By Umm Ibrahim
So are you fighting a daily battle, where the two people (of all the people alive), whom you love the most and you’re supposed to honour the most, are actually stopping you from obeying Allah and His Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)?
Welcome to the band! You’re not alone. You’re in a situation faced by hundreds of thousands of practicing youth in this day and age. In fact, you will find numerous precedents from Prophet Ibrahim to the People of the cave to great Companions like Saad bin abi Waqas and Mus’ab bin Umair. Don’t you feel honoured to be mentioned among the likes of such?!
Anyways, I want to arm you with some no-nonsense practical tips to help you glide smoothly through each day with a clear vision and a strategy.
1- Make Dua:
Never under-estimate the power of Dua. I will not narrate the numerous Ayahs and Ahadith related to it, because we all know them. But, have we internalized and understood them? Look, Allah is the Turner of the Hearts. All matters go back to Him. All decisions, big and small, come from Him. If He forsakes you, who is there to help you? If He helps you, who on earth can defeat you? He can open your parents’ hearts, just as He opened yours. He is the Only One who can keep you steadfast in the face of all opposition. Turn to Him with all humility and certainty. Never quit making Dua!
2- Get your concepts straight:
Go to the scholars, and discuss your situation with them openly. Know the rulings for what you are doing or intend to do. Do your research properly. You should be in a position to refute all arguments. Make sure you are clear-headed and not confused. This will help Shaitan from planting doubts in your heart. You should know clearly that:
“There is no obedience to any creation in disobedience to Creator.” (Ahmad and Hakim)
You should also know that you, and you alone, are responsible for what you do. You will be questioned in your grave alone. On the Day of Judgment, if you will call out to your parents to lift your burden, they will blatantly refuse to do so. As Allah says:
“Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another’s burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related.” (Surah Fatir: ayah 18)
3- Be extra-nice to your parents:
This is the tough part; but Allah has obliged you to behave in the best manner with them, even if they try to compel you to do Shirk. Just don’t obey them in forbidden matters. In every other matter, go all-out in being the very best you can to them. Again, we all know the Ayahs and Ahadith regarding this. But how good are we to our parents?
Take your good behavior with them to the next level. Be the ideal kid that they would like to see.
Remember all the things they ask you to do and start doing them: Cleaning your room, Learning to cook, Helping your siblings, Waking up early.
Remember all the things they dislike and stay away from them all: Staying up late, Long phone calls.
Whatever it is, make these sacrifices for the sake of Allah. Be so good that they notice the change, and keep it consistent.
Give time to them, listen to them, laugh with them, hug them, thank them. Be so good that they actually admit it and point you out as the role model in front of your siblings.
Pre-empt their needs and fulfill them. Make them feel loved every single day.
Whatever you do for them, it will never ever equal what they did for you. You can never repay one breath of your mother. SubhanAllah! I have heard youth saying to their parents: “What have you done for me?” These ungrateful brats literally make my blood boil. Although I am a cool-headed person, but this is something that makes me extremely angry and extremely sad at the same time.
You being a better Muslim should reflect in your treatment of our parents. They should be able to see what they are gaining from it.
4- Pacify their fears:
Do you think you will become a rigid extremist by growing a beard? Prove otherwise through your actions. Do they think becoming practicing will make you anti-social and isolated. Bust the myths. Indulge in socializing and fun activities as long as it is permissible in Islam.
There was a sister whose parents were afraid that she wouldn’t get married if she wore a Niqab. She conducted an impartial survey of 200 Niqabi and non-Niqabi sisters, and the findings proved their fear wrong.
Try to understand if they have a specific rational or irrational problem and try to find a way to solve it and to pacify their fears.
5- Don’t Argue:
Once you have explained your viewpoint calmly and logically (you must select an appropriate time and manner to do this), just do what you have to do calmly. Resist the urge to keep throwing your daleel (proofs) at your parents. Having a debate every day will only worsen matters. Take their taunts with a smile. Don’t answer back. Don’t hold grudges. Smile, forgive, forget. Easier said than done. But this is the way of the Prophets and all righteous people who followed them.
Plus, there is no ego in front of your parents. To them, you’re the squirming baby whose smelly diapers they changed. How dare you behave all high and mighty in front of them? Just be patient, and trust me, they’ll get used to whatever you’re doing pretty soon. The day will come, when they will consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, support you in what you’re doing.
It will be awesome in the end. But it might get horrible before that. So just hang in there. This is true for most things worth fighting for in this world.
6- Choose Your Battles Wisely:
So there are 101 un-Islamic things going on in your home and you want to rectify it all overnight? Maybe you should study the biography of the Prophet again? Take it slowly and gradually, one step at a time. Stay in contact with the scholars to know which things take precedence over others. Sometimes, you will have no choice but to choose the lesser evil. Don’t try to change things overnight. You will fall flat on your face. Slowly and gradually, start bringing your family to interesting Islamic events. Get practicing and inspiring friends to visit your home for lunch or dinner.
Keep rinsing and repeating steps 1-6, and your family will thank you one day for being the trailblazer and lighting the way for others to follow inshaAllah.
Do you have more tips or experiences to share? Let us know in the comments section below!