I had no idea he was dying. When I finished this book several weeks ago, I was oblivious to the state of the author. That makes his testimony hit home in an especially poignant manner. More so, when you watch videos of him in his last days. For those who would rather not follow the link, I would describe Nabeel there as hopeful, yet struggling.
Perhaps that’s the best way to summarize his book. Even his life. As I read this narrative of his journey toward finding Jesus, I was first a little bored with the background. I often enjoy that bit of humanizing history, but in this instance, I was waiting for the climax. As his story unfolded, it proved to be both touching and difficult, mesmerizing me with nuance, suspense, and emotion. He faced enormous obstacles in his search for truth, and he sacrificed a tremendous amount. Further, the backstory he had so meticulously laid out paid off in very dramatic ways, reaching straight to the heart.
Compared to say, C.S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy, this one obviously falls short on British wit. But what it lacks there, it makes up for with additional doses of heart. Most importantly, as with Lewis’s work, Qureshi’s drips with truth, passion, and meaning.
Now, as I write this in the face of his recent passing, I find a bittersweet hope in what he went through–both during his conversion and in his final days. I was ready to give this one five stars, but now I wish my rating system could go higher.
Rest in peace, Mr. Qureshi.
5 out of 5 stars