To the prevailing western mind it may be difficult to understand why Mr. Qureshi would feel the need to change his religion, especially since he was so happy in it. After all, choosing one’s religion is merely a personal mental exercise, and it is important like choosing one’s university, or whether to be a vegetarian or a vegan, or maybe even as important as one’s political party…maybe. If the cost of choosing a religion meant losing one’s family or perhaps even one’s life, then obviously one should pick a religion (or none) that causes the least disturbance. However, unlike the prevailing western mind, Nabeel Qureshi was, above all other considerations, concerned with what is true.
Raised in a tight-knit, loving, joyful, Muslim family, Nabeel was a well prepared apologist for Islam. He and his family genuinely sought to know God, even experiencing His leading at key moments. They studied the Koranic Scriptures and the teachings of prominent imams together, and they sharpened one another with detailed arguments against Christianity and atheism. These arguments came into use a few times when Nabeel was in public school, and they were sorely put to the test when he went to university.
Nabeel was an analytical thinker who enjoyed argument and logic, so he naturally became part of his university forensics team, where he met his lifelong friend, David Wood. David is a Christian, though he didn’t grow up with any faith at all. On the contrary, he had been a atheist who took his non-faith to its logical extreme. (David’s testimony is brutal and not for the faint of heart, and it is not for any atheist not wishing to be powerfully challenged to consider where that thinking logically ends. His testimony can be seen here.)
David and Nabeel became like brothers, even though one was Christian and the other Muslim. It was this bond of friendship that opened the door to seven years of discourse between the two in which they studied the facts and debated one another. David challenged Nabeel intellectually to discover for himself the veracity of the claims of Christianity. All the while, the powerful motivations for Christianity to not be true grew more intense, especially as he considered the implications of such an admission on the Qureshi family.
O Allah, the Bible couldn’t be right, could it?
The evidence for the claims of Christianity such as the reliability and authority of the biblical texts, the resurrection of Jesus, the Trinity, etc. became stronger and stronger until Nabeel began to ask and pray things like, “O Allah, the Bible couldn’t be right, could it?” Eventually, he conceded that the truth of Christianity was extremely likely. But what about Islam? Nabeel then turned the intense spotlight of research onto the Koran and upon Muhammad himself. What he found sealed his conviction that Christianity is true.
But Christianity is simply the name of a religion which rests on various facts, which are expressed in various traditions. Could Nabeel really leave the beautiful, familiar, familial culture of Islam for the foreign and lonely (to him) culture of Christianity? The personal cost of becoming a Christian was simply too high to exchange one set of ideas, one set of traditions, for another, no matter how logical they may seem.
Herein lies the point, indeed the entire point of this website, walkingtogether.life. We can interact with our friends. With them we have conversations, and with them we work, we walk, we live. This is relationship. We do not interact with facts about our friends such as their height, or favorite color, or even their political views. If Christianity is true, then it is the way in which we can come to know and then to interact with God. The facts are merely the means toward the end of relationship.
Nabeel Qureshi was not interested in knowing facts. All his life he had sought to know and to serve God. Now he was convinced that Jesus is God in the flesh, a blasphemous idea to Islam. If Jesus really is God, then He would have to prove Himself. Therefore Nabeel asked for signs or dreams or visions, and God obliged. God gave him dreams that could only have been from a divine source in answer to specific prayer.
You, the reader, will just have to see for yourself.
In conclusion, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is one of the most important books of the 21st century. It stands alongside C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity as a defense of the Christian faith. Where the latter lays out the case philosophically, the former makes the case through the eyes of a brilliant investigator who is personally grappling with the truth and its sacrificial, yet unavoidable, implications.