Friday, November 15, 2013

My Name Used to Be Muhammad by Tito Momen - Book Review

This is a true story of a Muslim who converted to Christianity.  I am cautious about believing everything I read about a church (or religion) from someone who has left it.  Tito, however, seems to present a fair picture of Islamic faith.  He portrays both the good and the bad.
Tito's father is very domineering (in our culture he would be considered abusive) and chooses Muhammad to become the next Imam for their village.  This requires strict adherence to Islamic laws and intense study of the Qur'an.  To accomplish this, Muhammad is sent away to school, first to Syria and then to Egypt.     It is during his time abroad that he begins to question the teachings of his father - "By the time I hit my teen years I had started to appreciate how much fear dictated my actions around my father.  But being a round Yalmaz got me analyzing how much that fear influence my religious beliefs.  In other words, were my beliefs based on faith or fear?  I wasn't sure."
Everyone comes to a point in their lives where they have to decide whether or not to follow the teachings of their fathers - Muhammad was no different.  However, after a series of events in his life, he is faced with an even greater decision.  Muhammad's very faith in Islam itself is questioned.  In his search for truth he discovers that to follow his heart, he must convert to Christianity.  But to convert would mean losing everything - his family, his fiancée, and possibly even his life.
This is a compelling story of one man's search for truth, that emphasizes God's love for each of His children no matter what their religion.  It is a story of miracles and forgiveness and the power of God to comfort and succor each of us during our greatest afflictions.  A great reminder that God will never abandon us.

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