The Path of a New Muslim to Truth: Part 1

By Poncardas Romas


I was born […] Lanao del Norte, Philippines. Since birth, my parents were devoted Seventh Day Adventists, one of the thousand branches in Christendom. I was a former Evangelist of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA).   From childhood until I became Muslim in 1981, I had been a devoted SDA.



[…] My father was a former member of the ILAGA and CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Force) formed by a former dictator, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. The Ilonggo Land Grabbing Association (ILAGA) is the name given to a cultic group of Christians who are trained to grab Muslim lands and annihilate Muslims in Southern Philippines.  […] The ILAGA members believe that the more Muslims they kill, the more power they will possess.



[…] In childhood I was indoctrinated (brainwashed) that Muslims are pagans.  We believed that Muslims are warlike people, traitors, happy to kill non-Muslims, lawless, and all negative attributes of humanity are in the Muslims’ doctrines.  Actually, when I was a Christian, I did not know the difference between Islam, Muslim, and Moros—I believed they were all synonymous with paganism.  What I knew about Muslims was that "they were pagans and idiots!"'


New Muslim, new life, Islam, Muslims



[…] I was brought up in a conservative Christian educational institution (church school).  In my early days of childhood, we were trained to open the Bible quickly and explain the meaning of the text day and night. […]



In 1981, I was trained extensively in Pagadian City, Philippines how to preach Christianity, particularly in the Muslim community, and with the pretext of selling medical books under the banner of Adventism. We were later formed into groups and were assigned in Zamboanga City, Southern Philippines to conduct house-to-house and office-to-office evangelism.



Our main targets were to raise funds and to spread our doctrines and convert the Muslims to Christianity (Adventism).  Even today there are Christian Institutions in the heart of the Muslim community in Mindanao whose main motive is to gradually Christianize the Muslims.



First Encounter

One day in Zamboanga City, I was assigned to the Al-Malin Shipping Line Office, district of Santa Barbara, to do our jobs. That is where I had my first encounter with a Muslim intellectual.  His name is Najeeb Razul Fernandez, formerly Samuel Fernandez, who was also a former Seventh Day Adventist-Evangelist.   



We discovered later that we were neighbors during our childhood, and our parents and his uncle’s family (Memong Fernandez) were close friends and neighbors.



New Muslim, Islam, convert, religion, light

Proper Encounter



I introduced myself to Mr. Najeeb Razul Fernandez.  He warmly welcomed me and asked my purpose of visiting his office.  He was a liaison officer that time at Al-Malin Shipping Line Office.  He asked me, “Are you Seventh Day Adventist?”


“Yes, of course!”


“Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”


“Of course! We would not be a Seventh Day Adventist unless we believe and follow Jesus Christ!”


He continued, “Your religion is Seventh Day Adventist, was Jesus Christ a Seventh Day Adventist?”



I knew that if I answer “yes,” the next question would be; “Can you show me in your Bible that Jesus Christ was a Seventh Day Adventist?”  I knew well that there is no passage in the Bible that mentions that Jesus Christ was an Adventist!   I was shocked at the question because in my experience I never encountered such a question in my life.  



I tried my best to ignore his question, and I talked about things which were not related to his question.  He repeated the question directly to my eyes, and said; “If you could not answer that question, please bring that question to your team leader and tell me his response.”



Shocking Revelation


Then he related to me the true name and life of Jesus Christ, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, whose name is Issa Al-Maseeh ibn Maryam in the Muslim world.  Jesus was a prophet and messenger of God.  


The religion of the Muslims and the prophets of Allah is Islam.   And in fact, the prophets of Allah (God) were Muslims.  He also emphasized that Islam teaches about the Day of Resurrection, Judgment Day, Paradise, Hell-Fire, Angels, Prophethood, Morals, Divine Books, etc.



All these words were like thunderbolts that awakened me from a deep sleep!  After I heard those words, I did convey them to my team leader, and I asked him what the religion of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ was.   He did not answer; instead, I received a warning not to talk to Mr. Fernandez, or I will be excommunicated. My team leader’s reaction had pushed me to investigate what Islam is all about. It also sowed doubts about my belief being a Seventh Day Adventist.



If indeed my belief is the truth, I am not supposed to be afraid to deal with other religions! [End of part I]



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