Well-known Muslim-turned-Christian evangelist Nabeel Qureshi’s life tragically came to a close on Saturday after a year-long battle with stomach cancer.
The 34-year-old was remembered throughout the weekend for his transforming ministry and staunch faith, even as he faced the harrowing struggles that came along with his disease.
Among the most touching memorials came from author and apologist Ravi Zacharias, whom Qureshi worked under.
In a reflection posted by Christianity Today on Sunday, Zacharias remembered his young friend, calling him a “man with a mission” and a “spectacular passion to do what filled his soul” who “finished his race all too soon.”
Qureshi, who years ago left Islam behind and found Christianity, had passionately spoke about his faith and experiences through his books “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus,” “Answering Jihad” and “No God but One” and through speeches and addresses about the gospel and his conversion experience.
“Qureshi was not just an evangelical; he was passionately evangelistic. He desired to cover the globe with the good news that God’s forgiveness was available to all,” Zacharias wrote in Christianity Today. “I have seldom seen a man with such deep conviction and proportionate passion and gifting. When he spoke, he held audiences spellbound.”
Zacharias recalled how Qureshi came to join his team and to become so close with him that he began calling him “uncle.” And the apologist revealed the stunning impact that Qureshi had on the audiences he addressed, with the churches where he spoke always wanting him to come back again.
“As I write this, it’s hard to hold back the tears. It’s hard to believe that Nabeel Qureshi has left us all too soon,” Zacharias wrote. “[Before his death] I reminded him that he was the same age as our Lord whose mission was accomplished. In like manner, Nabeel came like a streak of lightning, brightened the night sky, and has returned to the One who gave the power to do what he did.”
Despite his sadness, Zacharias said that he knows he and Qureshi will one day meet again — and he urged people to think deeply about eternal life with God.
“I mourn for our broken world where so much hate and destruction abounds. We have a cancer called ‘sin.’ We do not like the diagnosis. But it’s a killer,” he wrote. “The message that Nabeel carried was true. God sent his Son to heal that disease. That disease is still killing until we heed that message.”
Read the rest of Zacharias’s message here.
Faithwire has covered Qureshi’s cancer journey over the past year, as the evangelist released vlogs describing his experiences and requesting prayer. In May, he revealed that his cancer treatments hadn’t worked, but he held out hope for a healing.
In March — in one of his most powerful vlogs — Qureshi revealed that, for the first time in his life, he had encountered Christ in a dream. The evangelist said that the dream unfolded after he prayed to God for guidance and direction as he continued going through chemotherapy to battle his condition.
“A lot of people who are leaving Islam and become Christian do so because they have seen Jesus in a dream or a vision. I did receive dreams and visions when I was seeking the truth about Christianity and Islam but I never actually saw Jesus in a dream or a vision,” he explained in a recent YouTube video. “I saw things that led me to the gospel. I was thrilled to have seen Jesus in a dream. I had been praying for it. I had been asking for guidance and I think I got some.”
Read more about his dream and the lesson he felt God was teaching him here.
Prayers up for Qureshi’s wife, Michelle, and daughter, Ayah.