How Should I Treat My Impious Parents and Atheist Brother?

21 June, 2019
Q I am from a Muslim family but my parents are not that religious. In childhood, they hired an Arabic tutor for us to recite Quraan and to preach about salah. Somehow, I couldn't complete reciting the whole Quraan whereas my siblings did. I got off track, but I learned how to perform salah on my own. My family was not practicing Muslims till the time my parents went for Hajj. After performing Hajj my father prays regularly. But my mother is indifferent. She becomes active only in Ramadan. It’s been a year now that I have changed and I have started practicing. I am learning and exploring Quraan on my own. When I pray and I see my mother not praying, I pray for her too. My brother became an atheist. My mother is completely aware of it. Recently I asked my mother why they don't counsel anything to my brother. He doesn't fast openly in Ramadan, he doesn't pray, he doesn't go to the mosque. Whereas my father is pretty active in mosques. My mother became angry at me. She says the religious feelings have to come from the inner self, like the way it came within me. At one point, I said to my mother that it all happened because we were not properly guided by them in an Islamic way. She became very upset. And now all the time she yells me saying I am ungrateful and I do nothing except blaming them. I am trying hard to calm myself. And I do not know how to treat them when I can see that they are wrong. They are letting my brother be as an atheist without guiding. I tried to talk to my brother, but when he talks bad about my beliefs, I quit. I want to know how to deal with this kind of situation both for brother and for parents.

Answer

Short Answer: If God has chosen for you to be among one of the blessed ones, i.e guided, then your purpose of life is fulfilled. Religion should humble a person. Don’t try to shove your beliefs in other people’s faces well because your attitude and behavior speak volumes. No matter what happens, do not forget the boundaries that Allah has put up in regards to one’s parents. Your job is not to change their hearts but to help them clear the fog that is clouding their perception. With regards to your brother, firstly find out what are his apprehensions and address them one by one. It will take time and lots of patience. Find someone who is close to your brother, has knowledge of the deen, to help better his situation as he may be more open and honest with them as compared to you. If you have exhausted all your resources just keep praying for him and keep a good relationship with him you never know when the heart softens. 

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Walaikumassalam. Jazakallahu khair for approaching us with your question.

Every human being is on a journey towards self-existence. Every one of us is on a different path, and we all have the same interest in mind. To prosper. Once we truly understand the reality of who we are and why we are placed upon Earth is when we stumble out of darkness into reality. It is then, that we appreciate life the way it’s supposed to be appreciated.

God Has Guided You

If God has chosen for you to be among one of the blessed ones, i.e guided, then your purpose of life is fulfilled. If not then no matter what you do you will never be satiated. Now that you are guided do not expect the whole world to look through the same lens as you do. It doesn’t work that way, it never happened in the past and it’s not about to happen now.

Religion should humble a person. Don’t try to shove your beliefs in other people’s faces well because your attitude and behavior speak volumes. People are attracted to good. Especially when it comes to your parents. No matter what happens, do not forget the boundaries that Allah has put up in regards to one’s parents. Even if parents should be non-Muslims who are fanatical to the point of arguing with the child and putting pressure on him to renounce Islam. Allah says:

Be grateful to Me and to thy parents; to Me is (the final) goal. But if they strive to compel thee to associate with Me that of which thou hast no knowledge, do not obey them; but keep company with them in this life in a kind manner and follow the way of those who turn to Me. Then to Me will be your return and I will inform you (of the meaning of) all that you did. (Quran 31:14-15)

Your job is not to change their hearts but to help them clear the fog that is clouding their perception. With regards to your brother, firstly find out what are his apprehensions and address them one by one. It will take time and lots of patience. Find someone who is close to your brother, has knowledge of the deen, to help better his situation as he may be more open and honest with them as compared to you. If you have exhausted all your resources just keep praying for him and keep a good relationship with him you never know when the heart softens. Do not leave him in his situation but at the same time don’t be too pushy. Allah says in the Quran,

Not on you (is) their guidance [and] but Allah guides whom He wills. And whatever you spend of good then it is for yourself, and not you spend except seeking (the) face (of) Allah. And whatever you spend of good, will be repaid in full to you and you (will) not be wronged.” (2:272)

How Do I Help Others

You really want to know the secret of guidance. One word- Dua. It sounds repetitive, but trust me, it is the only tool that is your best bet! When one finds himself/ herself constrained then let him/ her hope and lean on a heartfelt dua to help him/ her out of the situation that he/ she is in.

When Islam started it was weak and the Prophet really wanted some strong leaders to accept the truth. What did he do? He had previously given dawah to them and they didn’t accept. He, being the best of human beings, could not change the hearts of people. He made Dua.

The fruits of his Dua was that Umar ibn Al Khattab, who used to be a staunch enemy of Islam, accepted the truth! Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said,

“O Allah, strengthen Islam with one of two men whom you love more: Abu Jahl or Umar ibn al-Khattab.” Ibn Umar said, “The most beloved of the two was Umar.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3681)

You Did Your Best

Lastly, guidance is something that is in Allah’s hands. A person could be doing good throughout his life and at the end of his time get off the correct path and vice versa. Praise be to Allah who has guided you, and through you may guide many others. Be the best daughter and an easy-going sister. Keep praying for their betterment and guidance. Because at the end of the day, even a Prophets son was not guided towards salvation.

When the storm had begun and the son of Noah (a) was outside the ship. Noah (a) sees his son at this time and tells him:

O my son! ‘Board with us, and do not be with the faithless!.” He [Can’an] said: “I shall take refuge on a mountain; it will protect me from the flood.” He [Noah (a)] said: “There is none today who can protect from Allah’s edict, except someone upon whom He has mercy.” Then the waves came between them, and he was among those who were drowned. (Quran 11:42-43)

May Allah guide your family to the best of Emaan. Have faith in your prayers and they will be answered by the will of Allah.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How Can I Choose Between My Parents and Islam?

“You’re Still My Parents”

How to Honor and Respect Parents even after Their Death

 

 

About Umm Muadh
Umm Muadh is a student at AOU university studying Islamic studies and currently resides in Texas, USA with her husband and four beautiful children!