The Fall of evangelism in Egypt

Translated By Amira Sharawi

Revised By Magdy Abd Al-Shafy

He obtained a diploma from the Evangelical Theological College in Cairo in 1948, then a master degree in philosophy and theology from Princeton University in 1952.

Then he returned to Egypt where he was assigned to be a pastor in the Evangelical Church and a professor of theology and beliefs in the college of theology in Assiut, southern Egypt , till the year 1953.

Then he was promoted to be a general secretary of the German-Swiss consignment in the city of Aswan and an evangelizer for Muslims who live between Assiut and Aswan till the year 1955.

Ibrahim khalil Ahmad talks about the story of his conversion to Islam and says: “one evening in 1955, I heard the Quran through the radio and listened to the Quranic verses:

Say (O Muhammad): "It has been revealed to me that a group of jinn listened (to this Quran). They said: ‘Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Quran).

It guides to the Right Path, and we have believed therein, and we shall never join (in worship) anything with our Lord.” (Al-jinn 1-2).

These two verses were a sacred flame that enlightened my mind and heart and inspired them to search for the truth.

In this evening I kept reading the Quran until sunrise, as if the Quranic verses were a glittering light and as if I were surrounded with light. Then I read the Quran for a second, third and fourth time until I found the Quranic verse:

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the (Torah) and the (Gospel), - he commands them for Al-Ma‘rûf (i.e. all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Tayyibât (i.e. all good and lawful things), and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khabâ’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful things), he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.” (Al-a’araf 157).

From this verse, I decided to do a free study of the Bible and in order to have enough time to do it and free the suspicions I had in my mind towards the Bible and to be honest with myself, I decided to resign and leave my work as a priest and as a general secretary of the American and German consignments in Aswan.

When I carried out my decision and started to feel the light of right brightening in my heart, a group of doctors from the same church, which I used to serve and be served by and take care of hundreds of its adherents   just a few days ago , conspired against me claiming that I was mad ! I kept steady and patient, having all trust in God (Allah) and traveled to Cairo , where I worked in (standard stationary) for desktop & geometric tools. During my work in this company, the director, who was Christian, asked me to print part A’mma (part 30) of the Holy Quran as a commercial task. I promised to accomplish this work. He thought I was Muslim and I thanked God he did not discover my Christianity. For me, this assignment was an Islamic study, free from diplomacy, until God opened my heart to Islam and I found it necessary to resign as a first step to announce my conversion to Islam. Actually, I resigned in 1959 and established a private commercial bureau in my specialization (desktop & geometric tools). Thank God I succeeded in my new work.

When things became stable and when   I felt the honesty of my conversion from atheism to monotheism and when   I was able to understand my new religion and when it dominated me, I sent a telegraph to the American consignment ,which I worked for in Heliopolis informing it that I believed in Allah The One  and in Muhammad (may Allah send His peace and blessings on him )  as His prophet and messenger .Then I proposed a request to the governorate to carry out the procedures of my conversion to Islam and my name was changed from “Ibrahim Khalil Phillips” to “Ibrahim Khalil Ahmad”.The decision also included changing my children’s names as follows: Ishaak  to Osama, Samuel to gamal and Magda to Nagwa. Then the sheikh says: “my wife left me immediately after she denounced my and my children’s conversion to Islam and announcement of monotheism. Also, the foreign houses that dealt in desktop tools decided not to deal with me because they all belonged to Egyptian and foreign Christians, therefore I closed my commercial bureau and worked as a clerk in a company for 15 pounds per month, while my salary, before, used to be not less than 80 pounds per month!   

During this period , I studied the prophet’s biography (al-sera al-nabawiyya) and its study was a mercy and condolence to me, as the consignment declared war against me with all its spreading influence allover Egypt and I was fired from that humble job, the American clients were able to turn the director of the company against me and he dismissed   me from work . I stayed after this without work for three months, till I was appointed in the supreme council for Islamic affairs after I gave a lecture entitled “why have I converted to Islam?”

Then Ibrahim Khalil Ahmad laughs with much sorrow and much more irony and says:

My new work gave me the chance to serve my new religion and to defend it and reveal the atheism, polytheism   and misleading that lie in my previous religion and I gave tens of scientific lectures, supported by religious and academic evidence, in comparative religions. I toured the mosques in Alexandria, Al-mahalla, Assiut, Aswan and other Egyptian governorates and cities, trying to get my sins expiated and continuing all day and night to call in the cause of God, until the church was shaken as a result   because of these lectures after knowing that a lot of Christian youth converted to Islam with complete conviction.

The church, immediately, enticed   the responsible bodies against me even that the ministry of Awqaf and the interior ministry asked me to stop giving lectures or I would be subjected to the application of the law of “national unity”, accusing me of causing riots and arousing sedition.

He stops talking sadly, then he says:

This forced me to decide to immigrate to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia , where I put all my expertise in the service of the faculty of call and fundamentals of Islam there.

Then he comes back   to the reasons, he stated before, for his conversion to Islam explaining them and saying:

Belief must stem from the heart first; in fact, believing in Islam stepped to my heart over long periods, in which I read the Holy Quran and the history of the prophet, May Allah send His peace and blessings upon him, trying to find even one evidence capable of convincing me that Muhammad, that simple, poor and illiterate man could cause alone this revolution that changed the history of the world and is still changing it.

The system of monotheism in Islam stopped me a lot, being the most distinguishing characteristic of Islam:

There is nothing like Him ” (Al-shura 11), “ He is Allah, the One * Allah the Self -Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need” ( Al-ikhlas 1-2).

And the sheikh raises his head, pondering in the sky, and says:

Yes, monotheism makes me a servant only to God and not to any human being, monotheism here librates man and makes him uncontrolled by any human being and this is the real freedom as being a servant should be   only for Allah. The system of forgiveness in Islam is so great, as the principal rule of belief is based on the direct contact between the servant and God. Man in Islam repents only to Allah; there are no mediators, no instruments of atonement and no holy recognition because the relationship between man and his God is direct.

He ends his talk, with his tears rolling down, saying:

“I felt a deep psychological comfort while I was reading the Holy Quran and I was stopped by the Holy verse:

Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would surely have seen it humbling itself and rent asunder by the fear of Allah. Such are the parables which We put forward to mankind that they may reflect.” (Al-hashr 21).

“ Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews and those who are atheists and you will find the nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say: "We are Christians." That is because amongst them are priests and monks, and they are not proud.* And when they (who call themselves Christians) listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised. They say: "Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses.” (Al-ma’idah 82-83 ).

Because of all of this I took the decision to announce my conversion to Islam. Also, I have to call for Islam after I was one of its strongest enemies, as I studied Islam, in the beginning, just to know how to challenge and fight it! But, this had a reverse result, my position began to shake and I felt an internal conflict between me and myself. I discovered that all what I used to say to people and evangelize them according to, is false (fake), lie and fantasy.