We’ve got to bring Sadiqul back to his senses, his brothers agreed as they hatched a plan to ambush and beat him. The memory of their mother’s tears at the recent news of Sadiqul’s conversion to Christ was still fresh, fanning the flames of their anger. Hoping to bring him back to the fold of Islam, they were determined to give him a beating he would never forget.
Sadiqul Farooq, born and raised in West Bengal, India, hungered for the truth for as long as he could remember. Although his father led the family in strict adherence to Islamic prayer rituals and Sharia law, Sadiqul always felt empty. Knowing his own sinfulness, he craved something that would satisfy his deep longing to please God. Neither Islamic rituals nor the teachings of the Qur’an were enough. Could he find truth outside the Muslim faith? He was determined to find the answer—despite the consequences he knew awaited anyone who converted from Islam.
When Sadiqul became a young adult, the Lord brought him in contact with a pastor who is regularly helped through gifts to Heaven’s Family’s Muslim-Background Believers Fund. He noticed Sadiqul’s spiritual hunger and fostered a relationship with him. Beginning in the Qur’an, that pastor challenged Sadiqul to compare the sinless life of Jesus to that of Muhammad—who was told to ask forgiveness for his sins. He also gave Sadiqul a Bengali New Testament and many Christian tracts that were written for Muslims.
Sadiqul spent the next 18 months voraciously reading, studying, and asking questions of the pastor and the other followers of Christ. In 1999, he finally surrendered his life to the One who satisfied his heart’s longing for truth and righteousness. Less than two years later, Sadiqul went public, openly professing his faith and receiving water baptism. “That was the most memorable day of my life,” he said through a translator, the deep emotion in his voice not needing translation.
Persecution began immediately. His brothers beat him mercilessly, and while recovering, local Muslim leaders visited to further threaten the “apostate.” Angry villagers shunned him, and he was evicted from his home by the edict of the local Muslim scholar. Still, Sadiqul stood firm.
In 2003, Sadiqul began studying at a Bible college, and in 2004 he married Bilqis, a secret convert from Islam whose family also rejected her. After completing his studies, Sadiqul began to openly evangelize Muslims. This gave rise to a new round of persecution. Bilqis was badly beaten one day while Sadiqul was away. And Sadiqul was lured to the mosque and beaten so badly that he spent three days in the hospital recovering. False accusations, such as his wife sleeping with the local pastor, were constantly being leveled against them. “The most painful suffering,” Sadiqul admitted, however, “was when villagers—even adult women—spat on my son Tawfiq as he walked to school.”
Sadiqul and Bilqis have persevered and continue to quietly share the gospel with sincere seekers, and their faithfulness is paying off. Today, they oversee four house churches—all full of converts from Islam.