Liyana (former Muslim)
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Testimony of Leaving Islam
My name is Liyana and I was born into a Muslim family. Throughout my life I followed what I had been taught by my mom who is a religious teacher. "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah" was quoted every time we prayed. I used to follow my mom to the mosque and listen to the person preach. I was told, to receive God's grace and blessings, I had to pray 5 times a day, fast 30 days during Ramadan, and many other such "laws", and I did try following them.
When I was in primary school, at the age of 10, I asked myself who is God? Why was I doing all of these things to please him? Would he be unhappy if I missed my prayers and did not fast? So I asked my mom about this and she got agitated, wishing I would not ask her such questions. Her reply was simple; "You are a born Muslim, and as a Muslim you have to follow the Qur'an, and if you cannot commit to it, God will not give you his grace and blessings. God will be upset with you because it's sinful to even ask why, and he hates sinners. Do not question the Qur'an and God's teachings." I got scared and wondered why God would be so upset and even hate me for this? I thought God loved all beings, I was created by him on this earth, how could he hate me! I did not listen to what my mom said, but I was still scared by it.
At the age of 12, I started to question the religion further, even openly to other Muslim brothers and sisters. No one seemed able to answer me, and I asked myself, is this a religion for the blind? Why is there no one that could answer my questions about Islam, yet they continue to follow? I was lost. I started following several of my Christian friends to church, just for the fun and to see how it was like with Catholics/Christians. I definitely felt a different aura when I stepped inside, but they too have laws. The church service was boring! I decided to read up on the Bible, trying to understand what the Christians believed, Just briefly reading. I already knew who Jesus was, but wondered why do people worship him? I found that rather weird. I thought to myself, he is just a man like Muhammad. I then came to the conclusion that there is only one God, and maybe Jesus and Muhammad are just the Messenger of God. How true this was or not, or even if they ever existed, I didn't know. I was so lost, but I continued believing in one God.
I stopped fasting and praying at the age of 13. Although on several occasion when my mom nagged me about it, I would. She pressured me saying, "God will not forgive you if you don't pray. How hard is it to pray 5 times a day?" Boy, it is hard, but I tried; tried praying with my mom, tried connecting with God, tried asking him to show me the right path... I got nothing. My mom also asked if I could pray for her. She said I could pray and talk to God in any language cause he understands, "but don't forget to pray 5 times a day or your prayers wont be answered!" So I did pray, but not 5 times a day. On my bed every night before sleeping, I would pray to God for the safety of my family, to show me the right path, and to tell him how grateful I was for his wonders.
As I reached the age of 19 I was still searching for answers. I got my first boyfriend, and he was a Christian. He never went to church, but he had faith in Jesus. I went along with him once to a healing seminar or some sort at an Indoor Stadium. I was amazed at what I saw; the sick were cured! through Jesus' name! But my heart was not open to it. I still clung to my belief that there is just one God. We broke up after 2 years and after some time I found someone else. We made plans for our future and the only thing in our way was my parents. For my parents to accept a non-Muslim into the family, he would have to convert to Islam. I tried talking my parents around, but they refused to budge. There was nothing I could do. After a year and a half together, he left me. It was a rough time for me and I could not sleep or eat for days. I prayed and prayed to God, asking him for help and strength to pull me through.
One day, I received a call from my old boyfriend and we met for a coffee. We chatted and I told him what had happen. He smiled and said, "have faith and stop condemning yourself." We discussed Islam and other religions, and we agreed on a lot of things. For example, I always say "Religion=Law" which is so true! He gave me a DVD and a book called "Destined to Reign" by a pastor named Joseph Prince. I watched the DVD then read the entire book before sleeping. I felt that my heart was open and it felt so good! The next day I woke up feeling fresh, happy and graceful. I started reading the Bible again with a clear mind, I read Gospel after Gospel and I felt so good! and I finally understood! I knew who Jesus really was! Until then I had been blind, a lost sheep. Everything that I had been asking all my life was finally answered! Hallelujah! Grace is what it is all about! I prayed to God one night. I said, "Oh God, I finally know who Jesus is and why he died on the cross for us. He is the Lamb of God and through his blood he washes our sins away and I am very grateful to have known him, I am blessed by you God. Forgive me for I have sinned. I am still weak but give me strength for I have faith in Jesus Christ. Amen" At that very moment, I closed my eyes had this really strong heat around my cheeks. It felt as though my heart was moving. I tried opening my eyes but I couldn't. A great rush of blood flowed through my body and I heard within my heart a voice saying, "you have been forgiven my child, cry no more. You have a purpose in life, embrace it." I then opened my eyes with tears rolling down my cheeks and said, "Thank you Lord Jesus. You are my Saviour."
When I woke up the next day, I felt so different. I was no longer worried and was happy. Everything around me felt pleasant. I smiled and looked up and said, "Thank you Lord for everything. You have showed me the way and I have faith in you." I felt like telling everyone I knew about this joyful feeling of grace! Some of my Muslim friends got upset with me when I spoke of Jesus, and I can never tell my parents, but I believe Jesus will pull me through if I keep my faith in him. Amen. The following 2 weeks I went to a New Creation church service with two other friends. I was moved to tears with joy because I felt so loved through Jesus Christ. He is so amazing, and I am so blessed. Never have I been so certain about my beliefs. God had planned this for me. I am now more closer than ever to God and have an amazing relationship with him! I am not worried anymore! I am not condemning myself anymore! I got out of a job I hate and got a better one! All praise to the Lord in Heaven! Through Jesus' name I prayed, everything was settled and I have never ever felt so peaceful and serene in my life! We are all blessed through Jesus Christ! Hallelujah! For every sheep that is lost, The Shepherd will find and embrace him/her with an abundance of grace!
Thank you Jesus.