Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

I recently finished reading Nabeel Qureshi’s autobiography, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. It was my second reading (or, actually, listening — since I made the rare decision to opt for the audio version of the book this time around). But my first reading was, like, ten years ago, so the book still felt fresh and new. And educational and enjoyable.

"Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" by Nabeel Qureshi

This book was required reading for everyone joining H2O’s Spring Break mission trip to Stockholm, Sweden. We wanted everyone to give it a read because our group will be spending the majority of its time in the northern suburb of Tensta, where a majority of the population is made up of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. The narrative contains some very practical theology, when it comes to comparing and contrasting Christianity and Islam — but the story feels far more immersive than most textbooks or theological treatises. It feels intensely personal, and compelling. So I’m really glad that our team got the chance to work through this material together.

Throughout the book, the author paints an empathetic portrait of his family. Their devotion to Islam is admirable, honestly, as is their devotion to each other. Qureshi describes everyday scenes of his parents’ love for each other, for the rest of their family, and for the greater community of Pakistani Muslims to which they belonged. There was nothing casual or nominal about their faith. And it was really helpful to see the world through their eyes, including an American Muslim’s perspective on the September 11th terrorist attacks and more general day-to-day cultural tensions.

Consequently, when Qureshi starts to explore the Bible and the historical case for Jesus, it feels all the more impactful for readers to witness him slowly transition from faith in the Quran to faith in Jesus. He considers each faith system on its intellectual merits, historicity, and personal impact. Over the course of the narrative, he becomes more and more convinced that he must follow Jesus. But the implications for his family are by far the most painful, and it paints a powerful picture of the price that must often be paid for following Jesus.

I appreciated the way that the book is well-written and well-researched. And I think it gives our Sweden Team a lot more empathy and insight for how to share the Good News of Jesus with Muslims we meet.

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