THE STORY OF HAJIA BINTA FARUK’S CONVERSION
The Genesis of my conversion started in the University of Nsukka, I had a room mate called Chinwe, this lady loved praises, she will sing like this; *come and join me sing Halleluyah* I was always looking for a way to deal with her, one day while coming from the House fellowship, she kept her Bible on my bed and I asked who kept the Bible on my Bed, she said sorry, Binta, I carried the Bible and I tore the Bible, then I beat her. She took a piece of the Bible and cried to the heavens and called my name three times, Binta Jalingo, Binta Jalingo, Binta Jalingo, this Bible you tore, you will use it to preach the Gospel. Then I $lapped her again, I said, it is your mother and your father that will preach the Gospel, she said, may the Lord have mercy on you, Binta.
After seven years of the spoken words, I got converted on the 25th of September 1999. I was in the bedroom in Shehu’s palace, because I got married to the younger brother of the Shehu of Bornu. I was born into the Muri kingdom, which is mostly Fulani. My mother, Hajia Aminat Jalingo, is of the Kutep tribe. Contrary to the Islamic tradition of multiple wives, my father married and maintained only my mother. I am the fifth of nine children. My father lived in many parts of Nigeria, serving in the Army till 1996. My mother also worked with the Nigerian Medical Corps until her retirement in 1992.
I attended the Army Children School, Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos, completed my secondary education at Government Girls’ College Enugu. I studied Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). After my studies, in 1996, I worked as Programme Producer/Director with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Yola. I got married on April 27, 1997 and God blessed us with a set of twin boys – Hassan and Hussain.
I never believed that I needed salvation for whatever reason, because every Moslem is convinced that Muhammad was the last Prophet in the long line of those that Allah had sent before. The Islamic Hadith (Mishkat) speaks of about 124,000 people who lived at various times in history. Twenty-eight of them are mentioned by name and most are found in the Bible. Since each of them was sent with a word from Allah to warn the respective people not to practice idolatry, to live righteously and to consider the coming Day of Judgement, it is perceived by Moslems that Isa (Jesus), the one to whom is given the greatest prominence in the Qur’an, was like Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and most others sent to the Jews. Therefore, when I heard Christians call Him, Lord, I became mad at them.
As a young girl, in the Secondary School and even as an undergraduate, I would delightfully pack copies of the Holy Bible and take them to Kaduna for destruction, I thought the Bible was demonic. Many are still doing it today, I became the Vice President of the youth wing of the Jamaatu Nasril Islam. Very often, I saw Christians happy in every situation; yet, my success at school, which gave me the job at NTA, and brightened my chances of a good husband, could not bring me such peace and happiness. Several people had talked to me about Christianity, but to me then, Muhammad was the final seal of the prophets. This was my pride as a Fulani girl who saw herself in the greatest religion of all time.
Qu’ran does not teach salvation in Jesus Christ, but it gives Him the greatest prominence. The wonderful statements in the Qu’ran are enough to compel one to search more about Him. The name Jesus (Isa) occurs about 25 times in the Qu’ran, and the title Messiah is used 93 times.
I hated anything that had to do with Christianity. I was always happy seeing a Christian unhappy and enjoyed hearing that Christians were suffering, but on the 25th of September 1999, I was caught in a web. The day before, we attended the Friday prayers and all went well. At about 1:30am suddenly, an unusually bright light appeared in the bedroom with a mighty wind blowing and throwing all the pictures and other valuables to the ground. My husband and I became afraid. He got up from bed, brought out charms, known in Hausa as “Hayaki”. He placed it on the ground, got hot charcoal and placed the charm on it, but the mighty wind threw it all down.
Before we could make out anything, a voice thundered, saying: “You have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Go and be “Tabitha” unto my people”. I asked my husband if he could understand what the voice was saying, but he said that he did not hear any voice. He later concluded that I belonged to a secret cult, which accounted for my hearing voice that he could not hear. He thought that I wanted to sacrifice him or our set of twins. He got angry, took our twins to the guestroom and abandoned me in the bedroom. I was very worried and couldn’t sleep. In the morning, again, I heard the voice saying: “Tell your husband that you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour”. I said “No, I can’t. What has a Fulani got to do with Jesus Christ”, I thought that demons were after me. The thing happened again on 28th and 29th, and each time, there was an invitation to “come and serve”. So I told my husband that I would go to Church the following Sunday. “Not in this house”, he retorted, He might have received my word with shock, yet joy and peace flooded my heart at that time. I knew what I was passing through and it would be disastrous for me not to do what God would want me to do for Him.
On Saturday, after speaking to him about it, I went ahead and bought for myself the first Bible I ever bought or read in my life, and hid it under my box. The next day, Sunday, I picked up my Bible, got into my car and drove to the nearby Baptist Church.
After the service, I came back and met my husband at home. I greeted him but he asked me where I was coming from; I wanted to lie, but heard a voice saying ‘what were you taught in the church today?’ It was “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” So, I told him that I was coming from the Church. He got up in anger, gave me a beating, snatched the Bible from me and wanted to tear it but I told him of the danger of tearing the Bible, so he stopped. He was shocked because he knew that it was my role in the past. So he dropped the Bible in anger and left till the evening. I brought out food for him as usual, but he kicked the food away and warned his sister that no one should eat the food I cooked in the house again for he had declared me an infidel and as a result, I would have nothing to do with the family, even with my own kids. The next day, he went to fetch my father from Makurdi. As I welcomed my father, he too, started beating me with his military belt and boots, until I was unconscious and was taken to the hospital where I stayed for three days. Wonderfully, on the third day, at about 2 am, the Lord appeared to me. I noticed a touch on my feet and I woke up trying to see who it was that touched me, but the face was shinning like the sun in such a way that I could not see his face. I only looked at Him from His feet to the chest. I was afraid and screamed for help. One of the nurses came, prayed with me and asked me not to be afraid again. As I said amen to her prayers, I began to speak in tongues for about three hours. I was saying things they could not understand. Some of them thought I was mad but a psychiatric doctor who was called in, confirmed that I was normal.
The figure appeared again. This time He said unto me, “Be bold, for this is temporary: you will overcome the temptation”. The fourth day, I was discharged from the hospital. On getting home, my husband gave me a divorce letter, which I collected with joy and told him. ‘I am married to Jesus.’
After that, I packed my things, including my two cars, kept them in someone’s house and travelled to Lagos. My husband took my twins to Saudi Arabia. Not done yet, my father had the man that I had kept my belongings in his house arrested on the grounds that he had abducted me from my husband’s house. On hearing that, I returned to Jalingo and arranged his release. Then, my father collected my cars and other belongings claiming that he bought them for me as wedding presents.
In trying to make me renounce my faith in Christ, the Management of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Yola, had my appointment terminated, under pressure from my husband. My father and some Islamic fanatics took me to one Alhaji’s house in Jalingo and there chained my feet and my hands. After seven days, I was released, with a threat of death, if I went to Church again.
My mother arranged for my uncle, her elder brother to reconcile my father and me. As we went talking, my father got angry, picked up his gun and shot at me. As God would have it, the little movement I made at the sight of a gun overturned the seat where I was sitting and I was pushed to the ground. The gun sounded but the bullets did not enter me but passed through the chair and to the wall. Everybody was alarmed, my mother started weeping that he had killed her only daughter. Later, my mother advised me to go and stay with her elder brother. Being a moslem, he too was unhappy with me and made life difficult. Once, he threatened to kill me with a cutlass so I left his house for Lagos and later, Maiduguri.
THE STORY OF HAJIA BINTA FARUK’S CONVERSION
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