Webmaster's comment: Consistently, all of our Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean, etc. brothers and sisters continue to give their testimonies voluntarily and without any inducements whatsoever. This testimony of Hamzah is very special. He was a learned Muslim scholar. He was educated and shaped under Islamic and Quranic teachings since his childhood. After getting his Islamic education for more than 16 years he successfully obtained his Islamic School Certification. It is clearly evident that his knowledge of the Quran and Islam has already been sufficiently deep and well developed. Nevertheless after three years of struggling with his theological and spiritual questions - searching honestly within both Islam and Christianity, Hamzah finally surrendered his life into the gracious hands of Isa Al-Masih (Jesus Christ) - his most loving and compassionate Saviour!
He begins his testimony as follows:
My friends, let us contemplate the truth of God's word as found in 1 Peter 3:15-16:
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander"
Brothers and sisters, I would like to present my testimony how God rescued and called me in a special way and chose me with His power as His child and also as His servant afterwards with His blessing through Jesus Christ who was already sacrificed, not only for me but actually also for the whole world!
Brothers and sisters, one of the songs that I arranged explains that in this world there are many people who are still searching for salvation and prosperity in this world and in the hereafter. But the Bible also declares unequivocally that only in Jesus Christ is there salvation for every soul in this world! And through Jesus only have I received God's mercy and blessing together with the assurance of well-being in this world and in the hereafter. God's word, that is the Bible, has spoken:
Blessed are those who have not seen Me (Jesus Christ) and yet have believed in Me. (John 20:29)
God called and saved me, neither through events of extraordinary signs and wonders nor any amazing remarkable experience! From just the sheer human perspective, it was impossible for me to accept Jesus Christ - Isa Al-Masih, and I would never have become a follower of the Messiah. For since my pre-school days I was already enrolled into a pesantren (a village that comes equipped with Islamic religious schools). I was trained and formed for six years in that pesantren background and carried out my Islamic religious education successfully. After that my family moved, and I furthered my education in another pesantren for another three years.
As an example of my achievement at the centre of Islamic learning in this pesantren, in 1987, I was selected to represent my city for the Al-Quran recitation competition. And I became the champion of that competition! And in 1988, I also won the competition of Islamic calligraphy, i.e., the art of Arabic delicate handwriting (khat). At that same time, we (our Team) also accomplished the title as the champion of oratory competition and how to preach impressively about Islam, that is how to attempt to seek, to preach in a proper Islamic manner and to preach the teaching of Islam to non-Muslims.
Then I furthered my study once again at an Advanced Islamic Learning Institute which prepares the teachers of Islam religion in our city. Here, we as Moslem students are so sure and really believe that Islam is the most rightful, because it is written in Al-Quran: 'Innadinna indallah-hiislam' - truly the true religion according to Allah is Islam. And one big mission for us is to try to seek out those who still have not yet embraced Islam.
It is our responsibility according to that advanced school to give convincing explanations about Islam to the non-Muslims. While at this Islamic Institute, I learnt that, long ago, there were Crusades, wars between Muslims and Christians, and in that Crusade Islam won. For me, this was a sign that Islam was the true religion. Because according to Muslim clerics and Islamic teachers, God was on Islam's side, thus it is right to have Islam win in this war!
I became further convinced through the following Quran verse: "truly the right religion on God's side is Islam" and I was urged on to pursue those who still do not know Islam yet. In my city, the largest group that had still not accepted Islam were the Chinese (Tionghoa) descendants. Therefore, I really longed to preach to them. In my opinion, the religion of the Chinese people was wrong and misled, thus they needed to listen to a messenger of Islam.
Nevertheless, I was very careful when approaching Chinese people for I knew that they enjoyed to eat pork. According to the teaching of Islam, that meat is deemed or considered najis mugholadhl'oh - i.e. the worst category of najis (filth). If one touches it, then to clean from this filth, one must cleanse himself or herself seven times with mud or red earth first, before using clean water to rinse with seven times - then after that ONLY he or she may be considered purified. Thus, as a Muslim I was very careful to not physically touch Chinese people.
However, I felt the urge to preach to the Chinese. My conversation with them usually was interjected by the following words:
"My Friend, would you like to hear my story? I would like to ask you - What is your religion?"
One day I asked my Chinese friend that question and that friend replied:
"My religion is Christianity"
Then I continued: "My friend, do you know that the Christian message was only valid two thousand years ago? At that time when Jesus was still alive, but now His religion has been replaced by a new religion and a new prophet! i.e. Islam and its prophet Muhammad."
But he said very coolly: "Oh for me that is not a problem, whether there is a new religion or not ... because for me, by FAITH I will surely enter heaven!"
