Jesus Knocked on My Door – Nigerian Muslim Imam (Video)


Former Nigerian Muslim Imam, Zak Gariba who now serves as a Christian Pastor at Jubilee Celebration Centre, Orillia, speaks about his encounter with Jesus Christ and his conversion from Islam to Christianity.

Zak Gariba, 44, was born in the West African country of Nigeria and subsequently raised in Ghana West Africa. Growing up in a family of six boys, Zak said that for some reason he was selected to attend an Islamic school. Zak, his parents decided, was to become a Muslim minister – called an Imam.They teach you Arabic, you come to understand the Koran more, learn how to lead a Muslim worship – that type of thing, he explained. Zak followed through with his studies and attended a normal school as well. Finally, at the age of 26, he became an Imam at his local mosque.

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The job meant providing spiritual leadership and counsel to approximately 300 people. At the same time Zak was getting his feet wet as a Muslim leader, he also worked another job. Zak was an inventory controller for an international company in the agriculture sector.

At the age of 27, he said, his secular work resulted in a transfer to Nigeria. Zak moved to 1987. “I got there, joined a mosque and started to get in touch with the community”, he said. But after about a year – in which time Zak became an Imam at the Nigerian mosque – the first of his troubles started. “I had friends, Christians, who I really liked. We would debate the Bible and Koran”, he said. Zak recalled that one day his friends asked him to give them a lift to a Christian crusade at a stadium. “I agreed but there was a problem. I also had to look after my landlady’s 12-year-old girl, who was paralyzed from the waist down. She used crutches to get around”, he said. Zak recalled that he forgot about his chauffeur responsibilities until the friends showed up for their lift.

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As a result, the group decided the girl would ride with them and she could return home with Zak. “So I drove them to the stadium, about 45 minutes away, and something happened. I got struck”, he said. Getting stuck is an accurate description. “In Nigeria people don’t park in lots using yellow lines as a guide”, Zak said. “So there I was blocked in by all of these cars and there was nothing I could do because everyone was in the stadium”.

Jesus Knocked on My Door - Nigerian Muslim Imam, Zak Gariba
Jesus Knocked on My Door – Nigerian Muslim Imam, Zak Gariba

Zak said after pondering the situation for a while he decided to walk with the girl to a nearby bench, where they’d sit until the stadium emptied. While walking there though the girl leaned on her crutches and one broke and then she leaned on the other and it broke too, he said. At the same time, over a nearby speaker, the two could hear a Christian healing ceremony taking place inside the stadium.

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Zak said what happened next is something he’ll never forget. The girl’s limbs started to move and she demanded to be put down. “All around me I heard Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and then this happened. I thought it was witchcraft or Voodoo”, he said. The girl continued demanding Zak put her down so she could walk. “I wouldn’t do it and so she bit me”, he said, rolling up his left shirtsleeve and pointing towards scarred tissue shaped like a bite.

The bite caused him to drop the girl and moments later, he said, “she started walking. So now I have a problem. I’m going home with a girl who is walking. The second problem is I’m an Imam and what am I going to tell her (Muslim) parents? That night the girl’s mother fainted when she saw her daughter walking”, he said, adding the family, luckily, didn’t create problems for him. “My biggest problem was that night I went to the mosque. We are reciting the prayers and I say Jesus Christ of Nazareth and it echoes across the mosque. To this day I don’t know where that came from – I wasn’t thinking about it”. Still the remark caused mosque officials to kick Zak out.

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“They wanted to kill me, harm me. So I started going from village to village and staying with (Christian) people I knew,” he said. The Muslim community, Zak noted, not only removed him from his mosque duties, but also took away his secular job, his car and his apartment. It was a small community and people knew each other. “Everyone knew what I said”, he explained. “In a mosque you don’t say Jesus Christ out loud”. While staying with his Christian friends Zak said he started asking them questions. “I wanted to know who Jesus Christ was – that was my quest. I was searching for the truth”, he said. Later that year Zak said thankfully he obtained a student visa allowing him to study in Canada. He arrived here May 4, 1987. “My older brother was here so I came over to live”, he said.

