Fatwa: # 19596
Category: Character & Morals
Country: United States
Date: 16th November 2011

Title

How can I help my father attain true guidance?

Question

Assalāmualaikum. My father is a Muslim while my mother is not.  I myself decided to “officially” become a Muslim about four years ago.  Before this, I didn’t know which religion I wanted to follow as I was confused.  However I found Islam to be more understandable than Christianity. 

The problem is that my father is not a practicing Muslim.  I see him going astray quite often.  He moved to America about twenty years ago.  According to my understanding, since he moved his Imān was very low and he went astray.  I’ve seen him drink alcohol a few times, once during Ramadhān which he didn’t properly fast.  His friends were Arab but weren’t really Muslim because they used to commit adultery, didn’t go to Firday prayers,  and didn’t pray at all.  They gambled, smoked, and I think they even consumed pork at times. I am thinking that he followed their footsteps ever since he met them (Alhamdullillāh he isn’t friends with them anymore).  For the past year, I think his Imān has increased and he has become more of a Muslim.  Since one and a half year he hasn’t drunk alcohol.  He went for Jummah a few times also.  This past Ramadhān was the first time he fasted in a long time.  Recently, I’ve seen him talk more about Islām and actually told me that our mission is for my mother to accept Islām. 

However, now there is a more serious problem.  He has promised he will take me for Jumma but hasn’t.  The last time he intended to go was the last Friday of Ramadhān, however we could not make it.  We couldn’t make it for Jumma even once in Ramadhān but I am still happy since he fasted.  He further promised me he would take me to the Eid celebration in the Masjid, but excused himself by saying he doesn’t want to go with “those people”.  So my mom had to take me and she was upset since it was a day of celebration especially for fathers and sons. 

I am now worried he will go astray again.  He hardly ever prays, and only occasionally makes dua, only when it is obligatory to make dua. 

Also, my mother leads him astray.  I often see her criticizing Islām sometimes or making jokes  I once heard my dad say something to my mom about Islām, saying “The Qurān has all the answers to any problem or question in life.  If you have anything you need to know the answer to, look in there”.  My mom then didn’t understand him.

Also, I hear my mom saying it isn’t a big deal for my father to eat pork and drink alcohol.  She even ordered my dad a beer at a restaurant one time when he went to the toilet, so he was kind of forced to drink it.  My mom also buys pork sometimes without my father knowing and eats it herself, and we have a bottle of wine my dad doesn’t know about in our fridge.  My uncle from my dad’s side also lives with us.  But he never invites me or my dad to come pray with him. 

 
My main questions:

1.      How can I help my dad come more to the path of Islām (like praying and going to Jumma)?  He also never taught me how to pray.

2.      My dad tells me to do some haram things that he doesn’t know is haram.  For example, he made me go trick-or-treating with my sister on Halloween.  He told me to go protect my sister.  My sister knows it is haram, but my dad thinks it is just getting free candy.

3.      How can I invite my mom to Islām?  (My grandmother, her mother, is technically “Islāmophobic”, saying that my dad is brain washing me.  But Alhamdullillāh I see her that she has stopped and asks me sometimes about my beliefs.  I go to Sunday Islāmic School, and my teachers say that I am very knowledgeable.  I would like to tell my dad a lot of stuff I am learning, because he asks me what I learn.  But at the same time I don’t want to feel like I am telling him what he should and shouldn’t do. 

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Alhamdullillāh, we are delighted to hear about your enthusiasm, love, and concern for Allāh Taālā’s Dīn (Islām).  We ask Allāh Taālā to grant you steadfastness and success in every step towards acquiring the truth.

Furthermore we come to know about the burning desire you have for your father’s guidance.  It is but natural that an individual’s environment has a major effect on the level of his Imān.  The Imān of every individual goes up and down.  When the greatness of Allāh Taālā and His favors are mentioned, then the heart softens, increasing the Imān.  Once the Imān is increased, one will gradually bring complete Islām into his life. 

It is narrated about Mu’ādh Radhiyallāhu Anhu that he used remember and praise Allāh Taālā with his companions. [1] This was done by Muādh Radhiyallāhu Anhu so that the Imān in his heart could be renewed and could gain strength.

