I was born in China, where religion is allowed officially but strongly associated with ignorance and other negative aspects. My family, like most, adopt Marx's point of view and reject all religion. During my 18 years in China, the only opinion that I had access to –– through society, media and propaganda –– was that materialism and Marxism were the only correct philosophies and all others were folly.

During my two years of study in India I was able to open my mind and see things in different perspectives. I struggled through a very tough stage where my entire value system was attacked severely, from personal, political, philosophical and religious aspects. Luckily I did not retreat into my old dogma and rejected all that undermined it, but stood to acknowledge the mistakes, faults and shortcomings of my opinions and actions.

I was (and still am) in seek of truth, luckily soon I had my first chance in my life to get to know Islam. I always believed in God, the creator, even when I was in China. I was confused by all the religions in the world and did not know which god was the God that I have in mind. Through studying and reading, I realized Islam is what I was seeking. I read about the scriptures, prophets and relation between Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Slowly but inevitably I was drawn to Islam, because I believe in Allah and that Prophet Muhammad is his messenger.

I relinquished pork eating immediately, but unfortunately it upset my family hugely. I have spent two summers trying to explain to them myself and my thoughts, but my parents, with a mindset of more than 40 years, strongly oppose me have anything to do with any religion. I tried really hard to explain them that religion is not what they think it is, but how can two summers of my effort counteract the 40 year's saturation into communist propaganda? My mother was so upset, that she forced me to eat pork. She said,"If you don't eat this, you are not my son any more, I will throw you out immediately." And she was serious, she threw my stuff outside but with my dad's interference I was able to stay for that summer. She was so mad that she was sick, mentally disturbed and unfit for two months. She wept non-stop and went into depression. As a son I could not bear this. I love my mother and I cannot see her like that. I ate pork to appease her and agreed that I will not convert, and remain, in her words, "a han blood". (Han folk is the main folk in China).

I weep as I write this. You might say I should try harder to appease my mother and explain to her more patiently. But you may or may not believe, that there are people whose mind just cannot be changed. Not until you were in my shoes when I beg my mother for understanding you will understand that there is just no chance she will allow me to convert.

Now I face this situation. If I don't convert, I betray myself and my belief in Allah. If I convert, I either will cause some very very serious stress in my family, or I have to lie to my family all the time about my conversion. I don't know much, but I don't think in Islam it is allowed to lie about one's belief in Allah. And I really really cannot hurt my mother and my family any more. I would become a shame of the family and they would not sleep well for years, I cannot let that happen.

Those who are knowledgeable and those who are wise, please guide me. My belief in Allah is firm, and my love for my family true. My current plan is to delay my conversion until I have my family's approval, but that is an event that just might not happen at all. Please help me. May Allah's blessing be upon you.

  • as I learnt in my childhood, I am Indonesian people, and you can keep my word that your believe just commit that you are already Muslim. It just matter of time and condition to show your Muslim identity in your Country. In my Country, Indonesia, there are a lot of Chinese people which convert in Muslim. Some of leader in Indonesia are blood mixture of Chinese Muslims. Commented Jul 4, 2013 at 9:47
  • @DavidWallace: would be good to have your take on this?
    – Noah
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 0:01
  • 2
    (a) It may be worth while exploring issues with your family on Parenting SE. (b) Your food choices, and your reasons for making them, are your own. If someone doesn't respect your right to choose your own food, they don't respect you. (And it doesn't matter what your reasons are, religious, ethical, health, environmental, or anything else.) If your family doesn't respect you, bear in mind that they're the ones with the problem, not you.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 21:56
  • Remembers me of Musab ibn Umair youtube.com/watch?v=tcxKR9wVfJ8
    – user9283
    Commented Jan 19, 2015 at 16:17
  • Remember how Ibrahim (PBUH) chose Allah rather than his family(uncle) then left his child and wife in a dessert for Allah and then intended to kill his own son for Allah. Remember how all of Husayn ibn Ali's companions killed and his family were taken as slaves. So entering Islam is not easy. Your mother will appreciate your disobedient and even inviting her to Islam in the other and the true world. Just be patient and frank. Husayn ibn Ali(PBUH) could pretend that he is obeying Yazid ibn Mu'awiya and save his family but he didn't so do not pretend you accepted their opinion.
    – user39527
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 14:53

8 Answers 8


In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

As far as I have seen, almost all people who change a religion have had family problems but I can daresay that none were as intense as yours. May Allah give you strength, courage and patience in this quest.

I have never been in such situations, neither have I seen anyone in such tense situations. So please consider my answer as your first aid Insha Allah.

If you examine your situation little bit, it has at least two faces:

  1. A test by Allah: Maybe Allah wants to test your faith in Him. You have indeed accepted this test promptly and are sincerely working to clear it as meritoriously as possible.

Surat Al-Mā'idah :: Ayah 94

O you who believe! Allah will certainly make a trial of you with something in (the matter of) the game that is well within reach of your hands and your lances, that Allah may test who fears Him unseen. Then whoever transgresses thereafter, for him there is a painful torment.

Surat 'Āli `Imrān :: Ayah 141

And that Allah may purify the believers [through trials] and destroy the disbelievers.

  1. A conspiracy by Shaitan (evil): The Satan will never like you entering Islam. It has misguided your well-wishers since 40 years and will surely take advantage of their 40 year old mindset to defeat you. But unless you are firm about your decision and ask Allah for help, the Satan can never conspire you.

Surat Al-Mujādila :: Ayah 10

Secret counsels (conspiracies) are only from Satan that he may grieve those who have believed, but he will not harm them at all except by permission of Allah . And upon Allah let the believers rely.

Surat 'Āli `Imrān :: Ayah 10

That is only Satan who frightens [you] of his supporters. So fear them not, but fear Me, if you are [indeed] believers.

But unfortunately, by making you delay your reversion to Islam, it has already begun victimizing you.

Islam would never ask you to disobey your parents if it weren't at the cost of disobeying Allah.

Surat Al-Baqarah :: Ayah 83

..."Do not worship except Allah ; and to parents do good and to relatives, orphans, and the needy. And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and give zakah."...

But when you have to decide between your parents and your creator, the most straight answer is that you have to choose your creator.

Surat Al-`Ankabut :: Ayah 8

And we have enjoined upon man goodness of parents. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them. To Me is your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.

This doesn't mean that you stop obeying them from now. You can disobey them only in matters of religion and things revolving around it. They are still your parents and you are bound to them. Return every drop of hate with an ocean of love and care. Gradually try different ways to educate them about the truth(Islam) and continuously pray to Allah that they too accept Islam. Show them the beauty of Islam rarely by words and more by your actions.

Summing up, don't recreate the story of Abu Talib who was totally convinced about the truth of Islam and also helped Muhammad(pbuh) for it but didn't accept it as his religion due to ancestral sentiments.

ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (And Allah is the All-Knower, the Wise)

اللَّهُمَّ انْفَعْنِي بِمَا عَلَّمْـتَنِي وَ عَلِّمْنِي مَا يَنْفَعُنِي


I might have a few suggestions for you and I will try to keep it short since there are many valuable references from the Qur'an already.

  1. You cannot build a house when there's a hurricane so let it pass (be secretive about your conversion for now with your parents)
  2. Make yourself so strong that no one can break you (this needs time and effort but with proper guidance it is possible)
  3. Although both are against your ideas your father has a soft spot and that's a good thing so use it in any way you can
  4. If you can’t see your mother in pain, your mother can NEVER see you in pain. Show her slowly how much Islam means to you and without it your life is painful (express it as much as you can, melt her heart by shedding some tears). Don't say you are right since mothers are right no matter what! Instead tell her that you love her and that she should support you to make your own decisions

Prophet Abraham's father rejected Abraham's faith and let the people put his own son in fire yet he did not retreat.


