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Chrysalis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2009 at 10:11am
Originally posted by cab0 cab0 wrote:

Hello, my name is Jonathan, I am currently studying Islam, and I wish for some advice. Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, suicide bombings. Though it is quite obvious that American media over-exaggerates the war on Irag. I need some support. Most of my friends are kind of, patriotic. Matter of fact, my parents are patriotic too (The even most difficult part is they're also Jewish), they blab on constantly on how "evil" Islam is, how "evil" Arabians are, how "Muslims are complete tools because they blow themselves up in hope of women, which states how greedy, wrong, and corrupted the religion is!". My mom, my Father, and sometimes even my friends discuss such negative views on Muslims. My point is. I love my mother and father and friends dearly, but I do not wish to lose them. I WAS Jewish, but with the whole Israel/ Iran thing going on, am I betraying my roots by reverting to Islam? My great great grand Parents came to America from Israel a long time, BTW! But to sum it up, is my belief worth losing my friends over? The love of my Family? And possibly anything else I cherish closely? Plz reply soon.  This is something that has been floating in my mind for months.

Hello Jonathan,

Like everyone else correctly mentioned, it shouldn't have to be a choice of one between the two (family vs Islam). You can have both...

Islam is also a state of mind - if you already believe in its truth - then you are a Muslim! No? Smile Then, no matter what - you cannot 'undo' your state of mind, or belief. Maybe you are wondering about whether to 'proclaim' your faith publicly? If you believe that your circumstances are such, that a public proclamation may alienate your friends and family - then use wisdom and keep it personal, and wait for the right time. You can be go on being a Muslim, just don't be public about it....yet.

It is altogether different if you are having doubts about Islam itself. . . is that so? In that case, read more into Islam - and let things sink in, fall into place.

You can be a Patriotic person, and still be a good Muslim. Malcolm X was a patriotic American, he was also Muslim. . . Smile

Islam does not insist upon wiping away a new Muslim's roots. Which is why when people converted to Islam, Prophet Muhammad would ask them to retain their surnames, tribal names. It is considered perfectly acceptable, encouraged and natural to want to keep your roots and affiliations with your family. Becoming a Muslim is not going to change who your forefathers were, their history, your respect for them.

Prophet Muhammad's wife, Jawairiah used to be Jew. Even after her conversion, she continued to keep in contact with her relatives. She also continued to help her needy Jewish relatives out financially.

May Allah ease your struggles.

"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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honeto View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote honeto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2009 at 5:48pm
Peace Jonathan,
may your heart be filled with the strength of faith with the help of one who knows the inner most of your heart. He knows and answers those who turn to Him for help and to serve Him. 
The struggle in various ways is part of this life. The best and the most successful among us is the one who can strive for maintaining a balance between our duties and obligations toward the One who Created us and toward His creations, that is whatever, and whoever there is other than Him.
In Islam both of these obligations need to be fulfilled, and if you read the Quran, it will help you to how to do so.
I understand that there are times when you have done your best, but things still are not as harmonious as we would like them to be, that's where God wants us to be patient and never choose giving up. Also, Quran makes it clear that only time you are allowed to disobey your parents is if they force you into worshipping anything/anyone other than God, your Creator. Then don't obey them, still it says don't be harsh with them.
I have seen in real life examples similar to what you have described, but true guidance from God is so overwhelming and powerful, that I saw them bearing harshness with strength of their faith, and believe that this life is only a trial indeed, its the next one that will last, where no mother can come to help, nor any intercession will be accepted except what is permitted by God Only.
I wish and pray that God Almighty make your journey easy, and give you strength of faith. With that and with the help from God whatever comes your way will neither dim your heart, nor lessen your hopes, Ameen.

