By Michael Ashcraft —
On Laylat al-Raghaib — the Night of Wishes — during Ramadan, nine-year-old Hussain asked Allah for — what else? — 100 tacos.
“On the Night of Wishes if you asked for anything, Allah was supposed to give it to you,” he says on a StrongTower27 video. “Because I had lived in America and then moved to Holy Land, one thing I really wanted was tacos. I used to eat tacos a lot, but there were no tacos over there. You’re supposed to stay up until 2:00 o’clock and then everything turns upside down and you ask for anything you want, you’re supposed to get it.
“It never happened,” he adds.
Today Hussain is a Christian, but he once was a very confused child. Born of a Brazilian mother and Palestinian father and raised in San Francisco, Hussain says he loved Jesus intensely as a nominal Muslim. Jesus, according to Islam, was only a prophet.
When his parents divorced, his dad took him to the West Bank of Israel and enrolled him in Muslim schools in the Palestinian territory. He learned to hate Christians so much that he would avoid looking at telephone poles. The lateral bars formed the image of the cross, a hated symbol for Muslims.
“They taught me, ‘You need to be very careful: Jesus is NOT the son of God.’ I was 100% convinced about it,” he remembers. “I was so spiritually hungry, I ate it up. I became the most religious Muslim in my family. I became very committed.”
As an American citizen, Hussain planned to return to America and convert untold multitudes to the truth of Islam.
He planned what he would say to his friends: “The Jews only accept Moses. The Christians accept Moses and Jesus. But Muslims accept Mohammed, Moses and Jesus, so everybody should become Muslim.”
At age 12, he had the opportunity to win America for Allah. He continued reading and memorizing the Koran.
“I was very committed,” he says. “One thing I used to do because I hated Christianity (I didn’t hate Jesus, but I hated Christianity) is whenever I walked by a church, I would spit at it just to show my irreverence.
“Whenever I would see a telephone pole because it was the shape of the cross, I would look away,” he adds. “I didn’t want to look at a cross. I had this hatred inside of me, this anger towards Christianity.”
But at 15, he watched Oral Roberts preach on the death and resurrection of Jesus, “the Spirit of God just fell on me. It was like whoa. It was so powerful,” Hussain says. “God says in the Bible, ‘In the latter days, I will pour out my spirit on all flesh.’
“That’s exactly what happened.”
It transformed him.
“All the longing I had for God for a relationship with Him was satisfied at that moment,” he says. “He filled my heart. When Jesus came, I knew He was the Son of God. I knew he was not just a prophet, not just a man. He is God.
“Muslims are so religious, they’re so committed, they do so many things to try to please Allah, they’re so sincere. I know because I was one of them,” he says. “One thing I want to say about my time in Islam is that my heart was so empty. It was an emptiness that hurts. It was like ‘something is supposed to be in my life. Why is it so empty?’”
He’s not asking God for tacos. He’s asking for the salvation of his fellow Muslims.
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Michael Ashcraft is a Christian financial professional in California, connecting people with the right life insurance or annuities.