Of all the events that occurred in 2017, losing Dr. Nabeel Qureshi was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve witnessed in my life. I say witnessed because he was a passionate video blogger and award-winning author that I followed on a regular basis until the week that he died–the last video he posted can still be viewed at this link. Nabeel was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2016 and passed away in 2017. Leaving behind his wife, two-year old daughter, and Christ-centered legacy, Nabeel is someone I wish I would have been able to meet in person and now will only be able to meet in heaven.
The reason why I am writing a tribute to him today is because his books changed the way I (and thousands of others–read his obituaries on The Gospel Coalition or Christianity Today) think about, and pray for, Muslims around the world. Nabeel himself was raised as part of a devout Muslim family, and his choice to become a Christian in his 20s nearly estranged him from his parents completely. Mentored by prolific author and speaker Ravi Zacharias, Nabeel wrote three books and spoke in venues worldwide up until his death last September. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a great one to start with if you’re interested in Nabeel’s conversion experience.
As I sit here and write this tribute to Nabeel, I am listening to a mother who called into our local Christian radio station with “an update on her daughter who recently had surgery for stomach cancer.” The daughter’s diagnosis was clear–the surgery had taken away the stomach cancer completely. While I rejoice with this mother on the radio, I look back to this blog post and think through questions like, “If God could heal this girl, why couldn’t he heal Nabeel?,” or, “Why did Nabeel have to die so young?,” or, “Now that Nabeel is gone, who is supposed to help us better understand God’s plan for Muslims and Muslim nations around the globe?”
I am thankful for the Chicagoland pastor who gave me this book to read in 2015, and am grateful the Lord called Nabeel to share his story in such amazing ways. I can only hope someone else will carry his courageous torch as we head into the future.
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