Chilean – Palestinian descendent
I saw the light of the message of Ahlul Bayt(a.s.) from a 15.000 kilometer distance.
“Khalil Yarub Sahurie” is a Chilean citizen with Palestinian origin. Although he was born in Latin America and grew up in an orthodox Christian family, he’s family originally belongs to the most ancient inhabitants of
ABNA: Honoring Islam and thanking you for accepting our invitation for this interview. Please introduce yourself:
Khalil: I am Khalil Sahurie, from
My ancestors around one thousand five hundred years ago had residence in
ABNA: what are you keeping yourself busy now?
Khalil: Now, I am also keeping busy on Islamic science studies in the Holy city of
ABNA: How was it that you became Muslim and Shia?
Khalil: I started studying the Bible when I was 10 years old and I kept busy studying that book for a period of time of two years. On that time I perceived some clear mistakes that my essence simply did not accept. For example, like the acceptance of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit, like a title given to a unique God.
Khalil: Because I felt like God has to be unique, not three; I felt that God does not have the need of a son, and I also did not feel good about what Christians say about Maryam (a.s.) being the mother of God Almighty, even though I was a kid I could not accept this. Just like I said before, that my family, one thousand five hundred years ago lived in
ABNA: Why is this word in the Bible in Greek?
Khalil: Because the original language of the Gospel is Aramaic, then it was translated from Aramaic to Hebrew than from Hebrew to Greek and finally to Latin. And even though this Gospel was translated from Greek to Latin, the word Paraclitus maintained to be mentioned in Greek.
I asked a person that was an erudite in the languages of, Greek, Arabic, Spanish and Latin, what does Paraclitus mean? What word is this? He, while was confirming to me that this word was especially in Greek, told me that the translation from Greek to Arabic was “Ahmad”, that in English means the most praised.
ABNA: So the Gospel was not originally in Hebrew?
Khalil: No! just like you formally know that the Christians have four Gospels, Lucas, Mathew, Marcus and John, these Gospels were also written seven hundred years after Christ. The original language of the Bible was also Aramic. Aramic it is more ancient than Hebrew, and Hebrew it is just as ancient as Greek is.
ABNA: Then you understood that the word Paraclitus was “Ahmad”, meaning that is the name of the Prophet of Islam. But why did that priest not give you a correct answer?
Khalil: Some of the priests are oppressors. For example they do not have relations with the poor, in circumstances that Jesus (a.s.) was not like this. Meanwhile, at that time – meaning during the rule of “Pinochet” – it was like we lived in prison. He was a dictator and a Taghut. We could not investigate the truth. But my heart was very thirsty, thirsty for freedom and truth. For example on that time it was forbidden to study philosophy, even having different religions was forbidden and the investigation for your rights was very dangerous. I saw that some of the priests, commercialized with the religion. And it was on these hard times that I thought that I could find in the Bible the water for my thirst.
ABNA: So this means that you again started your studies on the Bible?
Khalil: Yes. This time I encountered myself with another important and interesting theme. I read in the Bible that three men, among the biggest men of
I had many meetings with Christian's teachers, but unfortunately the catholic brothers are far away from the truth. Either they would lie to me or they would give me incomplete answers regarding other subjects. Unfortunately I felt that this religion had gotten very far away from the real truth.
ABNA: Well, then what did you do?
Khalil: After, I studied books about philosophical movements for example the Marxist Philosophy, this philosophy, because it is materialistic it only speaks about realities of this world, and by being atheist it left out subjects like spirituality or what is beyond.
ABNA: Besides the Marxist philosophy did you study another philosophy?
Khalil: Yes. I also studied “Nietzsche”, I think that on the contrary of what people say, his ideas also suffered alteration and they were after used by the Nazis. But there is something important that I found in the work of Nietzsche, and it was a book by the name of “Thus spoke Zarathustra”,
Just like I said, I became familiar with this special key, therefore this time I dedicated myself to investigate more seriously, until the time came that this special key familiarized me with the knowledge of the old
I remembered that I had seen the image of the Imam before, ate first I did not understand where I had seen his image, but little by little while I was thinking I remembered that around the 70s, the years of the victory of the Islamic Revolution, when I was little boy I had seen him on television. My grandfather also confirmed him to me and eulogized him.
Khalil: When he saw the face of the Imam on the television he said: “If only the Arab world had a leader like him” that sentence remained on my memory, the physiognomy of the Imam resulted very attractive to me and I found him to be very charismatic. He really reminded me of the revolutionary personality of Jesus (a.s.)
ABNA: I am very anxious, what did you do after that?
Khalil: After I spoke to one of my Palestinian friends, regarding
ABNA: What was your conception about Islam?
Khalil: I thought that Islam was a new religion that was recently built, because they had explained to me that I was not a divine religion, on the contrary it was something that the Arabs had created.
When I was 17 years old I helped some Arab centers and we had regular meetings. On that time, in our city that is 300 kilometers away from the capital, towards the south of Chile, we did not have a mosque; around 16 years ago, I thank God that gave me the opportunity to meet a person on that center that was of Muslim origin, but himself was a catholic, and I got a Qur’an from this person in my own language, Spanish.
ABNA: The first time that you read the Qur’an, how was it?
Khalil: When I opened the Qur’an, a beautiful feeling established in my heart. The first Sura that I read, was Sura Yousef (a.s.), I was very surprised that Muslims also accepted Prophet Yousef (a.s.)! When I looked at the index of the Qur’an I also saw the Sura of Noah (a.s.), Abraham (a.s.) and Maryam (a.s.) and I got surprised even more. It was just right on that moment that I understood that Islam was not a newly built religion. God is unique and this book and religion, come from God the Exalted.
Because people say that Muslims have another God. When I reached Sura Maryam (a.s.) my heart opened, I consider it to be like the best news I have read in my life. I read the Qur’an everyday, when I read the Sura Hamd I was surprised again, and it was the same thing with Sura Ikhlas, very little, very brief but very strong, the strongest sentence that I found in the whole book, because in Sura Ikhlas from the beginning to the end gave answers to my heart, finally my heart was connected with the truth, I was very, very happy and able to share this happiness and discovery with a Palestinian friend that on that time directed this Cultural Arab Center, till now we have connection with each other and he is very happy that I am in Iran, he helped me to get to the mosque that is located in the capital of Chile, this mosque belongs to the Sunnis.
ABNA: Besides the mosque, did you visit other places?
Khalil: Yes, I was in contact with the Iranian embassy, the person that worked at the cultural section on the embassy, brother Seied Rassoul Bashiri was very kind, and dedicated some of his time to me, and became important to me because even though I was a young man he still sent me a lot of information. He told me, I will send you books about Islam, Wilayat Faqih, and the
When I read one of the materials that came on that envelope, that spoke about the government of
I spoke with my Palestinian friend about different things like, how truth did not belong to just one individual or to a certain group; he told me that the revolution of Imam Khomeini was very important in history.
With a reflection on the political and social matters of the world, I understood the sentence “Everyday is Ashura and all the earth is
Iranians are aware of the power of their government. You accomplish the rituals of your religion freely, without obstacles, because you count with the support of your government.
ABNA: What do you mean the Revolution of Imam Khomeini?
Khalil: Because in
ABNA: Then with what other subjects did you become familiar with?
Khalil: I became familiar Ashura of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and subjects like the great men that were involved in it. I was very happy on that time so happy that I burst into tears, but not sadness tears, but because of this sentence that says: “Everyday is Ashura and all the earth is
ABNA: Why do you mean by “Everyday is Ashura and all the earth is
Khalil: Yes, I was rally pleased with this sentence, with a reflection on the political and social matters of the world I understood that this sentence was a lesson; especially if we talk about
I asked myself, why
ABNA: Why did he become angry?
Khalil: it was a very strange situation for me. He said: “The Shias are not Muslims, because they worship Ali, just like the Catholics worship Jesus, Shias worship the images of their Imams in the mosques.”
He also lied to me, just like the priests had lied to me before, deforming the truth. On that time, I was very young, but I was not a fool. On that mosque I also spoke to a Chilean new Muslim, he’s point of view was that the Shias were simply another group of Muslims. It was the year 1994, and on that time we did not count with a shia cultural center and even less with a religious authority of out Fiqh, so with not many alternatives I told this brother that I wanted to embrace Islam, so he friendly accepted to be my witness and because there were other Muslims on the mosque he considered to be a profitable moment so then I proceeded to realize my testification proclaiming: “There is no more divinity than God, and Muhammad its he’s servant and Messenger”
After that little by little I started to find more information about
ABNA: How did the members of your family come to an agreement with your conversion to shiism?
Khalil: My family said Khalil became crazy to be speaking those words. But I was hiding each time I did my ablution and my prayer. I read the Qur’an in Arabic and also memorized the last 10 Suras with a lot of difficulties because I had precarious means, like for example, a copy of the Qur’an on a cassette, and like this I would submit myself to the memorization of the word of God the Almighty, to be able to do my prayers the way they are supposed to be done.
ABNA: Did you face any problem?
Khalil: Yes, why not? I had problems with food because Christians eat everything but Muslims do not. People would bother me in the fasting month of Ramadan. To pray and even to say the Adhan and the Iqama I had a lot of difficulties.
ABNA: After some time, did your family change their mind?
Khalil: Yes, my little brother became Muslim and shia a year after I converted, and a few years later, also my mom converted. In the same way some of my friends also became Muslims and Shias because of my propagation.
ABNA: How about the family of your wife?
Khalil: The family of my wife with the help of God the Exalted and my propagation also became Muslims.
ABNA: Now that we are reaching the end of this interview. Do you have any message for the Muslims of the world?
Khalil: All the young Muslims, especially the Shias have to wake up from their slumber. I hope that they investigate and reflect about the western culture, before they blindly accept it. They should ask themselves a question, about the western culture, that is, What is this? And secondly ask themselves, Does this come from evil, or is it taking us towards God? Without asking themselves these questions I do not see possible that their hearts would receive any answers.
The Iranian brothers have to know that the power of their government comes from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). You here, have easiness and freedom to accomplish your religious rituals. You can comfortably listen to the Adhan that comes from the minarets, morning after morning. With the realization of your religious rituals, neither your life, nor your wealth, nor your work, are put into danger. This is a very big blessing, for the Friday prayers you can go to your closest mosque and participate of an itinerary, but me, if I wanted to go to a Friday prayer I had to travel 300 kilometers to go and then 300 to come back, just to feel the unity of the nation of Islam.
I could see the light of the message of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the light of the Imam Khomeini being in a far away place, being at 15.000 kilometers away from
ABNA: I have enjoyed myself with this interview. I am very thankful that I was able to be here with you. If you have something else to say, please go ahead.
Khalil: I hope that God will give us the opportunity to see the Imam of the Era (a.y.) and not only see him, but to also be able to work on his cause. Insha’ Allah that God makes the aims of the Imam of the era is close to us, so that we can be successful and purify ourselves and clean our hearts. This is the best way to approach him.