Monday, June 16, 2014

Ex-Muslim by Naeem Fazal

Jesus revealed himself to a young, brash, Pakistani Muslim. But he didn’t just reveal himself; he turned Naeem Fazal’s world upside down.
Moving from Kuwait to Charleston, South Carolina, had been an adventure. Surrendering his life to Jesus Christ was actual treason. And yet, Jesus brought Fazal the most powerful peace he had ever experienced: “It filled the room. It grew roots in my heart and in my soul. It intoxicated me.” 

In this riveting memoir, Fazal describes how God used extraordinary means to bring a young, underachieving, Muslim immigrant through Desert Storm, across the oceans, into college, and ultimately to pastor a Christian church in North Carolina. He demonstrates that no character flaw, no distance, no cultural chasm is too great for Jesus to reach across. 

Fazal is candid about his shortcomings, practical about the challenges of cross-cultural engagement, and ultimately inspiring that God is capable of far more than we have grown to expect. He says, “Jesus consistently, stubbornly refuses to limit himself to my expectations. Which makes getting to know him an unfolding adventure of epic proportions.” 

Whether you are a Muslim, Christian, or neither, Ex-Muslim makes a compelling case that life with Jesus Christ is a true adventure. 

My review:
  I rarely read biographies, memoirs, or anything close to it, but thought this book sounded worth my time, so I requested it. I found it was definitely worth my time.

  Its easy to fall into the thinking that God doesn't do miraculous things nowadays. Its easy to put Him in a box and think He has to work in certain ways, but He is not bound by our expectations and thoughts, just as this book shows.

  As a young Muslim, Naeem Fazal came to America to find his brother had become a Christian. After going to some meetings with his brother, Naeem asked Jesus to reveal himself to him. What happened sounds unbelievable to we modern day Christians, but entirely possible with the God we serve.

 Naeem gives some incredible insights to growing up Muslim, to what it was like being in Kuwait during the Gulf War, and of having to tell Muslim parents that he had converted to Christianity.

  Something that really stuck out to me in this book, is the wonder and newness he experienced as a new Christian. Most of us have grown up in or around the church and are familiar with how it all is supposed to work. We have our ideas of what being a Christian is all about, and are influenced by years of family and church tradition. But to a Muslim just converting to Christianity, it is all new and he had to depend more on the Bible and God to get grounded in his beliefs. I kind of envy him that.

 The book is an interesting and pretty fast read, humorous, inspiring, and insightful. I truly enjoyed reading it and it gave me hope that God can change and reach anyone. Definitely worth reading.

About the author:

Naeem Fazal was born and raised as a Muslim in Kuwait. He came to the United States shortly after the Gulf War of 1990. In 1992, he had a supernatural experience with Christ that changed the course of his life. He was ordained in 2001 at Seacoast Church. In 2006, with the help of Seacoast Church, the ARC, and Mosaic LA, he planted Mosaic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Naeem has been featured in Relevant magazine, Leadership Journal, and Charlotte magazine.

Ex-Muslim is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.