- He was a prince of ISIS, someone other ISIS members swear allegiance to and will die for.
A “Prince of ISIS” has done what many would consider unthinkable, making a commitment to turn away from his horrifying past to unite with a new way of life through Jesus Christ.
The former ISIS leader, whose identity has been disguised for his safety, is being called Mohammad. The miraculous circumstances that led to his transformation were reported by Dr. Michael Youssef of Leading The Way ministry.
When Muhammad* first met a Christian leader named Peter, his plan was to execute him. But thanks to God’s miraculous intervention, a different outcome unfolded.
Peter, a coordinator for Leading the Way Ministry, received a call late one night from a man he believed to be a prince of ISIS – one who leads others into jihad. The caller, Muhammad, asked Peter to meet him. Even though Leading the Way teaches coordinators to protect themselves by first evangelizing over the phone, Peter felt the calmness of the Holy Spirit wash over him, and decided to go.
The man on the other end of the phone with Peter turned out to be a spiritual leader in the terrorist group. Even though Peter knew it was possible that Mohammad may try to kill him, he believed God was leading him to go ahead with the meeting.
Peter knew full well that the meeting could go one of two ways: 1. His own death, 2. Muhammed’s radical, life-saving transformation. He risked his own life in hopes of gaining a brother in Christ.
“Muhammad heard that I evangelize to Muslims,” Peter told Leading the Way. “He got my number and called saying that he wanted to meet and talk.”
Peter did not approach Muhammad hesitantly; God prodded him to proclaim the Truth boldly – even in the presence of a potentially hostile anti-Christian. Peter followed God’s lead, asserting “Our God is not yours.” He wanted Muhammad to know that his previous experience with an impersonal religion was no comparison to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Muhammad became irate upon hearing these piercing words – words that contradicted everything he had ever known. In line with his training, he began to devise a plan to kill Peter in cold blood. According to Muhammad, Peter’s sharp words had “awakened Muhammad, the radical one.”
But before he could execute his deadly plan, Muhammad started to cry. To this day, he does not know why. Peter put a hand on his shoulder and began praying. Muhammad stormed out, clearly affected by this encounter.
Peter left the premises, knowing he had done all he could to bring Muhammad to Christ. For a full transformation, he would wait on God’s perfect timing.
In a reenacted testimony, Mohammad opened up about his dramatic shift from Islam to Christianity. “One day, somebody asked me why I am a Muslim,” he said. Scrambling for answers, Mohammad began to search in the Quran, Hadith, and Sunnah.
“I wanted to find proof and evidence that Allah exists and Islam is right… I found nothing,” he said.
But that wasn’t the initial reason why Mohammad met with Peter. He says he had just wanted to kill Peter, but during their first encounter, Peter boldly spoke the Word of Jesus over the ISIS leader.
The meeting did not end on a positive note. Mohammad became frustrated and struggled to grasp what Peter had told him about who God really is.
Then the two met for a second time.
The ISIS leader deceived Peter initially. “When we met, he told me he wanted to believe in Christ. But I felt that something was wrong. At the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I began to speak to him very directly about the God of the Bible.”
As Muhammad listened to the truth, something unusual happened. “He began to tremble severely,” Peter recounted.
“I put my hand on his shoulder and started to pray. Then we parted ways.”
Only a night or two later, Muhammad had a powerful dream about the blood of Jesus. Muhammad dreamed that Peter handed him an envelope seaping with fragrant, sweet blood. His senses were overwhelmed by the almost perfumatic scent of the blood. But Muhammad, who was no stranger to blood, was petrified in the face of this particular blood. In his dream, Peter spoke to him, “Do not be afraid.”
He woke up the next morning shaken, and went to see Peter to understand more about Christ.
“I explained the Gospel to him about the blood Jesus shed on the cross for the atonement of sins,” Peter said. “That very day, he told me that he wanted to become a Christian. Since then I have discipled him, and recently he was baptized.”
Shortly after Muhammad became a Christian, he confessed that he had intended to kill Peter.
“He was a prince of ISIS, someone other ISIS members swear allegiance to and will die for,” Peter said. “He was planning to execute me. . . . Now, this former Prince of ISIS treats me as one of his brothers.”
Muhammad said of his conversion: “I was urging people toward jihad. But when I interacted with Leading The Way’s follow-up team and heard the Gospel, I experienced a love that doesn’t exist within Islam. This love compelled me to become a Christian and be baptized. . . . Today, I live to be a servant of the Lord Jesus and make Him known to all people.”
Muhammad is now leading a Bible study for three Syrians in his town.
Leading The Way’s Founder and President Dr. Michael Youssef says that this is just one of many stories the ministry has heard from radical Muslims who have come to Christ.
“What we are seeing God do is remarkable,” Dr. Youssef said. “Muslims who said they had a vision or a dream of Jesus tune in to our teaching channel or reach out to our follow-up team. And there they hear about the very one whom they saw in a dream telling them that He loves them and died for Him. . . . We are witnessing a powerful movement of God. The Lord is moving in unprecedented ways, and Muslims are coming to know Jesus in numbers previously considered impossible.”