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.