Author Nabeel Qureshi has detailed his journey from Islam to Christianity in his new book, "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus," describing how he believes a God-given vision and dreams led him to embrace Jesus Christ.
Image source: Zondervan
Qureshi, a lifelong Muslim who was born in the U.S. after his parents immigrated from Pakistan, recently recalled a series of events that led him to appeal to God to answer a spiritual question that was eating away at his soul: Should he follow Jesus or Muhammad?
"I needed to hear from God himself who he was," he wrote in an op-ed for Christianity Today.
Despite years of embracing and defending Islam, Qureshi said he became "overwhelmed by the evidence" for Christianity during his college years as he more intensely studied Islam, feeling as though the faith of his childhood couldn't withstand scrutiny.
Qureshi met David Wood at Old Dominion University in Virginia, a classmate and a Christian who quickly became his best friend. The two would frequently debate theology, leading Qureshi to begin questioning Islam's pertinence.
After graduating college, Qureshi said he began regularly praying and asking God to show himself, and he said the Lord answered.
"I remember in the Quran it says, 'Allah hears those who call out to him.' In the Bible it says, 'Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened,'" Qureshi told the Christian Post. "So when I was asking God for these dreams I'm basically saying, 'God of the Quran and God of the Bible, both of you are saying that you will answer me if I call out to you, so whoever you are God, I need you now.'"
He claims to have had a vision and three dreams by the time he completed his first year of medical school. There was one dream that he said was particularly memorable.
"In it I was standing at the threshold of a strikingly narrow door, watching people take their seats at a wedding feast. I desperately wanted to get in, but I was not able to enter, because I had yet to accept my friend David's invitation to the wedding," he wrote. "When I awoke, I knew what God was telling me, but I sought further verification. It was then that I found the parable of the narrow door, in Luke 13:22–30. God was showing me where I stood."
While he felt God was guiding him toward Christianity, Qureshi struggled with the idea of abandoning Islam -- something he knew would separate him from his family and bring his parents shame. But he said he simply couldn't escape the inevitable.
He converted, finding intense comfort in the Bible, but says his parents were "shattered" and remain that way even today.
In his interview with the Christian Post, Qureshi explained that Muslim countries don't share the Western ideal of being able to "commune with God," noting that this is a Christian concept. Dreams, many times, are the solution to this connective problem.
"In Islam, for example, people don't expect to have God talk back to them personally, as the Holy Spirit isn't living in them," he said. "They ask God for guidance through dreams; that's like the one way that Muslims expect to hear from God."
Qureshi shared examples from his own upbringing, including his father's use of the salat istikhara prayer, an invocation to ask God to guide one's path. He said his father would use this when attempting to get answers about taking a new job or when making other major choices.
This practice comes from a hadith, or Islamic tradition, in which the Prophet Muhammad said, "The dreams of the faithful are prophetic," according to Qureshi. Another hadith reads, "dreams are 1/46th of revelation." Both of these sentiments are part of Islamic tradition.
This isn't the first time a Muslim-turned-Christian has claimed that Jesus reached out through a dream.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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