Nabeel Qureshi grew up as a devout (Ahmadi) Muslim. He continually challenged Christians as to the truth of their religion but never received any cogent responses from them. One day, while an undergraduate student, he met an older student named David Wood. David was a Christian who knew how to respond to Qureshi’s challenges and this started a long term friendship which eventually resulted in Nabeel converting. However, along the way, there were many hurdles to overcome. One of those was the Christian doctrine of God’s triune nature. Nabeel described this part of his journey as follows.
I was quite scared. The most objective search I could manage was mandating that I relinquish the very foundation of my life—Islam. At the same time, it was mercilessly demanding that I alter my interpretation of God: no longer was I justified in taking refuge in the bastion of His indisputable unity. The only justified journey to take would be admitting the evidence and venturing into the seeming jungle of the Trinity. Having to worship a God that was simultaneously three and one was something that seemed more like science fiction than truth. Nevertheless, the most unpalatable doctrine of Christianity was strangely reminiscent of what I had learned the previous summer in an organic chemistry class, something that I wish were less science and more fiction.
All materials are made of atoms, and each atom has electrons. These electrons orbit the center, or nucleus, of an atom, but when multiple atoms are together (i.e. a molecule), the electrons travel around all the atoms in what is called an “electron cloud.” Electrons in a molecule’s electron cloud are constantly in motion, sometimes resulting in various structures for a single molecule, called “resonance structures.” However, the professor said that there was a catch: a molecule is every resonance structure at once, and not any single one of them alone at a given point in time. To me, this seemed to be something in the natural world that was similar to the Trinity. A molecule was actually multiple molecules at once, though not found as any one of them alone. Although I did not solve the mystery of the Trinity, I at least realized that there are analogous phenomena.