Maheen* had always been an observant Muslim. When given a Bible by a team distributing them in his neighbourhood, he took one, brought it home, but never looked at it. Why should he? He had the Koran.
One night while he slept, he says an angel came to him and touched him on the shoulder.
“Read Acts 26:23 from the Holy Scripture which you received,” the angel told him. Whether a dream or a vision he wasn’t sure, but it certainly struck him as strange. Too tired to react otherwise, he fell back asleep.
A short while later, the angel touched his shoulder again, more firmly this time. “Get up and read Acts 26:23 from the bible you were given. It is a verse for you.”
Still groggy and half-asleep, Maheen had a hard time trying to process what was going on. So he decided to ignore the unusual occurrence again, and go back to sleep.
The angel appeared a third time, nudging him forcefully. “Get up and read the verses as I said!”
Maheen bolted out of bed, frantically grabbed his new bible, and began to read from the Book of Acts.
“That the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:23)
The striking visitation, the power of God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit brought Maheen to his knees. He acknowledged his sins before God and accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
He became a strong believer in Jesus Christ. As much as he tried to convince his wife Muneera*of her need for salvation, of the importance of reading and meditating on the Bible, the Word of God—she would have none of it. Further complicating the situation were the attitudes of her brother Siddhiq*, an Islamic extremist working nearby in Saudi Arabia.
Maheen desperately wanted to be baptized, but waited months, hoping and praying his wife would join him in his new faith and be baptized with him. He finally decided to take the step alone.
When Muneera told her brother of the new development, he flew in immediately from Saudi Arabia. He implored Maheen to return to Islam, offering him an outstanding employment opportunity if he’d move to Saudi Arabia. He could even have an immense home and property as part of the deal.
"My Lord Jesus is far, far above any of the offers of this world,” Maheen replied. “I may be killed, but I will never deny Jesus, for He is my Lord and Savior, and granted me eternal life."
This infuriated Siddhiq. While his sister watched in horror, he joined with others he had traveled with and brutally beat Maheen. They then locked him in a dark room. For 17 days he remained locked away in darkness, without proper food or facilities, and unable even to see his wife.
Everyone felt sure Maheen would change his mind and come back to Islam. Instead, he grew stronger in his faith with each passing day. So they decided the only way to save Muneera from her husband would be to kill him.
She couldn’t believe it. How could her own brother, her own family, including her own father, even think of killing her husband? So she implored God, the Almighty, to intervene.
While praying, she had a vision of heaven and saw the Lord Jesus seated on the throne. And there was Maheen, her husband, at His right hand being held safe, praising Him along with the angels! While she couldn’t understand it, she could see human souls being washed by blood which flowed like a beautiful stream from the heart of Jesus.
When she tried to reach out to her husband, she couldn’t even get close. A huge gulf spanned the distance between them. Then she noticed a bridge in the shape of a cross over the gap, but when she tried to go towards it, it was taken back to heaven.
Shaken to her core, Muneera began to weep. She took her own step of faith and accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior. Who else could this be but the savior of humanity? She prayed that Maheen would not be harmed.
She then phoned the leader of the team who had been distributing the free bibles and holding the underground worship services Maheen had been attending. She explained to him all that had happened.
He explained that he too was a convert from Islam and often faced similar hardships. He arranged to visit the area, meeting up with a group of local believers first, all also converts from Islam. They prayed together, then met with a politician in the region. With his help they were able to secure the assistance of a senior police officer who freed Maheen from the dark room that had been his prison for over two weeks.
That same evening, a mob under Siddhiq’s leadership gathered with weapons to attack the church leader. A group of secret believers in Jesus heard of it and Immediately moved him to another house where the terrorists couldn’t find him. The prayers of the children of God certainly moved to save and protect Maheen as well as the Christian leader.
Maheen and Muneera now have two children, a boy and a girl. They work with Bibles for Mideast, distributing bibles, Christian literature and helping establishing house churches in their area of the Middle East.
“It is a great task,” they explain. “We have to work very secretly. We worship secretly. We collect bibles for distribution also in a secret way. We are in need of support, but we don’t get it.” Both retain secular jobs to earn enough for themselves and the work of their team. Please pray for them!
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* names changed for security reasons