The convert: Why I left Islam to follow Jesus
Former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi explains how his search for the truth about Jesus in scripture led to his conversion.
Contrast is the mother of clarity. So says author Os Guinness, and this principle is what ultimately led me away from Islam and towards the gospel.
As a young Muslim in the West, our community very intentionally defended me against Christianity, the majority religion. The first verses of the Koran that I and the other young children at our mosque memorised proclaimed that God is neither Father nor Son (based on Surah 112:3).
Traditions informed us that this teaching makes up a third of the Koran (Sahih Muslim 812), so we recited it every day. By the age of six, I had recited, ‘God is not a Father, God is not a Son’ thousands of times. It is no wonder I became a bold opponent of the Trinity.
We were also taught that Muhammad was God’s greatest messenger; the most perfect man who ever lived. We learnt the story of his life and did our utmost to follow it. We emulated him to such a degree that we even attempted to walk into the lavatory the way he did. The reverence we accorded him was barely secondary to our reverence for Allah.
Although Islam teaches that the Bible and the Koran originated from God, we were effectively instructed that they were polar opposites: the Bible has been polluted, the Koran remains pristine; the Bible is partially the word of man, the Koran is purely the word of God; the Bible contains contradictions, the Koran is completely coherent; the Bible leads to confusion, the Koran leads to life.
So, as a young Muslim I ardently called others to the way of Islam. I was certain of its truth. My confidence in Islam translated into zeal for Allah, Muhammad, the Koran and sharia. But contrast is the mother of clarity.
DOUBTING THE KORAN
I met a young Christian named David, and we quickly became firm friends due to our common morals and devotion. The time came when I challenged him on the reliability of the Bible, and I had finally met someone who was equipped to defend his faith.
Ultimately, he challenged me to contrast the history of the Bible with that of the Koran. It was then that I discovered there had been so much dispute over the Koran early in its history that an official edict established one standard Koran and ordered all the rest destroyed (Sahih Bukhari 6:61:509-510). There was no occasion for the Bible to have been officially altered throughout Christendom, but there was certainly occasion for the Koran to have been modified throughout the House of Islam, and records remain of old variants that testify to former versions.
While discussing the Bible and the Koran, I also challenged David on the divine authority of Jesus…
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