I read Defying Jihad a number of months ago now and have been intending on doing a review on my blog ever since!! So here it (finally) is. 😀
In short, this story has God’s faithfulness woven intricately through out it, from the start to the end! It was like getting a great big dose of encouragement in the form of a well-written, easy to read, real-life novel. It was truly refreshing and inspiring. And I definitely plan on reading it again!
Title: Defying Jihad
Authors: Esther Ahmad, Craig Borlase
Number of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 2018
If you truly love Allah, you will die for him.
Your death will mean much reward for you and your family in heaven.
Only death will prove your love.
It was the final test. A chance to win not only the love of Allah, but the love of her father―something she had never been able to earn. Esther took a deep breath and raised her hand in the air. At the age of eighteen, she had just volunteered to become a suicide bomber.
Defying Jihad is the true story of a girl growing up under radical Islamic rule, trained to believe her ultimate purpose was to serve Allah by dying as a jihadist. But two nights before she was to leave forever, she had a dream . . . one that would change the course of her destiny.
Against all odds, Esther became a follower of Jesus―even though leaving Islam meant her death sentence. But rather than kill her immediately, Esther’s furious father challenged her to a series of public debates with Muslim scholars: the Bible versus the Quran. If Esther won, she might yet survive. But if the Muslim clerics won, Esther must renounce her Christian faith. For an entire month―if she lived that long―Esther would be brought before the mob daily to defend her newfound faith. Would God give her the words to argue against Muslim leaders, former friends, and even her own family?
Defying Jihad is an amazing story of a woman prepared to surrender all for Jesus―and whose life transformed from terror to overwhelming love.
This is a book that tells the story of an awesome God who looks down upon us with such compassion and love. While reading, I was reminded of Psalm 121:7-8. “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”
As I read, I was touched by the realization of just how much God loves us. He truly looks upon us and cares about us as individuals. He who watches over us does not slumber!
One of the reasons I so whole-heartedly recommend this book is because it pointed my eyes to God, encouraged my faith, and touched my heart. I was actually moved to tears more than once. 🙂
. . . this book pointed my eyes to God, encouraged my faith, and touched my heart.
It also gave such interesting insight into Islamic beliefs, helping me to view Muslims as real people with real feelings, real hopes, and real families. It reminded me to love Muslims and to view them with greater compassion.
Craig Borlase’s writing style is also excellent! This is the second book that I’ve read which he had a part in writing–and I’ve loved them both (the other one was Til We Meet Again: A Memoir of Love and War). Both stories are officially on my list of all time favourites! 😉
I’m so, so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to read Esther’s story–the story God gave her, a story of God’s faithfulness.
This book also made me think of a song, “How Deep the Father’s Love.”
🎶How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure 🎶
I did jot down a whole lot of excerpts that I liked and wanted to potentially share with you . . . but I can’t find the sticky note I wrote them on! So I guess that won’t be happening. ;P But I found this excerpt just now instead:
I had no fear swelling in me, no panic. The words of my Lord were all I needed. I trusted my faithful God–the One who is true to all his promises.Esther Ahmad, Defying Jihad
Also, I feel that given the subject matter, this book was very tastefully written. Though for younger readers there may be a couple of things that could be disturbing or unsuitable (mentions rape, suicide, and a few other such things). Nothing was focused on in great detail though.
Have you read any books about Muslims coming to faith in Jesus? I would love some recommendations! 😀