Zak studied human resources and computer sciences program at Ottawa University and said North American life soon caused him to forget about Christianity. Ten years later, on Jan. 23, 1997, the faith he pursued briefly crept back into his consciousness. I finished my job at a company in Kanata, where I worked as a shift supervisor, and came home. I was fed up with my life and so I went to bed. At 3 a.m. I heard a banging on the door of my town house. I went to investigate but no one was there.

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Zak said the knocking happened several times but whenever he opened the door no one appeared. Then I heard a voice and it said: “If your mother and father forsake you I will be there for you”. Psalm 27:10. A voice then said: “Before you were born I knew you and called you by your name”. The sentence is from Jeremiah 1:5. Zak said he thought that maybe God was trying to tell him he should become a pastor. I ended up applying to 50 Bible schools but all of them turned me down, he said. So I started reading the Bible and going to church in Ottawa.

Finally, in 2000, Zak said he was accepted at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Bible School. At the school he met Karen-Marie and the two married in December 2003 in her native Scotland. In April 2003, he started as a pastor at Gateway Harvest Fellowship in Barrie.

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Looking back on his journey and the experiences he went through Zak said the thing he’s learned more than anything is love. “Love you cannot buy. Love you cannot earn. Love comes from knowing who God really is. God is love and he gives us love to love other people”, he said. As a Muslim Imam, Zak explained love wasn’t something he encountered. “So I was just a hardcore person. I was working hard to prove myself and work my way to heaven. But the Bible says heaven is free and I don’t have to work hard”, he said. Zak and Karen Marie’s next worship service is at7 p.m. on April 16 [2005]. Prince of Peace Anglican Church is located at 565 Mosley Street. The couple says anyone is welcome to attend. They started the service after meeting the church’s rector, Rev. Jim Seagram, at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Bible School.

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Zak said Seagram, who is also the minister at the Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Stayner, invited them to speak and that subsequently they have felt a calling to return monthly. The non-denominational service gives area Christians a chance to unite. “Unity is very important. In everything Jesus Christ did there was unity. Without unity there is no hope. You can¹t have a marriage without unity. You can¹t have a church without unity”, he said. The service at Prince of Peace itself focuses on praise and worship, Prayer and healing. For more information, call Rev. Jim Seagram at 428-3465.

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[Originaly published in the Wasaga Sun newspaper on March 30, 2005 and re-published in the Stayner Sun on April 13, 2005. The article was written by Michael Gennings.]

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  1. He lost nothing but gained everything in accepting God into his life. The things that he lost were all human things which do nothing to get us into Heaven. That is why I said that he didn’t lose anything. Through God all things are possible and I am very thankful that he found God. Hopefully he can use God to bring more people to Him God Almighty. It might seem mean to say but God must always come first even before your own family. God bless this man. Thank you Jesus for bringing him into your family.

  2. The good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ is spreading continuously, despite the threats and mayhem from various quarters around the globe. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against it. God bless my muslin brothers and sisters who are waking up to the truth—salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. You are not alone, Jesus Christ our/your Saviour is with you all the way.

  3. I thank God for your life. I pray that God will use you mightily to win million Christians to Christ. You did not loose anything my brother. Your family members too will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. God bless and keep you.

  4. As a lover of God and His true Words,I love to be part of a column like this’ reading them through daily will increase my faith and help my spiritual growth.The God of war is His name and I know that no matter how long it tarries,His will will come to pass.Thank you Jesus’ you are the bright and morning star,the leelee of the varley,have Your ways Lord.

