Oh, how I wish…

Yesterday after Jumah I witnessed a woman take shahadah and it was one of the most touching moments I’ve experienced in a long time. I thought back to my own conversion and how I felt at the time- exhilarated, nervous, certain, excited, and peaceful all at the same time. I’ve never felt so pure in all of my life.  I, the stoic one, nearly cried as I watched the woman pronounce the shahadah. In my time of being Muslim I have witnessed many people take shahadah but what touched me about this one in particular is that she is someone’s mother (as in, her daughter who converted brought her to the masjid.) Do you know how much I’ve prayed, cried and wished for SOMEONE, ANYONE in my family to accept Islam? (Let alone my mother). But Allah is the one who makes Muslims. Allah alone offers people the guidance. Just as the Prophet (s.a.w) could not guide his Uncle Talib to Islam, I cannot guide my mother or other family members of mine to Islam. The only thing I can do is set an example and answer any questions they have.

As it stands, my mother has yet to set foot in the masjid. I’ve offered but she has politely turned me down each time. (I have been to her church at least twice now.) My sister grew up attending Jumah with me and going to other masjid functions but when my mom “got saved” she eventually nipped that one in the bud. I know she was worried that we’d influence my sister and she’d want to become Muslim. Yet, my mom doesn’t know that my sister doesn’t want to be Christian. My sister has already admitted to me that she doesn’t believe Jesus is Lord or in Christianity. Yesterday she was talking about her Baptism and how it was a scary experience not a transformative one.  At the same time she says that she doesn’t think she is disciplined enough to be Muslim. She thinks the praying, the fasting, wearing hijab etc. will be too difficult. And you know what? I don’t pressure her. She knows she can come to me with any questions she has.

The rest of my family? My father once told me if he had to choose any religion he’d choose Islam. But at the same time he has not expressed any interest in the religion and I know my family well enough not push. (Aside from that he and I have ‘other issues’).  As for my cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces: some of them think I’m strange and have no problem telling me so, some of them accept my choice to be Muslim and leave it at that, some of them are proud but don’t seem to want it for themselves, some are hardcore Christians and would “lay hands on me” if they had the opportunity, and others are too busy wrapped up in their own lives to concern themselves with religion.

I have to admit, when I’ve heard about people whose family members accepted Islam, following their lead, I feel jealous. Not jealous in a bad way but wishing it would happen to me too. I used to think that something was wrong with me. Like maybe my dawah efforts were not good enough. Like I hadn’t said the right things or didn’t behave in ways that inspired them. Now I know different. As I said, I know that Allah makes Muslims we are only the catalysts, the instruments. (And sometimes we’re not even that, Allah just guides people to Islam seemingly on their own).

Will one of my family members ever become Muslim? Allah truly knows best…

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8 responses to “Oh, how I wish…

  1. Assalaamualaikum-

    I am glad that you wrote this- I am not a convert to Islam but I can relate to the feelings that you expressed about wanting family members to become Muslim.

    My husband and I asked each other if we could have three people in our lives practice Islam who would they be. The funny thing is that we named our family members who drifted out of their Muslim identity-and those who have never fully embraced it.

    I have friends who I believe our friendship rests on the fact that religion is the elephant in the room that we don’t discuss. It really is to you be your way and to me by my way. But I really think the sad thing is that they don’t know really what my way is because I have not said enough. Of course the exterior stuff is there-my covered head or my not eating during Ramadan but the interior stuff is so hard to bring into words.

    If I could let them know what Islam has done to my inner self-even on my worse days- I wonder what would happen? This is the part that truly is in Allah’s hands, I believe.

    Allah is merciful because I wonder how my father felt when I was a rebellious teenager and young adult-uncovered, unapologetic and with prayer not even in the back of my mind. Alhamdulilah there is always a possibility even up to our last breath.

  2. “Will one of my family members ever become Muslim?”
    Insh’allah 🙂

  3. I have never thought of that really. I think it i s because most of my family well all of my family on my mothers side have converted from my grand parents down.
    but I will say this. Just because a person says they want nothing to do with Islam does not mean it will last. I was a hard sell. I fought this thing tooth and nail. There was No way I was dressing in a sheet, praying 5x a day, listening to some man boss me around and take away my freedoms while he got to have 4 wives. These are just a few things I would say and TRUST me I said worse thing.
    BUT Allah made me Muslim. I am sometimes blown away by this. I never thought I would be and now I just LOVE IT. so dont give up hope if I can do it anyone can and my grand father took shaddah at 79 so until they take that last breath it is never too late.

  4. Jamerican,

    I can definitely relate to this topic.

    I think that my folks are in denial about it.Although I came from a Christian background, I was always attracted to the Muslim faith , even without me knowing the meaning of it.
    It’s a great incentive that you’re helping you’re sister, because, I’m all out of luck. I didn’t get no support or any understanding of it from them. If you weren’t Christian, forget about it!
    If it wasn’t for college, I would have just continued to wonder about it and kept my desires in the backburner.Even though I don’t know everything about it, I know enough to learn that it’s all about God.

    I hope that your sister will be able find her path to god.It’s good that she has a sister like you to support her. Too often, people want convince others what is right from their perspective opposed to what is best for them and mainly,where god wants them to be.

  5. Salaamu alaikum Sister,

    I was born muslim, as was my immediate family and several aunts and cousins. However, my mother and siblings are only marginally adhering to the DEEN (just the shahadah). None of them cover properly and only me and my oldest sister consistently make our prayers. I’ve learned the hard way (in my salafee stage) not to push them, not to be hard on them but give them gentle reminders especially in periods of hardship when they are the most receptive.

    Sister, your situation has to be hard on you, may Allah make it easy for you and guide your family to Islam.

  6. I understand how you feel. Although both my parents are Muslim, my extended family (cousins, aunts etc) on my Bahamian side are not. I can’t picture them becoming Muslim either. They see Islam and us as well as too strange.

    Recently, I heard of a case on another island here in the Bahamas of a woman who became Muslim. Soon after her daughter converted to Islam. Within a year, her husband also converted. Masha’allah, nothing is impossible, and Allah knows best.

  7. Salaam’Alaikum,

    My family’s anti-Islamic attitude has beat this wish right out of my heart.

    Funny, I’m reading this…I just had an elder decline a visit to our new home becuase of our religion…

    Salaam

  8. asa,
    i guess the closest that i’ve come to having another family member become muslim would be a relative who had a muslim boyfriend. [sigh] yes, boyfriend. and he turned out to be shady, they broke up and she was really turned off by islam after that. insha Allah…

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