Don't Be Afraid to Befriend a Person of a Different Faith
It is always exciting to hear the story of how God gets ahold of a person. On one hand, each story has a common ring to it; God’s grace. At the same time, each story is unique and the story of Nabeel Qureshi is no exception. Qureshi’s journey to faith is captured in this New York Times bestseller, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity.
Nabeel was born into an American family of devout Muslim faith and Pakistani descent. His dad was a career Navy man, rising in rank within the military. As Nabeel grew up, he lived with the tension of colliding worldviews. On the one hand, he and his family were defined and shaped by their Muslim faith; while on the other hand, living in the West exposed him to a greater diversity of opinion and worldview.
Nabeel excelled in academics and he went to Old Dominion University to prepare for a career in medicine. At the beginning of this freshman year, he met a fellow classmate by the name of David Wood. David was a devout Christian, and from the moment these two young men met, they became instant friends. In fact, this seemingly “odd-couple” became inseparable. Both were equally devout in their faith, and yet, they developed a deep friendship that allowed for honest scrutiny of what they both believed to be true.
Nabeel’s journey to faith in Jesus didn’t come easy and he didn’t embrace Jesus as his Savior and Lord until the year after he graduated from college. There is much for us to learn from his story that I would commend to us as we seek to live “sent lives” wherever God has placed us.
Genuinely befriend those outside of your faith.
David’s friendship with Nabeel was genuine and real. Through their relationship they were able to talk about substantive issues of faith.
Christianity stands up against the scrutiny of questions.
One of the strengths of this book is that you get to listen in on how Nabeel tried to dismantle the major tenets of the Christian faith, and yet, each time he found that there were good reasonable responses that pointed to the truth of Christianity. Whether it was the Bible as the Word of God, the nature of Jesus as God and man, the Trinity, or the death and resurrection of Jesus – each of these major tenets of our faith can stand the test of scrutiny.
The promise of the Bible is that if someone seeks God, he can be found.
Nabeel’s journey to faith is one of intense inquiry into the claims of Christianity, and yet, reason alone was not sufficient to bring him to faith. Knowing the cost of leaving Islam for Christ, he cried out to God to confirm the truth of Jesus. Through a series of dreams, God made himself undeniably known to Nabeel.
This book was also helpful in understanding the major tenets of Islam. It was a good reminder that there are many Muslims in our country who have a love for America, and who are peaceful people. I admired the strong sense of family they have and the intentional way they pass their faith down to their children.
Don’t be afraid to befriend a person of a different faith. Often they hold to their faith with the same sincerity you do. Perhaps God may use you to help them come to know the truth of Jesus.
Since his conversion to faith in Christ, Nabeel has since become an apologist for the Christian faith and he is part of RZIM, the ministry led by Ravi Zacharias. Recently, Nabeel was diagnosed with stomach cancer, though a recent scan has indicated that the tumor is gone. If you would like to get to know him more, you can follow him on Facebook.
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