Oct 24

seekingallah

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Qureshi ★★★★

This is an autobiography of the conversion of Nabeel Qureshi from a devout Muslim faith to Christianity. Nabeel was born in the USA, but grew up in a Pakistani Muslim family belonging to a sect called the Ahmadi. Living in Virginia, he was challenged in his faith by a close Christian friend David Wood. David and Nabeel met in high school, and continued on together in college, until Nabeel eventually applied to and was accepted into medical school. Through a number of years and Nabeel seeking inconsistencies in his faith, he finally had a series of dreams which led him to become a Christian. The book is written in multiple very short chapters, and so is somewhat spasmodic or convulsive  in the way it is read. There is a lengthy appendage to the book. I appreciated this book as a means of describing the challenges of bringing a Muslim person to faith in Christ. Nabeel has written several other books, one on Jihad and another on the distinctives of Muslim versus Christian theology.

Because Nabeel grew up in the USA and to a small sect of the Muslim faith, he is somewhat lacking in seeing the result of a large community of regular Sunni or Shiite Muslims. I am not challenging Nabeel of deficits in knowledge of the Muslim faith, but note that having lived for a while in two Muslim countries (Bangladesh and Extrem Nord Cameroon), my picture of the Muslim faith in those countries (as can be found in most Muslim countries) is less romantic than his views. The people appear bound by an ugly task-master of an intolerant god, with joyless worship of this uncaring and merciless otherworld being. Nabeel shows a kinder, gentler Muslim faith more closely related to its Christian roots, explaining why it is dangerous to categorize all Muslims as dangerous jihadists. Note that I view the Muslim faith as a Christian heresy (which it is!). This kinder, gentler subset of Muslims probably represents a small minority of Muslims just as most “Christians” are Christian in name only. The only problem is in being able to sort out one from the other.

Qureshi shows the reader the formidable challenge of witnessing to the Muslim. The most important aspect is not in having an encyclopedic knowledge of Muslim faith and doctrine, but in simply being able to share clearly the Christian faith, including the resurrection of Christ, the doctrine of the trinity, the formation of the canon of Scripture, etc., and to know why these doctrines are important.

Qureshi continues to write. He has appended this book to fill in 10 years of time since he first became a Christian. He frankly discusses the problems of his family rejecting him for his faith. He discusses finishing medical school, but deciding upon going into the ministry instead, and now works with Ravi Zacharias. Only recently in the news is it known that Nabeel has an advanced gastric cancer and probably will not live too much longer. It will be sad to see the loss of such an interesting person.

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2 Responses to “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”

  1. Bruder Dennis says:

    “This kinder, gentler subset of Muslims probably represents a small minority of Muslims”

    Probably not. Most Muslims are not pro-jihad in practice and many are not in principle. It is the Muslim heretics (ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra) that receive popular media attention and are associated with Islam though all the imams in both Syria and Iraq have denounced them as apostates.

    Islam is hostile toward apostate Christianity – toward the papacy historically. History bears this out. It is not hostile to authentic Christianity, as the centuries during the reign of the Caliphates in Baghdad have shown. I recommend referring to an authoritative text on Islam, called The Spirit of Islam by Syed Amir Ali. He describes Islam around the turn of the 20th century, before the current Mideast events, and his emphasis is that Islam is a religion of peace.

    Of course, one can take such claims like Lenin’s definition of peace: a lack of conflict with Communism. Yet the fact that a Pakistani Islamic leader is choosing to emphasize the peacefulness of Islam instead of jihad (which needs to be understood in its historic 8th century context involving the threats facing the Arabic tribes) says much, I think. I recommend reading and reviewing the book, written in 1890 and last revised in 1922.

  2. Elizabeth in VA says:

    Nice review. If you google “David Wood Islam” you will find his writings at answering-islam and also at Acts 17. He has a ton of youtube videos explaining Islam. He addresses the sect that Nabeel was in. I’m so sorry Nabeel has cancer.

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