CP: Can you talk about your encounter?
Fazal: I was in the States for about three weeks by then and I was going to FCA. I went there just to hang out with people. My brother was like, "There are blonde girls there," and I was like "I'll go." I kept on hearing about this personal God, personal relationship with Jesus, his son, and in Islam it doesn't make sense because if God becomes personal, then He no longer becomes almighty and all-powerful in Islam.
But I kept it all going. And then one night they shared a movie about the rapture, and that intrigued me and that was interesting. Before that movie my brother and I were walking, it was late at night, we were walking the streets of Charleston and we got into a spiritual argument and I just told him: "This whole thing is ridiculous. It sounds so stupid and I can't believe you actually believe it; you're a smart guy. Basically, what you're saying here is, if I were to ask Jesus, God, whomever that is there, he'll come down." And my brother replied, "He will."
I was like, "You're smoking something. What are you doing?" That conversation, it was very intriguing because my brother is not the confident type.
Honestly, when he said that, I thought: "That is something different." And then the rapture movie intrigued me, so that night during FCA when they closed in prayer, I just prayed. It was sincere, but it was very short. I said, "I don't know if something's out there, if you're real show me. I don't think is true, honestly. I think I'm lying to myself." And that's it, pretty much.
Later, I was trying to fall asleep in my bed and that's when things got crazy. I was alone in the room reading a book. When I put it down and shut off the lights and got to my bed to shut off the lamp light, and as I was trying to get to it, I notice that the room started to turn evil and it felt like death had walked in and I was just trying to figure out what was going on.
As I was doing that something grabbed me from my shoulders and dragged me and pinned me to my pillow. I was just flipping out, like what is going on? I tried to react and tried to get up and something sat on my legs and paralyzed me. I couldn't move and the only thing I could move was my neck, and I started looking around and just kind of saw, but not physically saw, but saw some crazy things going on in the room and I knew that I had entered into a crazy dimension.
I thought I was dreaming, I thought my brother had given me drugs. I was like, what is going on? I didn't even get to go asleep. I was about to. I just started screaming.
CP: A natural thing to do?
Fazal: Natural. I realized I couldn't hear myself so I was like "Oh" and I did it louder for some reason. And finally the door opened up and I thought my brother heard me and in walks this thing. And in Islam, we don't really focus on demons and angels. We have these things called jin which is pretty much like ghosts, but we're not really into vampires and werewolves — we're just not into that.
So this thing walked in and I just sort of instantly knew it was a demon and it started speaking to me. It said, "I'm going to kill you. You're going to die tonight."
I believed it. I was flipping out, thinking, "What the? I'm a Muslim man. You've got the wrong room. You've got the wrong religion. I'm not part of this."
My body was reacting. My heart was pounding. It was serious. This guy is walking and all of this is going pretty fast and I started thinking, "I ticked off Jesus. This is Jesus. This is really Jesus. I just ticked off the God of Christianity because I was rude and disrespectful and just mocking my brother.
As I was processing is, my internal dialogue was saying, "This can't be it." And then I thought, "This is Allah."
In Islam, one of the greatest sins is to doubt. Doubt is a serious offense. So when you're going to FCA and attending Christian meetings throughout the week, this is serious. Having conversations and praying that prayer, I was asking, "Is this is Allah getting back at me." Only it wasn't that either.
So then this thing got closer and I yelled, "Someone help me." I joke about how I was praying to Allah, Buddha, Oprah, someone, anybody.
It reached my bed and disappeared and whatever was holding me let go and the room still felt weird and I was lined in shock with what had just happened, realizing that the experience was over but it was not really over. That there was something going on that, something that had just gotten started. I ran out of the room and woke up my brother and asked him "What did you do? What's going on?"
I told him what happened. I said, "What is this?" He told me about demons and angels. I never read the Gospels. I didn't know that Jesus was a like a Ghostbuster type of guy. I didn't know anything about that. I just assumed that the Bible was different set of rules than like Koran. I didn't realize it was just stories of what Jesus did, especially in the New Testament and all that, so when my brother starts telling me this, I was like "Okay this is true."
I was scared beyond myself and he started telling me about the Gospel and Jesus and salvation and I was like "I don't need forgiveness. Here's what I need. I need someone who can take on whoever there is that is trying to get me because I can't even believe that I'm saying this, that there's an invisible demon, that there's something trying to kill me. Someone's going to kill me. I'm going to die if I don't get him."
Then he was like, "Well the only one I know that has authorities over demons and angels is Jesus," and I was like "Alright then. Let's get to know him. Let's figure it out. What do I need to do?"
He said, "Well you need to come to Christ and give your life to him and I can pray with you."
I said, "Yeah, but I wanna pray." I don't know why I did that because I'm not used to praying to God. We had rituals and prayed on a mat. My prayer was "Jesus I don't know who you are so I can't call you the Lord of my life. I don't know anything. I can't say that I love you or that I'm grateful because I don't know you. But if you can save me from this, I'll give you my whole life."
I prayed for that and my brother prayed for me. He told me to go back in the room and I was like "No way" and we argued about that and finally gave me a Bible, it's comical he gave me a small Gideon Bible, a pocket one, and I was like "This is crazy."
I went back in the room and started reading it for what felt like a couple of hours. I was scared to death — you know when you're scared and everything makes a sound. I finally got so fed up and was like this is not happening. There's no way that I left Kuwait to come here in a foreign land and trying to assimilate to everyone here and I don't know if I've ever going to see my friends and now I'm attacked by invisible demons. Like really? I went through a war. I can't even tell people these problems. I don't want to be a Christian. I don't want any of this. Just leave me alone. So I went and shut off the lights and looked up and said "Jesus if I die tonight it is your fault." (Laughs)
So I put the covers over my head and I got into the fetal position because I didn't want to be pinned down and the whole time I was thinking, "Don't' open your eyes," because I didn't want to see anything. Because even the room I felt like I saw stuff that just didn't make sense to me but it was weird and scary.
So the next thing I know someone's trying to wake me up, like shaking me and I was like, "Oh no. Oh no. Here we go. Oh no."
Initially, I think it's my brother because it's a dark room and "I'm like, no. This is round two." The next thing I know I'm sitting on my bed with my eyes opened starring into the presence of Jesus. So powerful. So intoxicating. So surreal. Just so real. He said, "I'm Jesus and your life is not your own." It was the weirdest, beautiful thing. I couldn't keep my eyes off of Him, but I couldn't keep my eyes opened either. He literally put me to sleep. My body couldn't stand in his presence. I was trying so hard to look and be in that moment and I couldn't. He put me to sleep.