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Mentally Prepare Yourself for a Possible Negative Reaction
Realize that there is a chance that your family may reject your conversion and may pressure you to abandon Islam. Prepare yourself, be patient, and keep your cool.
You must gather as much knowledge you can about Islam to counter their concerns. They may see it as you rejecting their traditions, cultural practices, and religion, as a rejecting of them. Be calm and patient, and don’t argue or fight with them. You must be clear in your affirmation that you have no desire to leave the faith, and that you accepting Islam is by no means a rejection of them, or how they raised you. Remind them that you are still you, but improved, and that you will always love them.
While doing this, you must make your family aware that you are not interested in going back to being a non-Muslim. Help your family to see that you have new faith and traditions and that some of the family's practices and traditions contradict with your beliefs.
This will take time, so you should continue to explain your position with patience, even if it seems to go in one ear and out the other. Be merciful to them as your family adjusts. You must be firm and clear that you are a Muslim and that is not going to change. Depending on your individual family’s views, they may. or may never accept this choice of yours. You know them better than anyone else. Just remain patient, as some families may reject it initially, but if you are kind with them, they may eventually come to accept it one day in the future after seeing positive changes in you. Some families warm up to the idea quickly, while others may take years. Never lose hope, and pray to Allah to open their hearts and minds to Islam, and if it isn’t his will, then to at least have them to respect your choice peacefully.
Kind treatment of non-Muslim Family members
Allah has commanded us to treat one’s non-believing parents/family kindly even if they strive to make their child leave Islam. Parents have rights upon us, so we must be kind to them in hopes that they will embrace Islam themselves later on. However, we should not obey them if they demand us to do anything contradicting to Islamic teachings; but even still, we should maintain good relations with them, nor shut them out of our lives.
Asma (radi Allahu anha) narrated: “In the sacred lifetime of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), my mother visited me on one occasion. She was a polytheist at that time. I submitted to the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam), ‘My mother has come to pay me a visit and she is an unbeliever in Islam. How should I treat her?’ The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) observed, ‘Yes, you should continue to show kindness to your mother.’” (Sahih Bukhari)
The rights of parents on their children are immense in the sight of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala). Even non-Muslim parents have the right to be treated kindly by their Muslim children. It is only their demands of disobedience to Allah’s commands that must be rejected.
Allah says: “[Revere your parents;] yet should they endeavour to make you ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which your mind cannot accept [as divine], obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world’s life with kindness, and follow the path of those who turn towards Me. In the end, unto Me you all must return; and thereupon I shall make you [truly] understand all that you were doing [in life].” (Quran 31:15)
“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.” (Quran 29:8)
Advice from Others - How to Tell Family
The following articles are written by other converts to Islam that give their advice on how to tell family from their own experiences and perspectives. Click each article to open it in a new window.
Many new Muslims found it beneficial to give this “letter” to their family members to read, regarding their acceptance of Islam to help break the ice.