Edited by honeto - 28 May 2009 at 5:59pm
39:64 Proclaim: Is it some one other than God that you order me to worship, O you ignorant ones?"
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the_truth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote the_truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2009 at 4:05am
Originally posted by cab0 cab0 wrote:

Hello, my name is Jonathan, I am currently studying Islam, and I wish for some advice. Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, suicide bombings. Though it is quite obvious that American media over-exaggerates the war on Irag. I need some support. Most of my friends are kind of, patriotic. Matter of fact, my parents are patriotic too (The even most difficult part is they're also Jewish), they blab on constantly on how "evil" Islam is, how "evil" Arabians are, how "Muslims are complete tools because they blow themselves up in hope of women, which states how greedy, wrong, and corrupted the religion is!". My mom, my Father, and sometimes even my friends discuss such negative views on Muslims. My point is. I love my mother and father and friends dearly, but I do not wish to lose them. I WAS Jewish, but with the whole Israel/ Iran thing going on, am I betraying my roots by reverting to Islam? My great great grand Parents came to America from Israel a long time, BTW! But to sum it up, is my belief worth losing my friends over? The love of my Family? And possibly anything else I cherish closely? Plz reply soon.  This is something that has been floating in my mind for months.
Hello Jonathan i welcome you to this forum and to Islam-The only way to eternal success. Allah has picked you out of SO many people because he sees something in the deepest regions of your heart that he likes so is giving you guidance. You should be privelaged because guidance is not given to all as is mentioned in the Qur'an but only the few that Allah has chosen and this is because ONLY he knews which hearts are of those of the rejectors and which are those of the believers!
I understand that reverts to Islam do go through a hard time with their non Muslim families who may find it hard to accept at first but bare with it and make much dua because Allah will make it easy for you and if it is meant to be then he may also give some or all of your family members guidance to because it is clear that your family members and MANY others out there have misconceptions about Islam and the media has very easily fooled many of us including Muslims and have made Islam to be a terrorist and evil religion but thanks to them more people than ever are reverting to Islam because this media coverage is bringing them to look into Islam for themselves because every intelligent person knows never to believe first hand what the media is saying is correct because we always have to look at both sides of the coin.
You have been given guidance to the truth so how can you disregard it for a life of falsehood? Don't let satan weaken you and bring you down. Be the happiest that Allah has guided you out of so many others and be confident and determined that you family also see the light but be patient and have full hope and reliance in Allah for if we all have full hope and reliance in Allah in every aspect of our lives then how can we have lose hope?
Islam teaches us to love our parents and treat them the best out of others even if they are idol worshippers! So be patient brother and make much dua to Allah and have full hope and reliance on him for if he has given you so much will you not carry on giving you more? Thank him and glorify him day and night and your heart will feel better than you have ever imagined and you will have peace and blessings in this life and success in this life and the next inshallah and remember me in your duas too.
If there is anything else you need then please don't hesitate to ask for we are your Muslim brothers and Sisters and the Muslims are one body and if a part of the body feels pain then we all should! Allah hafiz
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the_truth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote the_truth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2009 at 4:06am
Originally posted by cab0 cab0 wrote:

