Assalamualaikum brother Aiman.
I am not sure if you will be the one reading this e-mail but I will give it a go anyway.
Hello. My name is … and I am an 18 year old girl from Malaysia. I was born in a family where my father comes from Australia and my mom is from Malaysia.
Growing up, it was very difficult because I was there to witness and go through many different family problems. Besides that, my parents are not religious. I never understood why my mother would always send me to mengaji (Quran) classes and told me to pray while she never did any of those. Nor did my father.
When I became older, I went through a lot of trials myself in school and through my personal relationship with God. Yes, I was sent to mengaji classes and told to pray, but never was I taught the real meaning of Islam or any other religions. I believe that it was my responsibility to learn more about Islam but I was lost. I didn’t know how to start and who could help me. My two brothers are not religious either.
One night when I was 15, I had a dream and it consisted of a man reciting the Quran and telling me to cover my aurat (nakedness) and pray more. When I woke up that morning, I was shivering and afraid for many, many days. Slowly, I began feeling awkward and uncomfortable whenever I wore dresses or short sleeved shirts. It all started with that dream. I started praying more and learning about Islam. Reading the Quran brought me to tears. Alhamdulillah (All praise is to Allah) I am now wearing the hijab and praying daily.
I hate to admit that growing up makes me realise a lot of things I wish I never would realise. Most nights, I cry myself to sleep. Most days, I cry because my family doesn’t practice Islam. I cry because I have never been for Raya (Eid) prayers or terawih with the family. I cry because my family has dinner during Maghreb and ignores the athan (the call to prayer). I cry because I do not ever want my family not to go to Jannah (Paradise).
Most times I get upset and annoyed at my family because they don’t understand how much I am worried for them, worried for myself as well. I don’t have a group of religious friends either. I didn’t grow up in a religious environment at all. Alhamdulillah I am thankful for the existence of Youtube and countless videos by Nouman Ali Khan as well as you, Aiman. I love your book masha Allah.
That’s just it. I hope you can advice me on how I should handle the position that my family is currently in and how I should react to it. It’s been awhile and I will never give up in making du’a (supplication) for them but nothing’s changed and it scares me, ya Allah. I am afraid of the Hereafter and I want my family in Jannah. I want all my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters in Jannah.
Thank you for taking the time to even read this, brother. May Allah SWT reward you on earth and in the Hereafter inshaaAllah, aamiin.
Thank you for your email and thank you for sharing with me your story.
It is wonderful how much you care for your family. May Allah reward you for every sincere tear you shed out of love for your family. Ameen.
Whenever we want to send a message to our family members, it is always a difficult thing to do because usually (but not always) our family members don’t want to listen to us, especially our parents.
Our parents tend to see us as their child and that is normal. We can’t blame them for that. But it gets frustrating when whatever you say goes into deaf ears just because you are “a child and doesn’t know any better”.
In hindsight, yes we are younger than them and we do know less than them, but that doesn’t invalidate the truth that we say with our tongues. However, in the minds of our family members, it is hard to take us seriously and to really reflect upon what we say.
Another thing to keep in mind is that it might not be their fault after all – it might be ours. In our zeal for the religion, we might be overzealous and we might let that burning passion burn everyone in our sight. We shove the religion down their throats, when in fact we should share the religion with them in a beautiful manner.
Zeal without wisdom is like a wildfire; it will burn everything in its path. To embody wisdom is to know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and who should say it.
Easier said than done, I know. Hence the reason why genuinely wise people are so hard to come by.
Having said that, hope is not lost. You can still say something to your family members, but not with your tongue. Rather, you say it with your actions.
When you get more religious, your actions should speak better. Meaning, you should embody beautiful characters in how you are as a daughter or as a sister. You should treat your family members better now than ever before. You should talk more beautifully, smile more often, help around the house more, laugh with your siblings more, buy them gifts when they least expect it, etc.
Show them that Islam made you a better person. Show them that it is because of Islam that you embody all those beautiful characters. Show them that it is Islam who taught you to be better with your own family and to treat them in the most beautiful of manners possible.
Actions are more eloquent than the tongue. With actions, people have no choice but to listen to you and they will voluntarily listen to you. When they found out that your beautiful transformation is because of Islam, then Insha Allah (God willing) they will see the beauty of Islam through that.
True beauty is inherently magnetic; it pulls people in. Islam is indeed beautiful and we don’t need to “advertise” it that much in order to get people interested. People are naturally interested in beautiful things. Our job is to show them the real beauty of Islam and Insha Allah, they will come closer and closer.
With that effort, you continuously make du’a that Allah opens up their hearts. It is Allah who controls the hearts of the people, and that includes our own heart as well. So make du’a to Him and rely on Him alone. Know that you are doing this because you love your family and most importantly, because you love Allah.
But that is not the end of the story. As much as your family needs your positive influence, you also need positive influence yourself and nobody influences us more than our friends.
So try your best to find good, positive friends to be around – the kind of friends who take you closer to Allah, the kind of friends who make you into a better person, and the kind of friends who give you energy and motivation especially when you need it the most.
Those friends are out there. They are like gold; you have to dig deep to find them. Find good places and Insha Allah, you will find good people there.
I hope this helps.
Allah knows best.
May Allah grant you strength in these difficult times. Ameen.
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