My Name Used to Be Muhammad

My Name Used to Be Muhammad

by Jeff Benedict, Tito Momen

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Tito Momen was raised Muhammad Momen. He was born in Nigeria and was taught to observe the strict teachings of Islam. At age five he woke at 4:45 every morning to attend the mosque and perform dawn prayer with the other men in his village. Training to memorize the Qur’an began at age six. It was at this same age that he began copying the entire Qur’an word for word. He was being raised to emerge as a leader among clerics, capable of leading a jihad, or holy struggle, to convert nonbelievers to Islam. However, Tito’s path took an unexpected turn when he was introduced to Christianity. His decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost him his family and his freedom. Tito thought he would spend his remaining days enduring a life sentence in an uncivilized Egyptian prison. For fifteen years he suffered and waited and prayed. Tito said, “I never gave up hope. I never stopped believing.” Although he was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and ridiculed, Tito’s remarkable true story is one of faith, forgiveness, and testimony that God does hear and answer prayers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629730080
Publisher: Deseret Book Company
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 695,915
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Jeff Benedict is a New York Times best-selling author, a special features writer for Sports Illustrated, and a television and film producer. His books and stories have been the basis of feature films and segments on 60 Minutes, 20/20, HBO's Real Sports, the NFL Network, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America, and 48 Hours. He lives with his family in Lyme, Connecticut.

Read an Excerpt

"I was raised in a village in Nigeria where my family practiced a harsh form of Islam. When I was a teenager my father sent me to a radical Islamic school in Syria. Later I studied with members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt while pursuing a degree in Islamic studies. It was there, of all places, that I discovered Christianity, a faith I had been taught to despise, along with Judaism. I am the last person you might expect to become a Christian. But I did. And for that I was disowned by my family and sentenced to life in prison.

That's right. My decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost me my family and my freedom.

But that decision also saved my life and taught me to believe in divine miracles. Some of my fellow inmates committed suicide. Some died of illness brought on by abuse and inhumane conditions. Others simply succumbed to hopelessness. But during my time behind bars, I never gave up hope. I never stopped believing. And after fifteen years I was released. That alone is a miracle.

I've written my story to shed light on the suffering of countless others who are victims of religious persecution. Freedom of expression and freedom of worship are sacred rights. Yet still in many parts of the world religious minorities are arrested, abused, or worse.

Although I was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and ridiculed, I don't harbor any bitterness. Nor do I blame Islam. I recognize that my life experience with Islam has been one of extremes in terms of intolerance and violence. But there are millions of good and sincere Muslims in many countries who love God and family while practicing Islam in a tolerant and positive manner. I consider them my brothers and sisters. At the same time, I am indebted to Jesus Christ and countless Christians from many sects and churches who have accepted me. This book is a tribute to their kindness."

