Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have a a question thats really important to me. I understand all the things that Bohra's do wrong, and i dont wish to be a part of that community. But whenever i bring this topic up to my mother, when i explain to her what Bohra's are doing wrong, or when i explain or what to discuss such things with her, she gets really upset. I know in Islam your mother is the most important person in your life and you should respect her and do as she wills. But in this case, i am really confused. How should i go about finding the truth about Islam and explaining it to her without upsetting her? or should i even tell her? All your help will be greatly appreciated
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In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
My beloved brother, this is a dilemma and test faced by many who have turned to true Islam, according to the principles of the Glorious Quran. There is absolutely no doubt that in Islam, the parents, and especially the mother, must be respected and obeyed above all other human beings.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 46 Surah Ahqaaf verse 15: We have enjoined man to treat his parents with kindness. His mother bore him with pain and she gave him birth with pain.
Allah has commanded several times in the Quran to be kind, merciful, and obedient to our parents, and indeed the rights of the parents are bigger than anyone else. But Allah, who is our Creator and Master, has a bigger right on us, more than even our parents. And one of the biggest rights of Allah is that we are commanded to worship Him Alone, and associate no partner with Him! This is absolutely the biggest right enjoined on man. After this follows the rights of parents: we are commanded by Allah in the Holy Quran to treat them well; treat them with kindness and mercy; do deeds that will please them; speak to them soft and kind words; and obey them in absolutely everything, as long as they obey Allah and His Messenger (saws). But if they want us to do anything against Allah and His Commandments, then we are not to obey them in that.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankaboot verse 8: We have enjoined man to do good to his parents, but if they force you to associate with Me (Allah) another being whom you do not know as such, you should not obey them! You have all to return to Me, and I shall tell you what you had been doing.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 31 Surah Luqman verses 14-15: And the fact is that We have Ourself enjoined on man to recognize the rights of his parents: his mother bore him in her womb with weakness upon weakness, and his weaning took two years. (And We admonished him), “Give thanks to Me and to your parents. To Me you have to return.” But if they press you to join with Me another being about whom you have no knowledge, do not obey them at all! (But, even then) treat them with kindness in this world, and follow the way of him who has turned to Me. Then to Me will all of you return, and I shall tell you what you had been doing.
Your Question: How should I go about finding the truth about Islam and explaining it to her without upsetting her? or should I even tell her?
The only way to find and confirm the Truth about Islam is to read and understand the Book of Guidance, that Allah Himself has revealed; the Holy Quran! And then obey and follow each and every command of Allah to the best of your ability; that is the only way to determine the Truth about Islam. And after determining the Truth, we realize that our parents are in ‘shirk’, then it becomes our duty to save them from the Anger and Wrath of Allah, which He has decreed for anyone who dies in the state of ‘shirk’ (or associating and invoking others with Allah). And it is this very love and respect that we have for our parents, that should allow and compel us to save those whom we love so much to stay clear of the everlasting torture of the Fire of Hell. The Quran alone is so full to the brim with Truth, that in it, Allah Himself gives enough arguments and wisdom to convince anyone who invokes and worships other beings, to come to the worship of Allah Alone. We have to invite our loved ones with wisdom, patience, softness of words and deeds, and absolute steadfastness in duty. We should be careful never to get into petty arguments and fights and abuses and ridicule of their beliefs, and we should not try to be in a hurry to get our loved ones to understand the Truth. Present to them the Truth of the Quran in the best and most polite manner, and falsehood will always appear false in front of the Truth. If you ever see that the person whom you are inviting is getting upset, leave the matter alone for some time and start the topic again on another day. But don’t let their taunts and comments ever bother you, or disappoint you in any way. You never know when Allah might bless your work and your invitation to the Truth, and change their hearts to believe in the Glorious Quran. They will all realize the Truth of the Quran one day, if not in this world, then for sure in the world to come! On that Day, everyone will realize that Allah has spoken nothing but the Truth in the Holy Quran, and all His Promises Alone will come to pass! All the promises and lies made by all the other self-made leaders and self-proclaimed holy men will be displayed as nothing but falsehood; and on that Day, the ones who did not believe in the promises made by Allah in the Quran, will have nothing but regrets and remorse, and will have no one to blame except themselves!
Invite to the Truth of the Quran, your loved ones with patience and wisdom and in a beautiful manner, until your last breath! And even if after this, they do not believe, then you have done your duty towards them. For Allah has commanded us only to invite to the Truth, never to forcibly guide anyone to Islam.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 28 Surah Qasas verse 56: You cannot guide whom you love, Allah gives guidance to whom He Pleases! And Allah best knows those who would accept guidance!
In conclusion, I would like to relate a worldly example: If (Allah forbid) one of our parents are diagnosed with deadly diseases like cancer or aids, we will try everything in our power to get them the best medical help. And if for any reason, our parents refuse to take the medication, we will try our utmost best to convince them, so that they may save themselves. Thus, if for this worldly life, we try so hard, you can imagine how much effort and work you will need to put in, to convince them to rectify their spiritual disease! For a worldly disease, whose worst outcome is pain and eventual death, we try so hard. Can you even contemplate how hard we must try if we know from the Quran, that if the person dies in the spiritual disease of ‘shirk’, he is decreed by Allah to stay in the Fire of Hell forever! Thus it has to be our love and respect and honor that we hold for our loved ones, and especially our parents, that we must try everything to bring them to understand the Truth of the Holy Quran.
Allah is my witness, I have the exact same problem, as my mother (and my sisters) are staunch Bohras, and I have tried every kind of invitation and polite discussions and clear arguments, and they have tried every type of emotional pressure… but we are exactly where we were ten years ago. I cannot justify the Bohra belief from the Holy Quran, and she is not ready to understand and comprehend the Quran, but would rather place her belief in the Syedna and his claims of ‘shafaa’ (intercession). But I have not lost hope, and pray and beg Allah to guide her to the Straight Path of Islam, and will keep on trying to invite her to the clear guidance of the Glorious Quran for as long as one of us is alive. For we know from the Holy Quran, that whoever dies in a state of ‘shirk’, Allah will never forgive them and they shall deserve the ever lasting torture of the fire of Hell. And we know, that no one has the skin that can withhold the pain and torture of the fire of Hell for one day, leave alone forever! Thus it is a condition of this love and duty, that Allah has blessed us with towards our parents, that we must dedicate our lives if need be, to invite our loved ones to the Truth of Islam.
May Allah help you and us all to first and foremost read and understand the clear guidance of the Holy Quran. May Allah help us, guide us, and forgive us our sins. May Allah guide our loved ones to the Truth of Islam, and make them realize the falsehoods that are being propagated by their self appointed leaders and their self-proclaimed holy men. May Allah grant us the wisdom and the patience and the courage to stay on the Straight Path of Islam.
May Allah guide you and us to read and understand the simple and plain words of the Glorious Quran. May Allah increase our knowledge from the Holy Quran. May Allah guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,