In this counseling answer:
• Contact your local mosque and seek direct help from the local Muslim community in regards to the future of your marriage.
• Acknowledge your wife’s concerns and ensure she knows that her voice is important.
• Show your family the truth of Islam through your actions and character.
• Do not force; let them accept things in their own time.
• Make duaa frequently.
• Look to stories of the Prophet Mohamed (saws) and the sahaba for inspiration.
As-Salamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatu Brother,[Editor’s note: As we are unfamiliar with the laws of India and the circumstances of your area, we strongly suggest that you contact your local mosque as soon as possible and seek direct help from the local Muslim community in regards to the future of your marriage.]
Thank you for writing in and sharing your feelings. I am sorry for your struggles with your family. May Allah ease your struggles, ameen.
To begin with, congratulations and welcome to Islam, brother, alhamdulillah. It is a great blessing to be rightly guided to the path of Islam. I am honored to help a fellow convert.
It is my understanding that your wife reacted negatively toward your conversion to Islam. Please, take some comfort in knowing that this is not unusual for reverts to struggle with family. In time, inshallah, it will get better.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
This is a transitional period not just for yourself, but for your family. While you did not need consent to take your shahada, it is a shock to them that you made a life-changing decision without their input. I assume you took time learning about Islam prior to taking your shahada; she needs time as well to accept this.
This is an opportunity to display Islamic manners to your family. You can show your wife the beauty of Islam by how you handle this struggle.
Start by acknowledging your wife’s emotions. Let her know you understand she feels confused, hurt and in shock. Show her patience and mercy while being an active listener, listen to understand not to respond. Take her hand in yours and make it clear to her you are not pushing her to do anything, she is not being forced to accept Islam and you never meant to hurt her feelings.
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion” [Quran 2:256]
Offer to help more around the house and when she asks why to explain this is an act of sunnah for the husband to help the wife in the home. Speak with her kindly, avoiding arguments or anything that will make her associate negativity with Islam.
You can use this quote from the Prophet Mohamed (peace and blessings of Allah upon him) when talking to her so she understands you are now a Muslim husband, obligated to treat her in a good and kind way.
“The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behavior, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives” [Tirmidhi]
As you build your relationship with the word of Allah (swt), it will help your home. Ask your wife to listen to Quran with you and read verses that will appeal to her. If she has questions about Islam, go to a local Imam and ask him to help both of you.
If she is not ready to discuss Islam, don’t push. Let her come to this step in her own time. Make sure she knows where a Quran is at home so if she feels compelled to read it when you are away, she can do so freely.
If you feel it is safe enough, don’t hide your worship from your family, let them see you reading Quran and praying. Children learn a lot from watching our examples. Your wife might walk away at first or find it bothersome, but in time she will begin to see the calmness and peace that comes from you when engaging in these acts.
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Make duaa frequently, asking for your wife to be guided to Islam and for you to be aided during this trying time. Our duaas are always answered in one of three ways; yes, yes but not yet, no I have something better planned for you. Allah (swt) knows your current struggle and wants you to reach out in prayer. Allah (swt) is Al-Khabeer, which means He is all aware and all knowing.
As a fellow revert, I strongly encourage you to learn stories from Islamic history. Zainab bint Mohamed (may Allah be pleased with her) was the eldest daughter of the Prophet (saws) and she was happily married to Abu al-‘As ibn Rabi’ (may Allah be pleased with him). When her husband learned she had become a Muslim, he was displeased and upset she made such a decision without consulting him. Does this sound familiar to your own situation? Not only was he reluctant to take shahada, he even fought in the battle of Badr against Muslims! Despite how strongly he was against Islam, she patiently waited for 20 years until he took his shahada and returned to her side as a loving Muslim husband.
Inshallah, this will not take 20 years, brother, but with some patience, your wife will come to support your decision and take her own shahada one day.
Practical Tips Summary
To conclude, let’s make sure you understand what steps to take next.
- Acknowledge your wife’s concerns and ensure she knows that her voice is important.
- Show your family the truth of Islam through your actions and character.
- Do not force; let them accept things in their own time.
- Engage in acts of worship near your family. When they are ready, invite them to join.
- Make duaa frequently.
- Look to stories of the Prophet Mohamed (saws) and the sahaba for inspiration.
I know this is a difficult time for you, brother, but it is also a most beautiful time as you are a new Muslim, alhamdulillah. Every revert faces struggles, but in that struggle is a chance for you to grow in your faith while showing others around you the truth of Islam.
“Do the people think that they will be left to say, “We believe” and they will not be tried.” [Quran 29:2]
Your marriage is not ruined, brother. Rather, it is going through a transitional period and this will require patience.
May Allah (swt) guide your family to Islam and make it easy on you,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.