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  • Need help with my family

    Salaam alaikum,

    I wasn't sure whether to post my problem here or on the main forum, so please move if you think it should be there. (Sorry, I think this post might be long)..

    I know reverts have problems with their families of a different faith and I don't know how common my problem is, but what do you do if your family is of the same faith, but they don't practice and do lots of haram things?

    I come from a Muslim culture background and I've only started to really believe and practice more for the last couple of years. I've had life long problems with my dad and even though I'm 40 years old, I still have problems with him. He has been a womanising and arrogant man, always drinking, smoking joints (he's 71 now and still does these things). He has had various affairs with women (he's still married to my mum, but he emigrated 2 years ago back to Cyprus without her). One of the women was my aunt (mum's sister in law) there were always rumours that her 2nd son was his (I'm sure he is as he looks so much like his side of the family). At the same time he met an English woman (who's maybe 8 years older than me; this was 25 years ago). He never left us for her, but spent all his time round hers and eventually 10 years ago, they (accidentally) had a daughter.

    Last week he came back for a holiday and to catch up with them, celebrate Christmas with them like he's always done. Trouble is, since I've become more religious, I disagree with his actions even more, he still hurts me and breaks my heart; I feel like the unwanted daughter, he has never been proud of me. He's never taught me anything and he still talks very arrogantly, he calls himself 'king'. He thinks he knows everything.
    I went over to see him the other day (first time in 18 months as I stopped talking to him. Reason being he left me sitting there in tears and went off with his daughter and mistress as well as causing me a lifetime of misery)... I didn't even tell or invite him to my wedding in August.

    As for my mum, she believes in Allah and says some dua's and surahs, but she has never fasted, or prayed, plus she smokes (even though she's had cancer) and occassionally drinks. I tell her she must pray, do a bit more for Allah, but she doesn't.

    When I was fasting during Ramadan, I found one aunty who was fasting also, I was so happy to have found someone in the family who wanted to please Allah. Then I found out she was only doing it to lose weight (she's very superficial and shallow), I started to lose respect for her, then what made it worse is that my mum told me they all went out to an engagement party when she was fasting, she broke her fast with some food and a bottle of beer!! I was horrified to say the least and have not had any contact with her since. It also made me very sad and disappointed. I asked Allah to forgive her.

    So in a nutshell, I'm the only one in my family (apart from my cousin who lives in Morocco) who eats Halal meat/foods, doesn't drink, fasts and reads the Qu'ran. I feel very isolated from them, they have different values and ways of living. I pray to Allah that inshallah they will see the error of their ways and do more. But in the meantime what do I do? I don't see them as Muslims and when they call themselves that, I feel insulted and feel they are insulting Allah.

    My mum has invited me and my husband over for a New Year's Eve dinner with my dad. But I don't want to go, I've said I don't celebrate that, especially with Eid coming up. We will sit there with my dad downing his bottle of whiskey, talking utter rubbish about his experiences with women, how he's the greatest man that ever lived, listen to how wonderful his daughter is, etc, etc...

    I'm sorry for all the gory details, but I really don't have any else to turn to for this kind of advice, it's eating me away. I'm too scared to go to a mosque (especially as I still have so much to learn), I would love to make friends with other muslims in the real world, but don't know the first step to take. I've had a lifetime of not quite fitting in anywhere. I seem to be too English (and now Muslim) for my family, but too foreign (and now Muslim) to have English friends.

    Any help, advice anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Jazakallah.
    ..i have nothing else to say (for now) :D

  • #2
    Re: Need help with my family

    Salaams sis, yes this is the right place to ask this question. Have you read the sticky and other threads on dealing with non Muslim familiy members? I don't wish to make takfir on your family, but as they behave like non Muslims a lot of the advice would be appropriate for them too.

    Remember that it is a sin to break family ties, so please do keep on communicating with your family. Your example might just spark something in one of them and make them practice, only Allah knows. Don't participate in anything haram with them, make an excuse to do something else, For example my family like to play cards for money, but when they do this I go to bed early or breastfeed the baby or something. Have a stash or excuses at the ready to not join in.

    Still be a good daughter, help with the washing up and stuff, buy them presents at the appropriate times but keep them halal (my family get fairtrade coffee or Palestinian olive oil and similar for presents)

    if they are funny about halal meat offer to buy/cook it yourself, or buy/cook yourself (or the whole family) veggie or halal food.

    DO go to the mosque if there is a sisters area, see if there is a sisters halaqa or circle or something that you could go to. it would really help you to meet some other Muslim sisters in "real life" (though of course we are your sisters too... and brothers (for the brothers here lol))

    With new years day, just tell them you don't want to go. Say you are meeting a friend or something (you can "meet" us online so it won't be a lie inshaAllah) or have some other engagement. Maybe you could volunteer to do overtime at work then if you have that kind of job? (MashaAllah my husband is getting £15 per hour for workign new years day)

    you don't need to always mention religion as your reason for not doing something, especially if this makes your family members uptight or increases their antagonism towards practicing Islam. Have a bunch of other excuses up your sleeve - alchol is unhealthy, you like the taste of halal meat better, vegetarian food is healthier etc, that sort of thing, but obviously you know your family and what sort of excuses will go down well.
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    • #3
      Re: Need help with my family

      Jazakallah so much sis for your reply and your sound advice.. it's been really getting me down and your words have really helped me to not feel like an outsider. I know where I belong and it is with Islam, I shall pray for sabr inshallah with my family. I do agree that by being a better muslim, I might have a positive effect on at least someone to re-think their ways.

      I shall phone my elders to wish them an Eid Mubarak tomorrow, that way they can't accuse me of ignoring them for new year. It's funny, just after Ramadan I phoned one of my older relatives whom I hadn't heard from in a while and she started getting snidey with me, saying, oh I hear, you've got all religious now and why is life so hard on me.. expecting me to have all the answers for her. Inshallah, I will phone her again tomorrow too; now I know what to expect.

      Also, to put my point across more and to be taken more seriously by my dad, next time I go round there, I'm going to wear hijab! Can't wait to see his reaction.

      There is still one small bone of contention. If I make excuses to not involve myself in their haram activities, isn't that still damaging family ties? I shall think about this more and be creative with my excuses.

      Btw, when my mum cooks for me on occassion, she now knows to buy only halal meat, my mum is actually very proud of me that I've taken up my faith which makes me happy, she's just a bit slow in understanding sometimes. I guess I sometimes give off confusing signals as I say I'm a muslim, but don't wear hijab, etc as I'm still going through transition.

      I shall seek mosques with sisters area inshallah. That is very good advice sister masallah.
      ..i have nothing else to say (for now) :D

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      • #4
        Re: Need help with my family

        Originally posted by Firdes View Post
        There is still one small bone of contention. If I make excuses to not involve myself in their haram activities, isn't that still damaging family ties? I shall think about this more and be creative with my excuses.
        no they're not, because there is no obedience in disobedience to Allah. However I totally understand the dilemma because family members do get offended by stuff. best to take it a bit at a time and like you say be creative in your excuses. the main problem I still have is that you are not supposed to sit and eat with people who are drinking alcohol or eating pork but I would never eat at the same table as my dad if I followed this!! So I have to compromise on that one :( but I don't like there being pork or alcohol on the table and I don't look at it inshaAllah :( I see it that if I refused to eat at the same table, at my parents house, cause of what my dad was eating when he has never forced me to have haram meat or alcohol and gone out of his way to provide veggie food and buy non alcholic drinks, it would cause more offence and harm and be the greater of two evils than me tolerating his having pork and alcohol at the same table. There is a principle of lesser of two evils in Islam though not being a scholar I can't give details of when it would or would not be appropriate. Only that when it comes to family members its like walking a tightrope and I expect I get it wrong sometimes, may Allah forgive me :(

        Also remember there is no obedience in disobedience to Allah. Regardless if our parents are kaafir, muslim (practicing or otherwise) we are to be obedient to them in all halal things they ask. However if they ask us to do haram then we are required to disobey, as hard as that is to do sometimes.
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        • #5
          Re: Need help with my family

          Thank you sister for sharing your story, it has helped me greatly. We can only do our best and Allah knows best.
          ..i have nothing else to say (for now) :D

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          • #6
            Re: Need help with my family

            I need to share this as it's so special. :)

            I have been fasting today. I missed morning meals with no one really noticing, but the evening meal was very noticible. I almost gave in and choose to eat with them thinking that it was important not to cause issues within the family

            But I felt very strongly that I needed to keep the fast and that this would be a good test of my faith and how I would respond to questions later.

            I simply told them I was not eating now, and that I would eat later.

            Later in the evening when I did break my fast, my son (the one I told you about yesterday) came and asked me if I had been fasting and then asked me why I hadn't said I was fasting, rather than just talking about "not eating."

            We then had a lovely talk about what Hajj is all about and why I fasted and prayed throughout today.. for me it seems that these are going to be doors of opportunity.

