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Want to Convert to Islam But My Parents Refuse

Questioner

L (19-male-UK)

Reply Date

Mar 19, 2017

Question

A few months ago I met a Muslim girl, who I was quite attached to and we became quite close. However, my knowledge of Islam was little to none. I did not realize that Muslims were not allowed to date until she told me. I was comfortable with this because I did not want to wreck her following of Islam. Unfortunately, our friendship soon broke down, so I was just trying anything in order to be just friends. I started looking at Islam on a multimedia program (just as a talking point) and I saw that Muslims had to pray five times a day, so I asked her about her prayers. She gave me two books about Islam (and the prayers) and since I had some free time I read all of the books, instead of just the prayer chapters and I was completely taken back. I was completely amazed by Islam and the next day I asked if she had any more books. I read a further 5 or 6 and thought how great it would be to actually be a Muslim. I just knew I could do it. My main problems are just saying that I want to do it. My parents aren’t at all enthusiastic about Islam. They seem to follow everything that happens in the media and the 9-11 New York/Washington catastrophe has not helped. They only think I am interested in Islam so that I can have a relationship with the Muslim girl and it is not so !! I would never commit to a religion just to have a relationship out of it. I was thinking that I could prove it by not even telling the girl I had converted. I am really scared of what my parents, family, and friends would think of me and what they might say/do if they knew. I am also worried about the next life because I had been given the chance to join Islam and I had not taken it up and I would then be sent to hell. I read that respecting your parents is very important so I am not sure whether to do it or not because it would really hurt them. I know if the Muslim girl found out, she would think I am only changing so that I can be with her, which isn’t the reason at all. I’m sure if I do tell people I will be saying this a lot and that would destroy our friendship. I was thinking about converting when I go to university so that nobody would have to know, but I don’t think that is going to help. I really am committed towards Islam. I have bought and read many books, researched a lot on the Internet (that’s how I found you) and the library. I am trying to learn Arabic, completely reduced how much pork I eat, followed the Muslim conduct and I even fast. I really want to do this. I am just worried about how other people are going to react to it. I just do not know what to do, it’s just that it’s so hard for me and I really need all the help I can get. I would greatly appreciate your advice as I have hardly anyone to turn to. I apologize as this question is quite long and if I have said something offensive I really didn’t mean to.

Counselor

Answer


Convert to Islam

As-salamu `Alaikum Dear,

No offense taken at all. We thank you for coming to us regarding this matter. You are actually expressing feelings which are shared by many non-Muslims who have also come to learn about Islam and are struggling with the decision of whether to choose their family over Islam.

First, we want you to be serious about your spiritual journey. If in fact Islam appeals to you, then you will have to forget about your Muslim girlfriend. Distance yourself from her and immerse yourself in the study of Islam. Once you are ready, go ahead and locate an Islamic center or masjid in your area so that you can officially enter into the fold of Islam. Do not delay this decision even if you intend to keep it secret from your parents and others. If Allah has opened your eyes to the truth and your heart is ready to submit, then do not delay becoming a Muslim today.

Second, remember that changing one’s religion is a life transforming process both for that person as well as their family and other acquaintances. Therefore, you alone can best make the decision of whether to inform your parents or not. In the early days of Islam, many youth like yourself had to practice their religion secretly out of fear of the backlash from their parents. With regards to respecting your parents, there is really no contradiction in doing so even if you become a Muslim. You will always respect your parents but you will not have to obey them if they ask you to denounce your faith or make it difficult for you to practice it freely. If you choose to become a Muslim, you could practice much more freely once you got to university.

With regards to respecting your parents, there is really no contradiction in doing so even if you become a Muslim. You will always respect your parents but you will not have to obey them if they ask you to denounce your faith or make it difficult for you to practice it freely. If you choose to become a Muslim, you could practice much more freely once you got to university.

Third, be gradual in your study and application of Islam. Do not be overwhelmed with how much you need to learn and how many changes you need to make in your life right away. Learn something new and do your best to implement it. When you have perfected it or feel you have a good grasp of it, you can move on to another new topic. You are making a major change in your life when you accept a new religion.

The last thing you want is to become frustrated with yourself thinking that you do not know everything. You will often hear that Islam is a way of life. Do not expect that you can change your way of life overnight but do your best. Especially stay away from fornication, drinking alcohol, and eating pork. These areas will be a starting point towards living a spiritually healthy new life.

Fourth, visit the following sections of our website to help you get started. The first section is a collection of stories of people like yourself who became interested in Islam. It is entitled, My Journey to Islam, next try Introduction to Islam, which assumes that you have taken the shahadah, and guides you through topics such as prayer, fasting etc.




About Dr. Abdullah Abdur Rahman

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