As a young Fulani boy growing up in Nigeria, Mohammed followed diligently in his father’s footsteps. He learned how to rear cattle (the principal livelihood of most Fulani men) and was devout in his spiritual practices as well. As a teenager, he appealed to his father to let him study the Qur’an at a special school in the town of Bauchi.
After studying three years in Bauchi, Mohammed continued his Islamic studies in several other cities. He learned to read and write Arabic and hoped to study in Saudi Arabia.
At this juncture, Mohammed returned to his village at his father’s request. His father told him it would be better for him to get married before leaving for Saudi Arabia.
While at home, Mohammed had a series of frightening dreams in which mysterious figures in black attacked and tried to kill him. Mohammed always awoke terrified from these dreams, unable to go back to sleep. After several such nightmares, however, a figure in white clothes began to appear in his dreams, delivering Mohammed from harm and taking him safely home.
Hearing about Mohammed’s dreams, his father became concerned and took his son to see a native doctor. The native doctor prescribed certain herbs and enchantments to ward off the evil. But the terrifying dreams continued. Only the heroic figure in shining white clothes brought relief to Mohammed, never failing to come to his rescue in the dreams, guiding him safely home again, and telling him he loved him.
In the final dream, Mohammed found himself under a tree, reading many books. The man in white appeared beside him and asked him what he was reading. At the time, Mohammed didn’t understand what he was reading. The man in white asked Mohammed if he wanted help. Mohammed said yes.
The man in white then took one of the books Mohammed had been reading and said, “This book is from God. It contains the very Word of God.” The book was the Bible, which Mohammed had never read before. The man in white showed him numerous verses, including John 14:6, which says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The man in white then told Mohammed that He was the One of whom this verse spoke—that He was Isa (Jesus), the Savior of the world. Jesus asked Mohammed if he wished to accept Him as his Savior. Mohammed agreed. Jesus then disappeared and the dream ended.
The next day, Mohammed went to meet Jonathan, a Christian in a neighboring village. Mohammed told Jonathan about his dreams, and in particular, about the final dream in which Jesus had appeared to him and read to him from the Bible.
Jonathan spoke to a pastor about Mohammed and arranged for a visit between the two men. Mohammed repeated his dream experiences to the pastor, and the pastor explained to Mohammed more fully the way of salvation. At that point, Mohammed made a full commitment of his life to Jesus.
Eventually, Mohammed’s father learned that his son had become a Christian and ordered him to renounce the Christian faith, or leave the family home. Mohammed addressed his father with great respect, but told him he could never abandon the Lord Jesus Christ.
After several months trying to change Mohammed’s mind, his father ordered men in the village to surround Mohammed so he couldn’t escape, and forced him to drink poison. Mohammed prayed, swallowed the poison and went to bed. The next morning, to his father’s dismay, Mohammed was still alive.
Soon after that, Mohammed’s father banished him from the village. As Mohammed walked into the bush, relatives ambushed him and tried to kill him with poisoned arrows. Mohammed was wounded and would have died, but a man from Jonathan’s village found him and helped him to the nearest road. A passing motorist stopped to take Mohammed to a clinic. He spent a month there, recovering. Later, at his father’s request, Mohammed was arrested and spent time in prison. Eventually, he was released from prison and taken home by the police.
Mohammed’s father began a new tactic to persuade him to leave Christianity. He gave Mohammed cattle and told him he would pay the bride price for three wives if he were to abandon the Christian faith. Mohammed knew he had to make a firm decision.
He thanked his father for his generosity. There was, however, one need his father had not—and could not—meet. Mohammed asked his father if he could give him eternal life. Mohammed’s father, of course, realized he could not, to which Mohammed replied that if his father could not give him eternal life, then he could never leave Jesus Christ.
Mohammed moved to the city of Jos, where he lived on his own for two years and did not communicate with his family. Eventually, he received word that his father had become seriously ill and was in a hospital. Mohammed went to see him.
Mohammed’s father apologized to him for the many things he had done and said against him. Mohammed assured his father he had already forgiven him and led him in a prayer to receive Jesus as his Savior. Three hours later, his father died. Naturally, it was a sad event, but on the other hand, it was cause for rejoicing. Not only had father and son been reconciled, but Mohammed’s father died in peace, knowing that in the world to come he would be with Jesus for all eternity, and—someday—be with his son again in heaven.