Short Answer: No matter what your father decides, Islam teaches that you continue to give him the rights he has over you (of love and respect). Free choice and special status as a parent are his lawful rights granted to him by God and asserted in the Quran. Check the suggestions below for further details.
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It’s heart-warming to see that the first person you think of sharing your faith with is your father.
This shows how caring you are as a son, and this is certainly a quality Islam advocates and God rewards highly.
Inviting parents is probably the most difficult kind of calling to God, because it requires a great deal of tact, patience, courage, love, and respect.
It requires awareness that our love for them alone would not change their beliefs if they are unwilling to make the change themselves.
We are only accountable for bringing the truth to them in a gentle and wise manner to help them make an informed decision, but at the end, each of us is entitled to, and responsible for, their own choices in life.
No matter what your father decides, Islam teaches that you continue to give him the rights he has over you (of love and respect).
Free choice and special status as a parent are his lawful rights granted to him by God and asserted in the Quran.
Some Useful Suggestions
Here are a few guidelines to remember while you introduce belief in God and Islam to your father:
1- You are the best example. So, be on your best behavior with your father. Show care and love in your dealings with him every day.
Try your best to fulfill his dream for you of success in your education and career.
Seek any opportunity to assert that your manners and ethics stem from your belief in God and your practice of Islam.
Always remember that Islam advocates the utmost respect to parents, whether or not they are Muslim.
2- Don’t lecture him or preach to him. Remember, he is your father who brought you up and taught you and cared for you in your childhood.
He will be very offended if you try to reverse roles.
This will imply that you think he is ignorant and needs education, which won’t get you anywhere except on bad terms with him.
3- Take a good example from Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) with his exceptional manners and gentle way of addressing his father using clear and simple logic.
Read his story in the Quran.
Learn from his soft attitude towards his father, who was not only an idol worshiper, but a manufacturer of idol statues for others.
4- Make the introduction to God an enjoyable activity, not an ordeal. For example, take a walk together.
Then, speak about the beauty and amazing laws of nature surrounding you which must be a sign on the beauty and wisdom of its Creator, and give him a chance to think and react without commenting.
Then, listen to him politely, without being under pressure to counter his arguments immediately.
5- Take a good example from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He calmly and politely heard out his worst enemy making ridiculous material offers to him so that he would quit his mission.
The Prophet gave his “guest” the respect due, then asked politely: “have you finished?”
When the man said “yes”, Prophet Muhammad started his response simply by reciting a relevant and powerful verse of the Quran which affected his visitor so much that he started weeping and asked him to stop, so the Prophet did stop and let him go.
The man later confessed he might have believed on the spot because of the strength of the words and their message. Yet, it was his arrogance which prevented him from accepting Islam. But the Prophet didn’t push him.
This is what the Quran teaches. Therefore, you need to remember that your mission is exactly the same. You are a messenger, not an authoritarian.
You are accountable only for making the truth clear, but you have no control over people’s choices. You are required to respect them.
It is important to note that the first people Prophet Muhammad was required to call were his family and close kin.
6- Simplify. Prophet Muhammad once advised his Companions:
Make Islam and its affairs easy for people, and do not create hardships for them (through your behavior and ignorance). Spread the glad tidings, and do not make people run away. (Al-Bukhari)
7- Be flexible and patient. Rigidity and haste won’t do in such a situation.
You need to be aware that change takes time, sometimes a long time. You need, also, to know that tact and flexibility win you a lot more ground than a rigid and confrontational attitude.
8- Seek Allah’s help after thanking Him daily for guiding you to Islam.
Pray and ask guidance for your father and strength for yourself. The best time to call on Allah is in the quiet last hours of the night.
Get out of bed and pray at that time until morning prayer (fajr) and ask Allah what you want for yourself and your father.
9- Read a lot, not only about Islam, to educate yourself about the correct reasoning to use with him.
Also, listen to lectures and watch presentation in communication, psychology, negotiation, and persuasion skills, natural sciences, Islamic and world history, and so on.
This will give you a vast pool of knowledge to draw on for analogies, facts, and comparisons.
We wish you strength of faith, clarity of reason, and vastness of knowledge to bring you close to God, and make you useful for your people.
Please stay in touch and update us with your progress, and we are here to support you with information and consultation whenever you need it.
I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.
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