Best Selling Author and Former Muslim Brings Powerful Message

The News Magazine of HCU

Nabeel Qureshi preaches at HBU

“I think Nabeel Qureshi is one of God’s great anointed spokespeople for the 21st century,” said best-selling author and faculty member Lee Strobel when he introduced Nabeel Qureshi  at a recent convocation.

“Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Iranians are becoming Christian because they’ve encountered the reality of Islam.”- Nabeel Qureshi

Nabeel Qureshi is the author of the New York Times bestselling Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, the only book ever to win Christian Book Awards for both “Best New Author” and “Best Nonfiction.” Nabeel is a global speaker and holds degrees in medicine, Christian apologetics and religion. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in New Testament studies at Oxford University. Nabeel was recently diagnosed with stage 4-stomach cancer and moved with his wife and their one-year-old daughter to Houston for treatment. Lee Strobel told students, “We are praying that God would heal him completely and continue to use him as a great spokesperson for the truth of the Christian faith.” Please keep Nabeel in your prayers, as well.

Below is an excerpt of Dr. Cristie Johnston interviewing Nabeel.

CRISTIE: Is belief in Jesus as the only way to God being intolerant of other people’s faiths and beliefs, especially in today’s culture?

Nabeel: Unfortunately a lot of people don’t understand this because they don’t necessarily have their own set of beliefs. They just more or less have a very inclusivist idea towards people—we should all get along, we should all love one another, and I love that compassion, I really do. But once you have your own set of beliefs, once you have your own construction of what the world is like, what you think this universe is, how it came to be, once you come up with your own conclusions, you will find out that you have your own views and other people have their views and to some degree they’re contradictory.

Anybody who believes in any truth thinks that their truth is true and others are incorrect. And so it’s not intolerant. It’s just the very nature of what it means to believe something to be true.

CRISTIE: So you were a Muslim {that} converted to Christianity. Were you a liberal or non-practicing Muslim and is that why maybe you had a predisposed attitude toward becoming a Christian?

Nabeel: No, not at all. I was a very devout Muslim. I was raised in a devout Muslim home, reciting the Quran by the age of three, I’d finished the entire Quran recitation by the age of five. My father often led the daily prayers in the community. My mom was often taking roles of responsibility. My grandfather was a Muslim missionary and my great-grandfather was a Muslim missionary, so I come from this line of devout Muslims and I really love the faith.

I honestly, fervently believed in the message of Islam. I loved the theology. It was in the midst of defending Islam and arguing for the truth of Islam that I realized, especially when it comes to the person of Jesus, that the claims of Islam don’t hold up in the face of the historical records of Jesus’ life.

Christie Jo Johnston; Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”; Nabeel Qureshi; TV Studio; Denham Hall; Jerry Johnston; Interview; Podcast;

CRISTIE: So really, you could give some of the credit of your conversion to Islam because of how hard you studied it.

Nabeel: Absolutely. I believe I was seeking Allah when I found Jesus and that was the whole point. Islam tells you to pursue truth, and so I did. But in pursuing truth, in pursuing God, I came to the reality of Jesus.

CRISTIE: Recently you were diagnosed with stage 4-stomach cancer. What’s your prognosis and how has that impacted your faith?

Nabeel: This is stage 4-stomach cancer, which has a survival rate of four percent. And so you know, 90 percent, 70 percent, even 20 percent, you can think, I can beat the odds. I can do this. But when they come back and say, “You have a four percent chance of surviving,” you really don’t walk away thinking, I can do this. You walk away thinking, I need a miracle. But here’s the thing. Our God exists. Our God is real and He is a miracle-working God.

I believe I’m going to be healed. And the reason for this is because in the scripture Jesus is constantly healing. He makes Himself present and available for every single person who comes to Him.

His will is for healing. Now if I don’t get healed and I pass on into the next life, does that mean that everything I believed was wrong? No. Does that mean that God’s will is not for healing? No.

God’s will can still be for healing. For some reason you might not be healed. That may still happen. But I honestly truly believe that I will be healed and I’m praying for it, I’m waiting for it. And I can’t wait to testify to God’s glory when that happens.

CRISTIE: How do you respond to people from your past who say that Allah is cursing you because you converted to Christianity?

Nabeel: That’s when I pray, “God save me. For Your namesake.” To be fair, I have lots of Muslims who are praying for me and sharing love with me. But I also have lots of Muslims who send me taunting emails, saying God is cursing you for what you’ve done and if you die, then the whole world will know that this is what happens to people who leave Islam and who proclaim Christ. And so throughout the Psalms we see David saying, “Lord, save Your servant for Your namesake,” and that’s been one of my prayers so that the work that has been done will continue to call people to Christ.

This doesn’t hinge on me, by any means. People have seen in the Islamic world what it means for Islam to proliferate. In Iran, for example, Shaddai became the law of the land during the Clerical Revolution, and now Iranians are becoming Christian in droves. Thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Iranians are becoming Christian because they’ve encountered the reality of Islam. The same thing happened in Egypt. Just before the Arab Spring, a survey was conducted to see how many people in Egypt believed in God, and 99 percent were theists. After the Arab Spring, after the Muslim Brotherhood came in, was given control for a while and then they were kicked out, the same survey was conducted and 70 percent now believe in God. They have seen Islam. They saw the Muslim Brotherhood bring in the core principles of Islam and they said, “We don’t want this.” So they’re rejecting that faith and they’re now coming to Christ in unprecedented numbers.

I know—I don’t just believe but I know—that this generation in the past 14 years has seen more Muslims coming to Christ than the previous 14 centuries combined. And whether I live or die is not going to change that. God is doing a movement in this world, where people are coming to know him in unprecedented ways. I am super excited about the 21st century because I believe that revival is going to happen unlike any, and this is the generation that gets to see it. So I hope to be a part of that here on this earth to see it, but if not, I’ll be watching it from Heaven.