Raashid’s journey to spiritual rest began while in high school. Under the influence of his Muslim religion teacher, he converted to Islam from the Yadzi faith, and took this new faith seriously–praying regularly at the mosque and carefully studying his new religion.
Shortly thereafter, Raashid’s family moved to a new neighborhood with people from various religious backgrounds, Raashid transitioned to praying and studying at home. In the beginning, his father made jokes and rebuked him. He firmly admonished him to leave Islam and return to the Yazidi religion. But, as a Muslim, Raashid now considered his father an infidel.
After Friday prayer one evening, his father kicked him out the house. In time though, his brothers invited him back. Seeing the error of his approach the first time, his father came again to him gently, trying to persuade him to change his mind and return to the faith of his heritage and his youth.
Raashid’s family moved once again. When he enrolled in special courses to pass his high school exams, he was once again exposed to people of different religious backgrounds. It was here that he encountered his first Christian. Over time, he formed a deep relationship with a Christian friend who wore a simple necklace – a cross – and this man quietly and thoughtfully shared his faith with him.
During this time, however, Raashid encountered yet another classmate who embraced the Zoraster religion. The foundational beliefs of this system are based on the perceived power of light and fire. Raashid was so captivated by his friend’s faith that he eventually left Islam and converted, becoming a Zoroastrian.
“It was a time of questioning,” said Raashid. “I seriously began comparing each religion I had encountered. I was searching for God and asking him to transform my life. I distinctly remember the moment when I looked at the sky and cried out to God saying, ‘If you are not here, where are you?’
Several years later, a friend came by and invited Rashid to meet “the brotherhood”–a group of brothers and sisters who attended a church. “It was a Friday night when we entered the meeting,” Raashid recalled. “The brotherhood prayed and worshiped and welcomed me. They offered us food–I felt so welcome and included. A great beauty was in that place. I will never forget the words written on the doorway of the church,” Rashid recalled “It read: Come to me all who are tired and have a weight on them. And in my heart,” Raashid reflected, “I began to find rest.”
As the pastor taught, Raashid heard something new. “I heard that God loved me. In my search of religions, I had never heard this,” said Raashid. “I learned that God loved me! And He died and sacrificed himself for me. In these days, there is no one who will redeem anyone, no one who will give his life for anyone.”
Raashid continued going to his new church. After one meeting, they separated into small groups, and a man said, “Come, let’s sit together and I will share something with you.” He read from the Bible, from John 1, and asked, “Can you understand this?” But sadly, Raashid said he could not.
Then the man began to explain that in the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God. And without Jesus nothing was created. “And I thought: Yes, this is reasonable. There is logic in what he is saying.”
This man spoke of the three wise men who offered Jesus gifts. They knew Jesus would come to earth by the studying they had dedicated their lives to, through their books and prophecies.
As Raashid dove into studying the prophecies of the OT, he saw how they came true through Jesus. “I learned that only through Jesus were these prophecies fulfilled. By the end of that year, I had delivered myself to Jesus and accepted Him as my Savior.”
Raashid began sharing his new faith with his family. His mother has accepted Jesus, and he is believing that this father and brothers will also be saved–that they, too, will find rest for their souls.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30