Middle East Resources

A Letter from Saudi Arabia

The late Dr. Samuel Zwemer, pioneer missionary to the Arabs at the turn of the century, called his work "The Glory of the Impossible."  And certainly it is just that.  Once in a while a Muslim who had made the discovery of Christianity would write a special letter giving all of his impressions.  One such letter came l5 years into the radio ministry, 1973, and after 20,000 letters.  It came from a well educated person living in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.  We will let him talk for himself: 

Dear Rev. Bassam Madany, may God keep you,

            I send you my greetings and I would like to share with you the following.  My ignorance of the Christian religion causes me to read and reread the books which you have sent me as if I were a person that was starved.  I am looking for the truth and that is why I have been listening to your spiritual programs often during the week.  I know of no other broadcast in this part of the world which has anything meaningful to say about this great religion and this is why I find it tremendously helpful to me to listen to you.  I live in an atmosphere which is dominated by materialism so that the soul of man is almost choked.  I appreciate so much the various subjects which you are dealing with and the way you point to the Christian religion.

            In the past I have received 3 books from you:  two volumes of "Reflections in Contemporary Life" and the book "Freedom in Christ."  Recently I received your book "Family Worship."  I am very happy with this book.  In fact I am proud of it.  I find that every book that I receive from you is taken over by my friends who insist on reading them.  They, like me, did not know anything about Christianity and now we find that your publications are beginning to chase away the darkness which surrounded us and slowly we are being enlightened.  We see the vast difference between what we used to imagine and think and what we have learned from you -- both by book and radio.

            I find myself very much attracted to the subjects contained in this book.  (The Family Worship book has been reprinted several times and at least thousand copies are somewhere in the Arab world at this time.  It contains a page for each day of the year.  Evidently this man read it through immediately and found it to be an introduction to the foundations of the Christian faith.)  I find this book helpful to me in all the circumstances of my life.  I find myself quoting from it when I meet people.  In fact, I have caused myself to memorize some of the contents in order that I may use its subject matter in my conversation with my friends.

            The horizon of my life is now much wider.  Family Worship has taught me a summary of the contents of the Holy Scriptures.  Thus I don't wonder any more when I hear the name of a book from the Bible.  I have also learned the names of many prophets, and news about evangelism and the miracles which happened in the early years of the church--all in the service of the Word of God.  I have learned a good deal about those who spread the mission of Christ in the various parts of the world (Paul and the other apostles.)

                For the first time I have read the Ten Commandments.  They have become to me tremendously holy.  I see that they regulate the relationship of the Creator with His creature and the creature with his Creator.

 l.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.      

 2.  Thou shalt not make unto thyself a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,  or that is in the water under the earth;  thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them.....

3.  Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain:  for  Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

4.  Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.....

5.  Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah the God giveth thee.    

6.  Thou shalt not kill.      

7.  Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

8.  Thou shalt not steal.

9.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.

            l0. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house....nor anything that is thy neighbor's.

            All these expressions are so important for mankind.  No wonder they have come to us from the Creator of all things.  The fifth commandment about mothers and fathers must be the very cornerstone of society.

            Your book has indeed taught me that man should work for the glory of God and for his fellow human beings.  The comments on the summary of the Law struck me very much.  Our love for our neighbor requires us to look at every human being in this world as our neighbor.  Love is religion in action, and in the fulfillment of love we fulfill the commandments of God.

                (Having read this far you have to sense the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in this man's life, opening his eyes so that he can see great truths and opening his heart so that he can understand.  Everything about the Christian faith is new to him or is news to him.)

                This Family Worship book teaches us how man may live in peace with God in this life if he puts all his trust in God and in Jesus the Messiah.  Truly if man has found such a great basis for his life; he can live a life of peace and he would not be worrying about the problems of life.  I have found also that your religion does not teach that man should simply meditate and do nothing.  I found this in your meditation   "Prayer and Work."  A quotation from Psalm 5 was very interesting "and all those who trust in Thee shall rejoice."

                I have found also the parables of the Lord Jesus tremendously important because they show us in a very simple way the important teachings about this life and they warn us against the evil one.  The parables of Christ also explain to us how our sins are forgiven and how we should forgive and forget.  Certainly man is sinful and fallen in sin and he needs a great Redeemer.  I have found in the person of Jesus a person who is very merciful.  This is what I gathered from the quotation "He loves the publicans and the sinners" or "He washed the feet of the disciples."

            I have also been struck by the teaching on the crucifixion of Christ and what the crucifixion has brought to mankind.  I have learned from your book how we pray to God and what are the conditions of prayers and how God answer our prayers.  For example, appreciate:  "Lord, I beseech Thee to guide me, not only through this day, but throughout all the days of my life."  Or, "O Lord, thou art the source of all good."  (Several prayers from the Geneva Catechism were added at the end of the book because this is one of the first questions that a Muslim enquirer will ask--how do you pray if you are a Christian?)

                My heart is rejoicing to have discovered all these precious teachings of Christianity.  Naturally I still have many, many questions that I would like to ask.

 I close my letter by telling you how much I appreciate all your efforts to spread this heavenly message, and may God bless you.