The father of late apologist Nabeel Qureshi has thanked the thousands of supporters who have offered their love and encouragement to his family in the wake of his son's death.
Nabeel, 34, a onetime Muslim who became a Christian evangelist, passed away Sept. 16 after a year-long battle with stomach cancer. On Thanksgiving Day, Nabeel's wife, Michelle, shared a video of herself sitting beside her father-in-law, who she calls "Abba."
"In this video, I offer my father-in-law the chance to share a message of thanks from his heart," she captioned the video. "While we differ in our beliefs about God and salvation through His divine Son Jesus, Abba and I are united in our deep gratitude for the love poured out on all of us during Nabeel's journey with cancer and for those who continue to support us even now.
Nabeel's father, a Pakistani American and Ahmadi Muslim, said there are "so many blessings" his family has received over the years.
"On this day of Thanksgiving, particularly I want to take time and show my gratitude to god almighty for his blessings on my family," he said. "Among those things that god has bestowed upon us, and for which we owe him gratitude, are folks like you who have been so gracious, all those people who have given us love and support over the last few months, particularly over the last year, and I want to take a moment to thank you. We have received so many letters, I must say hundreds of letters, between Michelle and me and Nabeel's mother."
Between handwritten notes and messages on social media, he said there were thousands of people who "expressed their love and affection to us and stood by us in this time of difficulty."
"So, I really want to say thank you," he said. "I don't find enough time, physically not being able to write everyone a letter back, but I'm thankful to god...thank you so much..for offering your love and support to us."
In June, Qureshi appeared in a video update with his father, and said he expected to receive criticism from his audience over the inclusion of his father in his vlog post. However, as a Christian, he said his mission was to love his father - even though he disagreed with his religious views.
"I already know that doing a video with my father, who has said that he is Muslim....I already know that I'm going to get a ton of criticism," he said. "I've prayed, my father and I have talked about these things, he knows where I stand, he knows I believe Jesus is Lord, he knows I believe He's paid the penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead as proof. He knows that that's what I believe, I don't have to bash him over the head with it everytime we talk."
He added, "We can still can do things like this together despite the fact that we disagree, and that's true love. If you only do things with people you agree with, that's not really loving them through their disagreements."
In his final video update, Qureshi also asked supporters to continue to pray for his family - his parents, his wife, and his daughter Ayah - "should the worst happen" to him.
"They have been traking such great care of me...I do hope that there will be people who will pray for them should the worst happen to me. Please do consider them going forward in your prayers on a daily basis."