            Praise Allah :)
            .
            http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              Re: Need help with my family

              Subhan Allah :)

              Carol you remind me of a sis I know from my local mosque. She is a revert with at least two children. The younger (about 8 yrs old) wants to be a Muslim alhamdulillah, whilst the older (a teenager) thinks mum's gone a bit :wacko: (but to give her credit is giving her mum a chance alhamdulillah and attended prayers last eid)

              Just to let you know that you are not the only one who is facing family issues with children rather than parents :love:

              May Allah make it easy for you and guide your families :love:
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              • #8
                Re: Need help with my family

                Originally posted by dhakiyya View Post
                Subhan Allah :)

                Carol you remind me of a sis I know from my local mosque. She is a revert with at least two children. The younger (about 8 yrs old) wants to be a Muslim alhamdulillah, whilst the older (a teenager) thinks mum's gone a bit :wacko: (but to give her credit is giving her mum a chance alhamdulillah and attended prayers last eid)

                Just to let you know that you are not the only one who is facing family issues with children rather than parents :love:

                May Allah make it easy for you and guide your families :love:
                thankyou dhakiyya and I know I am not..

                and actually I'm not really facing problems with either of my sons.. it's my husband I need to ask you all to do dua for.. he is the one that I will have the real problems with..
                .
                http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: Need help with my family

                  Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                  thankyou dhakiyya and I know I am not..

                  and actually I'm not really facing problems with either of my sons.. it's my husband I need to ask you all to do dua for.. he is the one that I will have the real problems with..
                  May Allah ta ala guide your husband, and sons to Islam and continue to strengthen u upon the truth, and give u good knowledge and understanding of your religion,may Allah ta ala give u strength to face all tests that come your way. amin
                  "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you swerve, and if you distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do." [An-Nisa 4:135]

                  The Prophet :saw: said:

                  "Whosoever leaves off obedience and separates from the Jamaa'ah and dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah. Whoever fights under the banner of the blind, becoming angry for 'asabiyyah (nationalism/tribalism/partisanship) or calling to 'asabiyyah, or assisting 'asabiyyah, then dies, he dies a death of jaahiliyyah."

                  muslim

                  Narrated 'Abdullah:

                  The Prophet, said, "Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (evil doing) and killing him is Kufr (disbelief)." sahih bukhari


                  "Creeping upon you is the diseases of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shaves. I do not say it shaves the hair but it shaves the religion!

                  By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves."

                  [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi]

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                  • #10
                    .
                    http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Re: Need help with my family

                      The sister that I mentioned earlier in this thread might inshaAllah be joining ummah dot com anc coming to this reverts section inshaAllah (well I asked her to join anyway :p) :up:
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                      • #12
                        Re: Need help with my family

                        Originally posted by dhakiyya View Post
                        The sister that I mentioned earlier in this thread might inshaAllah be joining ummah dot com anc coming to this reverts section inshaAllah (well I asked her to join anyway :p) :up:
                        insha allah she will join us .. it may be a quiet section but even just seeing it on the forum thread list is like having a place of refuge to run to when there is a question or just the need to post around people who understand because they have been through it too.
                        .
                        http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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                        • #13
                          Re: Need help with my family

                          Originally posted by carol_au View Post
                          insha allah she will join us .. it may be a quiet section but even just seeing it on the forum thread list is like having a place of refuge to run to when there is a question or just the need to post around people who understand because they have been through it too.
                          Alhamdulillah :) Subhan Allah

                          that was the purpose for creating this section inshaAllah. :up:
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                          • #14
                            Re: Need help with my family

                            This is the dua of Moosa alayhi salam, masha allah :)

                            Carol how did u find the fast, is it the first fast u have kept or u did some before?
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                            • #15
                              Re: Need help with my family

                              Originally posted by anna2000uk View Post
                              This is the dua of Moosa alayhi salam, masha allah :)

                              Carol how did u find the fast, is it the first fast u have kept or u did some before?
                              Anna it was my first all day fast with real intention. I have fasted before, but this was the first time really and it was a wonderful experience specially as I said earlier , it did open up chance to talk to my son.

                              I spent the day praying as well.. for those on hajj as well as for one of our members here who had a huge impact in my life late last year and early this year and who I have found out is very ill in hospital. (May Allah bring Him peace and joy in the midst of this trial)

                              I was also able to pray for my family and.. well the whole experience .. being such a shared one with Muslims world wide was very special.

                              I am also reading a book called "Islam" which I found on my bookshelf here. ( I bought it about a year ago on sale when on holiday but had never read properly before. It is extremely interesting and it was a good book to be reading.

                              I must admit.. I missed not having people to share Eid with, but then again it was also special to be sharing it with my mum and sons.

                              Insha allah you and others are having a good Eid as well.

                              My special greetings also to all who are reading this.. Eid Muburak to you all. :D
                              .
                              http://jameelah61.wordpress.com/

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