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Wisdom and Hope in Dealing With Your Non-Muslim Family

Our decision to accept Allah into our lives brings a lot of new things, moments, confusions, teachings, and beauty. We see the world with different eyes. We have to give ourselves time to slowly adapt to our new life…

However, becoming Muslim does not only bring change into life but also changes the lives of our family, our loved ones, and our friends.

Many times we are the only ones in the family who accept Islam and who are then left with the task and responsibility to explain the things that we ourselves have just started to understand or are still struggling to understand.

Keep Your Loved Ones Close to You

It is very important that we find our own way in explaining to and dealing with our families. Every family is different. Every family has its own strengths and issues.

The most important thing is to keep them close. We have to do our best to keep family, parents, and siblings close to us. Don’t push them away! Don’t be harsh with them!

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Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) always practiced kindness and patience towards people. Even towards those people who rejected and hurt him.

After he went to Taif, where even small children threw stones at him, he was extremely sad but he did not despair and made a wonderful dua to Allah asking Him to guide the people of Taif.

We should try our best, even in times of rejection, to be close and kind to our family. And never underestimate the power of dua!

Wisdom and Intention

There will be times when we experience difficulties in dealing with our families who have not accepted Islam. Maybe they do not like that we cover our head, or they want us to celebrate Christmas with them, or they continue drinking alcohol during meals with us.

Of course, trying to avoid sitting with people who drink alcohol and celebrating Christmas is a delicate issue altogether. However, what I found from my limited experience is that it is important to approach these issues with wisdom.

For example, if Christmas is an important time for our family to get together, to spend time together, we need to understand that shunning them will drive them further away from us.

We can negotiate, for example, that we do not join them if they go to church, but we join them for dinner and spend time with them. We can have many good intentions.

For example, we want to respect and honor our parents. We want to bring them closer to Islam. We can make dua that Allah gives us a chance to speak about Islam in a good and positive way.

This way, insha’Allah, we can keep our family close to us and maintain family ties, a very important principle in this beautiful religion.

Allah’s Mercy

From one hundred parts of His mercy, Allah has only given one part to this world. This one part of mercy, He divided among all human beings and animals. The love and care of a mother for her baby, is a beautiful reflection of this mercy Allah has bestowed on this world.

So, what happens with the other 99 parts of His mercy? Allah says that He reserves these 99 parts of His all-encompassing mercy for the Day of Judgment. All Praise and Glory to Allah!

This fact gives us immense hope. It gives us hope for ourselves, for our Muslim brothers and sisters and it even gives us hope for our family that has not yet accepted Islam.

Hope in Allah’s Mercy

An extremely difficult time for a reverted Muslim is when a family member dies without having spoken the profession of faith, the shahadah. I experienced such a loss recently despite the fact that I have tried many years to explain Islam to my grandfather and to bring him closer to Islam. But, in the end, it was Allah’s will and wish that he died without having spoken the shahadah in front of anybody.

In the sadness of my loss, one of my teachers told me about Allah’s immense mercy. She said that the common understanding is that whenever a person dies without professing Islam, we cannot make dua for him or her.

However, she told me that we can make one dua. We can ask Allah in His infinite mercy to accept whatever little faith the person had in his or her heart. This gave me a lot of hope and made my heart soft.

Inside the Heart

We never know what is inside a person’s heart. Only Allah knows whether a person secretly believes in Him. Maybe, due to different circumstances, a certain person never openly accepted Islam but in his/her heart has been a believer all his/her life. So, we leave it to Allah and His infinite mercy to accept him or her as a believer.

Whoever experiences such a tragic loss or any other difficulty, should recite chapter Quraysh as often as possible. Because it is by reciting this chapter that our hearts can find peace.

 (From Discovering Islam’s archive)

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