Hello, my name is Jonathan, I am currently studying Islam, and I wish for some advice. Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, suicide bombings. Though it is quite obvious that American media over-exaggerates the war on Irag. I need some support. Most of my friends are kind of, patriotic. Matter of fact, my parents are patriotic too (The even most difficult part is they're also Jewish), they blab on constantly on how "evil" Islam is, how "evil" Arabians are, how "Muslims are complete tools because they blow themselves up in hope of women, which states how greedy, wrong, and corrupted the religion is!". My mom, my Father, and sometimes even my friends discuss such negative views on Muslims. My point is. I love my mother and father and friends dearly, but I do not wish to lose them. I WAS Jewish, but with the whole Israel/ Iran thing going on, am I betraying my roots by reverting to Islam? My great great grand Parents came to America from Israel a long time, BTW! But to sum it up, is my belief worth losing my friends over? The love of my Family? And possibly anything else I cherish closely? Plz reply soon.  This is something that has been floating in my mind for months.
Asalaamu alaikum wr wb, i would paste this article as it is very helpful especially for New Muslim reverts like yourself.
First of all, if you are in the position of being a new Muslim in a family of non-Muslims, then many congratulations to you, and alhumdalillah that you have been guided to what we believe is the right path. May Allah (swt) reward you for your efforts in getting this far, and may Allah (swt) shower many blessings on you. May you be guided through this transition in your life and may your faith grow stronger with each day. May you become an excellent Muslim and through your example may others be inspired, and may your family find contentment in your decision through your new found happiness in your life, inshaAllah.
How do you go about telling your family?
Who to Tell?
When I use the word 'family' this is referring to whomever you decide. For myself, I was concerned with telling my parents and my brother about my change of religion. Telling other family members was something that to me was not as urgent, but would be necessary in time. I felt that I wanted to gain the understanding and hopefully the support of my parents prior to tackling anyone else. For others though, they may have other family members that they would want to talk to first. Perhaps an aunt who you feel is more open minded and receptive to new ideas, who in fact, may help you talk with your parents. Or perhaps a brother or sister would be easier to tell initially before talking to your parents. This is just something to consider.
What Method to use to tell your family?
The actual method of telling your family really comes down to the relationship that you have with them. Have you always had a relationship that allows the free and easy discussion of any topic? Or is your relationship good, but discussions of topics that might rock the boat are rare? Or perhaps you feel you have a not so good relationship with them.
Face to Face Conversation
I would advise the best method is to just sit down and talk to them in an environment that will allow them to express their views freely, ie talk to them privately, somewhere where they and you feel comfortable. This will allow for a conversation to take place, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and you the opportunity to get across the main points that you feel are important. I know you may feel that you want some of your Muslim friends with you, but this may stifle your family's reaction, they may not feel they can ask questions about the religion in front of a Muslim audience for example.
A face to face conversation also gives you the opportunity to observe their real reactions and body language, something that will be lost with a telephone call or letter.
A Letter
If you feel that you are unable to talk to your family face to face then writing a letter is an option to consider. A letter has the advantage of allowing you time to write and re-write until you are happy that you have expressed yourself in the best possible way. You have the opportunity to make sure that you include everything that you want and that the best possible wording is used.
The disadvantage is clear; you can neither see nor hear their initial reactions. The reaction that you receive will be a delayed reaction, i.e. when you next see your family, or when they have read and digested your letter they will phone you. A lot can be learned from witnessing their initial reaction, although some may prefer to only get a reaction once the family have had some time to contemplate what you have told them.
You might want to consider telling your family face to face, but afterwards leave them with a letter that you had previously prepared. This would ensure any points that you were not able to convey during the conversation, were not missed altogether.
A Phone Call
This method does not really apply too well to individuals who still live with their family. Going out of the house to then phone back to the house to tell them, only then to return to the house later, does not seem the best option
For those living apart from their family, this could be considered. However, if the family live relatively close by then I would suggest telling them face to face, rather than down the phone, and only consider the phone in the cases where family live at a distance and visits are few and far between.
Using the phone to tell family still involves having to talk to them, so if possible, going the extra step and telling them face to face would be better. The phone obviously stops you seeing their reaction, it is not always easy to get a true understanding of someone's real feelings down the phone. I feel that a phone call to talk to your family about such a matter could also trivialise the issue, which is obviously highly important in your life.
However, if this is the method that you feel suits you best, then of course do it this way.
When it comes to telling other family members then a phone call or a letter could be the best option and the easiest in some cases.
Clearly this is an individual choice and there is no right or wrong. You must go with the option that you feel is best for you. Remember in many cases the reaction from family is very good, and in all cases, whatever the reaction, you will feel a sense of relief from simply telling them.

What to Say?
When you are telling your family take the time to explain to them that you have made a decision in your life, explain that it is an informed decision that you have made for yourself. You can explain some of your reasons for selecting Islam. If appropriate you can thank them for bringing you up in such a way that you have an interest in religion in the first place. You can address any possible concerns that you think they may have. You can reassure them that you are still the same person, and that you will be trying to lead a life of high morals and manners, a life that you hope will make them proud. You might decide to explain a little about how your life will change from now on.