Hearing this, I was very shocked ...! Because in my 10-plus years of study at the Islamic pesantren centres and four years study at the advanced Islamic Institute, never had I heard that entering heaven is something sure or definite for normal Moslems! The only expression is Insyaallah ... or God willing. That is "ad-dunia mazsira-tul akhirah" - i.e. the world is like a race-track heading towards the Hereafter, and to enter it also depends on "Insyaallah" or God's will! How could this Christian brother say that entering heaven is already assured for him? So I reprimanded him with this query:
Hey brother, do you mean to say Heaven is owned by your Father?
Then he answered: "Yes. Indeed! My Father is the Owner of heaven."
I was very shocked with his answer and all of sudden Surah al-Ikhlas 3 from the Quran came to my mind: "Lam yalid wa lam yulad" i.e. "He begets not, nor is He begotten; " and in the Surah al-Jinn 3: "And Exalted is the Majesty of our Lord: He has taken neither a wife nor a son?" So how can this Christian friend dare declare that God is his Father? I asked him again: "Who is your God? And what is His name?" Calmly he replied: My Lord is Jesus (Isa) - right when I heard him saying that, I got very irritated and really mad with him. Because based on my opinion he had associated Allah with someone else.
The doctrines that I had learnt at that time taught that: "La-illah ha-ilallah" i.e. "There is no God other than Allah." So how could this Christian brother say that Jesus is his God! So I told him: "Lakum di-nukum al ya-din" - "To you be your religion, and to me my religion." (Sura al-Kafirun 6).
I then considered the discussion over, finished. I returned to my village and to my normal way of life. I continued reciting the Quran and searched for the truth either in my Islamic institution or privately. When I did my Quran recitation, that passing dialog with my Chinese friend still stayed in my mind for a long time.
That dialog inspired me to search more of the truth about Isa al-Masih and who he really is. Why can Christians confidently say that by faith one may enter Heaven. I searched for any books about Jesus (Isa). I discovered a book written by Kiyai Mundhir Dhan Nadzir with the title Fa'firu Il'lallah (The Road Towards Allah).
This book explains about situation at the end of the world. That there will be wars, starvation, earthquakes, and chaos everywhere and that many people will feel anxiously worried and anguished. In the situation like this, one very powerful force called Dajjal will come forward. This Dajjal or Anti-Christ is very horrifying. He is apparently one-eyed, and is very tall and big that an ocean is only his one-step length. He brings Heaven on his right hand and Hell on his left hand. Dajjal will go everywhere to search for people to fill his Heaven and Hell. In fact his Heaven is a Hell where its inhabitants will be torturing forever and ever! He will go everywhere to find souls to fill up his Heaven. But, in the end comes the Saviour Jesus who will fight that vicious Dajjal. I was surprised to learn who shall come to release the World from the evil Dajjal's hand - he is no other than ISA Al-Masih (Jesus Christ) as the Imam Mahdi himself!
Isa al-Masih (Jesus Christ) as the Imam Mahdi will come, deliver and save the World from the wickedness of the Dajjal! These two powers shall confront each other in one great Battle between Jesus and the Dajjal! I was amazed and surprised with what happen next. During his encountering with the Dajjal, Jesus will speak to the Earth "O Earth! Open up." . Then immediately the Earth will open and the Dajjal shall fall into it and be swallowed up there forever until he dies. This led me to the question again: "Why is it Isa Al-Masih - Jesus - who finally defeats Dajjal?" Because the footnote of this book mentions that Dajjal is the unification of all demonic powers into one. This Dajjal will mislead many people into hell with his power and influence.
The question that kept emerging in my mind was: Why is it still Isa Al-Masih who defeats these demonic forces? Why not prophet Adam who had encountered the devil in person? Why not prophet Noah, prophet Enoch, Hud, Salih and the other prophets, and why not prophet Muhammad whom I used to praise, honour and idolise. Why is it still Jesus? Still in that same book, there is a story that answered the crucial quest of my soul. After the Dajjal is defeated and Hazrat Isa prevails, then Judgement Day happens.
On Judgement Day, all the souls of the dead will be gathered in one place called Ara Mahsyar or Mahsyar Field. They will be gathered on the Mahsyar Field to await for their turn, where one by one they all shall appear before the Righteous Judge who will judge each of them. They will also be putrifying at this time because of the extreme blistering heat. According to that Muslim ulamah, the floor of the Mahsyar Field is made of silver and above it is the Sun that is only a hand's breadth away! So the heat is extremely hot and scorching and that causes each person's soul to melt like liquid water and then to revert back to its usual form again; thus these poor souls flock to seek their defenders and protectors, so that their cases can be judged as soon as possible, and they be put out of their misery.
They meet with prophet Adam, then shout at him: "O Prophet Adam, the prophet of God - please come quickly to defend our cases!" But the prophet responds: "O my people, I cannot defend your cases, for I also feel ashamed, I too can only take responsibility for my own case to that Judge."
