by Pat Reeder, Equipping Division Coordinator
Philippians 3:4b-7––If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi was the most compelling book I’ve read in years. For my job, I read a lot books, most of them in tandem, picking them up and putting them down, whittling chapters away over months. Not so here: I could not put down Qureshi’s very personal, gripping tale of coming to faith in Christ.
Approaching a book like this, a Christian believer might think as follows: Islam is a merciless religion of hate and violence. Qureshi surely had a miserable childhood under the draconian rule of his parents and imams. He bore this heavy burden joylessly but dutifully, because it was all he knew. No doubt, upon discovering the good news of freedom in Christ, he tossed off Mohammed’s heavy shackles in exchange for the easy yoke of faith in Christ.
Qureshi’s story is far more fascinating than this one-dimensional portrait. Qureshi is the Muslim Saul of Tarsus: he had a joyful childhood; he had a loving family; he was part of a warm Muslim community; he loved Islam and the Quran; he was a top student, receiving his MD; he was morally upright by almost any standard; and his family was financially comfortable. Like Saul, when he surrendered to Christ, he had much to lose and little to gain. But also like Saul, he couldn’t deny the truth of the risen Jesus Christ. SAFJ chronicles Qureshi’s journey from his happy Muslim childhood up to just past his conversion.