Seldom have I read a book that is so hard to put down. The author, Nabeel Qureshi (DOB 1983), grew up in the United States in a devout and loving Pakistani Muslim family. Presently a speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Qureshi holds an MD from Eastern Virginia University, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola, and an MA in religion from Duke. Qureshi blends great intellect with deep insight and emotional feeling. I was awed by the author’s transparency as he shared his incredibly heart-wrenching and profound spiritual journey. This book combines autobiography and apologetics in a way I’ve never read before.
I won’t spoil your reading by giving away too much of Qureshi’s story except to say that you will profit from it in many ways, perhaps most of all by better understanding the struggle Muslims have in converting to Christianity. As my friend and Muslim expert Dr. Roy Oksnevad told me, the author “lays out the struggle he had in making a decision to follow Christ. The book gives great insight into the struggle Muslims have with their own faith and the misinformation they are fed.”
Learning about Islam
Besides being a great story, Qureishi will teach you much about Islam, but not in a dry, pedantic way. The information is woven naturally into the author’s story. In addition, you will learn much about Christian apologetics and key biblical truths, such as the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the trustworthiness of the Scriptures. This work will help you to understand your Muslims friends – where they are coming from and how to talk to them in a compassionate and intelligent manner.
Dreams and Visions
To bring about Qureshi’s conversion, God used his tremendous desire to know truth, but He also used dreams and visions. Whatever you may think about the latter you cannot deny that (1) dreams and visions were common in Bible times, and (2) they are purportedly the means that many Muslims around the world today are coming to Christ. Yes, seeking truth through dreams and visions can be dangerous, but combining it with prayer and study of the Word of God hopefully prevents some of the abuses we’ve seen over the years.
Finally, if my recommendation of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is not enough to convince you to read this book, I will add that it comes highly recommended by the likes of Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, and Os Guinness.
P.S. We’ve all read in the Bible that we must be willing to forsake father and mother to follow Christ, but do we have any real understanding of what this means? To give you a glimpse, here is an excerpt from the last chapter of the book:
I was a crumpled heap on the ground, trembling before God. Two weeks after accepting my Lord, I tried to plead with Him, while wailing and stammering through quivering lips.
“Why God… ?” But I could not formulate my words. The shaking was uncontrollable.
The night before, I had looked into Abba’s (what Qureshi calls his father) eyes as they welled with tears. Those eyes that had so tenderly cared for me since the day he whispered the adhan into my ears. The eyes that softly closed in prayer every night as he invoked the protection of God. The eyes that would turn back lovingly as he went off to sea (as a member of the US Navy), serving his nation and family. To be the cause of the only tears I had ever seen those eyes shed, I could not bear it.
“Why, God … ?”
Though Abba did not say much, what he did say has haunted me ever since. The man who stood tallest in my life, my archetype of strength, my father, spoke these words through palpable pain: “Nabeel, this day, I feel as if my backbone has been ripped out from inside me.” These words tore through me. It felt like patricide. I had not given up just my life to follow Jesus, I was killing my father.
He has never stood as tall since that day. I extinguished his pride.
“Why God … ?”
Ammi (what the author calls his mother) had even fewer words than Abba, but her eyes said more, “You are my only son. You came from my womb. Since you were born I have called you my ‘jaan kay tuqray,’ a physical piece of my life and heart. I cradled you, sang to you, taught you the ways of God every day since you came into the world. I have loved you with all of me in a way I have loved no one else.
Why have you betrayed me, Billoo?” [an affectionate nickname his parents used for him]
Her eyes seared my soul and remain branded in my memory. They were the final image I saw before Abba ushered Amni out of my apartment to the hospital across the street. None of us were sure she would make it through the night.
She survived, but her eyes have never been as bright since that day. I extinguished that light.
Decimated before God, eyes pouring, nose and mouth unable to withhold the grief, I was finally able to sputter my question through tears and mucus: “Why God, did You not kill me the moment I believed? Why did You leave me here? Why did You leave me to hurt my family more deeply than they’ve ever been hurt? They never deserved this! I’ve destroyed it all! Nothing is left!”