A Pakistani descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who was nearly stabbed to death by radical Muslims and brought back to life by the power of Jesus Christ, has released a new book detailing the life-threatening extremism he escaped and his life on the run.
Ali Sayed Husnain Shah, who comes from a prominent Shia Muslim family with direct genealogical connection to Muhammad, details in new book, The Cost: My Life On a Terrorist Hit List, how he went from being a member of one of the most prestigious Islamic families in Lahore to an infidel being forced to move from city to city in order to escape the wrath of Wahabi radicals who sought to kill him.
It all started when Ali, which is not his real name, was sent on a trip to Oxford, England, in 2007 at the age of 15 to visit his sick and elderly aunt Gulshan.
Days after arriving in the U.K., Ali made a remark about Christians and was told by his aunt's assistant that he better be careful about the way he talks about Christians and apostates and was informed that his aunt had left Islam for Christianity many years before he was born.
Having a hard time believing that his aunt would dishonor his prestigious Shia family by becoming a Christian, Ali eventually learned that his aunt had written a book about her conversion. He obtained a copy and read it so he could learn why his aunt would abandon her Muslim heritage.
After reading the book and still having trouble comprehending why she became a Christian, Ali decided to attend a church service with her one day so he could learn more.
While at the church service, the pastor asked the congregants, "who wants to see Jesus?"
Although Ali was a Muslim, he felt compelled to walk to the front of the church so he could finally get to see Jesus in hopes of understanding what his aunt saw in Him.
"I wanted to see Jesus. He was the riddle at the center of all this, the reason aunt Gulshan had turned her back on her family, her heritage and her religion," Ali wrote. "He was the one who was to blame, and here was a man offering me the chance to see Him for myself."
The pastor prayed for Ali and told him to close his eyes. While the man prayed, Ali said he felt the heat coming from the pastor's hand while a light behind his eyelids got brighter and brighter. Ali said his legs crumbled and he was drained of all his power and strength.
"My son," Ali recalled a voice calling out to him. "You wanted to see me. I'm here. Obey me. I will forgive your sins and give you eternal life."
That night, Ali went back to his aunt's house and sleep came quickly for him. That night, Ali said Jesus appeared to him in a dream.
"Don't be afraid," Ali remembers Jesus telling him in the dream. "I will protect you."
Ali's Muslim faith was forever put into question, which would only make things extremely difficult for him once he returned to Pakistan where apostates from Islam are heavily persecuted and sometimes killed.
Upon Ali's return to Pakistan, he became distant from the mosque and the traditional Muslim prayer culture. Instead of going to a mosque to fulfill his spiritual needs, Ali started going on the top of his home's roof to pray to Jesus.
Worrying about how to conceal his new-found beliefs from his family and Muslim society, Ali wrote that he felt peace and comfort when he went to the roof to pray.
Although Ali was successful in keeping his belief in Jesus Christ hidden from his family and friends, it wasn't long until he made the mistake of telling his classmates that the right way to seek forgiveness is to pray to Jesus.
After Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007, Ali's schoolmates got into a conversation outside of the schoolyard about the right way to sacrifice an animal in order to be absolved of sin.
"You are wrong," Ali said. "Sacrificing an animal is not the right way to deal with sin. I had a dream when I was in England that showed me the truth. If you want to know how to deal with sin, you have to pray to Jesus."