The Story Behind Salah Farah Martyrdom

The word, Martyr, means '' a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs''

I dont know if you have seen or read an amazing story of a heroic Muslim as told on several world news channels about a Muslim, Salah Farah, who courageously stood in the way as Islamist militants stormed his bus in Kenya, refusing their demands to split from Christian passengers and instead taking a bullet that later killed him.

Salah confronted gun-slinging terrorists bent on killing all the Christians who were travelling on the bus going to Nairobi on the 17th of December 2015. However, it was only when he died a month later that BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera felt his story was newsworthy. They praised Salah as a heroic “Muslim,” but what was it that really inspired him to be so brave?

Salah had been a Muslim most of his life but shortly before the attack he came to believe in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. If you want to know the real story behind the headline news read this article. It will be interesting to see whether the mainstream media will publish Salah’s story, considering the overwhelming undeniable proof that has come to light showing he had decided to follow the Lord Jesus Christ just a few days before the attack.

Everyone assumed Salah was Muslim because he had been a Muslim all his life. Even when the President of Kenya conferred on Salah the highest award for bravery – five weeks after he died – Salah was still being acclaimed as a Muslim. However, not long after his death various clues began surfacing, which reveal there was something else that inspired him to be so courageous.

A few days before the attack Salah had finished reading a book, God’s Apprentice, by Keith Doctor, which explains what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. As Salah journeyed on the bus with his friend Bursa, he told him about the impact this book had on him. Bursa later recalled how Salah shared with him how Jesus courageously stood up for the weak and the oppressed.

Why was Salah so brave? 
Several days after the hijacking, Bursa received a cartoon-style tract on his phone from Salah who was in hospital. Bursa saved it on his phone but only remembered to look at it after Salah had died. He read the story as told in the captions on the cartoon style poster. He then phoned the number at the bottom of the page to find out more. This is how he met Joe. They discussed many things including that Jesus Christ is Lord and Saviour.

Bursa’s earlier conversation with Salah on the bus had warmed his heart to Jesus. Now he was ready to make a commitment and five days later he was baptised. Having been a friend of Salah, it did not take Bursa long to make a plan with Joe to visit Salah’s widow and five children. During their two-day visit, Joe and Bursa received a large unexpected sum of money as a gift via MPESA (telephonic transfer), which they gladly gave to Mrs Farah who was struggling to cope both emotionally and financially with the loss of her husband.

Friends of Salah
One memory she shared with these two Christian brothers involved a discussion Salah had with relatives the last evening before he left for Nairobi. He told them some new things he was learning about Jesus from a book that had deeply impressed him. The relatives suspected he was becoming a Christian and the conversation became very heated leading to a loud argument, when Salah even dared to show them the book. After they left he penned a handwritten note on page seven1 which reads in English, “Jesus you’re my Saviour, I never knew but now I know. I’ll follow you; let them kill me, I don’t care, I’ll follow you.”

Over the next few weeks local Islamists invited Salah’s widow to join them in a fund raising project under the name “friends of Salah.” She didn’t trust them but they kept on pushing their scheme and even published a photo on twitter “#herosalah” purportedly showing Mrs Farah receiving a cheque for 10,000 shillings. (Joe assures us this photo is not Mrs Farah.)

Persecuted for the Truth
Angered by her unwillingness to co-operate, the Islamists came to her home looking for the book that they heard her husband had read. She could not read English so she had already given it away to Joe and Bursa. The Islamists refused to believe her explanation and forcefully ransacked her home hoping to find it. They were unable to find the book, but they did find nearly 17,000 shillings, which they stole.

Shortly after Bursa returned to his hometown, he was murdered, along with one other person who was showing an interest in hearing from Joe about Jesus. A sceptical reader may suggest that this story could have been fabricated, especially if one is disinclined to accept that Salah believed in Jesus Christ. One could argue, for example, that Bursa is now dead so a key eyewitness is missing. However, there are still two pieces of evidence: 1) the handwritten statement by Salah on page seven. Also Joe talked on the phone with Salah shortly before Salah boarded the bus. He told Joe that he had finished reading God’s Apprentice three days earlier.

Salah – A true hero
Furthermore, Bursa’s conversion was not the only “ripple” effect from Salah’s testimony, Abdul’s* story is yet another ripple. Abdul, who lives in a town not far from Salah, saw the news story telling how he courageously shielded Christians from being killed. He asked himself, “Why was Salah so brave?”

Abdul became even more curious when, a month later, he heard that Salah had died from gunshots fired by the terrorists. Abdul explains how this question “wouldn’t leave my mind. My concern was just to know what triggered Salah to do that? At the time I might have assumed that Salah did it out of compassion for others as a human being, but whenever I related it to the Islamic dogma, I’d always suspect that there must be a special reason why he did what he did.

But I couldn’t fathom what might have been in Salah’s mind. I wished he could have been alive so I could look him up and ask him personally why he did it!” Not long after these questions began weighing heavily on his mind, Abdul read a poster nailed to a tree, titled,Salah: A Hero and phoned the number at the bottom. This is how he met two Christian evangelists who explained that Jesus was the one who inspired Salah.

Until now (June 2016) Salah's inspirational and intriguing story has been instrumental in helping six Muslims discover Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Undoubtedly his legacy will impact many more. A 64 page cartoon style book telling Salah's story in colour can be purchased and downloaded here: I encourage you to check it out, even if only to preview several pages of the book which the publisher has freely made available. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Will you “make the most of the opportunity” by engaging your Muslim friend in a “seasoned with salt” conversation about Salah? (Colossians 4:4-6, NIV)

Some well-intentioned Christians may want to introduce the punch-line early, but in keeping with how a mystery story unfolds, one needs to explore the clues sequentially and thus allow the story to unfold naturally. Another article titled, Muslim risks his life shielding Christians from terrorists, provides some additional insights using this investigative approach.

By Roland Clarke
The Story Behind Salah Farah Martyrdom The Story Behind Salah Farah Martyrdom Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on July 02, 2016 Rating: 5

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