Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Divine signage

Not to belabor the issue, but one more post on Nabeel. Some Muslims say Allah cursed him with cancer as punishment for his apostasy from Islam. You also have Christians asking why he wasn't healed. 

i) If he died of cancer because Allah cursed him, does that mean that when Muslims die of cancer and other diseases, Allah cursed them?

ii) There's a statistical presumption against miracles in the sense that miracles happen less often than not in response to prayer. Indeed, that's probably a dramatic understatement. That doesn't mean there's a general presumption against miracles. Given the Christian worldview, miracles are inevitable. But there's a statistical presumption against any particular miraculous answer to prayer. Miracles are unpredictable, and I daresay most prayers for miracles go unanswered. So there's nothing surprising about the fact that he wasn't healed. That really doesn't require a special explanation. Countless Christians die of cancer and other diseases, prayer notwithstanding.

iii) However, one can overemphasize the fact that prayers for his healing went unanswered. Although he didn't get the miracle he was asking for (and others on his behalf) in this case, to my knowledge, Nabeel is on record claiming that he had at least 5 miraculous signs in his life. In his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, he recounts a vision and three revelatory dreams that were instrumental in his conversion. 

And after his cancer diagnosis, he said he had a dream of Jesus, which included a sign: 

At the time I took that to be an omen or premonition of his impending death.

Assuming his testimony is truthful, these all had veridical elements. Also, David Wood has vouched for some of the dreams.

My point, then, is this: if we take his word for it, he had five miraculous signs in his life. By contrast, many lifelong Christians have nothing out of the ordinary ever happen to them. 


  1. Here's an interesting quote from a testimony at this Zacharias Trust blog here:

    ‘What He has called me to do, I have to do very quickly.’

    These were the words of Nabeel Qureshi in 2013, talking to fellow RZIM apologist John Njoroge.

    The pair had been speaking at a conference and afterwards Nabeel drove them to a restaurant for a late dinner. John recalls their conversation:

    ‘We had barely sat down when Nabeel said, “I think the Lord has revealed to me that I will not live to be 45. Whatever He has called me to do, I have to do very quickly”.

    ‘When I am at a loss for words, I try humour. So, I said to my new friend, “Wow! And we let you drive us here?” It wasn’t funny to Nabeel. He was serious. The words had come from deep inside his soul. We all sat in silence for a while, not knowing how to respond to such profound, and in hindsight, prophetic words.’

  2. Also, I can't help but think how Ahmed Deedat died a mute, which seems a bit too ironic to overlook.

  3. Having experienced it with family members, and then while working in healthcare having patients say the same things I have come to believe that we know when we are going to go, it doesn't make sense, but people do it.

    Examples are like my father, a month before his heart attack him and I drove up the California coast to Oregon and went deep sea fishing for salmon All the way up he would make comments that were really out of sorts for him. Things he would say "Son, when I'm gone, these redwoods will still be standing." "You know, when I'm gone you're going to have to be the man around the house." He was only 58, I was 11.

    A patient I had once, I'll call him Jack, he had been stable and was looking to go home in the next few days. He had been progressing well. When I came on shift I was charting new patients vitals, and I went into Jack's room because he had a new room mate and he needed to be checked every 4 hours. When I was done getting the new patient's vitals, Jack asked me to ask the nurse to see if the doctor had written orders for him to die that evening. I played along and said I would check. I went directly to the nurses station and told his nurse the conversation I had just had with Jack. She grabbed his chart and we went to his room. She spoke with Jack and asked him why he thought the doctor would have written orders for him to die? Jack replied that he just wanted to make sure he had all his affairs in order in case the doctor had. She looked at the notes and said "Nope he didn't make any order for you to die this evening, Jack." He politely said thank you to me and her, he then took off his glasses and laid them on his bedside table and put the head of his bed down and went to sleep. The nurse asked me to keep an eye on him when I was checking vitals on Jack's new room mate. It wasn't 4 hours later I went into Jack room and checked his roomie that I then went and checked Jack. I had the light from the hallway to see by, and I stood there looking at Jack. He was on his side and I watched for the blanket to move with his breathing. It was still. I then reached and felt Jack's wrist for a radial pulse and I felt nothing. I then turned on Jack's overhead light and tried to wake him up a with any excuse that the nurse wanted an extra set of his vitals, but Jack was gone. He was a DNR (Do not resuscitate) and I went out to the nurses station and told them that jack was gone. They all came in and checked Jack over. Jack had died peacefully in his sleep.