Duty for Da’wah

I am a converted Muslim, but my family is not. What should I do?

Your foremost duty is to call them to Islam. Allah has blessed you with guidance in your life; it is your duty to pass that guidance on to others, in the hope that Allah will also guide them. So, it is an obligation on you to call them to Islam.

If your wife is a Christian, you are allowed to remain married to her because Islam allows a Muslim male to marry a Christian or Jewish female. If she is a Buddhist or Hindu, then the marriage is dissolved unless she accepts Islam.

As a Muslim, you are obliged to set down certain principles in your household and this is why Islam allows the male to remain married to the female. If a female accepts Islam, she cannot remain married to a male Christian or Jew. This is because the male lays down the laws in the home, so if she accepts Islam, he may say “I want you to cook me some pork”, or “go down to the store and buy me some alcohol”, or “I want to dance with this man's wife and want him to dance with you”. A woman is obliged to do what her husband wants her to do, so in cases such as those mentioned above, she will be forced to commit many crimes against herself and against Islam.

However, in the case of a Muslim male, whatever laws are laid down in the home are for the benefit of the home. If he says “no alcohol in the home”, it is to protect the home; if he says “parties only on a limited scale”, you can invite your female friends over, or have a female party, but getting up and dancing with another man's wife and vice versa is not permissible as it can lead to corruption.  A man may tell his wife to stop wearing miniskirts and going out with her body half exposed, and this is for her benefit. A non-Muslim man, on the other hand, may say “I don't want this long dress, this is covering yourself up! I want to be proud of you, so I want you to wear this short dress exposing yourself!”  She is now being forced to do things that are in fact harmful.

Therefore, Islam allows a male to stay married to a female who is a Christian. However, he is still encouraged to lay down the law within the home and to continue encouraging her to come to Islam. He doesn't have to force her but if he finds that she is not complying with what he has set down in the home and she is undermining Islam in the home, he may be obliged to annul the marriage because the marriage should be Islamic. For example, he would want to raise his children as Muslims and she might want to take them to the church and try to continue to get them involved in Christianity. Even though she may not be a Muslim, the fundamental principles involved in the marriage should be Islamic and the children should be raised as Muslims, so I would say that a person is obliged to call the rest of his family to Islam.

He should encourage his parents to accept Islam, but also take into account their age and the attitude of the elders towards the youngster. So he should not try to push Islam down their throats, but rather introduce it gradually. He should also show it in his behavior because if he comes back as a Muslim and he is coarser, harsher, and rougher with his parents than he was them earlier, they will say that Islam doesn't produce a good thing, and it is a terrible product.

However, if he comes back and is kind and gentle, they see that Islam actually has affected him, so he treats his family in ways that they never expected. This can have a greater effect than any words that may be said, so the best method of calling people to Islam, especially your family, is your own example. Apply Islam in your own life, so that you would be a living example for what Islam can do for man.

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