The blisters were growing beyond an inch in diameter, spreading from the side of his face, down his neck and onto his shoulder. His ear was so deformed it was hanging down to his shoulder. And the thermometer reading screamed 107.6. He was 0.4 degrees from death.
It was October 1987 when he was diagnosed with what Canada's Toronto General Hospital called the worst case of shingles in the hospital's history. There was no cure. His first million dollars in business profits could offer him little hope now. At age 34, Muslim businessman Nasir Siddiki lay on his deathbed. Doctors were ready to report his death come morning.
Nearly 24 years later, Siddiki sits across from me in Charisma Media's editorial library, teal eyes shining with passion, as he recalls the night he cried out to Muhammad—and the only answer was silence.
"I knew what was on the other side of death was fearful, but I didn't know what it was," recalls Siddiki.
In the midst of silence and fear, Siddiki remembered the numerous healing stories of the prophet Jesus. "In desperation I cried out, 'God if you're real, don't let me die.'"
When it seemed as though the night couldn't get any darker, a light entered the hospital room.
"It was the outline of a person. I couldn't see the facial features because there was so much light shining from this person," describes Siddiki. "This person spoke without opening their mouth ... He said, 'I am the God of the Christians.' and He said, 'I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.'"
Hailing from the line of Ismael, Muslims recognize Abraham as the father, but do not recognize the line of Isaac. When the figure spoke, claiming to be the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Siddiki was able to identify the glow.
"It was Jesus Christ," affirms Siddiki, undoubtedly.
Siddiki holds up a photo showing the intensity of the shingles he endured. He has clearly been healed. The differences are evident. The blisters are gone. His ear is perfectly formed. His complexion is olive, smooth and scar-less. His hair has grayed. But there is more. The most significant difference is not physical, yet it is exceptionally visible. Siddiki is now a Christian.
His new heart in Christ is obvious through his glowing smile and his gracious words. It is clear that this man, who had followed seven generations of Sunni Muslims, beginning with Abu Bakr Siddiq, Muhammad's closest friend and Islam's first Caliph, has been made new by the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Doctors searched for the answer as to why this man with a battered immune system had inch-wide blisters that, overnight, had entered a remissive state.
"I tried to tell them His name was Jesus but of course they didn't believe me ... And this big question I had is, 'Is this Jesus really the Son of God the way the Christians claim or is He just a prophet the way I was brought up all my life?'"
Siddiki was released from the hospital the next day. The following morning another miracle occurred—one Siddiki says proves the deep love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
"I remember Sunday morning I woke up at 6 o'clock in the morning, walked over to the television—I don't know why I did that—turned on the television and right on the screen it said, 'Is Jesus the Son of God?' Coincidence? I don't think so ... Alone in my living room ... in front of the television set in tears I asked Jesus to be the Lord of my life ... The fact that He would heal a Muslim on a Friday and save him on a Sunday talks about how great His love and His mercy is."
"He does love the Muslims and He did die for the Muslims," Siddiki continues. "God so loved the world and that includes everybody and Jesus died for everybody."
Siddiki looks to his personal testimony to find hope for those involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the Middle East. He says those in battle are blinded, they are being misguided, and they are being deceived. Siddiki himself spent 34 years in a blind state, walked an ungodly path and was continually deceived by worldviews. Yet, God sought Siddiki to be a worker in His field. And he says God is seeking out more laborers. "The Muslim nations are his harvest. These are people Jesus died for."
Siddiki feels Christians are called to help in the current circumstances within the Middle East.
"We need to love all Muslims," he adds. "They really are good people, they just are misled. They are just deceived. We have the greatest weapon on planet earth and the universe—it's called the weapon of love. The Bible says love actually never fails and that's an incredible statement that means that love has to win in every situation.
"We don't win Muslims by debating with them, by arguing with them ... none of that will win Muslims over to Christ," Siddiki explains. "But we will win them with that love of Jesus. And even when they persecute us and we respond with love they have a very difficult time understanding that response. 'How can we persecute you and you love us?' And that's what will break down the barriers and the walls."
Though Christian love will win in every situation, Siddiki says prayer will have dominant influence, for prayer literally gives God legal entry into any situation.
"The Muslims, radicals, the terrorists have been blinded by the god of this world ... and because they have been blinded, they don't really see the truth. And so the first thing we need to do is to pray for those scales to come down. Three times the apostle Paul prayed for wisdom for other people. So we pray for wisdom for those in leadership in these Islamic nations, that they will make the right choice. The Bible says the king's heart is in the hand of the Father and He can turn it which way He pleases."