A Devout Muslim’s Powerful Journey to Christ: An Interview with Nabeel Qureshi
by Sherri Huleatt
Today’s interview is with Nabeel Qureshi, a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the gospel’s truth through historical reasoning and a spiritual search for God. Since his conversion to Christianity, Qureshi joined the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias ministries, and has dedicated his life to spreading the gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating. In Qureshi’s first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim’s Journey to Christ, he details his emotional journey from Islam to Christianity, while setting forth powerful arguments for Christianity. The book offers both a personal account and scholarly research, and aims to break down the barriers between Christians and Muslims—download it today on Vyrso.
1. What are the biggest factors that keep Muslims from converting to Christianity?
The environment and community they’ve been raised in keeps them from converting. For Muslims, Christianity is shameful, so to become a Christian would be dishonorable.
Also, for Muslims, believing Jesus is God is a sin. In fact, it’s the biggest sin there is. When I told my mom I’d converted, she said she’d rather I was an atheist or a homosexual. This belief precludes them from ever thinking about Christianity.
2. You said Christians’ reputation also keeps Muslims from converting—what sort of reputation do they have in the Muslim world?
Within Muslim culture, especially in places where there aren’t many Christians, Christianity is seen as a religion for lesser people, for people who need a crutch—who need forgiveness, and status. Especially in Pakistan and Indonesia, Christianity is viewed as a religion for lower-class people. Also, the Koran views the Trinity as polytheistic, so if you’re a Christian, you’re a polytheist. This isn’t the view all Muslims have, but it is in places where there are few Christians—like Pakistan, where my family is from.
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3. How can Christians better understand and reach out to Muslims?
By spending time with them and being good witnesses. Everyone thinks other people are the same as them, so we transpose our character and feelings on other people. But not everyone thinks like a Westerner; this is why we have to build relationships. And this is why Christ spent time with the prostitutes and tax collectors—so he could relate personally to them, and that’s what Christians need to do too.
We need to show Muslims that Christians are loving, are intelligent, have thought through their faith, and honor God. Words won’t fix our reputation, but witnessing will. To reach Muslims, you must build relationships and friendships so they have a corrected image of what the gospel is.
4. What led you to first start pursuing Christianity?
I’d been challenging a Christian friend, telling him that the Bible wasn’t trustworthy and the Trinity was blasphemous. But throughout our debate, he gave me strong arguments for Christianity, and I began to see the strength in his case. He then asked me if I’d ever applied the same level of skepticism to Islam, which I hadn’t. When I began to apply the same critical criteria to my own religion, I realized the case for Christianity wasn’t just strong—it was the strongest. That’s when I began to accept the gospel…