From Muhammad Mustafa to Deny Shaukat: A Life Transformation Leading to Grave Danger”
The journey of a young man, a student of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan, took a dramatic turn as he left his homeland to safeguard both his faith and his life from the looming threat of radical Islamists.
Deny Shaukat, born on January 9, 2001, into a Muslim family, was the result of the union between his parents, Shoukat and Fazeelat, who had married in March 2000 in Lahore, Pakistan.
Separation of Parents:
Both Deny’s paternal and maternal sides were Muslim. When he was 8 years old, his mother, Fazeelat, left her husband and returned to Lahore, where her parents lived. All of this occurred because one of Deny’s aunts, namely Nazia Bibi, openly accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. Even after facing harsh treatment and severe beatings, she remained steadfast in her faith in Christ.
This incident separated the parents of Deny formally Mustafa, she was 5 months pregnant with the second Child. She took him with her and within two months she remarried another Muslim man. After the delivery of Fazeelat’s second son, she gave her the name Muhammad Haroon.
Nazia remained steadfast:
Even after this incident, Nazia remained steadfast in her faith in Jesus Christ, enduring beatings, torture, and harsh treatment. Her unwavering dedication motivated the rest of the family to embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior and the sole path of life. Aziza Begum, her mother, and Sardar, her father, also accepted Jesus along with the rest of their children. Nazia started to delve deeper into her faith, learning more about Jesus and eventually became a pastor to serve Him as a devoted servant.
Battling for Custody of Both Children:
After over two years of battle to take custody of the Children, Shaukat and her family took the Children in December 2010, whereas Fazeelat and her family insisted that both children would remain Muslim. However, another Aunt Maria took full custody of both children. She started raising them as Christians in 2014 both children were baptized, and their names were Changed Muhammad Mustafa became Deny and Muhammad Haroon became Matthew. And Deny became an active member of the Church youth and Choir. As his aunts became pastors and served Jesus, he also became active in Evangelism with her Aunt Maria.
Why He Had to Flee the Country:
A month ago, some of his relatives visited Deny’s neighborhood and informed the neighbors that he was a Muslim who had converted to Christianity. Following this revelation, Deny was beaten twice by members of the local Muslim community who threatened him, demanding that he return to Islam, or else he would face the possibility of being killed under Islamic Sharia laws.
Even though he was taken to the local Muslim cleric with the intention of converting him back to Islam and making him repent, he pleaded for some time to reconsider his decision. After his plea, he was granted one week’s time to reflect.
Apostasy in Islam:
In Islamic tradition, apostasy is generally viewed as a serious offense. Some interpretations of Islamic law, known as Sharia, consider apostasy a punishable act, and historically, there have been instances where individuals who left Islam were subject to various penalties, including imprisonment or even execution, in some regions governed by strict interpretations of Sharia.
Apostasy in Islam remains a complex and evolving issue, with perspectives ranging from strict traditional interpretations to more progressive and inclusive viewpoints. It serves as a reflection of the broader debates within Islam about the relationship between faith, individual rights, and societal norms in the modern world.
It has been observed that individuals who choose to leave Islam often find themselves targeted in instances of mob violence.
Deny’s rescue and journey to South Asia:
In the midst of the growing threats and escalating tensions, Deny’s safety became a matter of paramount concern. It was clear that staying in his homeland posed grave risks to his life and well-being.
Fortunately, a lifeline emerged when ECSPE, the organization, stepped in to assist Deny. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, ECSPE played a pivotal role in orchestrating Deny’s rescue and relocation to South Asia.
His pursuit of safety and religious freedom led him to seek asylum through the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in South Asia. Faced with the perilous circumstances in his homeland, he turned to this international organization in the hope of finding sanctuary and protection in a foreign land.
We request to keep People like Deny Shaukat in your prayers.
Here is Danny’s testimony: