How to tell parents you converted to Islam or are converting to Islam
One of the fears most converts have is how to tell their parents they want to convert to Islam or that they have converted to Islam and have become Muslim. On our MuslimConverts.com Discussion board Sister Aneesah asked this very question
Hello sisters, my name is Aneesah I am a converted Muslim, married with 3 children. I have an extremely happy life and marriage.
Unfortunately I have never told my mother that I converted to Islam. My mother is not racist but she is very narrow minded and I don't think she would understand, could anyone help with this or maybe give some insight into their own experiences.
Several sisters replied to her question and the replies are as follows:
Assalaam Alaykum sister,
I am also a recent convert and I had so much fear of telling my family and certain people out of how they would react. Me and my husband prayed for Allah to help make it easier on me. So I started with my mother and just kind of told her that you know I was wanting to convert and after the research I have done, I felt like Islam was best for me.
To my surprise she said whatever you decide is right for you. I am not to judge. So then I had to go to work in hijab and I was so scared. I actually drove around the building for 30 minutes before I came in. Then I had some friends (non Muslims) who were very supportive and then I had some that made comments out of lack of knowledge of Islam.
I got my feelings hurt and came into the privacy of my own office and wanted to cry but I decided at that moment who am I doing this for?
Surely not for anyone of them and I am not a child but a woman who has a right to do what needs to be done to better myself. I tried to remember that their reaction is only out of lack of knowledge because had I converted from Christian to catholic (which they new more about) their reaction may not be that shocking or negative.
So I tried to give them pamphlets to help them understand why Islam is so beautiful to me. But my grandmother on other hand it has been harder like their has been recent coverage on the news about so called members of the Muslim community killing their children or this or that. So she called to try to make me see that maybe my decision was not good so I explained kindly to her that
for one you can not believe everything that you see on the television including news,
for 2 Islam does not promote death or abuse,
and 3rd every single day on television there are people committing crimes from different religions and she has never once mentioned don't be a member of them.
I tried to explain that just because someone calls themselves Muslim (whether he is or not) and does something that is haram or that is wrong does not mean that every person in the religion is that away you can not judge a group by ones actions.To me today its ok if she does not understand that right now. I believe that as I grow in knowledge of Islam and as she sees my husband and I more then maybe her opinion of Islam will change and maybe one day herself she will be able to have Islam change her life the way its beginning to change mine but I am Muslim and I am because its right for me and its what Allah says no other reason.
May Allah make it easy on you.
wa' allikium salaam
I am in somewhat of a similar situation. I have told my family that I am serious about my boyfriend who is Muslim in Egypt. My mother's first question was, "Does he make You happy?" I said yes Mom he makes me very happy. That is really what she wants for me. I should hope your mother and family would also be able to see that your husband
Makes you happy and you are blessed with 3 children. I would be very open and tell them to ask questions. You may also buy a book that explains Islam so they can become educated. I truly believe that will help.
My best wishes to you but I have no doubt Allah will be with you and guide you Through this.
To sister Aneesah,
I don't think there is ever a right time to tell you're mum, you cant hide it forever, you should be proud that you are now a Muslim not everyone can be guided towards Islam.
I told mine before I converted, I just sat her down and told her that I was going to be making some changes that she may or may not like but that's what I had decided and it was final. maybe you could get her a book to explain about Islam, if she still is narrow minded after reading the book at least you tried. you are her daughter and she should love you unconditionally even if she doesn't accept it.
Assalamu alaykoum sister Aneesah!
I embraced Islam almost 7 years ago and Alhamdulillah things are better now with my Mom in regards to my faith. Everybody else in my family didn't show too much discomfort (mostly once I started wearing the hijab), but my Mom was extremely disturbed.
It was very hard for the first few years, but now Alhamdulillah she's a lot better about it. With time, things usually get better. I know some sisters who's mothers were actually encouraging them to wear the hijab and/or pray. So each person is different.
