Title: I Dared to Call Him Father
Author: Bilquis Sheikh
Major Themes: Conversion, Faith, Islam
Synopsis: While Bilquis was searching for deeper truth and answers to her questions, Jesus revealed Himself to her—and she realized He was what she’d been searching for all her life.
My brothers and I had several hours together on a trip recently, and I remembered I had I Dared to Call Him Father available as an audiobook. They agreed to listen to it with me, and wow—what a good book. Quite different from what I expected in some ways, but very challenging in others. I was expecting a story where the main character had a lot more trouble—death threats, etc—because of her faith. In the end, though that did happen, it wasn’t nearly as much a part of the story as I thought it would be—and I appreciated that! It did have many challenging points in the book, though, things I know I will be mulling over for many weeks and months to come. Our relationships with the Lord are so important, and watching Bilquis’ relationship unfold was a fascinating experience.
In the years following her divorce, Bilquis generally kept to herself and spent time with her immediate family. But eventually, she started feeling a call to find more—to go deeper than the quiet, secluded life she was living. After obtaining a Bible, she began to study it, comparing it with the Quran, trying to figure out what Christians were really on about. Eventually, she became convinced that the Bible was telling the truth—and it became increasingly important to her to do what the Lord wanted her to do. One step at a time, she walked in obedience, and her life changed. But it wasn’t easy—when her family discovered her change of faith, they boycotted her, and that eventually lead to death threats.
I Dared to Call Him Father is, in some ways, a simple book—but in other ways, it carries a lot of depth with this woman’s story. I loved seeing how the Lord worked in her life, and how He lead and taught her, and I’d love to see more of that in my life. I think the biggest takeaway I had was that I need to be obedient to the Lord and sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. Both of those were things Bilquis experienced and learned as she grew in her Christian walk, and the way she described her experiences helped me to reflect on mine.
Overall, this is a very good book. It isn’t the kind of story that I find really gripping, but it is the kind of book that I appreciate reading just because it tells about someone else’s real life, and helps me in mine. One thing I did appreciate was that it didn’t dwell on the fears or dangers of being a Christian in countries like Pakistan; even though that was mentioned, that didn’t happen to this author, so that made it an easier story to hear. I know this may be an atypical story that way, but I did like that it wasn’t graphic. Recommended, if you enjoy Christian biographies.
WARNING: I listened to this story as an audiobook, so I don’t have any specific notes. Several times, this book does mention Christians who were killed or disappeared because of their faith. It also talks about the danger Bilquis was under before she left, with a death threat hanging over her. And there are several dreams/visions described here, and one particularly violent one when the devil tried to hurt her where she learned to cry out to Jesus.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults