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Can I Convert If My Parents Are Against It?



Reply Date

May 22, 2017


Assalamu Alykum, I am still a Christian who really wants to become a Muslim. Islam has become the only true religion for me because the Quran is the only holy book where things haven’t changed after the Prophet’s death. I really want to live as the holy Quran tells me and I am even learning how to pray. But I have problems with the Arabic language. I am also having some other problems, and I am afraid of doing the shahada (testimony of faith that makes someone a Muslim officially). I am still living with my parents and they have much prejudice against Islam and would be strictly against my conversion. So I have to do the prayers where they cannot see me. Can I officially become a Muslim without my parents knowing? And can I get an official certificate without my parents knowing? There is still another problem. I can’t do Ramadan in this way. What should I do? Well, when I have finished studying, I am planning to move to an Islamic country to live there. Is that possible? Maybe to Saudi-Arabia or another country? I am looking forward to your answers. May Allah bless you all.



Converting to Islam When Parents Are Against It

Salam Brother,

Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.

I am happy to hear that you have decided that Islam is the true religion and that you want to live as a Muslim.  

Please know that even though you have not said the shahadah in an official way, you are already a Muslim because you have accepted the message of Islam. And this is between you and God. 

However, at some point in the near future you will need to make your shahadah in front of Muslim witnesses. This can happen at the mosque or not. This is so that you can become a member of the Muslim community and make Muslim friends, which will be vital to your development as a Muslim. 

One of the best introductions to Islam for Westerners is to meet really good practicing Muslims. This can happen anywhere as Islam is practiced everywhere in the world. 

It is essential to pray and possible to do so unobtrusively, in private, even at home in your room with your door closed if at all possible. To help you learn the prayer please check out this link. And check out this link to help learn the chapter of the Quran that is said in prayer. 

You ask: “Can I officially become a Muslim without my parents knowing? And can I get an official certificate without my parents knowing?”

The answer to both your questions is, Yes! You can simply do both of these at a mosque and your parents will not be asked to consent, or even be told about it.

Indeed it is not really necessary to get an official certificate, as Allah knows what is in your heart. You only need a certificate for official things, like getting a visa for hajj, or getting an Islamic marriage certificate.

As for Ramadan, it could be difficult for you to practice it at home without your parents noticing, especially if you are expected to eat with the rest of the family. If you can normally eat on your own in your room, or go out to eat, it would be easier.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the first revelation, at first he did not tell anyone except a selected few, who all supported him. Only later did he receive a revelation to go public. It is admittedly a very difficult thing to tell people, especially parents, that you have chosen Islam.

In fact, they do often react very negatively because of their preconceptions, fears, misinformation they may have about Islam. If you feel your faith is still too shaky to attempt this, then maybe you could leave the announcement until you feel strong enough.

Nonetheless, it is very important to tell them, especially if you are living with them. Parents are permanent fixtures in your life.

One day they will have to know. It is better to share it with them yourself early on and not leave them to find out by accident. If you can tell them in a good way – respectfully, kindly, and without anger or seeming to reject them – that should help a lot.

Maybe you could lead up to it gradually, by pointing out some things about Islam that you think they might agree with. Get them to explore the issue with you, in a non-confrontational way.

This could also help you clarify your own views. Remember how you yourself came towards Islam gradually. See if you can lead them gradually towards acceptance, if not of Islam, then at least of your own sincere commitment to it.

Only Allah can open people’s hearts to Islam. Even Prophet Muhammad himself (peace be upon him) could not make some of his own uncles believe, like Abu Talib, who supported and protected him, faithfully.

I have heard of some parents who do accept their children’s conversions gracefully, and even some who accept Islam for themselves. Still, these seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

The Quran tells Muslims to continue to be kind to parents, but to remain firm in their faith:

{We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) you to join with Me (in worship) anything of which you have no knowledge, obey them not. You have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that you did.} (Chapter 29, Verse 8)

I hope this helps answer your question.


This response is from About Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

How to Tell Your Family You Are Muslim?

How to Tell Your Parents about Your Conversion

A Letter to the Families of New Muslims

About About Islam Counselor

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