To My Non-Muslim Parents: I Am Still Your Daughter

Dear Mom and Dad,

I am writing to you because, at the moment, writing feels easier than speaking. I am worried I will say something wrong; that we will get into an argument. I feel concerned about hurting your feelings, worried that words can split us apart.

My love for both of you will never change. I am here in this world because God chose you as my parents. It is because of your love that I exist. Because of your love and care, I am the person I am today. You are my home in this world.

Dear Mom and Dad, I embraced Islam and became Muslim. After a long search for my spiritual home, I found peace and tranquility in bowing down to God five times a day. Submitting to Him and His will gives me stability, hope, and strength in this world that has become unstable and unreliable.

My dear parents, you will always be my family. You have provided me with everything I needed from the time I was born. You taught me much of what I know. And you gave me the love I needed to grow into a decent human being.

God teaches me to honor my parents, to be of service to them, and to show the best of behavior towards them.

Mothers and Paradise

I ask for your forgiveness if I ever hurt you, misspoke, ignored you, or made you feel bad. I did not know any better. In studying Islam, I learned that paradise is under the feet of our mothers and that we need to respect our mother and father. I will try from my heart to be the best daughter to you.

Mom, it is not that I don’t like your food anymore; please do not misunderstand. There are just certain things that God does not want me to consume. Pork is one; drinking alcohol is another. I still love your home-cooked meals, your cakes. Maybe we can learn together to adapt our family recipes to fit my new way of life?

Dad, I still like your friends, and I don’t mind talking to them. But God has set down rules for interactions between non-related men and women, and I would like to follow them without offending you and them.

Please, dad, understand that I will cover my head when greeting your friends. Not because I don’t like them, but God tells Muslim women to cover their beauty in front of men that do not belong to her family.

Dear mom and dad, I know that having a drink belongs to our family tradition on certain festive occasions. Please accept my sincere apology that I won’t be able to join you drinking anymore. I would still love to be with you, but maybe we can find a way to celebrate and be together without alcohol?

I know it seems that I am expecting a lot, but please let me explain.

Since I accepted Islam, I feel my heart more at rest in seeking to be closer to God.

I Found My Purpose in Life

Each step I make towards Him brings me joy. Each accomplishment in this new journey brings light to my daily routine.

I feel that finally, I know the purpose of my life. It is worshipping God.

As I have come to know, Islam is the last and final religion revealed by God, designed to help us navigate through these challenging times we currently experience. Following God’s final revelation provides us with the spiritual input and food our souls need to withstand the tests and trials faced in our everyday lives. We turn towards God. We submit to Him.

Dear mom and dad, I understand now that acquiring a new phone, a new car, or new shoes or bags is not my purpose in this life. I used to think that buying things brought me happiness. But this happiness never lasted long enough to cover the waning emptiness inside my soul.

The more things I bought, the less satisfied I became. I thought something was wrong with me because I did not feel the same joy in shopping that everybody else seemed to feel. Shopping became a vicious circle.

Now, I know that nothing was wrong with me. I learned that God implanted in our souls the inherent longing to find Him and that we cannot find true happiness without God in our lives.

Alhamdulillah, praise be to God, that I started feeling this true happiness. I found God.

My dear parents, I sincerely hope you understand. I hope and pray that we will find a peaceful way to talk about all this. Islam is my way of life, my happiness, and joy. I would love nothing more than to share my newfound happiness with you because you are the two people I love the most in this life.

Your Daughter.

About Claudia Azizah
Claudia Azizah is originally from Germany and mother of two children and writer. She served as Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia until August 2019. She is co-founder of the Ulu-Ilir-Institute in Indonesia. She regularly writes for the German Islamic newspaper. She is interested in Islamic spirituality, art and Southeast Asia. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram: #clazahsei