As-salamu `alaikum sister,
Thank you for writing us. I think you have a good grasp and feel of the situation before you. I sense that you are aware of the dangers of pushing your daughter too hard and too fast, given the fact that Islam is something new to her life, and she is probably very much embedded in her ways at this point.
For a young teen, of course, that includes certain social norms that she is probably pretty adamant about. Nevertheless, the evolution that she sees occurring in you will have an impact on her, either directly or indirectly, as you are her first and foremost role model.
As such, my suggestion is to continue on the path you have started, by introducing Islam slowly and softly in your daughter’s life. However, also be clear with her that as Muslims things will be different at home, and she is free to help out and contribute to building this new home environment. Invite her to help you in doing this, do as many things together as you can, and help her to see and understand how Islam has touched you and changed your life for the better.
Don’t be too preachy but try to capitalize on the warmth of the mother-daughter relationship to share with her and let her see it for herself. Don’t shove it down her throat, in other words.
It’s times like these that the strength and closeness of your relationship is your greatest ally. Also, try to understand her, what she’s feeling, what reservations she has about Islam, try to answer her questions and so on.
Another very important point is to make sure that everything you do is well explained so that she sees the logic and meaning behind your new way of life. Eleven-year-old are at that stage where cognitively they are able to engage in more higher-order thinking, and they will naturally become very inquisitive and critical. Try your best to provide truthful, honest answers in a way she can understand. Mind you, it’s not easy but very important for a young teen!!
At the same time, I agree that having a Muslim husband in the home will be a huge boost, as long as you are both on the same page about how to raise your daughter and how you want the home culture to be like.
In sha’ Allah, in time your sincere dedication to Allah and His deen (religion) will rub off on your daughter, and she will want it for herself. Just be patient, be consistent, educate whenever possible and set a great example for her. And of course, make lots and lots of du’a for Allah to open her heart and allow her to see the beauty and truth of Islam, and for it to be meaningful for her.
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