You must disobey your parents in that regard as no one is superior to Allah in being obeyed and if He has shown you the Truth --praise is toward Allah-- you are then expected to follow it:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حُسْنًا ۖ وَإِن جَاهَدَاكَ لِتُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۚ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did. [29:8]

However, believing in Islam does not necessarily require you to also express your belief everywhere and for everyone, that's something in your heart. Specifically, as Muslims must obey their fathers and keep content their mothers as long as they are not disobeying Allah I think you should either hide your belief from them or immigrate from your homeland in peace so that you achieve both obedience of Allah and not hurting your parents at the same time more easily.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنفُسِهِمْ قَالُوا فِيمَ كُنتُمْ ۖ قَالُوا كُنَّا مُسْتَضْعَفِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ قَالُوا أَلَمْ تَكُنْ أَرْضُ اللَّـهِ وَاسِعَةً فَتُهَاجِرُوا فِيهَا ۚ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا

When angels take the souls of those who die in sin against their souls, they say: "In what (plight) Were ye?" They reply: "Weak and oppressed Were we in the earth." They say: "Was not the earth of Allah spacious enough for you to move yourselves away (From evil)?" Such men will find their abode in Hell,- What an evil refuge! [4:97]

يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ أَرْضِي وَاسِعَةٌ فَإِيَّايَ فَاعْبُدُونِ

O My servants who believe! truly, spacious is My Earth: therefore serve ye Me - (and Me alone)! [29:56]

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَـٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ ۗ وَأَرْضُ اللَّـهِ وَاسِعَةٌ ۗ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is Allah's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]

About hiding your belief for example if you find out your mother cannot accept you as a Muslims and forces you to eat pork, hide your main reason for not eating pork and pretend like you have no problem but only that you don't like its taste. Only be careful that if you say I don't like its taste it will be a lie but if you say I don't like it and bear in your mind the fact that you don't like it because that's a bad thing according to your religion that's no longer a lie. Your mother will think you are saying that you don't like its taste but you have not said that explicitly as well so that you have said nothing but the truth, that is, no lying. This is called Turiyah (توریه), it is neither Haram nor even discouraged. Many prophets of Allah --peace be upon all of them-- have done this and even Allah has done things like that in Quran, pretending in a way that people may usually understand something different than the main intention behind that deed or speech. You can always do Turiyah instead of lying although that require some high degrees of sharpness that you have God Willing!

Also hiding your belief is acceptable in some situations and is even obligatory when declaring it in open can cause disasters, putting in danger your life, wealth or reputation. Hiding your belief can go way too farther than doing Turiyah and is called Taqiyyah (تقیة). Good examples of people doing Taqiyyah in Quran is the wife of Pharaoh, Asiyah peace be upon her, and Hezqil, the believer of Pharaoh's tribe, both hid their beliefs for a long time, Hesqil is known to be the best of the Jews and Asiyah as one of the best four women in all times. See how Allah narrates Hizqil declaring his belief after a long time of hiding it:

وَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَكْتُمُ إِيمَانَهُ أَتَقْتُلُونَ رَجُلًا أَنْ يَقُولَ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ وَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۖ وَإِنْ يَكُ كَاذِبًا فَعَلَيْهِ كَذِبُهُ ۖ وَإِنْ يَكُ صَادِقًا يُصِبْكُمْ بَعْضُ الَّذِي يَعِدُكُمْ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌ كَذَّابٌ

A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith, said: "Will ye slay a man because he says, 'My Lord is Allah'?- when he has indeed come to you with Clear (Signs) from your Lord? and if he be a liar, on him is (the sin of) his lie: but, if he is telling the Truth, then will fall on you something of the (calamity) of which he warns you: Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies! [40:28]

You can read more about Taqiyah and Turiyah here if you liked.

Hope you will find out what to do, but only know one thing:

... لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ

On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. ... [2:286]


As long as you acknowledge God and the Judgement Day (even secretly), you ARE a submitter (muslim).

Let's examine the Quran verses pertaining to pig's meat:

2:173 He has only forbidden for you what is already dead, the blood, the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God. Whoever finds himself forced out of need and without disobedience or animosity, there is no sin upon him. God is Forgiving, Compassionate.


5:3 Forbidden to you is what is already dead, and the blood, the meat of pig, and animals sacrificed to other than God. The strangled, killed by a blow, fallen from height, gored, eaten by wild animals except what you managed to rescue, and those slaughtered on altars... Also what you divide through gambling. This is all vile. Today the ingrates have given up from your system, so do not revere them, but revere Me. Today I have perfected your system for you, completed My blessings upon you, and I have accepted peaceful surrender as the system for you. So, whoever is forced by severe hunger and not seeking sin, then God is Forgiving, Compassionate.


