As salamu alaykum dear sister,
Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am sorry to hear about your situation about your son wanting to marry an atheist and leave Islam.
I do not know your son’s age however as he is thinking about marriage, he may be in his late teens, early twenties. If he is younger, they may be more influence you may have, but I am not sure of the situation. Younger people in the mid to late teens, often go through a stage of trying to “find” themselves. This can lead to temporary changes in thoughts, actions, behaviors, and belief systems while the teen is “trying on” new ways of life. In these cases, the teen usually returns to his/her Islamic upbringing as they find that it is truly the best path in this life. As he just started dating this girl, it could be that he will discover things in her that he does not like and will eventually leave the relationship. It could be that he is initially trying to please her and will later decide that he does not want to sacrifice his Islam.
At this point sister, I would kindly suggest that you try to talk with your son as a “friend”. This doesn’t mean you leave the role of mother, but you may need to refrain from expressing anger and fear (which is a normal response). Your goal insha’Allah is to try to get your son to open up to you about what he is going through and feeling. If he sees you as someone who he can talk to without fear of judgement, he will be more likely to open up. This may put you in a position wherein you will be more likely to influence him in the right direction. I kindly suggest that you speak with him when things are calm. You may wish to explain to him that now as he is grown, his decisions are his own and he will be accountable for them.
You may wish to express your love for him, as well as inquire about his interest this girl. By inquiring about her in a non-threatening way, you are showing him that you are interested in someone whom he feels he loves. You may also wish to ask him more about atheism, what is means, what are the belief systems and ask him what aspects he feels are better than Islam. In this way sister, you may encourage critical thinking skills in your son.
At this point, it seems his decision to leave Islam may be centered around an emotionally charged feeling of “love” he has for this girl. It could be that this love will pass in time, and he will not leave Islam. You may wish to suggest that he wait for a period of time to ensure she is the “right” one. You could also suggest that he study and compare both atheism and Islam in the context of decision making. This may serve to strengthen his interest and dedication to Allah
and Islam as he studies it more deeply and may act as a renewal of his faith. As you have raised him in Islam and have given him a solid foundation of Islamic principles, insha’Allah his further study and connection to Islamic study will bring him back into the folds of Islam. However, at this age, it is his own decision.
Sister, I would kindly encourage you to refrain from insisting he follow Islam as this may only push him further away. This will be very hard to do because as Muslim parents, when our children stray, we know the consequences can be dire. It is a most hurtful thing, but we need to remain focused if we are to help our children return from a wrong path. At this point, insha’Allah your goal is to help him think critically about this decision and how it will affect his life, while at the same time, supporting him as your son. Encourage him to study and contrast Islam and atheism and ask him about his findings. Perhaps through discussions he will come to see that this is a bad decision.
Insha’Allah I kindly suggest that you seek his trust by approaching the situation as calmly as possible, with support in order to gain his confidence. Once you have gained his trust, you can begin to help him see how this decision may harm him in the future by encouraging him to explore Islam on a deeper level as well as atheism. Insha’Allah sister, perhaps this relationship will end, and he will return to his previous belief system as his emotions will not be influenced by a “love” interest. Give it time, insha’Allah he will lose interest in this girl and it will not be an issue. Please do make duaa to Allah to guide your son on the right path. Pray to Allah to open your son’s heart and mind to the seriousness of this decision. We wish you the best you are in my prayers.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.