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Blog Tour - My Name Used to Be Muhammad

About the BookTito 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.

My Review: Tito Momen started out his life as Muhammad Awal Momen in a small village in Nigeria. He started out his life as a devoted follower of Islam with his father expecting that he would one day be a great imam or spiritual leader. Because he was to be a great spiritual leader, there were many things that were not allowed, western music, dancing, even art of any kind. His father was very strict about many things. He also had to work on memorizing the Koran, and he started memorizing it by writing it word for word in a notebook that his father gave him for that very purpose. With the strictness of his life when living with his father, it's really not very surprising that when he went away for college he went a little bit wild. He discovered pop music, dancing, women, western clothing, liquor and cigarettes. All of these things his father could forgive, but when he was introduced to Christianity and he embraced the Mormon church, that was something that his father could not forgive and he was disowned. Not only was he disowned, but he was thrown into prison as well. Through all this, his new-found faith brought him courage and hope.

I was really amazed by this story. It's not very often you hear of a Muslim converting to any Christian religion, let alone the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was amazed by the very different way that Tito was brought up, the customs of the Muslim people seem so very foreign to me. I was amazed by his trials after he became a member of the LDS church. But I was most amazed that even when in the midst of these terrible trials he never once lost his faith or wavered, even when it would have been easy to or when it would have saved him even more trials. This book is very raw and honest, there were several of the more mild swear words, there was talk of sex, but nothing overly explicit. It's definitely not a book written for kids, but I think that it's a book that's well worth reading.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 Buy this book from Deseret Book: Online and in stores.

About the Author: Jeff Benedict is considered one of America’s top investigative journalists He has published several acclaimed books, including Out of Bounds and Pros and Cons. His work has also been published in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, among other publications, and he has appeared on ESPN, NBC Nightly News, CBS’ 48 Hours, and ABC News.

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