Alim was an assassin for Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein back in the 90’s. After Sadaam’s execution, Alim the assassin made a radical career change--he started building cell phone towers.
Just into his new career, Alim was kidnapped by terrorists. His company refused to pay the demanded ransom. Alim was a dead man. Then Jesus appeared to him. “Alim, you belong to me. I will deliver you.”
The next day, Alim’s captors got into a firefight with each other, and Jesus appeared again. “Alim, leave now.” Alim argued, “I’ll be killed in the crossfire!” Jesus persisted, “Leave now.” And Alim did.
When he got home, Alim’s wife was waiting at the front gate. “Why are you late?” she asked.
Alim was confused. “I was being held for ransom,” he said. “I should be dead!”
His wife was undeterred. “Jesus appeared to me,” she said. “He said you belong to him and that he was bringing you home. I expected you sooner!”
Alim and his family now follow Jesus.
Maybe you put this story in the category of ‘Extremely Rare.’
No. Not rare at all. This phenomenon of Muslims having dreams and visions of Jesus is happening all across the Muslim world.
And actually, when you consider the core beliefs of Islam, it makes sense that Jesus would be reaching out to Muslims through dreams and visions.
Islam considers men like Abraham and Jacob to be true prophets of God, and because these prophets had dreams from God, and because Muhammed himself, the founder of Islam, claimed to have had visions from God in receiving the Quran, Muslims not only believe that God speaks through dreams and visions, but they also seek to hear from God through them.
Jesus is using this expectation embedded into the very core of Islam to reveal Himself as “The true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9).
I’ve been collecting stories of what God is doing in the Muslim world for the last ten years, and I keep running headlong into these stories again and again and again. I personally have interviewed Muslim background believers in Jesus who have had a dream or a vision of Jesus.
That Jesus is revealing himself to Muslims in this way is clearly a message to Muslims.
The message from Jesus to Muslims is, “I love you. I want you in my family!” Dreams and visions are a message of love from Jesus.
I also believe this is happening because Muslims don’t have access to God’s word. And so few are bringing God’s word to Muslims. So these dreams and visions are creating a hunger to find out more about Jesus in the Bible. They are a bridge to the gospel.
But at the end of the day, I believe that this phenomenon is as much a message to you and me who are followers of Jesus as it is to Muslims.
Jesus told his first followers, all Jewish, to share the gospel with non-Jews or Gentiles. But they were afraid. They had prejudices. So God sent a vision to Peter, the leader of the all-Jewish church, to move him past his fears.
At that same moment, an angel appeared to a Gentile named Cornelius, telling him to send for Peter. Peter accepted the invite, shared the good news, and Cornelius and everyone in his house was transformed by Jesus. The door of the kingdom was opened to Gentiles.
These signs were a message to Cornelius that God was pursuing him. And the signs were a message to Peter to go to the Gentiles.
I think that’s what’s going on today. Jesus is appearing in dreams and visions to Muslims to say, “I’m for you.” But he’s also saying to us, “Look what I’m doing. Don’t be afraid! Join me!”
It’s time for you and me to push past any fears and prejudices we may have to reach the Muslim world. It’s their turn to receive the joy and forgiveness and healing and hope that you and I enjoy with every breath we breathe. But we must respond now. We must pray for Muslims. We must reach out to the Muslims among us. We must go the Muslim people groups that haven’t yet received the gospel.
We may be on the precipice of a massive harvest of souls in the Muslim world. Or maybe not, if we don’t act now.
Find your role in reaching the Muslim world at Frontiers USA.