I would suggest not going overboard with your words. Remember the main objective here is to let them know of your decision and to add some words that will help them to accept your decision and inshaAllah be happy for you. It is not the objective to explain all the Islamic teachings and convert them with your words; this can come with time inshaAllah.
Whichever method you choose to tell your family this has to be an individual choice of words. You will know the best way to approach the subject with your parents. At the very least you are prepared, you have considered what some of their concerns might be, and you have thought of some possible solutions to these concerns. For example, if they are worried that women are treated badly in Islam, then you can explain the reality to them. So as far as you are able, you are ready to deal with any misgivings they might have.
Don't try and 'over prepare'. Don't spend too much time thinking 'what if they say this....’, 'what if they say that....’. Don't get too caught up in this beforehand, you will find that once you start talking to them your words will flow naturally with the help of Allah (swt).
Remember, there is nothing wrong in not knowing the answer to a question. If your family ask you a question and you do not know the answer, simply acknowledge the question and let them know that you are not totally sure and that you would like to find out for certain and then get back to them. This could actually be an ideal opportunity to enable you to bring up the topic of religion at a future date.
How to act during the discussion with your family.
As a Muslim you will of course be trying to conduct yourself in accordance with Islam. You will be aware of the manners that a Muslim must try to show etc, you will be aware of the qualities of patience and understanding. Most importantly you will be aware of the rights of your parents and the way in which you should treat them.
Remember that you should not raise your voice to your parents. Just show them love and kindness throughout the discussion. If there are times when a debate starts, as is often the case when discussing religion, remember to speak calmly and softly, and remember to keep smiling
Despite your sincerity, you may still feel a little nervous at the start. Your nerves may give an incorrect impression to your family, so try to remain calm and composed, and InshaAllah the strength of your faith will see you through your tough times.
Giving your family books
You may want to have a couple of books to hand so that if appropriate you can offer them to your family at the end of your discussion. InshaAllah they will be interested to increase their understanding of the path you have chosen.
Obviously, if you fear that they will disrespect the books, then ensure that you do not give them any that contain the Quran.

Here are some expected problems and their solutions
Your family are religious, practising another faith. How will they react when they hear you have chosen a different path for yourself?
If your family are religious, even if they are practicing a different faith, then this can be used to your advantage.
If your family are Christians or Jews then the first point that can be said is that you are all still worshipping the same God. In this day and age, with the many worldly temptations it is all too easy for individuals to take a path that leads them away from God, whereas you have taken the time to study religion and take a path that you feel will bring you closer to God. Although your parents may not realise this in the beginning, they have a lot to be thankful for.
If your parents are practicing Christians or Jews then we would suggest that you try and point out the many similarities between the religions. As Muslims we believe that Islam was being taught right from the start so it is hardly surprising that we all do many things the same. Rather than letting your parents think that their child is now very different to them, help them realise the aspects that still join you.
For example:
Belief in the same God. Make sure they realise that Allah (swt) is Arabic for God.
Belief in the same Prophets (peace be upon them all)
Point out the similarities between the stories of the Prophets (peace be upon them) in the Bible, Torah and Quran
Point out the fact that Muslims accept the Torah and Bible as Holy books. Tell them the respect that the books are given, how Muslims would not place either book on the floor for example. Explain to them that many Muslim households keep copies of these books. (Of course we know that the Holy Quran is the only Holy Book that is protected and that the other Holy Scriptures have been altered to meet the needs of various groups of people. Just look at the number of versions there are! But this might be a conversation to avoid with your family as this will obviously be offensive to them).

Belief in the same moral code of life, e.g. treatment of neighbours, following the 10 commandments
Belief in the fact that we are all responsible for our own actions
Belief in the concept of a Day of Judgement and a reward for those who do good, and punishment for those whose bad out ways their good. (Some Christians do not believe in any punishment on the Day of Judgement as they say that God would not punish us - a simple reminder of the story of Prophet Noah (peace be upon Him), which can be found in the Bible, should suffice)
Belief in Heaven and Hell. Again, some groups in Christianity do not in fact believe in Hell
Belief in Angels
Although the methods may vary, we all have a yearly fast. In Christianity this is 'lent', this is meant as a proper fast, although tends now to be a time when something enjoyed is given up.
If your parents are Christians then tell them about the high place that Islam gives to Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him). Tell them about how we too believe that Prophet Jesus (peace be upon Him) will return to the earth.
If your parents are Jewish then make sure that they realise that Islam holds Prophet Moses (peace be upon Him) in a very high position. As a Prophet we believe that He is totally free from sin and a perfect example to the rest of us.

