I haven’t read a book about somebody’s journey to faith in a long time, I almost forgot how great they can be. Most of the time I read theology books, books about Christian ministry, or Christian living books that I’ve been given to review.
Recently a friend of mine read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and said that it was a tremendous book and that I should give it a read, and I’ve had it on my ‘to read’ list for a while now.
Being raised in a relatively normal British household (whatever that might mean) and being brought up in church, my knowledge of Islam is very limited and my only point of reference is really what I have learnt in my theological studies over the past 5 years and my interactions with a few Muslim friends.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is much more than the story of Nabeel Qureshi, a Christian apologist who was born and raised in America to Pakistani parents. The book gives you great insights into Islam, the Koran, Muslim’s views and thoughts about Christians and how to engage with Muslims.
Qureshi was the eldest son of Pakistani immigrants and grew up in the United States and the UK; his father was in the US Navi so they travelled around. He was raised a devout Muslim, brought up to revere the Koran, to learn Muslim history and to be able to recite and defend much of the Koran and Muslim faith. Throughout this book he speaks about his religious devotion and his desire to be the best Muslim he could. Whenever he met a Christian he would engage in discussion/debate about the validity of Christianity and, in his mind at that time, the unfaltering truth of Islam.
Upon going to college Qureshi met a man called David Wood and they became great friends. David was a Christian and as you can imagine the debates about faith started almost immediately.
After years of debating and discussing Christianity with different people, from the ‘average Christian’ to well-known apologists, Qureshi started to seriously think that Christianity could be true. This however, was not a decision that he could take lightly.
When people become Christians from a Muslim background it is not a simple ‘change of religion or worldview’, very often their whole world is changed. Sometimes people are rejected by their families and, depending on the country you live in, becoming a Christian could mean imprisonment, punishment or even death.
This book gives you an insight into the Muslim view of Christians and it gives practical advice on how to reach Muslim friends with the Good News of Jesus. Qureshi also explains the differences between first-generation Muslims and their children. Qureshi explains that in the West we have a very scientific approach to evidence and worldviews, often looking at facts and history and then coming to a conclusion on a topic. But in the East generally, Qureshi explains, the weight is put more on authority and reputation. These differences have huge implications for how Christians should engage in conversation with Muslims, often we can look at the same thing but our worldviews and where we put our focus (authority or fact) mean that we can go around in circles debating.
Qureshi’s book takes a clear and logical look at both Christianity and Islam whilst telling his own life story. Qureshi died in 2017 after a year battle with stomach cancer, he is now in glory rejoicing with the Lord and his testimony continues to challenge both Christians and Muslims and encourages fruitful discussion.
I have found Muslims to be wonderful loving people who are kind, very hospitable and always willing and open to discuss matters of faith. I pray that as Christians we would seriously think through our faith, that we would be able to defend and engage in such conversation as Qureshi had with Wood, and that God would work through this book.