Short Answer: Actions speak louder than words. If you want your family to consider Islam, the first step is to live your life in such a way that they are impressed with you. They will want to know more. Try to be patient with them, as it was only their ignorance that led them to teach you Islam is bad. Most of all, respect them and treat them with kindness. And remember: God calls people to Islam, God guides them. We are only responsible for showing them the way that God provided through our own example. The rest if up to God.
Salam Dear Greg,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
May Allah Almighty continue to shower His blessings on you and help you to live as a good Muslim for your whole life.
The fact that you ask many questions is good. May Allah guide you to the right path, inshallah.
Lying Vs. Ignorance
It is natural that you feel very strongly and that you want to take Islam very seriously, but the words you use are loaded with emotion.
It may possibly be that you have, indeed, been lied to all your life about the revealed truth, but it is more likely that the people who told you about matters of faith did not have a full understanding about Islam.
It would be easier here to call this ignorance of the truth, rather than lying about it.
There are many sincere believers throughout the world who do not follow Islam. They may be very good people or not.
Allah Alone can judge the intentions of our hearts.
They may be people who pray, who read their own scriptures, who give charity to the poor and who do their utmost to live what they believe to be good lives in the sight of God.
They Are Rejecting a False Islam, Not The Real One
There are many millions of people in the world, though, who have not heard the message of Islam.
These people did not reject Islam, since they never heard about the real Islam in the first place.
What they heard of Islam might have come to them through distorted reports on the television or in the newspapers.
To reject a wrong image of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), for example, is not to have rejected the Prophet himself (peace be upon him).
Indeed, who could reject the best of men to have lived?
Who, in fact, could reject Islam, since Islam speaks directly to the heart and is the final message of Almighty Allah to His creation?
In other words, many people do not follow Islam and have wrong ideas about Islam because they never learned about it in the first place.
Most people believe things because that is what they were taught when they were young.
The majority of people don’t question what they are taught.
It is Allah Who Guides People
So what can be done in your case?
You are right to say that it is Allah Alone who calls people to Islam.
No matter how much we may want this or that person to become Muslim, it is Allah who calls.
Allah calls people in different ways and He invites us to tell others with “wise words and beautiful preaching” what Islam is about.
When we have done this, our job is done. He doesn’t tell us that when we tell them about Islam they will become Muslim!
I don’t know your parents so I can only give a general answer, but most parents love their children and want the best for them.
It could be that because of the distorted ideas about Islam they have seen in the media they want to protect you from this Islam they have heard about.
Show Them How Islam Has Benefited Your Life
Your job is to show them that what they have seen and heard is not true.
Rejecting them most certainly won’t win them over. You need to show them, first of all by your actions, not by words, what Islam is like.
Do they see you now as a better person?
Are you kinder, more honest, more at peace with yourself? If this is so, they will begin to associate this new Greg with the new message he believes.
Words come easy. Anyone can give a talk or try to persuade using arguments. Actions, though, speak much louder than words.
If it is Allah’s Will to call your parents to Islam He will do so.
Above All Else: Respect Them
You are called as a Muslim to respect and honor your parents and to tell them by your life and your speech what Islam is really like.
This may take five months or it may take a lifetime, but you must never give up on your parents.
May Allah help you to give good example to those around you, so that they look at you and ask themselves what it is that makes you such a good person.
If they do that, they may then feel that they want to be the same.
Welcome to Islam and enjoy the opportunity Allah has given you to tell others about Islam by calling you to Himself.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam’s archives)