by Nabeel Qureshi.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells his followers about the sacrifice required of those who follow him. He goes on to describe the division that will take place even among families because of the gospel (12:49-53). Few modern Christians experience the pain of this truth like Muslims converting to Christianity. In this autobiography, Nabeel Qureshi describes his journey from a life as a devout Muslim to the moment when he acknowledged Jesus as Lord.
Written in the style of a memoir, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus weaves pieces of evidence and arguments through the narrative of Qureshi’s conversion story, a unique accomplishment for an apologetic work. The author provides three reasons why he wrote this book. First, it is an entry point into the Muslim world through the life of an insider. Second, the book equips the reader with the historical facts concerning Christianity and Islam. Finally, it describes “the inner struggle of Muslims grappling with the gospel, including sacrifices and doubts” (18). Qureshi is successful in achieving each of these aims. The narrative form serves the first and third purposes, particularly well. A comparison between the two religions occurs in the main text also, but the appendices and additional materials significantly bolster this area.
Qureshi lays out his book into ten sections. These sections are both thematic and chronological. The themes arise naturally from the narrative, beginning with his Muslim heritage and personal faith in Allah, moving to an examination of the Christian Scriptures and doctrine, and finally an investigation of Islam’s defence of the faith. It was only at this point when the author turned his examination inward that he found the evidence for the religion of his fathers lacking.
The author’s eloquence and thoughtfulness are evident throughout the book; one of the most valuable insights the book provides is that evidence alone was never enough to save him. Long before he experienced salvation, Qureshi conceded the historical evidence for the crucifixion and resurrection. It was only after his entire worldview was destroyed, did he seek comfort from a familiar source, and instead find it elsewhere.
As soon as I entered my apartment, I went straight to the book-case and retrieved my old Quran and my study Bible. I sat down on the couch and opened the Quran first. I flipped through the pages, looking for verses of comfort…frantically flipping from page to page, hoping for something, anything, that would comfort me…Looking for a living word, I put the Quran down and picked up the Bible…Within minutes, I found these words: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The words were like a current sent through my dead heart, electrifying it once more. This was what I was looking for. It was as if God had written these words in the Bible two thousand years prior specifically with me in mind.(275-276)
Sadly, in 2017, at the age of thirty-four, the author died after a year-long battle with stomach cancer. Michelle Qureshi, Nabeel’s wife, published this edition after his death. As a result, the book contains several touching tributes from friends, mentors, and a brief essay written by Michelle. I do not recall ever being so impressed by a specific edition of a book as I was with the most recent release of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. The resources provided complement the book very well, and for some might serve as a springboard off which they can further research specific topics of interest. Read this book to gain insight into the world of Islam and grow in your love for Muslims and desire to reach them with the gospel. Additionally, the evidence presented in the book will be an encouragement to the faith of Christians and assist them in their personal apologia, or defence of the faith.
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About the reviewer
Joshua Ens is a Canadian currently residing in New Zealand. As well as a book reviewer for Authentic he is a Youth Pastor at River City Bible Church and a full-time Secondary School Teacher.
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