During his lifetime, Nabeel Qureshi was a Pakistani-American Christian evangelist, college tutor, and a best-selling New York Times author. Qureshi converted to Christianity from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in 2005 and subsequently earned a reputation as a well-known Christian apologist. He was also a protégé of another Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, and was a regular speaker at the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).
Nabeel Qureshi Family, Parents
Nabeel Qureshi was born on 13 April 1983 in California, USA. His parents are Pakistani Muslims of the Islamic sect Ahmadiyya, who fled their homeland due to persecution by other Muslims. His father served in the United States Navy, so the family moved separately. After his father left the service, they finally settled in Virginia.
Their family was closely associated with Islam. Nabeel Qureshi was taught the Arabic language by his mother, and by the age of five, he had read the entire Qur’an in Arabic and also memorized some chapters. He was well educated in Muslim apologetics by his parents, who provided him with the necessary knowledge to defend his faith against other religions.
Over the years, Nabeel Qureshi became an accomplished Islamic apologist and regularly took part in inter-religious debates with Christians. One of these discussions began in August 2001 between Qureshi and his then-roommate David Wood. The informal debate between the two lasted for several years and culminated, among other events, in the willing conversion of Nabeel Qureshi to Christianity on August 30, 2005. Qureshi’s conversion was devastating for his entire family, who are devout Muslims, but their relationship remained warm in the years that followed.
Nabeel Qureshi received his college education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He received his medical degree from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He also received a Master of Arts degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University in 2008 and an M.A. in Religion from Duke University in 2012. The Christian apologetics also had an M.Phil. degree in Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman World from Oxford University. At the time he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Qureshi was studying for a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies at Oxford University.
In February 2014, Nabeel Qureshi published his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Pious Muslim Meets Christianity, which describes his conversion from Islam to Christianity. The book made it to the New York Times bestseller list and was also awarded 2 Christian Book Awards in the categories “Best New Author” and “Best Non-Fiction Book”. The book has sold well over 250,000 copies.
In July 2014, Nabeel Qureshi was listed among the “33 under 33” emerging religious leaders by the magazine “Christianity Today”. The renowned Christian author published his second book “Responses to Jihad”: A Better Way Forward” on March 8, 2016, followed in quick succession by his third book No God But One: Allah or Jesus? A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity, which was published on August 16, 2016. The itinerant scholar is also known for lecturing to students at over 100 colleges around the world, including Oxford University and John Hopkins University.
Nabeel Qureshi was married to Michelle Qureshi. The two entered into the marriage in 2005. They had a child together, a daughter named Ayah Fatima Qureshi, who was born in August 2015. Before her marriage, Michelle Qureshi served in the United States Coast Guard. She continued the legacy and Christian ministry of her late husband after his death in 2017.
Nabeel Qureshi announced through social media that he had been diagnosed with an advanced form of stomach cancer in August 2013. With immense support from his family, Qureshi pursued all forms of curing the deadly disease. He received medical care at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Unfortunately, he died on September 16, 2017, one year after being diagnosed. Nabeel Qureshi was 34 years old at the time of his death. Although they differed widely in their religious beliefs, his family was by his side during these difficult last days. His funeral took place on 21 September 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Houston.