- Paperback: 173 pages
- Publisher: Baker Pub Group (April 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780800790714
- ISBN-13: 978-0800790714
- ASIN: 0800790715
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 594 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,383,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I Dared to Call Him Father: The True Story of a Woman's Encounter with God Paperback – April, 1980
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''I Dared to Call Him Father is a fascinating autobiography that challenged me in my walk with God. How many of us would be true to our faith if we knew that embracing Christianity could be our death sentence?'' --Mary Ann Littrell, Christian Librarian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
How do I give myself to God completely?
What happens when I do?
I Dared to Call Him Father is a book for everyone who has ever asked these questions.
It is the fascinating true story of Bilquis Sheikh, a prominent Muslim woman in South Asia who faced these questions at the crossroads of her life-and found the astonishing answers.
Her entire life turned upside down as a series of strange dreams launched her on a quest that would forever consume her heart, mind and soul.
This 25th anniversary edition contains a new afterword by a Western friend of Bilquis and a new appendix on how the East enriches the West. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20
Bilquis shares the struggles she faced as a young Christian. She shares the abandonment she felt when her family rejected her. But, she also shares about the friendships and relationships she gained when she became a Christian. I felt convicted as I read about her sensitivity to sin, the Holy Spirit, and His leading. Her friend Synnove Mitchell writes about Bilquis, “She was concerned not only to give her visitors truths about God, but to bring them into the presence of Jesus, the Truth.” P. 185 It is clear to me, Bilquis only wanted to be in continual fellowship with God, and constantly in His presence. I cannot find the words to describe how impressed I am with her testimony. She was so sorry and repentent about her sin: selfishness, pride, arrogance, and unwillingness to forgive. Such sorrow over sin has become rare. Rare in my life.
I am inspired. I nearly made it through the book without crying. I was fine till Synnove shared facts about the funeral, specifically how they sang Bilquis’ favorite hymns. As I read I was particularly moved by the lyrics of one,
"I know not how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin, revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in Him. But I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed uno Him against that day."
“I Know Whom I have Believed”
I have sung this song many times without crying, but not today.
I Dared to Call Him Father includes an Epilogue and two appendixes written by Bilquis’ friend Synnove Mitchell. In the first appendix Synnove explains how she first met Bilquis. In the second, she compares and contrasts the culture and attitude of the East with the West. It was interesting to read Synnove’s testimony. She felt spiritually desperate, out of touch with God, and was ready to leave India. She prayed and asked God to revive her passion. Bilquis, unannounced and unexpectedly arrived at Synnove’s door. Both ladies were an answer to the other’s prayer.
You may wonder about the title. When faced with the challenge of knowing which book to follow, the Quran or the Bible, Bilquis asked God “Which one is your book?” She writes, “Then a remarkable thing happened. Nothing like it had ever occurred in my life in quite this way. For I heard a voice inside my being, a voice that spoke to me as clearly as if I was repeating words in my inner mind. they were fresh, full of kindness, yet at the same time full of authority.”
"In which book do you meet me as your Father?" P. 49
The story is hard to put down, and it ends too abruptly - and too soon. I wished there was more on Bilquis' life after her emigration. But there is an interesting postscript by the missionary wife who was instrumental in helping Bilquis find the Lord. It speaks of the differences between Eastern and Western culture, and how central honor is to the East. We need to give this serious consideration, because it is a key to escaping the legalism that drives much Western religious interpretations. If our primary motivation is to honor God, we need not sweat the small stuff.
If anything, the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands has become worse since the time this book describes. We need to keep our brothers in prayer. There are many videos online and books here at Amazon that document conversion stories similar to this one, many of them complete with dreams and visions that drew persons to Christ. This points to another difference between East and West: the East is less confident on man's intellectual understanding, and more open to the leading of the spirit.