Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity Is a book that is part autobiography, part history, part Christian apologetics, and part testimony of Nabeel Qureshi’s conversion from Islam to Christianity.
For the purposes of this review, I will focus on four key takeaways from this book
1. The value of investing in meaningful friendships with muslims (or any nonChristian)
Nabeel Qureshi is a first generation American whose parent’s came from Pakistan and who’s Grandparents served as Muslim missionaries in Indonesia and Uganda. As part of a devout muslim family, Nabeel grew up praying arabic prayers and joyfully observing all of the traditional Muslim holidays and traditions.
Nabeel never had any reason to doubt his Muslim beliefs, and in fact, was taught by his parents to be an evangelist for Islam. This was not a difficult task for Nabeel, as most professing Christians he spoke with had no idea about Islam and an almost equally weak understanding of historic Christian beliefs.
This scenario changed as Nabeel entered his freshman year of college and became friends with David – A Christian who was prepared to answer objections to Christianity and who cared enough to pursue Nabeel as a friend. Over the course of many years, Nabeel and David shared life together and often discussed theological issues. This relationship would prove to be the key component to Nabeel’s eventual conversion.
Given the religious and cultural barriers between most Christians and Muslims, Nabeel appeals to Christians to take the first step out of their comfort zones to reach out to their muslim neighbors and coworkers.
Only the exceptional blend of love, humility, hospitality, and persistence can overcome these barriers, and not enough people make the effort (p. 78).
2. A primer on Islam.
In a day when ‘Islamic extremism’ is constantly talked about in the media, many people wonder what exactly muslims believe. Left to the media soundbites and cherrypicked verses from the Quran, we are led to believe that Islam is merely ‘a religion of peace’. This book gives a good overview of the core of muslim belief’s and then later, as Nabeel explores deeper into Islam’s origins and founder, demonstrates that Islam is in fact a violent faith with a violent history from its foundation.
3. Christian apologetics applied to a muslim context.
I am someone who loves to read books on Christian apologetics. This book had many of the same arguments and points I’ve studied elsewhere, but placed within the context of Nabeel’s muslim faith and life, the arguments seemed to carry even more weight than usual. This book not only helps the reader understand Islam, but it also helps the reader understand the foundation and fundamentals of Christianity and our key apologetic points (such as the resurrection of Jesus). The book also includes several articles from leading apologists on various related apologetics topics.
4. The cost of following Christ and the purpose of the follower of Christ.
After a long, agonizing period of wrestling with arguments for Christianity, reading the Bible, praying for and receiving several dreams and visions, Nabeel eventually surrendered his Islamic faith and embraced Christ. One of the major stumbling block for Nabeel (and for most muslims) was the feelings of betrayal of his family and culture if he were to convert to Islam. I’ve heard several stories from other Muslims about the same barrier to the Christian faith. Nevertheless, Nabeel finally surrendered to Christ and understood Christ’s call to take up his cross and follow Him, even if it meant the loss of his earthly family (Luke 14:25-33).
Nabeel leaves the reader with this compelling vision for what the purpose of life is for the follower of Christ:
Now I knew what it meant to follow God. It meant walking boldly by His Spirit of grace and love, in the firm confidence of everlasting life given through the Son, with the eternal purpose of proclaiming and glorifying the Father. Now I had found Jesus (p. 277).
This a great and timely book for our world today. It is clear throughout the book that God, in His sovereign grace, was pursuing Nabeel for a very long time. God’s purposes are never thwarted, and eventually His effectual call took root in Nabeel’s heart. While God used the ordained means of Nabeel’s friendship, apologetics, dreams, and visions, I was struck once again by the power of God’s Spirit to bring a spritually dead person (Eph. 2:1) to life in Christ by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9).
Here’s a video of Dr. Nabeel Qureshi speaking about his conversion at a church near my home in Colorado: