If you haven’t heard about Nabeel Qureshi, I suggest you buy his bestseller, Searching for Allah, Finding Jesus. This book is more than Nabeel Qureshi’s biography. It’s masterpiece that could help you interaction with your Muslim neighbors with wisdom and understanding.
With the rise in the influx of Muslims in Europe and the perpetuation of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US, Christians should make an effort to understand Islam. You cannot reach those you don’t understand. And if you let popular media inform you about Islam, you’re bound to be misled.
Searching for Allah, Finding Jesus is a primer about Islam beliefs, values, and practices. But the book doesn’t only give you the basic facts about Islam. Or cement popular opinions about Muslims. Nabeel Qureshi puts a name to the woman wearing a jihab in your flight to Boston and a face to the young girl wearing a burkini during your vacation in Nice.
Nabeel Qureshi’s typical Muslim is his father, mother, aunt or grandmother. It’s not that villain that terrorized Jack Bauer in 24 Day 4, Habib Marwan. Or Osama bin Laden, ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. But this shouldn’t surprise you because Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim.
Nabeel Qureshi really knows the ins and outs of Islam. Following the Wheaton College jihab controversy, Nabeel Qureshi debated prominent Christian theologian, Miroslav Volf on Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?. Pope Francis and Miroslav Volf said we do. But is that true?
Is the Judeo-Christian Shema, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one,” and the Islamic shahada, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger,” the same?
Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
I first heard the claim that Allah and Jehovah are one when I was in fourth grade. My parents were Christians who believed in Jehovah but not in Jesus Christ. But most of my dad’s siblings believed in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, born Mírzá Ḥusayn-`Alí Núrí in 1817.
Bahá’u’lláh claimed that he was the coming messenger prophesied in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism. In short, Bahá’u’lláh agreed with Miroslav Volf and preached, “there is only one God, that all of the world’s religions are from God, and that now is the time for humanity to recognize its oneness and [should] unite.”
Recently, Nabeel Qureshi published a book that seeks to answer people like Volf, Bahá’u’lláh, Pope Francis and anyone who believes Christians and Muslims worship the same God. In No God But One: Allah or Jesus?, Nabeel Qureshi agrees that there’s only one God but this God isn’t the Muslim Allah.
“It’s the One God who chose to reveal himself in Jesus Christ. This is the God who chose to die a shameful death on the Cross for the salvation of sinners. He is a just God who is abundant in mercy.” In paraphrase, this is Nabeel Qureshi’s argument in No God But One: Allah or Jesus?.
Accepting that Muhammad is the messenger of God is actually denying Jesus Christ is our only Savior and Lord. Why is that? Despite having several similarities, Christians and Muslims have different beliefs pertaining the most fundamental thing – salvation, the way to the kingdom of God.
Nabeel Qureshi argued that Muslims believe that salvation is only through Sharia. Sharia means the way and is the embodiment of the Islamic law that regulates both the private and public life of Muslims. But in Christianity Jesus declared that he is the way, the truth, and the life.
5 Quick Tips on Engaging Your Muslim Neighbor
Knowing that you don’t worship the same God with Muslims is not enough. This is only the starting point. It should motivate you to love your neighbor. God willing, you should make every effort to reveal the One true God to them. But how can you do that?
1. Love your neighbor
Nabeel Qureshi observed, “I often come across two kinds of people: Christians who enjoy criticizing Islam, and Muslims who want to argue but do not want to learn. I am not writing this book for either of them.” The commandment to love requires that we seek to love instead of winning arguments.
But sometimes you will have a Muslim neighbor who only wants to argue without learning. Love them all the same. Through love, you will show them the goodness of the Lord. And remember, the goodness of God leads unto repentance.
2. Your Faith Might Be Blasphemous
Anyone who has talked to people of another faith has heard the claim that Christianity is sometimes offensive. But have you ever heard anyone saying your faith in Jesus Christ is blasphemous? Sadly, every year hundreds of people are killed throughout the Arab world accused of blasphemy.
Muslims believe that Allah is one and the doctrine of Trinity is blasphemous. When you talk about Jesus being the express image of God, your Muslim neighbors quickly raise a red flag. She thinks you’re idolatrous, how can you worship Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father? You really need to know who Jesus is before you can minister to a Muslim, advised Nabeel Qureshi in both Searching for Allah, Finding Jesus and the recent No God But One: Allah or Jesus?.
3. Your Good News Is Gross Injustice To A Muslim
Do you know every Christian’s go-to story when trying to reach an unbeliever? God became a man, took the sins of all, and then died on the Cross? Well, Nabeel Qureshi said that to a Muslim, this story demonstrates gross injustice.
Your Muslim neighbor has a question: how can a just God punish the innocent for the sins of the wicked? Nabeel Qureshi used a powerful analogy to answer this. God is like an innocent judge who owns a grocery you steal. As the just judge, God says you should pay a fine. But since you can’t afford the fine, out of his mercy he pays it on your behalf. The good news is God is both just and merciful.
4. Your Seeking Neighbor Might Be Afraid
If you once spoke to a Muslim about Jesus Christ, you noticed some get argumentative or shy away. And you probably thought they were not interested. Your neighbor might be afraid. Rejecting Islam is a life or death decision.
When a Muslim hear the message of the gospel their instinct is fight or flight. And the anti-Muslim messages we watch on TV or social media doesn’t make it any better. Again, love is the answer. You need to see your neighbor in light of the love of Christ and talk to them in the love of the Father.
5. Be A Friend Of A Muslim
I talked to a Muslim lady a few days after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino. The shooting happened a few miles from where I lived. And the lady was afraid of her family’s life. She said wearing the hijab invited hurtful stares from people.
Being a friend doesn’t mean you reject the atrocities committed in the name of Allah by jihadists. It means loving your neighbor as you love yourself. You can learn more about Islam by befriending a Muslim. And you can reach her with the Gospel through love. Your words need to confirm your gospel lifestyle.
Pray For Nabeel Qureshi, Please
Last week, I woke up to a sad message from Ravi Zacharis. Ravi Zacharis is a Christian apologetic who worked with Nabeel Qureshi. Together they traveled the world preaching the gospel like Paul and Silas. Nabeel Qureshi has stage 4 stomach cancer.
Nabeel Qureshi is only a few years older than me. At my age, with two kids under five, I can’t imagine living knowing that my chances of reaching 40 are less than 4℅. It’s sad. And disappointing if you have watched his debates, listened to his sermons or read his books.
But Nabeel Qureshi is standing in faith. On Thursday morning he Twittered to his followers Psalm 27:13-14. And he shared a video on YouTube discuss his prognosis. He is not giving up and is believing for a miracle.
As you think about reaching out to your Muslim neighbor, remember Nabeel Qureshi in your prayers.