Friday, May 29, 2015

Hiding in the Light {Blogging for Books review}


From the publisher:

Rifqa Bary grew up in a devout Muslim home, obediently following her parents’ orders to practice the rituals of Islam. But God was calling her to freedom and love. He was calling her to true faith. He was calling her to give up everything.

Leaving Islam for Christianity cost her more than she imagined but gave more than she could have dreamed.

Hiding in the Light is the story of Rifqa’s remarkable spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. It is also the untold story of how she ran from her father’s threats to find refuge with strangers in Florida, only to face a controversial court case that reached national headlines. Most of all, it is the story of a young girl who made life-changing sacrifices to follow Jesus—and who inspires us to do the same.


UPS dropped off this book shortly before supper last night.  I had finished it by bedtime.  I couldn't put it down.  It is an absolutely riveting, but heartrending story of a young Muslim girl in an abusive family who, because of her faith in Christ and fear of retribution, runs away.  This throws her life into chaos.  Legal battles and foster homes ensue.  It also throws her into a firestorm of media coverage.  And media coverage is anything but forgiving.  A Google search on Rifqa will verify that. 

I was fortunate to have missed the media sensation and came to this book with no preconceptions of the story.  And I would encourage you to read this book and take it at face value.  Read with discernment, yes.  But just because her experiences don't fit into how you see the world, do not label it as false. In my world, truth trumps honor.  But in the lives of many Muslims honor reigns supreme.  Honor trumps truth.  And when this happens, a culture is created that is difficult for westernized Americans to understand.  Reading this book gives us a vicarious look into this culture.

I would highly recommend that you read this book.  Highly.  However, I would offer two caveats.

First, don't let this become the lens through which you view all American Muslim families.  In the words of Nabeel Quereshi, "Islam is not monolithic."  All Muslim families are not abusive and repressive as was Rifqa's.  Quereshi's book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, is testimony of that.  His family was the antithesis of Rifqa's.

Second, her conversion story was murky.  Analytical and cerebral does not describe her conversion. Emotional and experiential does.  Salvation in Christ comes through repenting of the sins that separate you from a Holy God and acknowledging him as Lord and Savior in your life.  (For a clear presentation of the gospel, go here.)  As I read her conversion, I thought, "does she know who Jesus really is?" and "does she see herself as a sinner?" Did I miss it?  Perhaps I read too fast.  But even so, if your goal is to show what Christ has done in your life the gospel should be presented with such clarity that even a speed reader won't miss it.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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