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I Converted to Islam, but How to Tell My Parents?



Reply Date

Aug 19, 2016


As-salamu alaykum, I am 16 years old and I am an exchange student in the U.S. I will be going back to my home country, Turkey, very soon. I live with my mom and dad who are atheists. Not only that, they basically hate Islam and Muslims. I have tried talking to my mom and explain that I was a Muslim convert now, but it didn't work really well. I want to make sure that my mom and dad knows that I have converted to Islam, but I don't want to harm anyone. After talking to my mom, I never mentioned Islam, I think she now thinks that I have forgotten about it. I am afraid that if I start talking about it again, she might not believe me, or worse she might reject it. I don't know what to do. I would really like your opinion about the situation. How should I talk to my parents without making them overreact? I am looking forward to your answer. As-salamu alaykum.



I Converted to Islam, but How to Tell My Parents

Salam Dear Zeynep,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

We would like to welcome you to the fold of Islam. May Allah the Almighty strengthen your faith. You took the decision to follow the religion that God has chosen for people. We read in the Quran what gives the meaning of:

{This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion. } (Al-Ma`idah 5:3)

Be sure that you will never regret taking this decision. Also be sure that with hardship comes ease. God, in His Infinite Wisdom, will put an end to the challenge you are going through.

While handling your problem, you have to consider some facts.

Your parents will remain your parents. You have to respect them and treat them gently. You have to show kindness to them. Islam commands us to treat parents kindly irrespective of their religion. You have to maintain a very strong relation with them. You are not allowed to cut your ties with them because they are atheists.

We are told in an authentic narration that Asma bint Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) said: My mother came to me during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and she was a non-believer. I said to the Prophet, “My mother has come to me and she desires to receive a reward from me, shall I keep good relations with her?” The Prophet said, “Yes, keep good relation with her.” (Al-Bukhari)

You have also to respect the belief of your parents. The Prophet never insulted or ridiculed any belief. You have your belief and your parents have theirs. Mutual respect should be the norm while dealing with your parents.

We are told in the Quran about the story of prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and how he treated his non-Muslim father.

Coming to your problem, you have first to make a lot of du`aa’ (supplication) to Allah to open the heart of your parents to accept your conversion decision. Always seek Allah’s help to pass this test.

You are lucky enough that you are from Turkey which has a majority of Muslim population. Therefore, Islam is not a strange creed in your homeland. This will make the problem of telling your parents about your conversion much easier.

Once you feel that the time is ready to talk to your parents, engage with them in an indirect way.

You can show them good examples of the Muslims around you. You can talk about the Islamic organizations that help the poor and the needy in Turkey. You can talk about success stories of Muslim women in Turkey.

You can tell them about your feelings after conversion to Islam. Talk about your inner peace and spirituality. Talk about the effect of prayer on your personality. Explain to them the secrets of fasting and Zakah.

First and foremost, let them feel the change that Islam made in you. This can be reflected in your good manners and kind words with them. Do not give them the chance that you became a different person. Be their old daughter with a Muslim flavor in terms of being punctual, respectful, obedient and easy-going.I Converted to Islam, but How to Tell My Parents

Be a model of a good Muslim student. Get high grades in your studies and relate this to the effect of Islam in your life and its call to seek knowledge and pursuit higher studies.

When you talk to your parents about your conversion, do not give them the feeling that you are giving them a lecture or a sermon about Islam. Remember that your parents will not accept the fact that you are preaching about Islam. Let it be a nice chat with them in a good family gathering.

Be patient and calm down while telling your parents about your conversion. Do not give up from the first trial. Listen to your parent attentively and argue with them in good manners.

Always remember that your parents’ love for you will be the main factor in accepting the decision you have taken. Once they feel that you are happy with your new lifestyle, they will welcome your decision.

Do no blame your parents for any overreaction. But blame the negative image of Islam that is presented daily on the mass media. You should consider this fact. You are representing the true image of Islam. Therefore, it is a challenge for you at this transitional period in your life.

Always read this verse and reflect on its meaning. Allah says in the Quran:

{And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah].} (Ta-Ha 20: 44)

This was a command from Allah to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) and his brother when they wanted to speak to Pharaoh.

I hope we have answered your question. Please keep in touch and write to us about your parents’ reaction.


About Dr. Mohsen Haredy

Dr. Mohsen Haredy: Executive Manager and Editor-in-Chief of E-Da`wah Committee in Kuwait

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