How Do I Invite My Family to Islam?

What do I do with my relatives, who tell me that they have heard everything about Islam, "just leave us alone and you do what you want do and I'll do what I want do"?

Actually, there is something like this in the Quran "Lakum Dinukum Waliya Deen" that you say to them. It looks like they said it to you first!

But, usually what happens when somebody new enters Islam, there is this thing that we have, that is we can't wait to run around and tell everybody, because we're so excited! But we say a lot of wrong things and give wrong impressions, misquote the Quran or the Hadith or say things way out of the context, and we really turn people off.

We make a big deal out of debating with them or arguing with them and they get fed up. You know, when they see there is some mistake in what they have, they just don't want to talk about it any more. They just want to be left alone. And this happened to me and it happened to most of the people that I know changed and came into Islam.

I will tell you the best way to handle that, with anybody you know that you have to work with on a regular basis, or a relative close to you, and they said “just leave me alone.” This means that you probably try to do a lot of talking but not a whole lot of action.

I'm going to give you an example and I want you think about it: Suppose you went to somebody and you said

"You know charity is a very good act"

And they said "So?"

“So you should practice charity,”

And they say "and your point is?"

“Well, I want you to give money because I think that would be really nice and it will give you a lot of reward with God.”

“Okay, thanks a lot.”

Next day, “you know, did you practice any charity?”

“Get away from me.”

Next day, “you know, did you give any money to the poor?”

Finally, they're going to say, "Are you poor? Do you need money? What is with you? Get away from me."

Right? Am I right? They will get fed up. Now I want to go the other way: Suppose I don't say anything, but I'm with them and somebody is poor and I see them, I go and give them something and they see me give it to them. Are they going to be upset about that? No. And then the next day, we see somebody poor and I stop the car and I give them something. They'll say “That's nice!” And the next day and the next, and even I find that he is poor one time and I say “Listen, you know. I want to get reward with Allah and you need to be able to buy that new coat over there. Will you do me the honor of buying you that coat with this money so I'll get reward with Allah?” What are they going to say? "Yeah, give it to me! Thanks a lot, nice religion you got there!"

Will they ever get tired of seeing you give them money? Never! Will they ever get tired of you doing chores for them? Never! Will they ever get fed up with you being kind and nice and generous? Never!

But they will get fed up with you talking about it. So less talk and more action and you will see a difference. It worked in my family because when I argued with my father, for the first almost... I'm going to guess more than a year, for more than a year, we kept arguing. As soon as I shut up and starting serving him like I'm supposed to do, it was a different person I was talking to. He never got fed up with me taking care of him, never got tired of it.

In fact, before he died, the years before he died, he used to treat me like he treated me when I was a small boy, which was excellent. When I would enter the room, when I was small boy, he would talk about the sunshine and he would say "Sunny boy just came in the room, this is my son." He meant sun and son at the same time. “Here is sunny boy.” When I was old and taking care of my father, when I entered the room, he said the same words. Because I was acting it instead of talking about it. And in every case you can see the same thing. Live the Islam and it's much better. You will find people saying, “Oh, this a nice religion, you are so nice. Let me look at it again.” Besides that, when you do talk about Islam, don't talk to them about how long their toenails are or their fingernails, and telling them about the Sunnah of cutting your nails every 40 days. Who cares? They are not Muslims. Don't talk to them in terms about how long the Siwak is suppose to be. This is not important. Not to them. Don't talk to them, even about eating pork. I know it's in their book. First talk to them about Allah. He's only one God and all worship is for Him. Stay on that.

Now, one of the sisters wrote to me and I was giving her this advice, she wrote me a letter back, she said “I changed my tactics and I'm doing what you said. An amazing thing happened: my mother just called me on the phone. She just told me on the phone she's sorry.” She said “I can't believe my mother said she's sorry. And I said 'for what, my mother?' She said 'I'm sorry because what you said is true. You said we shouldn't eat pork. I was reading my bible today and I found that there we shouldn't eat pork.' She said 'I am so sorry.'” But the girl said, “but I know, because I was constantly hitting her with everything and she didn't want to read anything. But after I started treating her good, she loosened up and then Allah guided her.” And the lady said, “now I need to rethink everything. My mother is now thinking about becoming a Muslim.” Look at the difference.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes