Nabeel Qureshi has compelled millions with his powerful story of conversion from Muslim to Christianity. He now works for renown speaker and theologian Ravi Zacharias spreading the word of God throughout the world, but in a recent speech to thousands gathered at the National Mall, he admitted that following Jesus was “the most painful thing” he’s ever done.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing all will be well after we choose to accept Jesus, but as God promises us in James 1:2, there will be trials:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
And Nabeel certainly has experienced his fair share. In fact, his world came crashing in on him so hard after his conversion that he asked God to kill him. Nabeel lost his family, friends, and all those he loved.
“Eleven years ago, I made the most difficult decision in my life and the greatest decision in my life,” he said, according to an article by Christian Post. “A friend of mine had reached out to me with the gospel when I was a college student–a freshman. I was very happy with my faith. I was a Muslim and I was a proud Muslim. I loved Islam. I was not a likely convert. I was not looking for love. I was not looking for help.”
Though Nabeel was content in his faith, his friend was relentless.
The two constantly argued, and Nabeel insisted that the Bible was not reliable. However, four years later, reality hit him hard. As the realization that Jesus was the one true God sunk in, he also had to accept that truth was exclusive.
If God is God, then Allah is not.
After three powerful dreams, God spoke to Nabeel through the vision of a door with a very narrow opening. Nabeel knew that on the other side was heaven, and there was only one way through. It was just tall and wide enough for him to fit.
After he woke up, he realized something that was missing in the Quran.
“It was a rude awakening that there isn’t a single verse in the Quran designed to comfort a hurting man. Not one,” he said through tears.
It was then that he flipped to Matthew chapter 5 and spotted the verse that reads “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
“God I know what you want me to do,” responded Nabeel, “but I just need time to mourn.”
The Truth had been permanently sealed in his heart at that moment, but that didn’t stop the pain that was to come.
“When I became a Christian, it was the most painful thing I ever did. I wanted to die,” he said. “I asked God to kill me because I lost my family. I lost my friends in the mosque. I lost all the people who loved me the moment I became Christian.”
It was in that horrible moment of despair that he learned what it truly meant to take up his cross and follow Christ.
When Nabeel asked God why he wouldn’t kill him, God’s response knocked him to his knees:
“Because this wasn’t about you, it’s about Me.”
Those words changed him forever.
“While I was wallowing in self-pity, focused on myself, there was a whole world with literally billions of people who had no idea who God is, how amazing He is, and the wonders He has done for us,” Nabeel shared in his book Seeking Allah: Finding Jesus. “They are the ones who are really suffering. They don’t know His hope, His peace, and His love that transcends all understanding. They don’t know the message of the gospel. After loving us with the most humble life and the most horrific death, Jesus told us, ‘As I have loved you, go and love one another.’ How could I consider myself a follower of Jesus if I was not willing to live as He lived? To die as He died? To love the unloved and give hope to the hopeless?”
Nabeel’s message of hope amidst suffering speaks more loudly than ever during this time of world crisis plagued by unspeakable acts of terrorism.
“We see what is happening in the world today,” he said. “We see bombings in the Turkey airport. We see shootings in Orlando. We see people killing mindlessly across the world. God has a plan to heal this world. It can only happen through His hands and His feet and that is us. That’s why you are alive. To share this message and transform this world by the Holy Spirit living inside you.”
See more from Nabeel’s gripping testimony in the interview below: