Book: I Dared to call Him Father
Subtitle: The Miraculous story of a Muslim Woman`s Encounter with God
Authors: Bilquis Sheikh with Richard H.Schneider
I have to admit this is by far one of my best reads this year. I laughed, cried and got chills all over from reading Bilquis Sheikh`s encounter with God. I read this book in one day, it’s gripping and so beautiful.
The book opens with a frightening presence, Bilquis an aristocratic from a rich Muslim family feels and is aware of a presence while in her flower garden. The presence literally touches her and she runs for the safety of her house where the presence albeit can`t touch her. She is flustered and her servants wonder what is wrong with her. She asks her two servants, Nur-jan who is Muslim and Raisham -a Christian whether they believe in spiritual things. And they both avoided answering her question. Nur-jan insisted they invite the village mullah to cleanse the garden.
Bilquis deep down knew there was no evil spirit in her garden. She felt a deep seated desire to read the bible after a series of dreams. She was no dreamer but suddenly was having dream after dream with Jesus in them. She gets a bible but does n`t understand it and in the night visits a popular missionary couple-the Mitchells and her only question is, `Do you know anything about God?’’ Mrs. Mitchell’s reply is an interesting one, `I`m afraid I don`t know as much as my husband knows about God, but I do know Him.” Bilquis finds her answer odd and wonders how one can presume to know God intimately.
This visit cemented a long time relationship between the couple who introduced her to other great Christians in the village of Wah. Bilquis enjoyed her new found family who replaced her own blood relations. Upon hearing about her conversion, her family cut off any sort of communication with her because she had done the unforgiveable. Her own daughter pleaded with her not to do but her plea fell on deaf ears. She lost relatives but no one informed her so she could attend burial.
Bilquis got baptized in the holy spirit at 54 and everything about her changed and she grew in her knowledge of God as her father. She had adopted her daughter`s son-Mahmud who also grew into Christianity and enjoyed the bible stories.
Having experienced the tangibility of God from day one, she mentions how the presence of God left her a couple of times due to things she had done. On the other hand, I believe the presence of God can`t leave us. He promises in Hebrews13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” However, we can loose awareness of His presence.
Bilquis Sheikh is used by God to share her testimony at a conference that was being organized by Billy Graham in Singapore. This was the beginning of her new purpose.
I like the fact that Mrs.Mitchel gives her tale of the flower lady and ends the book on a great and personal note.
I highly recommend this amazing book for anyone who needs to be reminded what it means to be set apart for God.
I recommend this book for anyone who desires to see the power of God at work.
PS; Bilquis Sheikh died on 9th April,1997 aged 85.