Saudi Arabia (MNN) — Today is the last day of the Hajj, an annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and a pillar of the Islamic faith. Over two million Muslims converged on the Islamic holy site this year.
During the Hajj, Muslims spend several days circling the black cube called the Kabaa and performing other rituals. They earnestly seek Allah’s favor and desire to grow closer to God.
Something else Muslims seek on the Hajj — dreams and visions.
In Western culture, dreams and visions are not as revered as they are in the East. Especially in Muslim contexts, dreams and visions are highly sought.
Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA explains, “Muhammad is said to have had visions when he received the Quran. So, in the tradition of their prophet, they want to have a dream. They want to have a vision. They want to hear from God.”
However, some Muslims like Yusef end up having a very different dream from what they thought — and completely changes their life.
In LaHaie’s words, “All his life, Yusef, a Muslim in Asia wanted to see the Prophet Muhammad in a dream. This was his longing. One night he had that dream but he was very troubled by it.
“In his dream, Muhammad was kneeling before Jesus, and Jesus was on a throne.
LaHaie says, “[Yusef] was really troubled and perplexed by this. Why would Muhammad, the greatest prophet, be kneeling before the Prophet Jesus?”
Often, when Muslims ask their Imams about these dreams of Jesus, their Imams dismiss the dreams as satanic. “But Yusef just was convinced that it wasn’t a satanic dream.”
Yusef had the same dream the following night. “Jesus is on the throne. Muhammad is kneeling before him. But in this dream, Jesus takes a hold of [Yusef], lifts him up into the air, and they rise up over Yusef’s neighborhood…. Jesus takes him several blocks away and they hover over this building and it’s a church. Inside the church, they can hear believers praying for Muslims — praying that Muslims will come to know Jesus.”
In his dream, Jesus then told Yusef to go to the church and talk to the pastor. Yusef noticed the church in the dream was close to his house, but he didn’t even know a church was there. When he went, sure enough, there was the church from his dream!
LaHaie says, “He met the pastor there. He told the pastor about the dreams he’d had and the pastor was able to share the Good News with him. Yusef decided to follow Jesus!”
Yusef fell in love with Jesus — and it all started with a dream. “Yusef describes being with Jesus like having liquid love pouring all over him and all through him.”
Christians in the Muslim world and on the mission field hear many amazing stories like Yusef’s. God is showing how much He loves Muslims by miraculously revealing Himself to them through His Son, Jesus.
LaHaie says the Hajj is a timely period to ask the Holy Spirit to move in the Muslim world. As Muslims seek spiritual truth on the Hajj, pray for Jesus to meet Muslims where they are in dreams and visions.
Secondly, it may seem outrageous, but there are believers from a Muslim background who are in Mecca — the heart of Islam — covertly reaching fellow Muslims with the Gospel during the Hajj.
“They are doing God’s work, even as we speak. So pray that these Muslim-background believers will win Muslims to Jesus right there in Mecca!”
You may even know some Muslims in your own neighborhood and circles. Consider using the Hajj as a conversation starter!
“A great way to just move into a conversation would be to say, ‘Hey, I understand that the Hajj is going on right now. Tell me about that! What does that mean with your faith? How does that play into your worship?’ Find out as much as you can about it. Be interested and curious and show that you respect the fact that they want to seek God,” LaHaie suggests.
“Then use that as a bridge…. Tell your story of what Jesus Christ has done for you. I think, rather than get into a debate, be curious about their faith, be genuinely interested in their faith and in them as a person, and then just be open about being a follower [of Jesus] and share your story.”
You can join what God is doing in the Muslim world at frontiersusa.org!
Header photo courtesy of Al Jazeera English via Flickr: https://goo.gl/9wbRyT