Question: I am a recent revert to Islam and want to learn and practice more and more every day. My family, unfortunately, does not approve of my inclination towards Deen. As a result, we are having constant friction at home. What should I do?
Answer: First, Barak Allah (swt) on your being a Muslim. Alhumdulillah. My dear sister, do remember the path to Jannah passes through many trials. This is the Law of Allah (swt) to strengthen and purify a Muslim’s Iman. As Allah (swt) says: “And certainly, We shall surely test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives, and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (patient).” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)
Also, never despair, as Allah (swt) promises us: “Verily, along with every hardship is relief, verily along with every hardship is relief.” (Ash-Sharh 94:5-6)
Now, what should we do when faced with such opposition, especially from our dear ones?
First of all, remember that God knows every iota of our intentions. So, we must begin with utterly pure intentions.
You must let go of all the things that you try to control in your life and recognize that God is in control. This is part of your fate.
Constantly analyze your behaviour. Allah (swt) states: “Invite (mankind, O Muhammad (sa) sa) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (An-Nahl 16:125)
Stay firm upon Islam and your belief in Allah (swt), but continue to treat your family with respect and honour, in spite of their opposing beliefs. It is not permissible for you to obey your family, if they request you to act in disobedience to Allah (swt), because we are not to obey any of the creation, if it involves disobedience to Allah (swt) – our Creator. Allah (swt) has the greatest right over the human being, and Allah’s (swt) right to be worshipped and obeyed deserves to be fulfilled first and foremost. You should strive to please your family by showing them kindness and respect. Practically speaking, one may increase smiling and giving gifts, checking the tone of voice.
In the Quran, Allah (swt) has told us: “And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. But if they (both) strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly, and follow the path of him who turns to Me in repentance and in obedience. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Luqman 31:14-15)
So continue to be gentle with your family and return their harsh words with kindness and love. It will become increasingly difficult for your family to argue with you or treat you in a bad manner. With time and patience, your family will see, how Islam has made you a better person, and by the will of God, this will soften their hearts towards you and Islam.
Seek a support system by associating and bonding with practicing Muslims. This is extremely important for strengthening your Iman. “The believers, men and women, are Auliya (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another…” (At-Taubah 9:71)
Do consistently make Dua for your family to be guided to Islam. Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “And your Lord said: ‘Invoke Me and ask Me for anything. I will respond to your invocation.’” (Ghafir 40:60) Further, we need to realize the importance of Tahajjud prayer too, when Allah (swt) descends on the lowest heaven waiting for His slaves to ask Him for relief and assistance.
May Allah (swt) guide us all and our families to the straight path. Ameen.