Written by Kaya Gravitter
When your child converts to a new religion, it is a complete life change and may come as a total shock to you. Here is some friendly advice that I have never read about before, and I think this would be very beneficial to parents who are trying to cope with their child converting to Islam. This might also be helpful for any person whose child has converted to a new religion, including Muslim parents.
Don’t Tell Them They Are Going to Hell
Many Muslim converts hear this from their families, but it’s really not helpful to say this to your child if they have converted to Islam. They are already having a hard enough time as it is. They chose Islam because they thought it would make them a better person. Telling them that they’re going to Hell will not make them feel better.
It is understandable to be shocked or even upset, but don’t tell your child that you think they are doomed. It will push them away from you, which is usually the last thing that parents want.
Try to Be Understanding
Try to learn about the religion of Islam to better understand your child’s experience and perspective. This should be done with sincerity and open-mindedness, though; don’t try to learn about Islam from Islamophobic websites or the news (especially Fox News…).
You don’t have to tell your child about the “bad things about Muslims.” They have already heard all of the stereotypical comments that are thrown out by the media. Learn about Islam from your child, visit a mosque, or read the Qur’an. Your child may be the only Muslim you know right now or will ever know, so ask them about their religion. They will know it better than the media does, and they will appreciate your genuine effort to connect with them. Let them show you the religion they fell in love with.
You also need to remember that religion and culture are completely different. Watching the news can blind you from that. Ask your child questions about this instead of assuming anything.
See How Islam Has Changed Them for the Better
I know it is difficult to see past all the things you see on the news. Try looking more closely and seeing how Islam has changed your child’s life and made them a nicer and more giving person. Keep in mind that this will be a difficult change to see if your child is constantly being put down for their conversion to Islam. It’s hard to stay patient and positive if the people closest to you are not supportive.
The last time I saw my family, my Grandma told me that she saw how my religion has made me a better person. This really meant a lot to me.
Celebrate Their New Holidays With Them
Your kids will probably still celebrate Christmas with you, even though they don’t believe in the holiday anymore. They do this because they love and respect you. You should do the same for them.
When his mom started celebrating Eid with him, Jeb said: “It really helped me to see how you can peacefully coexist even if you have different beliefs. In my honest opinion, that is at the heart of any kind of interfaith effort, even if just within your own family.”
See Past Their Religion — Focus on the Similarities
Your child being a Muslim is not the end of the world. No one is dying. You child is still alive and the same person. You need to still see them for who they really are. Religion is only one part of that.
Also, if you are a Christian, keep in mind that there are actually many things in common between Christianity and Islam. Try to focus on the similarities rather than the differences.
Overall, it is going to be hard but remember that it’s all about your child. Regardless of what their religion is, you should always see them for who they really are on the inside and not what appears different on the outside.
Anyone who has questions about Islam or conversion, please message me on my Facebook page and watch my YouTube channel.
Kaya is a blogger, activist, and freelance writer.
Want your voice to be heard? Send your submission to MostlyMuslim@gmail.com!
Visit the “Contribute to MM” page for more details.