Perhaps try to explain how since the time of Prophet Adam (peace be upon Him) it has only been one religion that has been taught to the people. The difference being that the previous Prophets (peace be upon them) came for a specific group of people, and then finally Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him and His Family) came for the whole of mankind for all time. The Bible and Torah both testify that the previous Prophets (peace be upon them) came for specific groups of people only.
Similarities in the teachings with regards to food and drink. In all the teachings (including Christianity) pig is forbidden. Jews also kill their meat in such a way to drain the blood.
If your parents are practising a different religion, i.e. not Christianity or Judaism, but a religion that does not involve the worship of Allah (swt) then unfortunately there will not be as many similarities to draw upon. However, there are still some opportunities. For example, the teachings of any religion are likely to include some rules on the treatment of fellow human beings. So perhaps you could point out that as a Muslim you now have many obligations towards your fellow human beings, and that Islam provides you with an outline of how to lead a highly moral and decent life.
Whatever religion your family are practising the following two areas are definitely worth explaining to them if you can. They are 'the Muslim’s duty towards parents' and 'what Islam says about the treatment of non-Muslims'.
Duty to Parents.
As converts to Islam we have a greater obligation towards our parents than born Muslims. We need to make more of an effort to be kind to our parents, we should phone them more often and go out of our way to show them love and kindness, even if they do not show the same towards us. If disagreements occur we should not raise our voices towards them, we should always talk to them kindly and with respect, whatever the provocation might be. Remember, they may be judging Islam based on how you behave. If they see that Islam has changed you into a better person then alhumdalillah, but damage towards the religion can be easily done just by letting emotion rule your tongue. We need to show them by our good example inshaAllah.
Being kind to one's parents is the best means of attaining the pleasure of Allah (swt).
The Quran says (17.23):
"And your Lord enjoins that you should not worship but Him and be kind to the parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them (so much as) 'ugh' nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word."
The Quran says (17.24):
"...and lower for them the wings of humility out of mercy, and say, 'My Lord! Have mercy on them as they had nourished me when I was an infant.'"
Your family are not at all religious and cannot understand
why you would want to become religious.
It is sad when people feel that religion is not important. I cannot understand how any person could be content to go through life and not think about what comes after their death. Some people are happy to live for today and not worry about tomorrow. Unfortunately this then leads them to question other people who do have a religion. They wonder why religious people bother to waste their time with religion, they think that time spent performing religious duties could be spent in a 'more enjoyable' way. They cannot see the spiritual gains in religious actions.

There are also people who like to 'put down' others who are religious because they themselves are scared. They think that there might be something in religion, they wonder if perhaps there is a God and a point to life. But as they have not bothered to make any investigations for themselves they do not like to be reminded of the fate that they suspect might await them. If they are not looking into religion, despite their doubts, then they do not want anyone else to either.
Of course there is always hope with all people. Many individuals have no interest in religion, then a spark is ignited within them, and through the Mercy of Allah (swt) they are guided.
If your family are of the second category then at least you have something more to work with. If your family think that there might be something in religion, but have not made any attempt to find out, then perhaps you now have the opportunity to help them. You could perhaps explain how you found religion, the books you read, and the people you spoke to. What was it that convinced you about Islam? I think you need to take a soft approach, if possible let them find out some information for themselves. If you go in 'all guns blazing' then this may just add to their guilt that they haven't looked into religion themselves, and they may feel anger towards you. A gentle approach, asking them what they think and getting them to give their opinion on matters, I think would work best. InshaAllah they will develop their own interest in religion and then in time start to feel very relieved that they are now acting upon the thoughts that they had previously been battling against.
If your parents are of the first category, i.e. just can't see the point in religion, then you could try to make them understand that there is a point. This may need to start with proving to them that God does exist. This is really too much to get into now, but there are many websites that could help with this quest.

if you would like to be pointed in the right direction.
Of course your parents, despite your hard efforts, may still be uninterested in religion, and may still be unhappy at your choice to be a Muslim. In this situation we suggest that you try and point out to them that your new religion does not change who you are. They still have their son or daughter that they always had. In many ways your parents have gained, please refer to 'Duty to Parents' and 'Treatment of Non-Muslims' in the previous solution.

Just because you are now a Muslim, you are still you. There will now be some things that you will start to do that you never did before, and there will be some things that you stop doing that you used to do, but that is all.
Perhaps make them understand that you have everything to win and nothing to lose. You could tell them that if you are right, then living your life as a Muslim will earn you a reward inshaAllah. If you are wrong, then you have still enjoyed a good life, and you have lived your life to a very high moral level, what is the objection here?
Your family may have the wrong ideas about how Islam treats women.
I think that all the negative propaganda has also contributed to the idea that women in Islam are treated badly. It has to be said that unfortunately, due to their ignorance, some men do not treat women well, this bad example then fuels the bad press.
The truth of the matter is that women are treated extremely well in Islam. In fact I would say that women have life easier than men. The fact is that non-Muslims see Muslim women in hijab and they view this as a sign of oppression. The hijab itself is liberation for women and in no way at all oppression.
Here are a few pointers that may inshaAllah help you when educating others in the high position that women enjoy in Islam:
A woman in Islam is not trapped by the exploitation that non-Muslim women suffer. Non-Muslim women are faced with the daily challenge of wearing what is considered in fashion, of putting on their makeup to make the best of themselves etc, and all this even before just popping to the shops. Why do they feel the need to make themselves look good for the sake of the strangers that they might meet? Muslim women can of course make themselves beautiful for their husbands and family, but are free from the need to impress other people. Why are so many goods and services sold in adverts by half clothed women? Why are selling statistics improved when a women shows flesh? Surely anyone can see the exploitation here? Woman in non-Muslim countries have even become de-sensitized with regards to this issue that even the women themselves now think it is ok, they cannot even see how they are being manipulated and used. A Muslim woman is far above this exploitation and in Islam she is protected and respected. The hijab stops strangers from staring at her size and shape. Men cannot judge a Muslim woman by her beauty, cannot categorise or grade her depending on her figure, and therefore can only form an opinion of her based on her real self. Being free from the westernized superficial system of oppressive female exploitation is the true liberation.

A Muslim woman has the right to decide who she wants to marry in Islam. There is absolutely no forced marriage in Islam.
Women in Islam are not expected to be slaves to the kitchen! It seems to be the view of non-Muslims that Muslim women have to slave away day and night in the kitchen

Well, consider this, women are not obliged to do any housework or cooking etc at all. Islam places no obligation on them in this respect. In fact, a Muslim woman is allowed to demand a 'salary' from her husband for performing such duties. Where do you find this level of respect for women in the non-Muslim world?

A woman in Islam who works (yes, women are allowed to work) is allowed to spend her salary in anyway she wishes, as long as it is halal of course. Consider the situation of a husband who must take full responsibility for providing everything for his wife and family, including somewhere to live, food, clothes etc. The husband is obligated by Islam to be the one who provides, whereas the wife may contribute if she wishes, but does not have to. So the Muslim woman has no obligation to work and no obligation to perform household duties.

Women in Islam have exactly the same rights as men when it comes to seeking knowledge and gaining an education. In fact gaining knowledge is mandatory on all Muslims. Islamic history contains many examples of women who have achieved a great deal in all walks of life.

Islam gave women rights over 1400 years ago. Think of the history in non-Muslim countries, and the atrocities that women had to go through to get rights. Women in these non-Muslim countries were only considered important enough to vote recently. Women's rights in England for example were not achieved out of the kindness of men, but were the result of society needing women to contribute and work, especially during the world wars.

Centuries before non-Muslim countries gave rights to women, Islam had even set out rights for animals.

A woman in Islam who receives an inheritance is allowed to spend it in any halal way. Whereas a man also needs to consider his obligations prior to simply going out and spending money how he wants.
Only in the late nineteenth century were English women who married allowed to keep their property. Prior to this when a woman married, her property became the property of her husband. In Islam the woman's property is her own property to manage as she wishes.
Now a closer look at the Holy Quran:
In the Holy Quran (4.1):
"O Mankind, keep your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate (of same kind) and from them twain has spread a multitude of men and women."
In the Holy Quran (7.189):
"He (God) it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did create his mate, that he might dwell with her (in love)..."
In the Holy Quran (42.11):
"The Creator of heavens and earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves..."
A woman is completely equated with a man in the sight of God in terms of rights and responsibilities. Her obligations of daily prayers, fasting, khums, zakat, performing the pilgrimage etc are all the same as men. In some cases the woman actually has certain advantages over men, for example the woman does not need to perform her daily prayers during her menstrual periods, but she still receives the reward as if she has prayed. There are many other 'tender touches' that Islam has towards women, they are worth reading up about.
In the Holy Quran (74.38):
"Every soul will be (held) in pledge for its deeds"
In the Holy Quran (3.195):
"...So their Lord accepted their prayers, (saying): I will not suffer to be lost the work of any of you whether male or female. You precede one from another..."

