I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh

A Pakistani Muslim woman recounts how God spoke to her, calling her out of her Muslim background, and how she dared to call him “Father” in this moving memoir. 

I Dared to Call Him Father: the Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter with God by Bilquis Sheikh. Chosen Books, 2003. 192 pages.

Reading Level:  Adult (Ages 16 and up)

Recommended For: Teens/Adults (Ages 14 and up)

Bilquis Sheikh was a woman of some standing in her small Pakistani Muslim community. When her husband left her, her father’s reputation (and her inherited wealth) stood her in good stead, and she lived a comfortable life indeed. But God had other plans! (So many marvelous stories in God’s kingdom begin with those same two words: “But God….”) Through a series of dreams and visions, Bilquis was led to question her own Muslim upbringing, start reading the Bible, and get to know some local missionaries. Each of these actions was anathema to her Muslim family and friends. Even her own servants hesitated to help her at times.

Bilquis’s story is a dramatic one, and a moving one. Regardless of your beliefs about the Lord’s use of dreams and visions, it is certainly true that many in the Muslim world are reporting just such encounters with the word of God. Bilquis eventually emigrated to the United States where she spoke publicly about her conversion to Christianity. This is fascinating reading for teens (and their parents), particularly given the impact Islam is having on the world. Bilquis’s story will help us pray for our missionaries in Muslim countries more intelligently; it will also help us understand our Muslim neighbors better. This is a book to discuss with your teens if they read it!

An excellent companion book–and one I feel better describes the complexities of the Muslim faith and culture–is Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. You might also check out Hayley’s review of Land of the Blue Burquas, another story set in the Middle East.

Cautions: none

Overall Rating: 4.5

  • Artistic Rating: 4
  • Worldview Rating: 4.5

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Betsy Farquhar

Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Southeast.

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