'They put me in a solitary cell, and locked the gate'
Siddique’s story | My faith grew higher than a mountain!
*Click here to read parts one and two of Siddique’s story.*
‘In July 1998, I was living in Karachi, serving in the Pakistan Airforce.
I was raised as a fanatical Muslim, in Lahore. But I had been reading the Bible and decided it was true. Jesus was the Son of God!
I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour that year! But I knew that if the news came out I could be killed or sent to jail. Outwardly, I kept practising Islam, in front of my wife and family, but during the week I joined evening classes secretly to learn more about the Bible.
Then, after one year, I had a thought. Is it time to tell my wife? No, I decided. I could be killed or put in jail. I would be a curse to her and my family.
But that day, as I got closer to my house, the burden became more intense. I told her, “Something very special has happened to me. My name has changed. I am no longer Muhammed Siddique. I am just Siddique, a humble servant of Jesus Christ.”
She protested loudly. She said, “I am not leaving Islam! I am telling your father and the Airforce! They will arrest you! I am getting a divorce right now.”
As I listened to her, I was praying and praying, “Lord Jesus, are you able to save me? Please help me now…”
My wife is a person of great conviction. She informed her father, who told my father. I got fully terrified.
My father had a heart attack while he was on the phone. He was taken to hospital, and he passed away after three months. The whole community was cursing me, and I became an accursed person. My wife began to sleep in another room. She said she had no respect for me, and she wanted a divorce.
For six months I cried and felt terrified every night. I had lost my dearest father and my family. I was always praying and fasting and quoting from Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”
But some days I also said to Jesus, “Is your word true or not?”
A change of heart
Then one day Fozia came to me and said, “I am not going to become a Christian – never ever. But I am curious to know your research. I want to know why you made the decision to follow Jesus.”
We sat together. I told her about the supremacy of Jesus. I showed her verses from the Bible and the Quran, comparing the two. We read together, and then after some time Fozia said, “I feel like this truth of Jesus is making me clean.” She was crying, “Please put me in the feet of Jesus. Now I know that your God is my God.”
“If we have found the truth, we must tell people!” – Fozia
I got really surprised! I took courage, and I put my hand on her. I started to pray for her.
As I prayed Fozia spoke a prayer of confession. She told me that during that prayer a light came from heaven, and hit her in the heart. It was amazing! It was God giving her the words to pray. Then she said, “If we have found the truth, we must tell people!”
I said, “But they might kill us. We can wait. The time will come when we can tell people.”
On January 11th, 2000, Fozia was baptised in a pool in Karachi.
Faith on trial
At the same time I wrote a small book, secretly, about Jesus of the Bible, comparing it to the Quran. Jesus is the Son of God! I was a little naïve. The booklet got into the mainstream market, and the Islamic newspaper got wind of it. The Pakistan Airforce intelligence received information about me and my testimony.
In June, 2000, I was sitting at home with my family and we heard a knock at the front door. There was a group of armoured men. They said, “You have to come with us. You took an oath in the name of Muhammed, but you have violated it, secretly changing your religion. We are going to take you to jail!”
“How will Jesus work now?” – Fozia
“I don’t know.” – Siddique
I tried to resist. My wife was crying. They took me in their car, and drove me to the jail, putting me in a solitary cell, and locked the gate. They couldn’t risk putting me with other prisoners because they might kill me. Every night was horrible. Negative thoughts kept coming to my mind. Will they hang me?
How will Jesus work now?
The first time Fozia came to visit me in jail, I was in a very narrow cell. She cried a lot. She reached through the iron bars, and she held my hands. She wanted to know, “How will Jesus work now?”
I said, “I don’t know.”
After one month I saw a vision. It was very strange. I felt the Lord powerfully with me. There was a date on the wall in shiny paint. 16.8.2000. I clearly heard a voice saying, “That will be your court martial date.”
I got very emotional. I stood up in my cell, and I prayed. I thanked God. The next month, my court martial date was set for 16th August! My Jesus is true! My faith grew higher than a mountain. Jesus is the Lord of every age and nation.
Then the evidence presented at the court turned out to be wrong. They said I had burned the holy Quran, and I said that I would never do that. I would never insult Islam. The court decided I would not be killed. I would be detained for 67 more days in the cell, and then released. On release I would not be dismissed from Airforce service. I would not even suffer a reduction in rank.
Tears poured from my eyes. Everybody was surprised. How can it happen? Some of the other prisoners came secretly to me. They wanted to know more about Jesus.
“He is not just the God of ancient times; Jesus has the same power today!” – Siddique
On September 17th, 2000, I was released and resumed duties with the Airforce. After some time, we were able to be reconciled with Fozia’s family and slowly, slowly we shared with them our faith in the Lord Jesus. Thanks be to God, within three years, every member of Fozia’s family accepted the Lord Jesus. Praise the Lord!
When I look back on my testimony now, I realise that if we are available to God, he is there. He will show us his great, sovereign power. He is all powerful! He is not just the God of ancient times; Jesus has the same power today! And we are his vessels in the world. If we are faithful and available, Jesus will provide the opportunities. He will use us, like he used the Christian family in my life, in Karachi. That family welcomed me in… and God saved my life!’
Siddique’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more Faith Stories.