In the HolyQuran (4.124):
"Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him We give a new life that is good and pure, and We will bestow on such their reward according to their actions."
Islam, with regards to married life has rules that are in accordance with human nature. Following these rules results in a harmonious relationship between husband and wife alhumdalillah. With regards to the physiological and psychological make-up of man and woman, both have equal rights and claims on one another. There is only one exception to this and that is in the matter of leadership. Leadership is essential in any aspect of life involving more than one person, and is a matter that is more conducive to the nature of men. Remember, this does not imply any superiority at all of men over women, and there is no advantage for men in Islamic law. The leadership role is with regards to the family, and does not allow for any dictatorship over the wife. Islam stresses the importance of the man taking counsel and obtaining mutual agreement with his family in decisions.

Remember that the man has full responsibility for providing for his family and looking after them, this in itself requires that he has some level of leadership in order to enable him to do what is best for his family.
A lot would agree that a wife has a very privileged position in married life, she can rely on her husband to provide her with a home and food etc, and also she is cared for and protected by him.
In the Holy Quran (4.19):
"...But consort with them in kindness, for if you hate them it may happen that you hate a thing wherein God has placed much good."
Your family think that religion causes war (of course it is people that do this!).
The simple answer is that Islam does not cause wars. Islam only allows self-defence and even then is regulated by strict guidelines. Please see the red question and answer.

Muslims throughout the world are being persecuted and attacked; they are victims of cruel dictators and ethnic cleansing. Muslims are enduring many horrors that are untold by the media. If the full picture were presented by the tv and the newspapers it would be obvious that Muslims are the victims of others' aggression throughout the world.
I do not think it helps to get into 'mud slinging', but it seems to be quickly forgotten that the violence in Northern Ireland consists of two groups within Christianity killing each other. There are many other present day examples, but a less known fact is that the Christians that were a part of the Crusades, not only killed many Muslims, but then resorted to cannibalistic behaviour! What more is there to say?
As individuals, we are not perfect examples of what our religion teaches us. It is therefore totally unreasonable for anyone to judge the teachings of Islam based on the actions of Muslims, they should instead read the teachings themselves before forming an opinion. This is why we should follow the example of the Prophet (saw) and His Household (as) who are the perfect example.
Islam is a beautiful religion of peace and submission to God. A complete code of life that shows humanity how to live in harmony with one another. Your family suggest that you just take the best bits out of all the religions.

I am always very surprised at the suggestion to just take the 'best bits' out of all the religions. To start with who is so arrogant that they believe they are sufficiently qualified to judge all religions and select the 'best bits'. Is the suggestion here that the way God wanted us to live is not contained within one set of teachings? But we are somehow able to work out how God wants us to live by a review of all the teachings we can find? Are we able to get a complete understanding of all the doctrines from Islam to Hinduism to fire worshipping and then rule between them on each individual issue? Who are we to assume that we have the capacity to 'work out' the life God wants us to lead? How indeed would we pick the 'best bits'? Would we select those aspects that we found easy to do, so that our lives became more fun? Surely any decisions we made would be based on our upbringing, culture and environment and knowledge to date. The outcome would be that different individuals would have different opinions on what the 'best bits' even were.
Allah (swt) has already given us a code for life. How could an individual human being decide his own code for life when only Allah (swt) is All-Knowing?
Mankind is not aware of what the future holds, we cannot even say with certainty what we will be doing in the next 5 minutes. How then can we compile our own set of teachings that we will live by until we die?
Just to note finally that this way of thinking can be dangerous. Individuals that pick the 'best bits' from all religions are in effect creating a new set of teachings, a new religion.
In the Holy Quran (54.22-25):
"And certainly we made the Quran easy for remembrance, but is there anyone who will mind?
Samood rejected the warning.
So they said: What! a single mortal from among us! Shall we follow him? Most surely we shall in that case be in sure error and distress:
Has the reminder been made to light upon him from among us? Nay! he is an insolent liar!" Your family are concerned about 'what will other people think?'
No one likes to be the odd one out, to be too different from the rest. People can quickly feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.
For a Muslim convert this is not so much of a concern. Having spent time researching and realising that they have found the truth, they are less concerned with worrying about being different. However, for the family of the convert this may not always be the case. In their eyes they have gone from being a 'normal family' to a family that now contains an 'unusual person’. In the short term the family may therefore be worried about being different from other families, and they may be embarrassed of the new convert in their family when neighbours and more distant family get to hear about it.

