My Mother Is Not Muslim. How Can I Help Her?
Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I’m 15 years old and I’ve always wanted one thing – for my mum to become a Muslim. She loves Islam, she defends it anywhere, and she even tells me to pray. She was brought up with a Christian/Orthodox background but she doesn’t practice ever since she married my father. How do I help my mother?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Abu Huraira reported that a person said: “Allah’s Messenger, (upon him be blessings and peace) who amongst the people is most deserving of my good treatment? He said: Your mother, again your mother, again your mother, then your father, then your nearest relatives according to the order (of nearness). [Sahih Muslim]
Dear questioner, your mother is blessed to have you has her child. Your deep concern for her Akhirah is proof that your parents have nurtured you well.
Nobody can force belief into another’s heart. This is a gift from Allah alone. However, there is still much you can do to positively influence your mother.
He said, “My Lord, put my heart at peace for me, and make my task easy for me, and remove the knot from my tongue, so that they may understand my speech.” [Qur’an 20:25-28]
I suggest that you perform the Prayer of Need and recite the dua of Nabi Musa for eloquence (see above). Make the intention to have an honest and sincere conversation with your mother. You do not know her feelings about Islam until you ask her, but from your description, it sounds like she is already very supportive of your deen. Perhaps you can start with asking her how her feelings are about Islam. Consider this the start of an ongoing conversation over many weeks, months, and maybe even years.
When you feel she is ready, ask her what could be stopping her from becoming Muslim. Remember to approach her with an attitude of respectful curiosity. You are concerned about hurting her feelings. This is a possibility, as any difficult conversation comes with risk. However, speak to her gently, kindly, do not push her into a corner, and apologise if you do speak out of line.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “One of you will be responded to, so long as he is not hasty, saying: ‘I supplicated, and I was not responded to.’” [Tirmidhi]
Never, ever underestimate the power of dua. It can be challenging to keep making the same dua when you do not see any immediate change, but please persist. You are not responsible for the outcome, but you can do everything in your power to do your part.
Please learn to manage your anxiety and worry about your mother. Instead of getting frustrated at yourself or your mother, focus on what is within your control. In addition to dua, consider practising strategies from this website: Emotional First Aid.
Decree of Allah
Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “When Allah created the Creation, He wrote in His Book–and He wrote (that) about Himself, and it is placed with Him on the Throne–‘Verily My Mercy overcomes My Anger.'” [Bukhari]
Rest your heart with the knowledge that Allah’s Mercy is vast. He knows how much you love your mother. Trust that, even if it takes time, He will never let you down.
Am I Accountable if My Family Doesn’t Practice Islam?
Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.