    • Babu, ya samu nasara, rayi har abada.
      Rai sai Yesu Almasihu.
      Yesu ya ce masa, “Ni ne hanya, ni ne gaskiya, ni ne kuma rai. Ba mai zuwa wurin Uba sai ta wurina. YAH 14:3

      • Wannan maganar kawai QirQiro ta akayi,akwai mabanbantan Ayoyi da sukace Jesus Yesu,bawan Allah ne,Kuma da kansa yace ni Mutum ne,Acts2:22 3:13-3:26 Wanda suke nuna cewa Jesus ba Allah bane,Kuma Baya kama da Allah ubangiji

    • Like the face was also concocted? Like the family was contorted? for what reason, thousands of Muslims are leaving Islam daily to embrace the life that is in Jesus Christ, will soon be your turn and your family. Amen, and when that happened, some will say it is concocted.
      Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.John 14:6
      No prophet ever said this, no one, all including the prophet of Islam said “He does not know the way”, Don’t allow sentiment to lead you to eternal damnation.
      Quaran 46:9 Say, “I am not different from the other messengers; and I do not know What Will be done With me, or with you. | only follow what is inspired in me, and I am only a clear Warner.” Peace unto you brother.

      • God will definitely call the elect to fulfill the scripture no matter who will stand against it. May the door of salvation be opened to those willing to come in before it is shut when it will be too late. That’s our cry.

  5. This is propaganda of Christians that are always want deceive people,Many verses from the Gospel of Jesus,Proved Jesus himself a man not a Son of God,Or Lord,
    Many more Christians depend on one verse in John3:16 for God so loved the world he gave his only Begotten son Whoever believe in him,Shall never perish but have ever lasting life,And John1:1 in the beginning was the word and word was with God and the word was God,This is the best contradicts of Christians all around the world,But they forgetton all these verses said,Jesus was a man also God is not a man,Acts2:22 Peter said that,3:13-3:26, Christians worshipped Jesus in vain,Mark7:6-7, Certainly Jesus did not allowed to worshipped him,but the illiterate Christians are doing that, nowadays!!!!

    • You are definitely not more litterate than me and other Christians who WORSHIP Jesus , being Son of God and God Almighty concurrently!

      The scriptutures you quoted from the Bible are quite known to us Christistians as they are written. But there are much more communication between God and Christians by the same and other scriptures and by REVELATION which confirmed Jesus as God and Son of God , therefore WORTHY of WORSHIP.

      Do you know why non Christistians CAN NEVER GET to know this ??

      This is because the Bible is not exactly like your ordinary literature books . It is a SPIRITUAL conpendium, which only the SPIRITUAL,not carnal can understand!

      I once travelled to Northern Nigeria, where the predominant language is Hausa . U couldn’t understand it because I am not of that stock.

      Similarly, WE , Christistians have been REBORN into a NEW SPIRITUAL FAMILY of the Spirit , with its UNIQUE LANGUAGE OF COMMUNICATION, which a non member like you can’t understand!

      This is why you read the Bible , but can’t understand it !
      You first transmutate to a Christian, afterwich the Holy Spirit of Christ wl teach you the Spiritual Language to enable you hear from Him and understand the Bible .

      Until you are reBorn into the spiritual tribe of Christians , you can’t understand the Bible !

  6. Good Afternoon! it is NOT amazing to see how human beings can lie anymore. I do not even asked why anymore. The problem you are now facing is ME, and because you know the verse where Jesus says “I am the truth and the way” is now applicable to ME. YOU WILL HAVE TO COME THROUGH ME, NOW. Oh! See how much mercy and love i have for Satan. You would wish you have never told this lies, it won’t profit you. This is what Allah says:” If you are truthful wish upon death” YOU WILL NEVER EVER DO THAT BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT YOUR WISH WILL BE GRANTED AND YOU ARE FALSE.

  7. He says his car and apartment were taken. Which imam gets this? May be Christian pastors. If you go to a shop ask for the prices of the goods you know you can then tell if you’re being overcharged.

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