Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Question: My family does not pray or pay zakat. They deal with interest and free mix. However, they also fast in ramadhan, eat halal food and give sadqah.
I am the odd one out in my family, I cover properly. I pay my zakat secretly and I do qurbani. I pray and tell them that I am going to pray, hoping that they will take heed and feel guilty that they do not pray.
I have tried speaking to them. But they are very westernised, and it’s hard to make them understand without them getting angry with me.
Is Allah (SWT) going to be angry at me because I am not making them practice Islam better?
Will Allah be pleased with me if I make sure that I adhere to islam myself (with the intention that parents will gain reward as well as I am their child?) and be obedient to them without doing haram?
I feel very lost in trying to get them to practice. If you could give me some words of advice, it would be much appreciated.
Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your question.
I’m not quite clear on whether or not you live with your parents. Regardless of the living situation, however, you owe your parents respect by virtue of who they are. If you are still under their authority, you should endeavor to keep your advice to a minimum; it is usually very difficult for parents to accept advice from their children and a constant stream of criticism, even if well-intended, might detract from the harmony in the house.
I suggest that you keep on doing what you are supposed to do. As an adult, you are responsible for your actions and have a duty to place obedience to God over obedience to creation. Your parents can’t compel you to stop giving zakat or praying, for example. You also can’t compel them to do these things; they are fully responsible for their actions. While it is saddening to see them falling short in their religious duties, remember Allah Ta’ala’s statement to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, “Lo! thou (O Muhammad) guidest not whom thou lovest, but Allah guideth whom He will. And He is best aware of those who walk aright.” (28:56)
Make the most of the fact that your parents observe Ramadan and gently encourage them to extend the blessings of the month throughout the year by praying outside of Ramadan. Perhaps if their hearts are soft, Ramadan might be a time to get them to reconsider their decision to not pay zakat.
Focus on their good qualities and, God willing, this will create more affection between your hearts. They are fortunate to have such a good daughter. Continue to pray for them and wish them well.
May Allah Ta’ala guide us all,