Short Answer: Now that your heart has embraced the true faith, you should not delay pronouncing the shahadah . You should just go ahead and become a Muslim. Even if you do so in private, without anyone else knowing. This is because death or calamity may come upon us at any time. If your family members eventually find out about your faith, they might cut off ties with you. However, in your case, this sin of cutting ties, will not be upon you. Rest assured, Allah knows your intentions and sincerity towards them.
Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.
I am so happy that the faith in Islam has taken seed in your heart, sister! I congratulate you and ask Allah to make this faith grow and bear fruit. Ameen. You are still very young, and the journey ahead is long. So, grab on to the rope of Allah, and be strong.
Allah guides the ones whom He chooses, to see the light of Islam. He also tests those whom He loves. The years immediately ahead will require much patience on your part. No matter what, do not give up, and do not despair. Please keep up your hope in the help of Allah, which is always near.
Remain strong by connecting to the Quran
I can understand that the dilemma for you is very great. On one side is your biological family, whom you possibly stand to lose if you convert. On the other side is your faith in Allah, which you cannot deny or ignore. This is indeed a great test. However, the choice that a believer must make, is quite clear. And I am glad to note that you seem to have already made it (in your heart at least).
As I said, you are still very young; right at the start of adult life. At this stage, admittedly, family support seems to be everything. The mere idea of being ostracized by one’s community can be very daunting. One can get demoralized very quickly. One can totally lose hope as if it is the end of the world.
However, it is not. Many a believer has been in this position. Especially during a young age. Prophets Abraham and Joseph, and the Seven Sleepers, particularly come to mind. They were all abandoned/exiled by their own kin and community during youth. However, not only did they survive, but they ultimately came out much stronger. Allah also granted them worldly victory and honor.
To gain strength, I would suggest that you study the meanings of the Quran every day. Even if it is a few lines, remain in touch with the word of Allah. In the Quran, you will repeatedly come across stories of the Prophets. These stories will provide great inspiration to you, God willing.
Hiding your faith & practice
The second piece of advice I would like to give to you is to not delay your conversion to Islam. Now that your heart has embraced the true faith, you should not delay pronouncing the shahadah . You should just go ahead and become a Muslim. Even if you do so in private, without anyone else knowing. This is because death or calamity may come upon us at any time. For this reason, a Muslim should not delay accepting Islam, even if they know very little about it.
I suggest that you, for now, do not engage in defensive conversations about Islam with your family members. Also, do not reveal to them that you have converted, if and when you do so. Until Allah makes a way out for you, practice your faith in total secret. Every day, pray earnestly to Allah to make this trial easy for you. Ask Him to guide your family to Islam as well. Never stop praying to Him for ease and relief from this test of your faith.
Performing daily prayers
In the end, I would like to point out something important. For someone in your position, there are alternative options regarding the practice of obligations. If you are unable to pray all salah on time, you may delay or join some prayers. If you cannot perform ablution, you can do tayammum. And if you cannot pray standing or sitting, to hide your faith, then you may pray lying down.
These relaxations are there for all persecuted Muslims who are unable to practice. For example, if they are tied up, imprisoned, or threatened with death because of their faith. After passing some time (it could be years), as the trial becomes easier, you can practice normally. Please see this.
If your family members eventually find out about your faith, they might cut off ties with you. However, in your case, this sin of cutting ties, will not be upon you. Rest assured, Allah knows your intentions and sincerity towards them.
I ask Allah to grant you patience and steadfastness in your new faith, sister. Indeed, Allah has chosen you for great work, as His special slave. I pray that you pass this harsh trial with flying colors. You will eventually emerge as a beacon for other Muslims around the globe.
And Allah knows best.
I hope that this answers your question.
Salam. Please stay in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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