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I Dared to Call Him Father: The Miraculous Story of a Muslim Woman’s Encounter With God by Bilquis Sheikh and Richard H. Schneider is the true, personal testimony of Bilquis Sheikh, the former wife of General Khalid Sheikh, Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior. Fifty-four years a Muslim, Bilquis begins to search for the spiritual aspect to her life. She really doesn’t know where to look. After all, she had a religion from the time she was born. Through a series of impressions and dreams and through servants’ help, she obtained a Bible. But, she began reading the Quran first. The concept of the Trinity intrigued her, and the Quran especially condemned it. Though she was amused by missionaries’ actions, since they tried to help the poor castes, Bilquis was curious about them.
When Bilquis received the Bible, she played a game with it, opening it randomly, laughing, to see what it said. This is what she read: As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God (Romans 9:25-26). The verses shook her to the core. She couldn’t read them aloud.
The next day, she read more. Romans 10:8-9 “directly contradicted the Quran. . . . But this Bible said Christ was raised from the dead. It was either blasphemy or . . . . My mind whirled. I knew that whoever called upon the name of Allah would be saved. But to believe that Jesus Christ is Allah? Even Muhammad, the final and greatest of the messengers of God, the Seal of the Prophets, was only a mortal. . . . If the Bible and the Quran represent the same God, why is there so much confusion and contradiction? How could it be the same God if the God of the Quran is one of vengeance and punishment and the God of the Christian Bible is one of mercy and forgiveness?”
Bilquis then has two very strange dreams, and she feels that she needs answers. She goes to visit the Christian missionaries, “the last people with whom I’d want to be seen.” When Bilquis reaches the Mitchells’ house, though, a group of women streamed out of the door, all of them seeing her and knowing who she was!
Mrs. Mitchell welcomed Bilquis inside, offered her tea, and then Bilquis said, “Do you know anything about God?” Mrs. Mitchell answered quietly, “I’m afraid I don’t know as much as my husband knows about God, but I do know Him.” To Bilquis, this was extraordinary. How could someone presume to know God?
So, Bilquis shares her dreams with Synnove Mitchell and accepts a New Testament, going away with a palpable sense that God was pleased. She begins reading in the Gospel of John.
When Bilquis finds Christ as Savior and begins to walk with God, her family turns its back on her. It is a very sad and hard time. We follow Bilquis in her first steps of faith, in learning to follow the Holy Spirit’s leadership, and in a summary of her life.
At the end of I Dared to Call Him Father, Synnove Mitchell tells many more details about Bilquis. I enjoyed hearing the story from her vantage point as much as reading Bilquis’ personal testimony.
This is a wonderful book, and I believe it will challenge you to be a consistent witness for Christ, wherever you are. I enjoyed the glimpse into the lifestyle of wealthy and important people in Pakistan, the missionaries there, and above all, how God plays His part in bringing souls to Him.
I differ with some of the religious associations mentioned.
I believe that you will enjoy reading this personal testimony from back in the 1960s. It’s a beautiful story. I definitely recommend it.