Biola engages Islam through conference

Biola is hosting a conference dedicated to how to deal with apologetics and Islam this weekend, covering Islam and the West, Muhammad, and evangelism.

Julia Henning and Julia Henning

Nabeel Qureshi dedicated his life to defending Christianity after his journey out of devout Islamic faith. He brought his insight to the first night of the Apologetics to Islam Weekend Seminar on Thursday, April 19.

“I really am honored to be able to teach here. I really am honored to talk about our Lord. I love talking about what he’s done in my life and I really love being able to equip others to reach people for his glory so it’s a huge honor,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi provides insight

On Thursday night, Qureshi gave his testimony and a brief overview of how Muslims in the West view Islam. He discussed the five pillars of Islam and the six articles of faith. Finally, he taught on the life of Muhammad and the conquests of his empire.

On Friday night, Qureshi taught in depth about the Quran and on the life of Muhammad. On Saturday, he will be speaking on the arguments against Islam and how to evangelize to Muslims. He even presented a website that Muslims use to draw westerners to Islam.

Journey to Christianity

“I concluded that the case for Christianity was looking far more strong than the case for Islam and if I were going to be objective about this … I would have to leave Islam,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi explained that his parents emigrated from Pakistan and raised him and his sisters to be devout Muslims in America. Growing up, he was taught that due to the errors in the Bible, the fact that Christians believed Jesus was God, and because Christians claim that they have salvation through Christ, Christianity could not be true. He was also taught to believe that the Quran has never been changed, that there are scientific claims made in the Quran that Muhammad could have never known, and the Quran is unsurpassed in beauty and design. Thus, it is true and Christianity is wrong. But then, something happened which rocked all he had ever known.


9/11 leads to a search for truth


“In September 2001, everything went crazy when the Twin Towers were attacked because my parents had taught me my whole life that Islam was the religion of peace … and here are people who in the name of Allah are flying planes into a building, killing all kinds of people,” Qureshi said.

That began his search for truth. “I was just pouring my heart out to God. … I wanted to know what the truth is. Whatever the truth is, I want to follow it. I don’t care if it’s Islam and I don’t care if it’s Christianity, I just care about who you [God] are. It doesn’t matter how hard the path is to walk, I will walk,” he said.

Qureshi explained, logically and scientifically, Islam started to not make sense. Qureshi also explained that leaving Islam would cost him everything and he spoke of how he went back to his apartment and began to read Matthew 5 and immediately he was comforted. When he did, he said, it was as if the Bible was alive. Now he has dedicated his life to defending and promoting Christianity before the Islamic world.


Conference draws crowd


The seminar counts as two course credits for graduate students in Biola’s apologetics program.

People attending the conference range from graduate students and curious undergrad students, to the interested public.

“I came because I believe there is a threat to our nation. I want to learn how to be an effective witness to Muslims. I am a part of Concerned Women of America and I want to understand,” Carol Bowels said.

“I pray that the course will help equip all who both attend and hear it on the available media to effectively reach Muslims for Jesus Christ,” said Kevin Lewis, associate professor of theology and law.

The remainder of the seminar will be taking place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. The cost to attend is $30.


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