How to Advise a Non-Practicing Muslim

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari

Question: As salaamu alaykum


A co-worker of mine who claims to be Muslim but does not practice has taken very ill. I want to talk to her about returning to Islam and perhaps Allah will rekindle iman in her heart, inshaAllah. When I’ve tried in the past to speak of this I feel awkward because it doesn’t appear as if she welcomes such talks, although she doesn’t reject them. She likes for me to come to visit. What should I do/say while visiting that would be beneficial to her?


Shukran for any help you can offer me in this matter.


Answer:In the Name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful

Dear Sister,

I pray this message finds you well.

Thank you for writing to SeekersGuidance; your question is very important to us.

I apologize for the delay in responding and pray your co-worker’s health has improved. When someone lets it be known that he or she is a non-practicing Muslim, lapsed Muslim, or former Muslim, one has to tread very carefully. Often, some type of hurt is involved, whether at the hands of a (former) Muslim spouse or parents. In many cases, the person may have experienced a serious spiritual crisis that led to them abandoning their faith. Remember: Allah is in charge of guiding whom He wills. My advice is to reach out to your co-worker in the spirit of friendship and concern and manifest the graciousness of the Sunna. If she seems receptive, you can talk to her about what you love about Islam, but be careful not to push the issue if she seems to shut herself off.

May Allah Most High open her heart,

Zaynab Ansari
April 5, 2012
Jumada I 13, 1433