew testified to his brother Simon, and Philip witnessed to Nathaniel saying; "We have found Messiah!", he asked me if I had done the same. And in plain terms he told me that it was the duty of every one who has accepted Christ as his Saviour to go and speak of Him to others and to bring them to Him. It was a precious lesson that I learnt that day. The challenge was readily accepted, and the Lord who never failed to reward a willing heart, obedient to His voice bestowed His grace to carry out this resolution instantly.

On the following day when I went to Calcutta Madrasah, I began to speak of Christ to my friends. The declaration of my faith in Christ as my Saviour and Master was startling to some and in audacious blasphemy to others. The news of my religious belief soon spread among the students of the school and I was seriously warned by some of the senior students and was told that in case I did not renounce my religious opinions which I then held, they would be obliged to deal with me in a manner that would knock all Christianity out of me. Before these students however, had an opportunity to try their method of taking all Christianity out of me, the fact of my being a Christian was reported to my class teacher that very


day during tile class period. Boy after boy stood up in the class and pointing to me exclaimed, "A Christian! a Christian!!" When I was interrogated by my teacher as to the truth of the allegation made against me by the students, I found a glad opportunity to tell him of my faith in Christ as my Saviour, and as an object of my adoration, being the Son of God. This my declaration made the boys more clamorous and they all shouted "Blasphemy! blasphemy!" The news had gone, evidently, now round the school, that a boy had apostasised from Islam and accepted Christianity, and a crowd of students were now gathering round the class. The whole school was disorganised at that moment. A conference of teachers was immediately convened and I was placed before them. A series of questions then followed which were answered, confounding their arguments meant to shake my faith in Christ. The discomfiture of the Maulvis was evident by the rage they exhibited by the gnashing of their teeth and the hurling of curses upon me. The teachers unanimously decided that I must be expelled from the school at once, and if it was not for the pleading of the acting Head Master, a Brahmo Samaji, and of the influence of Mr. A. H. Harley, then the Principal of the Calcutta Madrasah, I would have been rusticated from the institution as a punishment for my religious beliefs, and thus perhaps, would have lost the opportunity of getting readmission in another school. Three days' respite, however, was granted to me to secure my transfer certificate which was necessary for further continuance of my study in another institution. That afternoon before the class was finished I left Madrasah bearing on my clothes the visible marks of the indignities offered to me by fellow students, some of whom only a short while ago were intimate friends. They


had spat upon me, and covered my clothed with the juice of the beetle leaf which they had chewed and then spat upon me.

Rejoicing that I was counted worthy to suffer in His name I walked home. On the way I had to pass Mr. Steinthal's residence, and I called on him and had a season of prayer with him, and he reminded me that that was the Passion Week when the Church throughout the world was reminded of the sufferings and death of our Lord. There was no room in my heart either to think of my insult borne in His name, or of subsequent difficulties that I was to experience.

On the following day my father persuaded me to accompany him to the Calcutta Madrasah in order to investigate the facts leading to my expulsion from it, and also to make me apologise for my rudeness in having the audacity to enter into religious controversy with my teachers. In obedience to my father I went with him willing to offer my apology, if in their opinion I had acted rudely, but determined not to retract a single word as to the profession of my faith in Christ. All the time the words of my Master, "Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven," (Matt. 10 33) were ringing in my ears. The Maulvis, however, refused to see me, and told my father, that I was possessed of an evil spirit, and that they had tried all possible arguments to convince me of my error, but had failed, and that there was no further hope of my returning to Islam. It roused the anger of my father and in a strong language burning with indignation he told them that he was surprised at such religious leaders as they posed themselves to be, who were not able to correct even a child, and who confessed their inability to deal with him


reasonably so as to restore his faith in Islam. He added that if the boy apostasised from Islam it would be solely because of their queer attitude and their lack of a sense of responsibility.

Table of contents to How a Sufi Found His Lord
Answering Islam Home Page