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My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book. I have been thinking about the book ever since I finished it.  I would love to see some of his paintings of what he painted during the book or if he has painted any since his book. I would love to see a  painting of his mother and what she looked like, I would love to know more of what he and his father talked about at the very end of his fathers life . I was so sad to see this book end.  I wanted to read more about where he is now and his life, if he got married and has any children. I am more grateful for our freedoms that we have by reading this book. I am so glad that Tito is now free from persecution . This book will stay with me forever! I hope to treat others with more kindness not knowing what other people might have gone through. I am so very grateful that Tito has shared his experiences with us. I look at his picture in the front of the book often and with wonder how many others have to go through what he had to endure. What a special person he is to see the strength and and kindness in his eyes. He is indeed a son of God, a touch of the Masters hand.  I would love to meet him someday and tell him he has changed my life for the good. .
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
5 STARS This book was very interesting. I can understand a little more about Muslims what they believe and why some hate everything different. This starts out telling about his life from the time he was about 5. About what they learned and what they were kept away from. He doesn't speak of Muslim religion with bitterness or angry. He just tells what his life was like growing up. Explains why and how come he did some things or didn't do. About his regrets and wrong things he did and why. To me it seemed like a real honest look back at his life so far. I like the culture of the different countries he was in and the differences he encountered. I was also surprised that the Qur'an has more of Mary's story in it than the Bible does. The story just flowed and was so interesting. I was sad to see it end. I admit that I have taken the freedoms that I have for granted. I am glad that Tito now has more freedom. The scene with his father for the last time brought me to tears. I am grateful that I was able to read Tito's story. I was given this ebook to read and asked in return to give honest review of it by Netgalley. I want to see some of his drawings. Also want to help others who have gone through some of the same hardships for believing In Christ too. This is a powerful book. Thank you for sharing your story and your life. Published November 12th 2013 by Ensign Peak 278 pages ISBN:9781609077105
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
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quibecca More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book. I really do not like reading non-fiction, because I usually read to "escape" reality not read about it.  I had heard so many wonderful things about this book, so when I saw it on my moms table I grabbed it and soaked it up.   It was so hard to read,  but I couldn't put it down either.  It is mind blowing to me that religious persecution is still out there.  I cannot fathom being imprisoned for being a Christian.  Yet, this is exactly where Tito (aka Mohammad) found himself. His life story is absolutely amazing.  It was so emotional to read this first hand account about the persecution this man went through just because he decided to become a Christian. He was brought up Muslim, and he was brought up in fear.  With every page I turned I couldn't help but feel so emotional.  His childhood was so horrific.  Maybe not all the time, but enough of the time.  The poor boy lived in fear.  He worshiped out of fear, and did everything out of fear.  How sad is that?  He grew up with a father who repeatedly beat him, and his mother, and was expected to just accept this behavior as "okay".  It was an eye opening reading experience.  A child should never have to live in fear. I do not care what part of the world they live in, what religion they are born into, or choose to follow, or land they live in.  It was so horrific.  I cannot believe the way he grew up.  I am blown away that he turns out to be such an amazing man who breaks the cycle of hate and finds true happiness. Mohammad (Tito) was brought up to think Christians were evil, that dancing was evil, that anything that wasn't of his religion was evil.  He grew up with so much hatred around him, yet in all of this he realizes there has to be more to life. This man served 15 years in prison for converting to Christianity.  Not only Christianity he became a "Mormon".  I am a Mormon m self, and this book made me even more thankful for where I was born, how I was brought up, and my love for my religion.  I have had to deal with people who "hate" my religion, but never have I feared for my life because I am a Christian.  I cannot even fathom that it is possible for people to be tortured, imprisoned or hated because of their faith. Tito, when asked after all he had gone through if it was worth converting to Christianity,  he didn't hesitate when he said "YES".  I hope so much that I would have the faith and the conviction this man had to stand up for what I believe in no matter what circumstance I am faced with. No on on earth should ever have to deal with such horrible things. While serving his time in prison he could have become bitter, and hateful, but he never did.  He may have gotten depressed and saddened by his situation, but through the whole experience he tries his hardest to make the best of it.  He learned to love the people he was in prison with.  He learned a lot about himself in prison.  I do not think I would have the gusto to stay so positive.  I know that during his incarceration his faith was tried more than any one persons faith should ever have to be, yet he stays strong, and keeps the faith. I am so glad I took the opportunity to read this amazing book.  I love that I have grown up a Mormon!  I  love that I live in a land where I am free to choose, and free to worship.  To me there is never ever a reason to treat another person differently for any reason.  People should be treated with love and kindness no matter what.  I know that religion is different in different countries, yet in my opinion it shouldn't matter.  In my dream world no one would ever be harmed, punished, or persecuted for any reason.  Especially for the way they choose to worship.  No one should ever have to live in fear for any reason.  There should never be any reason for religious persecution of any kind.  The world really needs to be more accepting of every one, and every religion. Tito is an inspiration to me.  He suffered almost his whole life.  He was beaten, tortured, and imprisoned.  He was treated unfairly, and yet when it was all said in done, he had love in his heart.  Such an inspiration.  I have been touched and have learned so much while reading this book.   SUCH AN AWESOME BOOK!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago