Beginning 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. At age six, he began memorizing the Qur'an by copying the entire book word for word. He was preparing to become a cleric capable of leading a jihad, or holy struggle, to convert nonbelievers to Islam.
But 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. Sentenced to prison, Tito expected to spend his remaining days enduring a life sentence in an uncivilized Egyptian prison. For fifteen years, he suffered and waited and prayed. "I never gave up hope," Tito says. "I never stopped believing."
Although he was falsely imprisoned, beaten, and ridiculed, Tito's remarkable true story is one of faith and forgiveness, as well as a witness that God does hear and answer prayers.
By Rebecca, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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!!!
By Archer, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book deserves to be one of the best. I love the story of Muhammad and it has a very wonderful ending that touches our very heart.
By Leigh Ann, Submitted on 2015-02-25
This book really grabs you and doesn't let go. It certainly shows an insider view of the Muslim religion, as taught to children through young adults. It is a testimony to how blessed those of us are to have freedom of choice available in our lives. Tito Momen's testimony stands firm through 15 years years of imprisonment for his Christian conversion. Incredible story...
By Kelly, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Reading this account of Tito Momen's life had so much contrast to my own experiences I had to keep reminding myself that it was true. His ability to relate his experiences with such honestly and intimacy invoked a deep sense of humility. His life is a remarkable testament to the scripture "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it (Matthew 16:25)."
By Cathy, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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.
By Courtney, Submitted on 2015-02-25
I found this book to be less a story about a Muslim converting to Mormonism but a Muslim converting to Christianity. You needn’t be a member of my church to enjoy and learn from his experiences. There are just so many things to learn from Tito’s life. My Name Used to be Muhammadnofollow is a wonderful story of faith, repentance, and the healing power of the Atonement. Tito was raised to be able to lead a Jihad, and while it didn’t turn out exactly like his father had planned, Muhammad DID have a holy struggle. It began with a simple questioning of his upbringing, and it ended with a change of name, a change of religion, and a change of heart.
By Heidi, Submitted on 2015-02-25
A powerful story about a man who grew up Muslim yet eventually becomes a Christian. But he pays a high price for doing so, he is completely disowned by his family, he loses the woman he loves, and he's thrown in an Egyptian prison for 15 years. The book is a fascinating and heart-wrenching account of the suffering inflicted by religious extremism. It's sad to read about how instead of using faith to encourage obedience, all too many of those Tito is surrounded by use fear and intimidation and violence. It's not too surprising to read about Momen's trip back to Nigeria only to discover that many of those he once new had joined Al Qaeda. After reading about Momen's struggles both internal and external, I truly have a greater appreciation for the freedoms available, here in the United States. Despite the suffering that Momen undergoes the book remains hopeful and there are plenty of examples of God watching out for him even under the most horrendous circumstances. A heart-wrenching but ultimately hopeful read.
By Stephanie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
Because he was his fathers favorite son, when Muhammad Momen was a little boy he was groomed to become an "imam" or a holy leader in his community. This required much sacrifice and dedication, even memorizing the Qur'an by copying it diligently, verse by verse. Muhammad wanted very much to please his father and as a teen was thrilled to be accepted into a prestigious Islamic private school. He was disillusioned however when he arrived at the school to discover it wasn't so much an institute of higher learning as it was a place to indoctrinate and brainwash young male teens to follow the teachings of extreme Islam. The teachers were very abusive going so far as to beat students who asked questions that were contrary to Islamic teachings. Muhammad stands up for himself and his friends eventually finding himself expelled from 2 schools, hurting his fiancee Aaban by cheating on her, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
As he falls further and further away from Islam he finds himself falling closer to Christ. He attends church with a friend and discovers the healing love and acceptance of Christianity when he attends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cairo. Eventually seizing the opportunity to be baptized, Muhammad changes his name to Tito (the Italian version of Titus) and embraces the gospel tightly. This dedication to Christ eventually leads to imprisonment where he was given a life sentence...
Never giving up hope and never giving up on his faith, Tito tells his story of life as a child of extreme Islam, his conversion to Christianity and paying the price for his dedication to God by serving 15 years in terrifying conditions. A prisoner in a corrupt system of government.
All I can say about this book is wow. It really brings to life what it is like to be a child of Islam. How they live day to day. And why they do what they do. What is expected of them. This book is eye-opening, educational, faith promoting, and heart wrenching all rolled into one. Once I started this book, I could NOT put it down. I needed to know what happened to Tito Momen. This man is courageous. I would love to meet him. Wow. I mean. WOW.
By rhonda, Submitted on 2015-02-25
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
By Steven, Submitted on 2015-02-25
"My Name Used to Be Muhammad" is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. I finished it just moments ago, and the book has changed my life forever.
In many ways, Tito's story is terribly tragic. He is disowned by his family, he loses the love of his life, he is repeatedly beaten and mocked, and he suffers fifteen years in prison for his beliefs before finally being released in 2006 for medical reasons--particularly diabetes, stroke, and heart problems. But at the same time, Tito's story is one of glorious redemption. Through all of his trials, Tito finds the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a greater gift than all of the wealth in the world.
Tito's experiences bring to my mind the words of the Lord to Joseph Smith while in Liberty Jail: "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7-8). Tito's life is a reminder to me that no matter how dark life may seem to be, Christ will never forsake us. He will ALWAYS be there.
One note: In the book, Tito does not mince words in his descriptions of abuse, drug and alcohol use, sexuality, and harsh prison life. Some of his descriptions are graphic and are obviously not meant for children. However, for adults of all Christian faiths, I offer my highest recommendation for "My Name Used to Be Muhammad". Download it. Read it. And change your life because of it. You won't regret it.
By Debbie, Submitted on 2015-02-25
It's hard to imagine some of the experiences people are subjected to in non-Christian parts of the world. This story was told from the heart with an honesty and sincerity that was gripping. I learned a great deal about the Muslim/Islam way of life and about the sacrifices that are made when embracing Christianity. Tito helped me appreciate the religious freedom I enjoy and I'm grateful for his story being told.
By Brett, Submitted on 2015-02-25
thank you for sharing this story with us, it was so inspiring and really makes my trials seem much less burdensome to carry.