I would suggest to tell your Mom how excited you are that you have discovered this wonderful religion, and that you hope to practice fully. Hopefully Insha-Allah she'll see the beauty in the religion. If she's difficult about it, be patient and kind with her, hopefully Insha-Allah with time she'll see the benefits and how you've become a better person. May Allah guide you to do what's right, and make things go well Insha-Allah.
Talk to your mother in the right away. Approach her in a careful and gentle manner. Talk about Tawheed, risala and akhira. Be simple and show her some ayahs that prove the oneness of Allah (SWT).
End of Replies
These replies and many other that I have heard over the years show that brothers and sisters have had different experiences with their family and friends.
For some it has not been easy at first. However in some cases we have heard of even parents being supportive of their children. Some their parents and friends are even supportive eventually.
Those who convert from Sikhism to Islam usually have the worst time.
However one Young Sikh Woman (Sister Sahiba) e-mailed muslimconverts.com and expressed her desire to convert to Islam. Her family was very upset with her desire to become Muslim. But she was determined to convert to Islam at all costs. I suggested that she contact a certain Masjid (Mosque) in her city.
Initially she was afraid of going to a Masjid alone. Which is common with most converts. However, after some time she decided to go to the Masjid. To our surprise her Sikh mother said she wanted to accompany her to the Masjid. They both went to the Masjid and she said her Shahadah there.
She had been very firm with her family about her decision to convert to Islam. She was very upset about why they could not understand that she wanted to follow the truth (Islam) and her decision to convert to Islam.
Brother and sisters when we do something for Allah knowing that by doing that thing for Allah we may loose our family, friends, job, wealth , our status in the community and even our life then it shows our true submission to Allah. It shows our sincerity to follow truth. I have witness this myself in my own life and I have seen it in the lives of many converts. Subhan Allah when we do this Allah sometimes makes the process even somewhat less difficult that it was potentially going to be and we were willing to go through that huge difficulty for the sake of pleasing Allah.
For instance in the case of Sister Sahiba, She was about to go to the Masjid and convert to Islam knowing how much may make her Sikh family and community angry with her. Allah knew what was in her heart and made this process easier for her. That she no longer needed to go all alone to the Masjid but instead her mother to accompany her to the Masjid.
On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said : One day I was behind the prophet and he said to me:
"Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice] : Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried." (narrated by Tirmidhi, who said it is true and fine hadith)
In a version other than that of Tirmithi it reads:
"..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship
It is best that those who convert to Islam openly declare to their family's that they are Muslim. So that they can practice their Islam fully. If they hide it then they may end up neglecting their Islamic duties. If you neglect your Islamic duties you will not feel the sweetness of the faith fully.
However in certain cases, were ones life is in danger you may need to convert in secret and practice in secret until you can escape to safety.
Many sisters and brothers have converted with us and some of them had to keep their conversion to Islam secret because their parents or relatives may cause them harm. I will mention one case were a Sister from India in here twenties converted with me from Hinduism to Islam whilst we were speaking online and her parents and grandparents were in the other room. She was siting in the dinning able and her grandmother would pop in and out of the kitchen to get something and she would need to stay quite.
In another occasion a young Sikh girl studying at collage in the Britain ( known as high school in the USA ) emailed muslimconverts.com wanting advice on what to do as she was convinced Islam was the true religion of God and her family had discovered her Islamic books. Her father told her if she ever converted to Islam, he would chop her up, put her in a bin bag and throw her in the river. So i advised her that when she was ready to move out she should contact the police and tell her of her situation. So they can make it difficult to know were she is. One day she moved out secretly, converted and got married to a Muslim boy. But she had not told the police. Her father found were she was very easily. She had to call the police. Alhamdulillah after about a year things calmed down and her mother and siblings started to visit her and see her baby. So sometimes it can be too dangerous to tell your parents you have want to become Muslim or have converted to Islam. In the heat of the moment a parent or relative may become extremely violent especially if your family is Sikh or Hindu.