A Muslim Friend once told me that it is very rare for a Muslim to convert to another religion. That did surprise me, but after reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi, I understood why.
Like a majority of professed Christians who have never read the Bible in its entirety, I learned the same is true for followers of Islam. But unlike Jesus, who indisputedly lived a very just existence and life of love, the author cites some interesting things about Muhammad’s life that weren’t compatible with what he and his fellow Muslims were taught by Imams and other teachers of Islam. There were also some surprising statements that the author found in the Quran and hadith (a revered reference for Islamic law and history) which was compiled by Sahih Bukhari who is considered a reliable and scholarly source by most Muslims.
It is not for me to judge the choice of others’ religions, but the book provided an insight that I had never before known. It also made me appreciate the sacrifices that some must still make to follow Jesus. And it brought home the importance of knowing all that one can about the path one chooses to find God.
The Bible can be difficult to interpret and I’ve discovered many times from my pastor, who is a Biblical scholar, that translations can play a big part in changing what I once thought. Even without the same background to interpret correctly, I understand the importance to still read it because I discover something new each time I read it in its entirety.
So how did I manage to read the entire Bible several times? I bought one of those “read the Bible in a year” Bibles. It was the New International Version (NIV), which I also have on my Kindle. Additionally, I have a hardcopy of the New Revised Standard Version (NSRV) which some of us ELCA Lutherans tend to utilize most.
Now, back to: What did I learn after reading the aforementioned book? Lots! Not only did I learn about Islam from a formerly devout Muslim, but the importance of knowing about one’s own religion. I’m confident that I have chosen for myself the correct path to God via Christianity, and I will never stop learning. But, the journey is one which each of us must determine and independently travel.