Author and speaker Nabeel Qureshi lost his year-long battle with stomach cancer on Saturday, September 16, 2017. He was 34 years old. Hundreds gathered at Houston's First Baptist Church and thousands more online to honor Qureshi.
Apologist, author and mentor of Qureshi, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, spoke at the funeral service. This is what Dr. Zacharias said about Qureshi: "This abnormally born, abnormally torn, abnormally scorned man is now abnormally gone. Gone at such an early age in life," he said. "So what I say to you is this: He's not the only one who's died young."
"I have met many a person who can do that investigatory stuff and do all of this research and still say, 'but I can't,'" Zacharias said. "He wanted to know the truth, because he knew that in following the truth was his true freedom. But what was it about that truth that I think was so beautiful in the life of Nabeel? He understood sin in a way that is also unique."
"When I think of sin, I think of the way I've stumbled," Zacharias said. "I think of all the horrible things we do. To Nabeel, sin was just symptomatic in those terms. He understood John 9 profoundly. That sin, in its deepest reality, was a blindness. It was a veiled look at what reality was all about."
Zacharias also addressed Qureshi's parents, who are Pakistani Americans and Ahmadi Muslims, greeting them in their native tongue. "His biggest heartache was the pain the family was going to feel at his commitment to Christ," Zacharias said. "His passion was tearing him apart over his love of his Heavenly Father and his commitment to his earthly father and mother and family."
The evangelist described Qureshi as "fearless" and "a man on a mission" as others attempted to discredit his message or even threatened his life as he preached in areas where Christians suffer persecution.
"He did not care about those who fabricated stories about him; he did not care about those who tried to knock him off," Zacharias said. "He was willing to be an ambassador for Christ right to the end."
A convert from Islam to Christianity, Qureshi was known as an apologist for the Christian faith, a powerful preacher, and a best-selling author. He had an MD degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, an MA in religion from Duke University, and an MPhil in Judaism and Christianity from Oxford University. At the time of his diagnosis with cancer, he was in the midst of a doctoral program in New Testament at Oxford University.
His best-selling book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (Zondervan 2014) chronicles his conversion to Christianity. It was followed by Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward (Zondervan 2016), which was written in the days immediately following the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino. His final book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? (Zondervan 2016), was written ten years after his conversion and went on sale just one year ago.