By Mark Ellis
He not only hated Christians, he directed his followers at the mosque to attack them. But after he died and was being prepared for burial, he stunned his family by returning to life with a new message of salvation. Munaf Ali, (not his real name) 45, was an influential imam as well as scholar and preacher of Islam in a Middle Eastern country.
One day a team from Bibles4Mideast approached the imam and they entered into a vigorous discussion about the authority of Jesus and the Bible. Munaf denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and the credibility of the Bible. Pastor Paul offered him a copy of the New Testament but he refused to receive it. Visibly upset, the imam cursed the pastor and his team.
That night the imam incited a mob to attack the place where Pastor Paul and his team had been staying with shouts of “Allahu Akbar.” But the Holy Spirit directed them to leave that location a few hours earlier, narrowly escaping the attackers before they arrived, according to Bibles4Mideast.
A few days later, following Friday prayers, Munaf was returning home when he suddenly felt dizzy, fell to the ground, lost consciousness and died. After his physical body expired, he was aware of demons coming for his soul.
“Get lost, you cursed demons of Allah. You have no right to take my soul!” the imam asserted. “No. It’s our right to take your life,” one of the demons replied. “And you will be with us,” as he forcefully grabbed the imam and began to depart.
But suddenly, Jesus Christ appeared before the imam with a large retinue of angels and the demons quickly fled in terror. Then Jesus spoke to his heart: Listen, my son. First Adam disobeyed God and sinned against Him under Satan’s influence. I am the second Adam, the Word of God and the Messiah Jesus, Son of the Most High. I was born of the virgin Mary, as a sinless Son of Man to redeem Adam and all of his descendants including you from sin and death. I was crucified and died as a ransom for all your sins to make you a child of God and citizen of heaven. I was raised from the dead and opened the gates of heaven to bring you back to eternal glory. Have faith in me and be my witness. I give your life back, for I have the authority of giving life.
When Munaf’s soul returned to his body, his sons and other family members were trying to lay his body on a table for washing and preparation for burial. Many other people were also in the room. His family and friends were astonished and some began to shriek when Munaf opened his eyes and sat up on the washing table. Many were frightened and backed away, as if they saw a ghost.
“I was dead and demons tried to take my soul but Messiah Jesus came and gave my life back,” he began haltingly, and then proceeded to describe his experience.
Some believed his report, but others refused to believe and began to ridicule him. One said Munaf must have hit his head and lost his senses. “He speaks meaningless words,” a man said. “He is possessed by an evil spirit,” someone charged.
Munaf became a bold witness for Jesus Christ, telling his family and anyone who visited him about his remarkable experience. His immediate family believed what he said about Jesus and accepted Him as their Savior and Lord.
As a result of his witness, he was dismissed from the mosque and told to see a psychiatrist. The community began to persecute them. A short time later, facing serious threats, Munaf and his family left their home and their native country.
Pastor Paul asks for prayers for Munaf and his family, that God would protect them and provide for them as they minister in the region.