This is not always easy for the new convert. Having decided to become a Muslim and as a result change many aspects of their life, the convert would definitely benefit from family support and understanding. If this is not received the convert may at first feel abandoned and alone, they may feel that they are becoming distant from their family.
The first thing to remember is that if your family are worried about what others will think of your conversion, then this is likely to be a short term reaction only, that has probably come about out of shock and an ignorance of Islam. Once they get used to the fact that you are a Muslim, once they see with their own eyes that they still have their son/daughter, when they realise how content you are and what a good life you are leading, when they come to understand the basic teachings of Islam their embarrassment will go. InshaAllah they will become proud of you in time and show you off to others.
In the meantime it is important to remain strong in faith and patient and loving towards your parents. Maintain your usual relations with them even if this means extra effort on your part. It is definitely recommended to spend more time with them than you would normally have done, or phone them more frequently if possible.
The other point to keep in mind is that on becoming a Muslim you have gained many new brothers and sisters. You now have two families and your new family is huge. You will find many organisations that will be able to help you and many existing Muslims that will support you. Your parents in particular may feel that they have 'lost' you, and that you are no longer the same child that they brought up. Perhaps they feel that you have betrayed them by selecting a different life for yourself.
As you are now leading your life differently your family may feel that they have 'lost you'. Also, some families may feel betrayed as you have selected for yourself a new code of life which may lead them to think that you do not value the code of life that they brought you up with.
Again, this is likely to be a short term reaction, and one that will quite easily be solved.

With regards to your family feeling they have 'lost you'. It is important that you make an effort to still be you, still be their son/daughter as well as a Muslim. Of course you will now be living within the rules of Islam, but there will be many areas of your life that you can continue to share with your family as you did before. You may need to increase your effort, maybe visit more often, pop round for a cup of coffee with mum more frequently, arrange to watch the football with dad for example . Maintain the family ties and make attempts to improve them. If you live at a distance from your family you can increase the frequency of your letters, send flowers etc. The small gestures that you make towards your family will go a long way to reassuring them that they have not lost you.
Also, you could bring some aspects of your new life to your family. Perhaps they would be interested in accompanying you to the Mosque? Bring round some Muslim friends for them to meet.

Perhaps ask for their help in more matters. This would make them feel more involved and would reinforce in their minds that you still need them. If you can ask for their help in matters that are related to religion then it is all the better. Perhaps someone in your family can help you make some Islamic clothing? Help you build that bookcase for all your Islamic books? Help you cook that new halal recipe?

So in the majority of cases this can all be resolved with a little time and effort inshaAllah.
With regards to families who feel that you betrayed them when you selected a different life for yourself. If appropriate try and reinforce with them that it was due to the very good way that they brought you up that you wanted to lead a highly moral life. It was all the good values that they instilled in you that lead you to research religion. Tell them that you have a lot to thank them for, and you are very grateful for all they have done for you in the past, and you really want and need their continued help and support in the future. Perhaps remind them that you will always be there for them, possibly more so now than before. Again you could refer to the obligations that Islam places on a person with regards to their family.
You may find it useful to draw upon the similarities between the various religions as outlined in the green question and answer.

The family is the foundation of Islamic society and the peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued. So do what you can to teach this to your family.

Your family may think that you have become a Muslim because of someone else, and not because you really believe it.
Converting to Islam has to be a sincere action that is taken willingly by the individual. There is no compulsion in religion, so an individual cannot be forced to convert. Also, the motives for converting should be sincere and based on belief and not, for example, for the purposes of marriage.
If your family think that you have converted because of someone else, for a reason other than belief, it is probably because they find this easier to deal with. Perhaps they like to think that it is a phase, it is something you are doing because of someone you have met and not because you believe in Islam. This gives them the hope that one day you will leave Islam and things will get back to normal.
I think that in addition to discussing your reasons for converting with your family you can simply show them that you really do believe in Islam by your actions. Help them to realise the extent of the Islamic knowledge you have obtained when you discuss matters with them. Try and say things like 'yes I agree as in Islam we think....' or 'did you know that scientifically ......, and this is in the Quran.' In conversations tell them when you visited the Masjid etc. If you live separately, when they visit you leave the Islamic books, prayer mats etc around so that they will see them. When they see how much knowledge you have taken the time to gain, when they see how much effort you put into abiding by the Islamic rules they will have to conclude that you must have a mind of your own and you must really believe.

Edited by icforumadmin - 30 May 2009 at 12:33pm
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