Allah, Islam, Muslims, Muhammand, and the Quran.
If these five words don’t characterize your worldview, it’s quite possible they intimidate you a little.
There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and 3.5 million of them live in North America. Still, if you are not a Muslim, chances are you don’t know a Muslim. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve never had a real conversation with a Muslim. This described me for most of my life.
As a College Minister going on eleven years, I have met tons of international students who are Muslim, mostly from Saudi Arabia. But it wasn’t until two years ago that I finally became personal friends with a Muslim.
I’ll never forget sitting across the table from Ayman at Indian Sizzler for lunch, when I was struck by the reality of my unfounded assumptions. I asked him to share about his impressions of American Christians before and after arriving in America. The more he spoke, the more I felt compelled to assure him, “Not all Christians are like that.”
Then, he asked me to share my impressions of Muslims from the Middle East. Ironically, on the television in the background, a news story was covering yet another terrorist attack somewhere in the world by Islamic fanatics. Ayman then assured me, “Not all Muslims are like that.”
Seeking Resources, Finding Inspiration
Since that day at Indian Sizzler with my friend Ayman, I’ve been on the lookout for resources that would better educate me about Islam.
After searching online, what initially drew me to Nabeel Qreshi’s new book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, is that the author was a Muslim who converted to Christianity. His book is also endorsed by Ravi Zacharias and Josh McDowell, and the foreword was written by Lee Strobel; three men who were also Christian converts, either from another religion or from atheism.
As a narrative autobiography, Nabeel’s book is easy to read (or listen to). In fact, I listened to the audiobook twice in a row.
The first part of the book goes into the author’s upbringing; the book jacket says it well, “providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home.” It doesn’t take long to see, Nabeel and his family are the real deal, as devout as they come. As you read of their prayers, fasting, memorization and traditions – all of which shape their daily lives – you can’t help but feel challenged about your own level of devotion, no matter what you believe.
The majority of the book is dedicated to Nabeel’s college years. There, he became best friends with David, an American student who happens to be a Christian. Naturally, the closer they became as friend, the more opportunities they had to discuss their differing beliefs.
Their conversations spanned many crucial topics, including the reliability of the New Testament, the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the question of how one man’s sacrifice can atone for another.
With every book Nabeel read, and every debate he attended, the claims of Christianity began to make more and more sense, as he continued to take two steps forward, one step back. Eventually, he realized he had scrutinized Christianity much more than he had Islam. This led him to evaluate the claims of Islam more closely, particularly regarding Muhammad and the Quran.
Finally, David challenged Nabeel to actually pray and ask God to reveal the truth to him through visions and dreams. Long story short, Nabeel prayed and God revealed. And in time, Nabeel became a follower of Jesus.
This Book is a Masterpiece
Whether you are a Christian wishing to learn about Islam, or a Muslim wishing to learn about Christianity, you simply have to read this book. It will help dispel misconceptions and educate you on both sides (I especially like the glossary in the back of the book defining unfamiliar terms). It will challenge you to seek truth at all cost, and live it out. And it will motivate you to seek out the kind of friendship that Nabeel and David have, in which you can safely investigate worldview claims.
Already, I’ve given away five copies of the book. In fact, as odd as it may sound, I’m currently reading the book with a Jewish college student (as Jews and Muslims have many of the same questions regarding Christianity).
Suffice it to say, this book is absolutely fantastic. Buy two copies today!
Follow the Author, Get the Book