How can new Muslims maintain family ties after their conversion to Islam?
We know that Allah the Almighty commands us not to break family ties. As the holidays are around the corner, specifically Christmas, the time when we are with family, we gather, eat, and see each other once a year. So this is the one opportunity that you have to embrace your family and have a good time.
Obviously, as Muslims, we don’t celebrate this gathering, but we need to make sure to use wisdom when encountering with our families.
What I mean by that is, if you know there are going to be things that are not permissible for you, perhaps you want to schedule some one-on-one time with some family members, especially if you’re traveling, to make time worth it.
When you’re going to meet your family, this is perhaps the only Islam they will see. So your character, your demeanor, your manners are so important.
You need to go with full conviction making sure that your intention is to maintain family ties, to make sure they understand that you have not left the family, have not betrayed them… Let them know that you have become someone better.
They will see that through your manners, through the way you carry yourself during the time you’re with them.
Conviction and confidence go hand in hand: Conviction is that you are certain of what your new identity and your new faith is.
Confidence is the way you’re going to be caring yourself when you are with your family during these holiday seasons.
You want to prepare information about Islam prior, if you encounter any questions, you’re able to answer them with confidence.
Obviously, anything that you don’t know, you emphasize that, “my faith teaches me that I don’t speak unless I have proof.”
Personally, my family appreciates that; they knew that whatever I was going to tell them was based on scripture or teachings of Prophet Muhammad. I was going to research it basically if I didn’t have that answer.
To be consistent means that even though you will only see each other once a year, you are consistent with your family, that you build a relationship. It means picking up the phone and tell them that you love them and thinking about them.
That goes a long way, especially today that we are in a pandemic where many of us are still very blessed to be at home.
You want to be consistent in building that trust and relationship if anything was broken along the way after your conversion.
The last thing I really want to say is that to hold on to your Islam means that you hold on to your family as well. The only time that we don’t listen to our parents is if they take us out of the fold of Islam or they ask us to do something impermissible.
Other than that, you want to emphasize how important family is in Islam, especially your mother and father.
I hope this is of benefit to all of you.
May Allah make your journey easy.