Did you know that there have been more large movements of Muslims coming to Christ in the last two decades than in the preceding fourteen hundred years combined? David Garrison has documented these movements in his book, “A Wind in the House of Islam.” He also tells how many Muslims are reporting dreams and visions about the truth of Christ.
Nabeel grew up in a solid, and loving, Muslim family—and not just any Muslim family. A devout family that, though residing in America, was very serious about their faith. Nabeel’s grandfather and great-grandfather were even Muslim missionaries to Indonesia and Uganda.
As a young boy, Nabeel had memorized large chunks of the Qur’an. By the time he had reached middle school, Nabeel had learned how to challenge and stump Christians who tried to share the gospel with him by asking them, for example, to defend the reliability of the Bible or the doctrine of the Trinity.
“I found out,” he said, “from a very early age that Christians just did not have answers to these questions. Each time I had a conversation, it bolstered my Islamic faith,” he told me on BreakPoint This Week. Nabeel stayed secure in his Muslim beliefs and identity until college, when he met a sophomore named David Wood.
David was a Christian, but when Nabeel challenged him, something strange happened. “David didn’t react like other Christians I had challenged,” Nabeel said. “He did not waver in his witness, nor did he waver in his friendship with me. Far from it—he became more engaged, answering the questions he could respond to, investigating the questions he couldn’t respond to, and spending time with me through it all.”
That, my friends, is a model of witnessing that we can all follow: explaining our faith as best we can, admitting when we don’t know the answers, doing our homework, and remaining a friend. And let’s face it: A lot of us just don’t know why we believe what we believe. As a consequence, we’re not ready for those kinds of intellectual challenges. This dishonors Christ and shortchanges our faith. After all, the command is to love God also with all our minds.
David Wood hung in there while the back-and-forth went on for years. Eventually, Nabeel had to reluctantly conclude that the case for Christianity was very strong. And then David asked Nabeel to give the Qur’an the same sort of critical treatment that he had given the Bible. He did, and he was shocked to learn that the case for Islam was so weak.
Distraught, Nabeel asked God to guide him into the truth, and you might guess what happened. After one vision and three dreams, a continued study of Scripture, and the faithful witness of a friend, Nabeel was faced with an excruciating choice: Did he love Jesus more than his family?
Finally Nabeel knew what he had to do—come off the minaret, pick up his cross and follow Jesus, no matter what. When he told his family, his mother was crushed, saying, “Why have you betrayed me?”
They left Nabeel, but Jesus didn’t. Nabeel wanted to die, asking, “Why, God?” And then he felt Christ’s answer: “Because this is not about you.” Now, Nabeel is an itinerant evangelist with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and his story has just been published in his book “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.”
John Stonestreet is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and is heard on Breakpoint, a radio commentary that is broadcast on 400 stations with an audience of eight million.