After I had read Dr. I. O. Deshmukh's first draft of his personal testimony IN QUEST OF TRUTH and the vast amount of research material incorporated into it, I was convinced that his story was not only gripping but cogent and true. His decision to follow Jesus the Messiah as God's salvation for mankind was obviously the culmination of a prolonged and profound spiritual, intellectual and emotional struggle.
Christian readers, of course, will thank God for Dr. Deshmukh’s resolve to follow the Messiah and for his perseverance in implementing his resolve in the years following his conversion. His account will help them to understand better the difficult path which a convert from Islam so often must tread.
On the other hand, his account pleasantly illustrates that not every convert from Islam necessarily endures a permanently fractured relationship with his or her Muslim family and friends. It is evident that Dr. Deshmukh maintains a good relationship with his family and friends, and that he feels God's Spirit has helped him to be an even more caring relative and friend.
How will Muslim readers respond? It is difficult to imagine that Dr. Deshmukh's "quest for truth" is unique. Surely, other Muslims also have experienced in mind and heart the concerns of sin and salvation and their relationship with God, knowing that they cannot forever keep evading or suppressing these concerns. Surely, among them are those who desire to have a more intimate "walk with God" than that which their present life exhibits. Can Dr. Deshmukh's account help them, if only to initiate them into their own personal quest for truth?
Still other Muslims may welcome learning how a serious study of the Qur'an led one Muslim from the Qur'an and the Messiah of the Qur'an to the Bible and the Messiah of the Bible. Must this sequence be considered strange, since even the name of "Jesus" and His title "the Messiah" ("the Christ") in their Arabic and Qur’anic dress beg for their fuller interpretations as these are found in the Bible? There too the unfolding of His ministry in its fullness precisely conforms with the full meaning of His names and titles in their original forms. Need we recall the language of Jesus and the prophets of Israel was not Arabic?
Yet, for Dr. Deshmukh also, the transition from the Qur'an to the Bible was not easy. Islamically speaking, the transition could be considered only as retrogression, not progression. His account clearly reveals the personal trauma he suffered in overcoming a paralysing fear that blocked him from a free enquiry into the question of the corruption of the Bible and from an open-minded reading of the Bible. It involved questioning a series of premises which he, like many other Muslims, had always accepted unquestioningly. In accepting Dr. Deshmukh's kind request to prepare his testimony for publication, I have simply asked him questions for reasons of clarity, abbreviated his lengthy researches and, where it seemed helpful, restructured and reworded the material he had provided. It has taken time, but it has been time well spent. We both have agreed that the content must accurately represent his personal experiences, his thoughts and his feelings.
I am grateful to Dr. Deshmukh for allowing me to share in the preparation of his vital testimony. To God be the glory!
Mississauga. Canada. 1987