I could not set this book down: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. It’s an autobiography of a Pakistani-American man’s leaving Islam to follow Jesus. Qureshi’s journey was (is!) a long, hard, thought-filled, prayer-filled, journey into the Christian family. The book is well written, respectful of Muslims, a testimony to Jesus the Son of God, and it strengthened my faith in the truths of Scripture.
There are many excellent parts of this book; here’s one section that has stuck with me. He wrote it after several years of agonizing over the teaching of Islam and the teaching of Christianity. His past foundation was crumbling, his world was turning upside down, so he put the Bible and the Quran next to each other. He first opened the Quran:
“[I was] frantically flipping from page to page, hoping for something, anything that would comfort me. There was nothing there for me. It depicted a god of conditional concern, one who would not love me if I did not perform to my utmost in pleasing him, one who seemed to take joy in sending his enemies into the hellfire. It did not speak to the broken nature of man, let alone directly to the broken man in need of God’s love. It was a book of laws, written for the seventh century.”
“Looking for a living word, I put the Quran down and picked up the Bible. I had never read the Bible for personal guidance before [Note: he had read parts of it before this time]. I did not even know where to start. I figured the New Testament would be a good place, so I opened to the beginning of Matthew. 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 is 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. It was almost too incredible to believe. To a man who had seen the world only through Muslim eyes, the message was overwhelming. ‘I am blessed for mourning? Why? How? I am imperfect. I do not perform to His standard. Why would he bless me? And for mourning, no less. Why?’”
“I continued reading [the Beatitudes] fervently. …I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I do, but I can never attain it. God will bless me anyway? Who is this God who loves me so much, even in my failures? Tears flowed from my eyes once more, but now they were tears of joy. I knew that what I held in my hands was life itself. This was truly God’s word, and it was as if I was meeting Him for the first time. …I could not put the Bible down. I literally could not. …The Bible was my lifeline” (p. 276-7).