Short Answer: In a circumstance such as yours, I might encourage you to start learning how to cook. This is an important life skill to have, regardless of whether your family eats pork, and thirteen years is a perfect time to start learning. Not only will you gain an important skill, but you will also be able to have more control over your menu. You can also request that your parents buy more chicken and beef, or even try going vegetarian once or twice a week (this has the added benefit of being good for the planet – another reward from Allah, insha’Allah).
Salaam alaykum, my young brother! Masha’Allah, Allahu akbar, welcome welcome to Islam. Alhamdulillah.
Brother, I converted to Islam when I was 19, which many people consider to be so young to make such a huge decision. Masha’Allah, I am amazed to hear of a 13-year-old convert. May Allah guide you on the path of the righteous and make you among His most devoted servants, ameen.
I am so pleased that you found this website and are using it as a resource to get your questions answered. I am honored to be able to answer this question for you and insha’Allah I will do my best.
Eating Forbidden Foods in Dire Circumstances
First of all, it is important to know that if your life or health are in danger, it is permissible for you to eat pork. There is no sin in this action. In fact, it would be sinful for you to waste the life that Allah has given you just in order to abstain from pork. Islam is a logical faith and we do not believe that our Lord would ask someone to throw his or her life away over a piece of meat.
In a circumstance such as yours, I might encourage you to start learning how to cook. This is an important life skill to have, regardless of whether your family eats pork, and thirteen years is a perfect time to start learning. Not only will you gain an important skill, but you will also be able to have more control over your menu.
You can also request that your parents buy more chicken and beef, or even try going vegetarian once or twice a week (this has the added benefit of being good for the planet – another reward from Allah, insha’Allah).
Protecting your Identity
As you are a minor I can appreciate that there is a chance that you might not want your family to know you are Muslim. I don’t know your situation, of course, so I don’t want to speak with authority on it. If it is fine for your family to know, then I definitely encourage you to take the advice in the section above. Insha’Allah they will be understanding.
However, I do understand that a lot of converts (especially young ones) have to keep their identities as Muslims secret. Allah does not expect us to be martyrs! Please, please know this! If you feel that you are in a vulnerable situation it is okay to conceal your faith! Practice as best as you can in secret. I pray that this is not the situation you find yourself in, but if it is, I feel this is important information.
I have heard of cases where new Muslims are forced by circumstance to eat pork because if they refused their families would become suspicious of them. Again, I pray this is not how it is for you, but just in case: know that you are not alone. Others have struggled with you. This final point I will make is the most important:
Allah is Rahman and Raheem
I did not know much Quran when I converted, and I don’t know how much you do. But even if you’re a brand new beginner with Quran, you will shortly learn that almost every single verse in the Quran begins with: bismillah ar-rahman ar-raheem. In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.
Another of Allah’s names is Al-Ghaffur, or the Oft-Forgiving. The Quran speaks extensively on Allah’s Mercy and His love of forgiveness. (source: https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/allah-loves-to-forgive-sins-so-turn-to-him/)
In a Hadith, classified as hasan (strong), Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported:
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Satan said: By your honor, O Lord, I will continue to mislead the children of Adam as long as their souls are in their bodies. The Lord said: By my honor and majesty, I will continue to forgive them as long as they seek my forgiveness.”
So please know, young brother, that so long as there is a desire in your heart for forgiveness, that Allah will forgive you.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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