Therefore, our first advice to you is that you try to create the awareness of Almighty Allāh within your father’s heart in a wise manner.  For example, while partaking meals with your father, one statement should be made such as, “Look how kind Allāh is that He is providing us with delicious food every day.”  Or while driving with your father you might consider saying, “See how beautiful Allāh Taālā created the sky.”

Furthermore, try to speak to the local Imām or Sheikh of your Masjid.  Request him to come visit your house sometimes so he can discuss Islām with your father.  Also, consider speaking to the brothers who are actively involved in Dawah and Tablīgh.  Request them to visit your father once in a while to speak about Allāh Taālā. 

Another avenue towards helping your father is through the medium of Hadīth.   Speak with your father and stipulate a time wherein you and your father can sit together and read a few words of Nabī Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam.  Consider reading a book by Imām An-Nawawī Rahimahullah named “Riyādh As-Sālihīn” wherein the virtues of certain good deeds are recorded.  The original text is in Arābic while the translation in English is also available.

Also, win over your father’s heart through serving him.  Treat him with kindness and see to his needs.  When your father will notice the beautiful characteristics Islām has brought into your life, this will definitely cause an impact on his heart.

After trying the methods mentioned above, also request your father to spend some time in Dawah and Tablīgh.  This will change his environment and cause the level of his Imān to increase. 

Lastly, continue to make sincere du’ā for your father’s guidance.  Because regardless of how much effort we make, the result is only in the control of Allāh Taālā.   

If your father tells you to commit any Harām, kindly explain to your father how you feel.  Tell him where your happiness lies.  Through communication, Insha Allāh Allāh Taālā will open up many doors for you.

With regards to your mother, treat her with kindness and let her see the life Islām portrays.   And when she is in a good mood, say a few words to her explaining to her the beauty of Islām.  Most importantly, continue to make lots of duā for her guidance as well.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Azeem bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa
US

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
www.daruliftaa.net



[1]  وَصَلَهُ أَحْمَدُ وَأَبُو بَكْرٍ أَيْضًا بِسَنَدٍ صَحِيحٍ إِلَى الْأَسْوَدِ بْنِ هِلَالٍ قَالَ قَالَ لِي مُعَاذُ بْنُ جَبَلٍ اجْلِسْ بِنَا نُؤْمِنْ سَاعَةً وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ لَهُمَا كَانَ مُعَاذُ بْنُ جَبَلٍ يَقُولُ لِلرَّجُلِ مِنْ إِخْوَانِهِ اجْلِسْ بِنَا نُؤْمِنْ سَاعَةً فَيَجْلِسَانِ فَيَذْكُرَانِ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى وَيَحْمَدَانِهِ وَعُرِفَ مِنَ الرِّوَايَةِ الْأُولَى أَنَّ الْأَسْوَدَ أَبْهَمَ نَفْسَهُ وَيُحْتَمَلُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مُعَاذٌ قَالَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ وَلِغَيْرِهِ وَوَجْهُ الدَّلَالَةِ مِنْهُ ظَاهِرَةٌ لِأَنَّهُ لَا يُحْمَلُ عَلَى أَصْلِ الْإِيمَانِ لِكَوْنِهِ كَانَ مُؤْمِنًا وَأَيُّ مُؤْمِنٍ وَإِنَّمَا يُحْمَلُ عَلَى إِرَادَةِ أَنَّهُ يَزْدَادُ إِيمَانًا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى وَقَالَ الْقَاضِي أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ الْعَرَبِيِّ لَا تَعَلُّقَ فِيهِ لِلزِّيَادَةِ لِأَنَّ مُعَاذًا إِنَّمَا أَرَادَ تَجْدِيدَ الْإِيمَانِ لِأَنَّ الْعَبْدَ يُؤْمِنُ فِي أَوَّلِ مَرَّةٍ فَرْضًا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ أَبَدًا مُجَدِّدًا كُلَّمَا نَظَرَ أَوْ فَكَّرَ وَمَا نَفَاهُ أَوَّلًا أَثْبَتَهُ آخِرًا لِأَنَّ تَجْدِيدَ الْإِيمَان إِيمَان (فتح الباري, ج 1 ,ص 62: دار الحديث)

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