What To Do When a Family Member Converts to Islam?

When a family member converts to Islam his family gets annoyed and starts to question him/her not knowing what to do about it. In this article, we will discuss thoroughly how to deal with the matter.

What to do when a family member converts to Islam? When a family member converts to Islam accepts his/her choice, all religions are the same and they all instruct us to believe and worship Allah, to stay away from committing bad deeds, and always strive to do good. When you look clearly there’s not much of a difference, so be patient and try to understand the religion more.

Now let’s talk more about what to do when someone that you care about converts to Islam.  

What to do when a family member wants to convert to Islam?

image of woman holding the quran to show what to do when a family member converts to islam

The family life starts to change, and for a while it gets weird and not all can accept it easily, however, try to be patient, understand why the person wants to convert to Islam, listen to his opinion and give him a chance to explain.

Most parents get mad and scream at their son or daughter, but that’s the wrong thing to do.

I know that there will be a lot to go through at the beginning, for example, when it comes to food, Muslims eat halal food, so you will hear questions like, “what kind of meat is this?” or “is the food halal to eat?”.

Yes, there will be a lot of changes but with time you will get used to it, make a conversation and listen to each other with respect and try to understand his choice, it is hard for the family members to confront their family about their conversation to Islam so don’t make it harder for them.   

When someone converts to Islam he doesn’t just wake up and say I will change my religion, no, he thinks about it for months, or even years after a lot of searching and understanding of what he is putting himself into.

The holy Quran says

in Chapter 13, Verse 11: “Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls).”

When a person converts to Islam, he starts to see things differently and depend more on Allah, look at everything that happens in his life as a test from Allah, if he succeeded in his life then that’s a blessing from Allah to thank him for. And if something bad happens then that’s Allah well.

Don’t be afraid when a loved one converts to Islam, he will not get a way from his family, because family is very important to Muslims, especially parents. The Quran teaches Muslims how to treat their parents even if they are of a different religion.

Allah says in the Holy Quran:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with him, and be good to parents.” [Surat al-Nisa 4:36]

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and be good to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of annoyance and do not repel them, but rather speak to them a noble word. Lower to them the wing of humility for them, out of mercy, and say: My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up when I was small.” [Surat al-Isra 17:23-24]

Allah instruct all Muslims to respect, honor and obey their parents, and to treat them well.

We know that having a family member converting to Islam is not easy but look at the bright side, he won’t drink any alcohol, drugs, or smoking, he will stop cursing, and wont abuse to the people surrounding him. There are a lot of good changes that will come to the persons life. Additionally, converting to Islam doesn’t mean he will forget his family, he will always love you and be there for you, actually you will see a lot of great changes in his life.

What to do when a family member converts to Islam?

The first thing you need to do is to listen, listen to what he/she have to say, understand why does she/he wants to convert to Islam. Because believe something like changing the religion is not an easy choice it comes after a lot of research and understanding of the religion.

Don’t just scream at them or tell them they are making a big mistake. Just listen with your mind and heart perhaps you will be amazed by what you hear. When a person converts to Islam it’s because he believes that there is only one God, and he wants to become a better person.

That doesn’t mean that the person you know will no longer be there, he will only gain some positive traits like quitting alcohol, smoking, drugs, and bad habits.   

We all know what people think about Islam and the bad things we hear about it make us really scared of the idea but it’s all a misconception.

What we hear is not always true, the media creates a bad Idea about Muslims, but if you meet one you will see that he is not a monster like you see in the media, they are normal humans. Therefore, try to understand more about the religion from your family member, talk with knowledgeable Muslims and clear all the misunderstandings you have about Islam.  

Give yourself time

In the beginning, you will be annoyed by all the changes in your loved one personal life, for example, the way he/she dresses, what he or eats and drinks, or not going out on dates. It’s not a bad thing, look at it as a new way of life that you will get used to as time goes by. And remember nothing will change he will always be the same person that you have always known.

If you have any concerns or if something is bothering you about his life changes just talk to him in a way that doesn’t jeopardize his new faith.

Talk to him in a way that makes him see how concerned you are about that change and understand his point of view perhaps it won’t be as bad as you think and you will come up with a solution that works for both sides.

I know that accepting so much change is not easy but remember it’s their choice, not yours and that they are adults that can make their own decisions.

Understand it’s a personal choice

And when it comes to something as big as converting to new religion it’s completely their choice and no one else should middle in that choice.

Having a family member converting to Islam and practicing a new faith that is different than yours is not personal, he is not doing this to annoy you or because he doesn’t love you, because he does love you and the confronting you about the conversion was the hardest thing he had to do.

All the fears you have of losing that person are not just your own fears, he must be going through the same fears and even more. As parents or family, you mean the world to him, and he is afraid of losing this. So, talk to each other, face your fears and share your opinions, it won’t be as scary as it seems.  

Islam instructs a person to be kind, loyal, honest, and modest, having a Muslim in your family is not a bad thing. Give them a chance, and see how they turn out to be a great person that always strives to do what is good and kind to others

What to do when a sibling converts to Islam but parents disapprove?