They then appeal to the prophets Noah, Enoch, Hud, Salih and the other prophets to seek help to defend their problems before the Judge. But all of them cannot help those people either! Then they go to find the last prophet, Muhammad. They shout: "O Rasullullah, please hurry to defend our cases." Then Muhammad answers them: "O my people, I am not allowed to defend your case but I can only perform intercession for you ...". But Muhammad could not assure which one of his followers will enter Heaven or Hell. The final and last decision is only in the hands of the Judge who will justly judge the souls of all peoples!
I was so surprised to find out who actually was the Judge, brothers and sisters, the Judge is actually no one else but Jesus. This question kept coming back to my mind: Why is it Jesus who appears again as the Judge? He is the one who will decide those who shall enter heaven and those who shall be in hell. I kept asking myself and was so intrigued to find out the answer. I then started to perform tahajud (Late Night Prayer), and I sought guidance from Allah in my affairs (istikhara) and I did sholat (Islamic 5 times prayers) and I prayed all the time. I did not want to be in the situation where my sin and my good deeds will carry equal weight. Because I knew that we only live in this world for a limited time only, after that comes eternity in the hereafter - either in heaven or in hell. The way we live today determines whether we shall enter heaven or hell.
So I kept praying and doing sholat while searching for the answers and solution to my question. I cried. My heart kept seeking for the essential truth about the major role that is played by Isa who also is called Al-Masih, in determining the Heaven and Hell matter. For three years I struggled with this crucial question, three years I was seeking the truth about this Isa Al-Masih. Why are the Christian still so confident that by FAITH they shall definitely enter Heaven? Why do the Christians so confidently affirm that God is in Jesus Christ!
Not long after that, I was given the answer. God has opened my eyes and heart to the truth - about Isa Al-Masih. The answer came from al-Quran:
"Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah ..." (Surah Al Imran 3:45)
How beautiful is this essential truth. The Word of God is Jesus the son of Mary who has the authority in this world and also in the Hereafter. God be praised! I arrived at the conclusion: He comes for the second time, He can beat Dajjal, He will judge the souls of people and will decide who enters Heaven or Hell - it is indeed all in His AUTHORITY, for Jesus the son of Mary is in charge here in this World on Earth and ALSO in the Hereafter!
I then went back to look for my Chinese friend and through him I got a Bible. I tried to read this Bible but at the beginning I felt afraid, so I tried reciting "ta'awuz" (nauzbillah...) before I read it! But as soon as I opened it I felt very comfortable and at peace, so I started reading from the book of Genesis.
It was actually great and very enjoyable reading! The plot is very clear, and has perfect inter-relationships. The chronology is very complete and in sequence! Actually, the Quran is not as complete as the Bible. In the Quran the story of prophet Adam is found dispersed all over the place in bits and pieces e.g. Surah Ant (An Naml), Cow (Al Baqarah), Surah Spider (Al 'Ankabuut) and in Surah Thunder (Ar Ra'd) etc., but in pieces only. Even in its entirety, Adam's story in the Quran is still not as complete as the book of Genesis in Bible!
I continued to read the rest of the Bible. The entire story inside is really similar to the teachings of Islamic scholars and the other prominent figures of Islam who had been my teachers. I tried to read and to understand everything contained in it with a very open heart and mind, and finally, God blessed my quest.
Finally, in July 1991, after struggling for three years with my questions, after having the Bible and reading it for myself, God bestowed upon me His Peace and His Salvation. At the same time I had been interested in a spiritual song which reminded me of my early quest. Its lyrics are as follows:
Have you prepared yourself ?
To welcome Jesus who will come back again!
To come and take all of us,
Who truly await for Him.
The lyrics tell us that we need to be prepared for Jesus' return to this world. This is also essentially taught in Islam and the advice about being prepared for the King's second arrival is also similar. While thinking about my own preparation, I had a vision of my tremendous, unforgivable sins. God had shown me all my sinful mistakes and that it would be impossible for me to enter heaven. At that time I started to cry over everything that I had contemplated. But at the same time God showed me how Jesus has become my Atonement (kiffara) and how He has taken the punishment for my sins - and also for all people in this world - so that we can have eternal life! Just as the son of prophet Abraham that had been rescued from becoming a slaughtered sacrifice, by substituting him with a lamb that had been prepared by God his great redeemer (fi'dia).
Truly this event is a clear demonstration of God's prophecy for His people concerning the soon return of Jesus Christ who will come as man's Eternal Saviour as well as the Righteous Judge!
After I believed that the punishment for my sins has been paid by God Himself - with the perfect life of Jesus Christ, I now have the faith that the King will come back to reclaim this world. Because now the King is not only the impartial Judge, but also my Redeemer and Saviour forever! Halleluyah! Alhamdullilah!
I would like to advise ALL my beloved friends and Muslim brethren, please examine all your insubstantial biases against the Bible. Read this Bible with an open mind, free from typical, unfounded Muslim prejudices against the Gospel. Then God shall bless you with His most beautiful and holy gift! I would like to end my testimony with one very beautiful and meaningful verse from the Bible:
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2 : 8-9 (NIV)
May God bless and honour your noble quest! Amin.
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