Nabeel Qureshi, an author and apologist who wrote about his conversion from Islam to Christianity in several best-selling books, has died. He was 34.
Qureshi died on Saturday (Sept. 16) after a yearlong public battle with stomach cancer, according to a statement by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, where Qureshi was an itinerant speaker.
“As you consider my ministry, I hope it leaves a legacy of love, of peace, of truth, of caring for one another. That’s my hope and my purpose behind this,” Qureshi said in a final video posted Sept. 9 on social media.
“If at any point I’ve said anything that seems to contravene that, I do apologize, and I hope that that’s not the legacy I leave behind.”
Qureshi was raised an Ahmadi Muslim by his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan.
When he was an adult, a Christian friend challenged him to study Islam with a critical eye, the same way he had studied Christianity. After several years of investigation, and what he described as dreams and visions, he became a Christian — a decision he recounted in his New York Times best-selling book, “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity,” published in 2014.
He wrote two more apologetic books, “Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward” and “No God But One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity.”
For many Christians, Qureshi was their introduction to Islam, shaping what they knew and understood about the religion and its adherents and affirming evangelical beliefs. With master’s degrees in Christian apologetics from Biola University and religion from Duke University and a trusted Christian publisher like Zondervan behind him, he was a “safe” source of information, a “Muslim friend,” according to Ken Chitwood, a doctoral candidate in religion in the Americas and global Islam at the University of Florida.
“His book (‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus’), I think, for many Christians was a bridge to connect with the world of Islam and learn more about what Muslims believed,” Chitwood said.
Ravi Zacharias explained in Sunday’s Washington Post why he believed Qureshi and his books became so popular with Christian readers: “Because Islam is so much in the sights of the world right now, an articulate and…