I’m truly fascinated by the beliefs of others. One of the main focuses of this blog is to look at different religious beliefs and criticise them, always with the ambition of discovering and expounding truths about God and the world. So I was excited to read this book by Nabeel Qureshi which, as you will have probably gathered from the title, is about his journey from being a devout Muslim to becoming a follower of Jesus Christ.
The book was first released in 2014, but the version I read was published in 2016 and updated with bonus content including a new epilogue and ten ‘expert contributions’ from scholars who discuss various subjects that relate to Nabeel’s story. The bonus content is interesting but not really essential to appreciate the heart of the book, so if you’ve got the 2014 edition without all the extras you needn’t worry. The typography of the book is excellent, and the short chapters and for the most part simple language make this an accessible read.
As Nabeel relates his story we learn a lot about his family and their background. The family travelled around during Nabeel’s early childhood due to his father’s job in the US Navy. They eventually settled in Virginia in the US, but I was interested (as a Brit) to read that prior to moving to the States Nabeel’s family also spent some time living in Scotland.
The book mixes autobiography with theology. Nabeel gives the reader interesting insights into the way of life of a devout Muslim family, and at the same time teaches the reader about Islamic ritual and prayer and belief. Where Arabic terms are used, they are clearly defined both alongside the text and in a glossary at the back of the book, so they are not a stumbling block to understanding Nabeel’s story.
During the course of the book we learn about how during his time in education Nabeel encountered various Christian influences that made him question aspects of his Islamic faith. His conversion to Christianity was a gradual process, and God used close friends as well as dreams and visions to convince Nabeel of the truth of the Christian gospel.
At the time I’m writing, Nabeel is studying for a doctorate in New Testament Studies at the University of Oxford, not far from Abingdon in Oxfordshire which is where I grew up and went to school. Sadly, he is also battling with a serious type of stomach cancer, and the prognosis is pretty bleak, although I’m sure that Nabeel would be the first to admit that his life is in the hands of Jesus rather than the hands of doctors. If you happen to read this review, Nabeel, know that you’re in my prayers.
In conclusion, this book is a superb read for anyone who is interested in faith and theology. I am already looking forward to reading the follow-up, No God But One, which is out now through the same publisher (Zondervan). I believe Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a book that will impact the lives of many Muslim readers and cause them to deeply consider the exclusive truth claims of Christianity.
For a full list of my book reviews, covering topics including philosophy, religion, spirituality, and mental health, click here.