Samuel Naaman (BSW, University of Sind; M.Div., Asian Center for Theological Studies and Missions; Th.M., Chongshin University; D.Miss. from Asbury Theological Seminary) is Professor of Intercultural Studies at Moody Bible Institute. He is Vice President of Call of Hope USA and also President of the South Asian Friendship Center. He has an international ministry profile and relationships across the world. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Chicago suburbs.
Why have you invested your life to reach out to Muslims?
I grew up in Pakistan in a Muslim convert’s home and saw firsthand the challenges, persecution, and blessing to bring the Gospel to Muslims. My dad was my first mentor. I saw his perseverance, patience, and persistence in ministry with the Lord of hardships. I also saw how so few people were burdened to reach the majority population of Pakistan. That started my journey in full time ministry back in 1980.
Do Muslims and Christians believe in the same God?
This is a common misunderstanding, especially these days. The God of Islam is not the God of the Bible. The God of Islam did not send His son to die for us on Calvary and rise again from death to give us eternal life and assurance of salvation.
What lessons can we learn from believers who come from a Muslim background?
Utter and total surrender to our Lord Jesus that enables us to look to HIM only – not our surroundings and circumstances. The aspect of pain and suffering is very real in a believer’s life and ministry that at times may lead us to offer martyrdom – my younger brother was martyred in Pakistan when my father did not give into the threats and warnings from Muslim extremists.
How can we help persecuted Christians in the Islamic world?
We should never forget to pray for them and become an advocate for them in any way we can. We may also actively seek to help and support the ministries, especially who are serving on the front lines with consistency, patience, and persistence. The testimony of Abdul in God of the Impossible is a living example of faithfulness, despite his son being martyred by the Muslim Extremists in Nigeria. It has been a privilege and blessing to walk with him over the last many years. He is a blessing to me!
Can you tell us about a Muslim who came to faith in Christ?
My father was the first convert that I knew who had accepted Christ and was in ministry. In his own words:
“My God has led me in the path He has chosen for me, and I have submitted. Only in this way can I live my life to his glory. I owe it all to Him who first loved me and set His love upon me. In my own strength, I could have done nothing. All that I am and all that I have been able to do have been accomplished only through His working in me…I am now ready when He calls me to ‘change my old clothes and put on new ones.’ I know that death for a Christian is not the end of life but the beginning of a new and better one. After I am gone from this world, I will have no chance to die daily for Him. I can encourage many to walk in this world with confidence, to glorify the name of my Master, and to praise Him. My Lord and God has led me faithfully all my years. Praise His name!”
Learn more about Samuel’s latest release, God of the Impossible: Stories of Hope from the Muslim World, co-authored with Stefano Fehr.