It’s normal to faith so much rejection when you first tell your parents about your conversion to Islam, they are your parents the ones who raised and cares about you the most, and telling them that you converted to a different religion is a big deal to make them understand your choice you must show them what Islam truly means and the good traits of a Muslim.

Many people have a lot of misconceptions about Islam because of what they hear and see in the media, therefore you need to show them that it’s all not true.

Make them understand your point of view, teach them about the believes of a Muslim and what the Quran says about family members, to show them that you won’t get away form them.

Assure them you’re still a family

What the parents worries about the most is losing their child, so show them that this won’t happen. Tell them that Islam teach the person to love and obey his parents and to be kind to them.

Inform them about the following verses from the holy Quran:

وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا ۖ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with him, and be good to parents.” [Surat al-Nisa 4:36]

وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُل لَّهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and be good to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of annoyance and do not repel them, but rather speak to them a noble word. Lower to them the wing of humility for them, out of mercy, and say: My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up when I was small.” [Surat al-Isra 17:23-24]

Allah says in the holy Quran:

{And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness.} [Quran 31:14-15]

Moreover, Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said: “My mother came to visit me while she was an idolater at the time of the Prophet  peace and blessing be upon him ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) so I asked him [the Prophet]: “My mother has come desiring my kind treatment. Shall I keep ties with her? He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Yes, be dutiful to your mother.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Show them you’re still their child

Showing your parents that you will always be there for them will calm them a little. Then you must tell them why did you make up your mind to convert to Islam, and what Islam really means. Clear all their misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims.

If your parents still don’t agree with your conversion be patient, talk to them and understand their concerns. They are not disagreeing just to bother you; they have many concerns about the many changes that will happen and they don’t know how to deal with it. Your role here is to clear all their concerns and talk them out with them.

However, if they try to force you to change your religion again remember that your faith is the most precious thing you have.

Do Not Give Up

The prophet and his companions went through a lot but they kept fighting and sacrificed everything they have in the sake of Allah. Allah said in the holy Quran: “For the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allaah and [His] approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, [there is also a share]. Those are the truthful.” [Quran 59:8]

You will go through a lot of rejection and people might treat you badly, but don’t fall to them, be patient and remember when you meet bad deeds with good deeds Allah ill reward you.

Allah says in the holy Quran: “And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better, and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” [Quran 41:34]

Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer to that verse: “That is to say that if you do good to someone who mistreats you, then this good that you do to him will lead him to have a good attitude towards you, love you, and be compassionate with you until he becomes like an intimate friend to you, who is sympathetic and kind to you.”

Tips to the new converters to Islam.

Converting to a different religion is not easy, it’s a big decision to take and you will be met be the disapproval of the ones you care about the most, your family members. They are sacred as much as you are and don’t want to lose you. Therefore, here are some tips to deal with this difficult situation.

1-     Understand your family.

This might seem weird but your family doesn’t care about Islam, they don’t know anything about it, they only learn about Islam from what they hear from the media. What they truly care about is you not your religion.

What the parents really fear is losing their child, they don’t care about your faith as much as they care about you.

They want to know that you will never leave them or run away from them. They don’t want their kid to become someone they don’t recognize.

Therefore, you should focus on showing them that you will always be there for them that nothing will change you and that your new faith will not pull you away from them. Tell them that changing your dressing style and what you eat will not change anything you will be the same person they have always loved and cared about. Show them that you will always love them no matter what and that this will never change.

When you come to visit them talk about the things you used to talk about, don’t make the whole conversation about Islam. Talk about the things they love, the good things you did in your life, and with time they will accept your conversion to Islam.

2-     Converting to Islam doesn’t mean getting away from your family.

Becoming a Muslim doesn’t mean that you should distance yourself from your own family because they don’t share your faith. Islam teaches Muslims to be kind to their families, and to respect and obey them. As Allah says in the holy Quran:

“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and be good to your parents. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, do not say to them a word of annoyance and do not repel them, but rather speak to them a noble word. Lower to them the wing of humility for them, out of mercy, and say: My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up when I was small.” [Surat al-Isra 17:23-24]

Allah says in the holy Quran:

{And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness.} [Quran 31:14-15]

Your parents have rights over you, and distancing yourself away from them will only make it worth, and you will make their fears come true. Remember, you want to show them that you will always love them and be there for them, and distancing yourself is completely the opposite to what you want to do.

Show your parents how much you love them and that your faith instructs you to do so, not to get away from them. Show them what Islam means through your acts, not your words. Buy them presents, be kind to them, and show them your love. Don’t let your faith change any of this, they are still the family that you have always loved, and nothing has changed.

If conversion to Islam weakened your family ties, then you should do your best to strengthen it again, and make your family comfortable with your religious conversion.   

3-      Respect your family’s religion.

You can’t ask a person to respect your religion if you don’t respect theirs, yes you will feel at the beginning of your religious conversion that the people that you care about need your guidance. However, you must understand as you love and respect Islam, your family also loves and respect their religion and you don’t have the right to make them feel that they are misguided. If you want them to respect your religion you should do the same. The prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) instructed all the Muslims to respect other religions and you should follow that instruction.  

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