Saleim Kahleh - All Religions Cannot be Right
My Personal Search for the TruthAfter years of unquestioned devotion to Islam, I began questioning why so many seemingly intelligent people believed their faith was the only true faith. My quest for truth took me on a journey from an unquestioned life of Islam to a sampling of religions and finally to a personal encounter with the living God, resulting in an unshakable confidence that I am going to heaven.
Raised as a devout Muslim, I was sincere in my faith in Allah, but my experience with a circle of equally sincere Christian friends brought me to question how I could really know what was true. After months of research, I found myself on the verge of doing the one thing I never thought I would: verbally confessing the name of Jesus as Lord.
Allegiance to AllahMy name is Saleim Kahleh, and I was raised in a wonderful Muslim family. Islam permeated our lives. We consistently attended mosque and lived out our faith. As a high school athlete, I was treated respectfully for my faith by my teammates and coaches. I didn't drink or do drugs - I didn't even date! I also never questioned that Islam was the true way to know and please God - that is, until one day when I was in college.
An attractive young girl on the beach invited me to a Christian coffee house. Despite some internal hesitation, I went - because she was cute. The young Christians I met there became my friends; we hung out together, played sports, talked, and they never judged me for my religious beliefs.
Infidels and signs from God…This was unusual for me. You see, my religion taught me that to say that Jesus is Lord would be blasphemy, and yet over the coming months I became comfortable enough to attend my friends' church on occasion. Of course, during the service I would pray for a sign from Allah to let me know it was time to stand up and tell the Christians they were worshipping a false God!
Late one night, the realization struck me that these Christians sincerely believed that Jesus was the Son of God. They were as convinced of their beliefs as I was of my own! And yet, their religion based itself on the premise that Jesus is Lord while mine proclaimed that very confession a cause for damnation.
Many questions stirred in my head. Why do so many different religions believe they are right? How do you know that what you believe is true? Can you really know the truth?
Choosing my religion…These were the questions that launched my quest for truth - or rather God's quest for me. Over the next seven months I asked God to reveal Himself - not through a book or my parents or someone else's opinion. After much searching, I decided to "sample" various belief systems until I discovered the truth. I began with Christianity.
My investigation began one evening when I prayed to ask Jesus into my heart - but only for one week! After all, I had other religions to study after Christianity, and this should be ample time to learn about this faith. At the time, I was so fearful that I had committed blasphemy. I was scared to death that my parents would learn of my experiment. I was even afraid to say the name of Jesus aloud.
Finding truth…Later that evening, though, I found myself singing songs about Jesus which I had learned at my friends' church over the past weeks. At that instant, I recognized three things to be true:
- Jesus was now residing in my heart;
- I have a purpose in life: to serve the Living God and make Him known; and
- God is a good God.
Where am I now?Today Saleim Kahleh serves as the Director of Campus Recreation at Houston Baptist University. Saleim and his wife Melanie are Prayer Partners and teach classes at Lakewood Church and have five children. Saleim sees the focus of his life as sharing the Goodness of God with others around the world.
We encourage you to visit Saleim's ministry, SK Ministries, who's mission is to evangelize the nations through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.