by B Tyler Ellis
Allah, Islam, Muslims, Muhammand, and the Quran.
If these five words don’t characterize your worldview, it’s quite possible they intimidate you a little.
There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and 3.5 million of them live in North America. Still, if you are not a Muslim, chances are you don’t know a Muslim. In fact, it’s likely that you’ve never had a real conversation with a Muslim. This described me for most of my life.
As a College Minister going on eleven years, I have met tons of international students who are Muslim, mostly from Saudi Arabia. But it wasn’t until two years ago that I finally became personal friends with a Muslim.
I’ll never forget sitting across the table from Ayman at Indian Sizzler for lunch, when I was struck by the reality of my unfounded assumptions. I asked him to share about his impressions of American Christians before and after arriving in America. The more he spoke, the more I felt compelled to assure him, “Not all Christians are like that.”
Then, he asked me to share my impressions of Muslims from the Middle East. Ironically, on the television in the background, a news story was covering yet another terrorist attack somewhere in the world by Islamic fanatics. Ayman then assured me, “Not all Muslims are like that.”
Seeking Resources, Finding Inspiration
Since that day at Indian Sizzler with my friend Ayman, I’ve been on the lookout for resources that would better educate me about Islam.
After searching online, what initially drew me to Nabeel Qreshi’s new book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, is that the author was a Muslim who converted to Christianity. His book is also endorsed by Ravi Zacharias and Josh McDowell, and the foreword was written by Lee Strobel; three men who were also Christian converts, either from another religion or from atheism.
As a narrative autobiography, Nabeel’s book is easy to read (or listen to). In fact, I listened to the audiobook twice in a row.
The first part of the book goes into the author’s upbringing; the book jacket says it well, “providing an intimate window into a loving Muslim home.” It doesn’t take long to see, Nabeel and his family are the real deal, as devout as they come…
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