6:145 Say, "I do not find in what is inspired to me forbidden except that it be already dead, or blood poured forth, or the meat of pig, for it is foul; or what is corruptly dedicated to other than God." Whoever is forced without seeking disobedience or transgression, then your Lord is Forgiving, Compassionate.


16:115 He only made forbidden for you what is already dead, blood, the meat of pig, and what was sacrificed to any other than God. But whoever is forced to, without disobedience or transgression, then God is Forgiving, Compassionate.

Notice how in all occurrences God mentions that He's "Forgiving, Compassionate". If you tried everything in your power but your family doesn't accept, and the only way is to be a submitter in secret, so be it. Don't bring any more pain for you family and eat with them what they please because God is the ultimate Forgiver, Compassionate.

  • +1 It is very nice to hear this perspective. I would consider it debatable whether my situation is 'forced out of need'. I made a plan, and one day I will break it to them that I am a Muslim, before which I will thoroughly convince them of my good qualities and respect for them. In the end I want them to be on the straight path as well, for no one wants their family to be in the fire. So holding my belief in secrecy is a short term solution, but not long term. Thank you for your advice though.
    – user2350
    Commented Jun 4, 2013 at 22:47

It is ok to disobey your parents, just for Islam but nothing else. In the Quran it says if they say you are not allowed to be a Muslim, you can disobey or lie to them. A rich sabah was non-Muslim and he became Muslim by hearing hazrat Muhommed (salal o waila waslam), and he lied to his parents he wasn't a Muslim but it was alright. But then his mother found out and kicked him out of the house and took all his clothes but he said: Mom, even if a lot of mothers were there and told me not to be submitter, I will still disagree but then he died of war just for Islam, but now on judgement day he will go into janatal furdoz which is a place where you can do anything and will meet Allah every single day. So now it's up to you if you want to enter janatul furdoz or not.


In Islam its generally taken that one should respect one's parents, so I don't think its wrong of you to not want to further hurt your mother.

I had the problem in reverse when I became an outspoken athiest (mainly because the muslims I knew were behaving badly, ie unethically) which caused a lot of stress within my own family.

Looking back on this I see it more as the kind of questions that presented themselves to me as someone who was trying to make sense of a muslim identity in a modern and European context when I had been brought up in a traditional and unquestioning form of orthodoxy; knowing where to go and look for answers would have been helpful then, and also where to go and ask questions without upsetting people.

I think sensitivity is the key consideration here.


I am a Muslim, however I wasn't a good one until I joined the Black Political, Nation of Islam.

I have learned that, sometimes, it may be hard to challenge even the simplest of beliefs. However, Allah will reward you for your good deeds.

In the Holy Qu'ran, it states against disobedience to your parents, unless they challenge God and/or commit shirk. Your parents, most unfortunately, are doing this exact action. Unfortunately again, your mother is so in bed with Shaytaan (Satan), that she no longer realises she isn't the creation of an ape via a mistake of evolution, but a woman of God.

Your father seems to have a little more sense regarding inner belief and change. Reject pork, but state it's for a different reason (e.g.: health, ethical issues [pig is a filthy beast]) and if he accepts it more, so will your mother Inshallah.

Read the Qur'an in English. Being an African man and a mixed race man, I can see it would be hard for a complete culture of ignorance regarding religion to be accepting of this, but, if necessary, do some research and in that use touching points that:

  • Will make parent's accept your beliefs.
  • May even cause these parents to accept the word of God.

I hope this helps. May your struggle becomes easier in this life, and may it be settled in heaven (the here-after).


First, you must ask yourself, "have I truly examined all religions?"

Upon your examination of Christianity and Islam, did you notice that both were derived from Judaism? Allah is simply the Arabic word for "God", which is derived from the Hebrew word "El". The practice of not eating pork was derived from Judaism as well, which means that converting to Judaism would not help your cause in that regard and is not my point.

My point is that you need to be able to explain your journey comprehensively and in a way your family will understand - but more importantly, in a way YOU will understand.

All the best in your life's journey.

  • Thanks for the advice. I am aware of the things that you mentioned.
    – user2350
    Commented Jun 5, 2013 at 14:33