I’ve just finished Nabeel Qureshi’s “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,” and I MUST recommend it. The work of God in his life perfectly depicts the key issues in the western understanding of Islam that lead many otherwise open and friendly Muslims to despise us and fear us. It also shows how graciousness among friends can open many doors, and help some walk through.
In America today it’s the way of ultimate right to be tolerant. About the refugee crisis, many have said we just need to be more tolerant because Islam is like any other religion. Others want to crucify anyone who even looks Middle Eastern, in spite of the fact that looking Middle Eastern only suggests Islamic origin and might mean that you are actually Christian, Zoroastrian or a desert tribal religion! Neither approach deals with the heart of the matter, or the real fundamental worldviews that separate us.
Where do you come from? Why do you think the way you do? It is more complicated and painful to alter a worldview at its basic level then most of us will ever know.
Tolerance or Graciousness?
I have a strong dislike of the word “tolerance”. It implies something done from disinterested obligation rather than heart felt conviction. It has come to be the buzz term for identifying those who accept behaviors that others deem morally disalute, and then it becomes the aluminum bat to beat anyone who isn’t “tolerant”.
No. What I learned from Nabeel’s story is not another call to tolerance, it’s a call to graciousness. To be gracious is to be hospitable, kind and welcoming. It cannotes tolerance of a kind that allows the building of life together, that allows for conflict and disagreement without destroying the relationship, and it leads far beyond mere tolerance and into the realm of love. How do you really come to love someone? You show grace. David and Nabeel demonstrate this kind of graciousness to each other in their story, and they lead their friends and family to walk a similar path as Nabeel searches for truth. Grace is not a call to blind, arbitrary acceptance that must disregard all differences. Rather, it honors the differences without condoning wrong doing or sacrificing ones conscience. Grace, not tolerance, is what Christ showed in the cross.
Please please, this book is a must read. Or you can listen to it on audible read by Nabeel himself!