Nabeel Qureshi was raised in a strict conservative Muslim family in the United States. While in college and medical school, he began doubting Islam, testing its claims and finding them wanting. In his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (one of my favorite books I read in 2014), Qureshi tells readers this experience of converting to Christianity from Islam and the emotional toll it took. In his new book, No God But One: Allah or Jesus?, he provides readers with a look at the claims of both religions and what evidence caused him to convert.
Studying Islam and Christianity
In this book, Qureshi seeks to answer two major questions:
- Are Islam and Christianity really all that different?
- Can we know whether Islam or Christianity is True?
To do this, he provides a methodical look at the claims of Islam, comparing them to both the claims of Christianity and the historical record. His evaluation of Islam is thorough, covering Muhammad, the Quran, and sharia law.
For Christianity, he engages in discussions on the Trinity, the Crusades, Paul, the Bible, and several questions about Jesus, including his divinity, his claims of being God, and his death and resurrection.
Investigating the Claims of Islam
Qureshi presents the discussion like a seasoned investigator, weighing evidence and factual claims, and revealing when the claims do not hold up. While he is trying to be objective, he admits his own biases, as he is a former Muslim turned Christian.
That’s why it’s helpful that he frames the discussion in terms of his own conversion story, suggesting that these questions were the same ones he asked on his own journey, and here are the answers he found.
Qureshi has done his homework for this journey and this book; he regularly cites verses from the Quran, the Bible, and ancient sources from both traditions. His years of debating and discussing these topics along the speaking circuit pays off, as his arguments and counterpoints are sharp, incisive, and easy to understand. Overall, the book was a solid, fast-paced tour of the major historic tenants and beliefs of the world’s two largest religions.
One weakness I saw was in his criticism of oral traditions and exaltation of written traditions, all the while there are sizable portions of the Old Testament that went through an oral process. He rightly points out several areas where the oral tradition of the Quran is likely corrupted – like when Muhammad forgot verses. But his argument is weakened by the Old Testament being formed in a similar way. By being more precise in his discussion, highlighting the apparent discrepancies between the claims of the Quran and the Islamic tradition while not putting down all oral traditions, he would have made his argument stronger.
Who Is This Book For?
In some ways, this book is an excellent primer on Islam for Christians. As a former pastor, I’ve seen the ignorance most Christians have towards knowing what Islam teaches. This book will serve as a primer into the beliefs, teachings, and historical claims of Islam. It also allows for deeper study, with notes and citations to Quranic and other Islamic texts for further reading.
And, for those outside of Christianity, I think it is fair evaluation of both religions. While he is not unbiased, he carefully explains his findings and his beliefs, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. I think it will be a helpful guide for anyone either questioning the teachings of Islam, or looking to evaluate two of the most popular religions in the world.
In No God But One, Nabeel Qureshi has given us a closer look into his conversion story, in hopes that we too can learn more about these two great religions. Part memoir, part history of religion, and part systematic theology, this is a solid book that I would recommend to all and will give out to many.
Thanks to Zondervan for a review copy of the book!Tweet