Shahram tried to give the tape back but she told him to keep it. He kept it, and kept on listening to it. The girl introduced him to an older man, Bill Shaw, who is a wonderful Christian. He is still a part of Shahram’s life. He had many questions for Bill. He was patient with Shahram and opened the Bible to answered his questions. Think about this; this book that Shahram had been taught was corrupt was actually answering his questions.
Several days later, while he was in the car by himself, Shahram began to weep. He was completely overwhelmed and had to pull over to the side of the road. He just sat there crying. He remembers asking himself what was going on, what was wrong with him? In that moment he felt the Holy Spirit speak to his heart and say to him, Shahram, I love you, you now know the truth, you know one way is the truth. On the tape it used the verse in John which says:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)
This really pierced his heart. He had to choose that very day. He began to pray. He told God that he didn’t know everything about Him, but for what he knew, he chose Him. He said that he wanted to serve Him, and follow Him no matter what the cost. As soon as Shahram had finished he asked, “how am I going to tell my parents?”
This is how Shahram’s journey with Christ began. What a powerful and touching testimony this is. There is a cost when someone gets saved, especially for a Muslim.
There is something Shahram said to that young Christian lady that shared the Gospel with him that I think is interesting. He told here that he was intrigued because in Islam, “I as a Muslim, am told that to get saved I must die for my god, but in Christianity it seems like your God died for you.”
I had never heard anyone put it that way, but what a true and remarkable statement this is. Our God took on flesh and laid down His life for us so that we could have redemption. He died to pay the price for our sins.
It is the realization of this truth that brought Shahram to Christ. It is this truth that completely changed his life. It will change your life also if you will open your heart to Jesus.
Shahram was raised in a moderate Muslim home so the risk of his being killed as an apostate was less than had he been raised in a fundamentalist home. In a fundamentalist home, the father has the responsibility to keep his family submitted to Islam. If a family member leaves Islam, it is the father’s responsibility to bring justice.
The father is to bring honor back to the family. He must give the apostate family member the option of repent and come back to Islam, or to die. The father is responsible to kill the apostate family member if he does not return to Islam.
Because Shahram’s family was more a cultural Islamic family than a fundamentalist Muslim family, his father never had any intention of killing his son. This does not mean there were no consequences.
According to the Qur’an, any Muslim can exercise the justice against an apostate to restore honor to the community. Since Shahram’s father didn’t bring justice, another family member, like an uncle or a brother, could do it.
One of the great differences between Islam and Christianity is how honor is restored. In Islam you must kill to restore it. In Christianity, Christ died to restore honor. He died to reconcile the lost to the Father. As so often is the case, the teachings of Islam are the opposite of the teachings of Christianity. Allah says die for me so you can have salvation, Christ died for us so we can have salvation.
According to Islamic teachings, Shahram’s father should have killed him. The fact that he did not means that he was not a good Muslim.
At the time Shahram got saved his parents lived in Canada. They had plans to come to Atlanta to visit him and his brother, who also lived in the area. He was debating whether or not to tell his parents what had happened. The Holy Spirit made it plain that he needed to tell them. At dinner he shared with them that he had become a Christian. His father’s face became white. He couldn’t look at Shahram. It was as if someone had just died.
His father was very upset and asked how he could do this to their family? He was concerned about what his friends and his community would say. He said, Don’t you know that you have utterly embarrassed your family?
For the next five years, any conversation Shahram had with his father was very superficial because he had basically abandoned him. Even to the end of his life, he was always ashamed of Shahram.
I want to give you a verse from Matthew Chapter 10 that speaks to this:
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-36)
I think that Christians don’t understand what the purpose of Christ was in coming. This is exactly what happened to Shahram. Just three days after his salvation, Shahram was at variance against his own father. He was also at odds with the rest of his family. To this day he doesn’t have a very positive relationship with his brother and sister.
You will notice that Jesus said that a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. This is the reality of what most Muslims face if they convert to Christianity, even if they come from a home that is only culturally Muslim.
Many Christians use this as an excuse not to share the Gospel with Muslims. They don’t want to put them in a bad situation with their families.
Sadly, there are those who are pushing what is called the “Insider Movement.” This movement is telling Muslims that if they accept Christ they should lie to their families. They say that if their parents ask them if they are Muslims they are to say yes. They tell Muslim converts to continue going to the mosque so they don’t draw attention to themselves. The tell them to do all the things that Muslims do.
Either Shahram was a dummy when he told his parents he was a Christian, or the Insider Movement is what is truly foolish.