An Intellectual and Spiritual Journey from Islam to Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi
I thank God Almighty for your devotion to the truth and your desire to lay aside personal comfort for His sake, for He is Truth. Your struggle to get closer to the truth—and thereby closer to God—will be rewarded due to your sincerity and purity of heart. It is for you that I write my testimony.
I myself have always been dedicated to finding the truth, and many extraordinary events have transpired which led me there. I am certain that the miraculous occurrences in my life have all been due to that pure dedication which is readily available to all of us, and not in any way due to skill or accomplishment of my own. Praise be to God, for I asked, and He gave. I sought, and He helped me find. I knocked on the door of truth, and He opened it for me.
My name is Nabeel. Born as a U.S. Citizen in California, I was raised by devout Muslim parents. My mother and father are immigrants from Pakistan and among the most dedicated Muslims I have ever known. My father was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and because of his career I have lived up and down the Atlantic Coast in the United States, as well as in the U.K.
My mother taught me Urdu and Arabic before I learned English at the age of four. By age five I had read the entire Qur’an in Arabic and had already memorized many chapters. From that time on, my life as a Muslim was used as a model for all the children in the local Islamic communities. Every morning, as soon as my eyes opened, I recited the prayer that was to be read upon waking, thanking Allah for saving me from the death of sleep and for giving me another day to live. I would then proceed to my morning recitation of the Qur’an, following this with the first of the five daily prayers (salaat). Interspersed were many smaller prayers, such as the prayer recited during ceremonial washing (wudhu), the prayers before reciting the Qur’an, the prayers before the morning salaat (fajr), and the prayers immediately after fajr. Then would come the prayers before eating and after eating. Then there were the prayers upon leaving the home and while walking to the bus stop. Soon afterwards I would find myself sitting in class, reciting prayers which ask Allah to give me knowledge and help me learn . . . etc. All of this by 7:30 a.m. But the prayers did not stop there; a devout Muslim’s day is full of the remembrance of God through traditional Islamic methods.
Suffice it to say, my youth was not lost in complacency and disillusionment with religion. I loved Islam with all my heart. The reason for this was not only that Islam was the religion of my parents (though this was surely a factor), but for two other reasons. First, as I had learned it, Islam was a very peaceful religion that taught me to worship God Almighty, and because of this, my family’s devoted practice was not in vain: we were the happiest and most tightly-knit family that I (and many of my friends) had ever seen. Second, I had learned to defend Islam using reason and evidence. My parents taught me never to believe anything blindly, and as such they provided me with an apologetic stance on Islam (i.e. one that focuses on reason and evidence as a defense of the faith). Being naturally inquisitive, I greatly appreciated this approach to religion.
Islam was not just my religion, it was the whole structure of my life. Born into and raised in Islam, it was my heart’s blood. Laying the foundation for how a youth should live, Islam was the framework and the blueprint of my life. Edified by apologetics, I challenged its opponents and called everyone else to it. It was here, standing atop the minaret of Islamic life, that Christ called out to me.
— Nabeel Qureshi