Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: I was born and raised Muslim but was not religious. I met an older non-Muslim man. He converted to Islam to marry me. Then, after being married for a while, I felt that I was missing something significant in my life. I became closer to Allah and started wearing my hijab. I told my husband that I cannot live with him if he is not a practicing Muslim. He was reluctant initially, then he expressed his interest to learn about Islam. He started praying and going to the masjid to learn Quran.
I still have guilt inside me and need guidance. I feel like I betrayed my father who put a lot of trust in me. He isn’t aware of the above details.
Answer: May Allah reward you for reaching out to ask about the situation that you are dealing with. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, would praise the women of Medina saying that they did not shy away from asking questions about their religion. I personally do not feel as though I understand the reality of your question, but I will try to answer and give advice to the best of my knowledge.
Being Muslim is the Most Important Thing
If your husband converted to Islam, then that is the most important thing. One’s Islam is the capital of their spiritual investment and actions are like profits to the investment. This does not detract from the importance of practice of the faith, but it is to show the grand nature of faith alone.
Once, Abdullah the son of Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), looked at the Kaaba. He said, “How wonderful you are and how wonderful you are in the sight of Allah, and the status of one believer is grander than you.” So, sister, if your husband professed the faith of Islam, he is more precious and valuable than the Ka’bah. Keep this in mind.
Continue to Encourage Him to Improve
You have taken a great step in encouraging him to improve on the practice of his faith. You should continue in this firm resolve and help him improve while you yourself also improve. The only thing to remember, is that while you and he work on the practice of Islam, you have to pace yourselves.
The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, instructed us to take the practice of this faith while pacing ourselves so as not to burn ourselves out. At the same time, you have to realize that you may “run” faster spiritually than your husband. So, two things to remember are; 1) is that don’t allow your speed to be slowed down by him and 2) Be patient with the runners who cannot run as fast as you.
Consult the People of Knowledge
The way to pace yourself is to keep in constant contact with the scholars and ask them advice at every point of this journey you are on. As Muslims we cannot be guided through our personal opinions or feelings, rather we have to ask when we do not know. Allah has said, “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” Feel free to reach out to us here at the Answer service for Seekers Hub Global to guide you along your journey.
Your Duty to Your Father
As for your relationship with your father, I would not be able to advise anything since I do not know the details of what transpired between you to make you feel like you betrayed your father. What I can say is that as long as you were following the tenets of the religion, you have completed your duty. If there were matters your father wanted of you and they were above and beyond the obligations of the religion, and beyond your capability, you will not be held responsible for them.
We offer a course on the Rights of Parents that you may consider taking so that you can gain more insight onto the true nature of what you obligated to do for your parents. See: The Rights of Parents
I pray that my answer assisted in some way. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can advise you about.