Islamic marriage advice and family advice

When your child leaves Islam and becomes an atheist

Confused girlAssalamo Alaikum. Our 26 year old daughter whom we love very much, recently told my husband and I that she had left Islam a few months ago to become an Atheist. She said she had been thinking about doing for some time especially after reading the Quran. You can imagine the shock and upset this has caused us.

She has had a lot of health issues to deal with in the last few years and also informed us that she had been molested by a cousin some time ago. On the whole, she is a lovely and generous person who is loved by so many.

he has also informed us that she will marry whomsoever she chooses and that she will raise her children in the manner that she wishes. We have even given her permission to find a nice boy who will be willing to commit to Islam and pleaded with her that she raises any children that Allah SWT gives her in an Islamic manner. Our tears and pleading has not made any difference.

I can only imagine what she must have gone through to make this devastating decision. PLEASE help us to bring her back to the path of Islam, such a beautiful religion. Any advice and duas are welcome. Jzk Khair.

- Mizan

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17 Responses »

  1. Asalamualikum sister

    I sincerely pray to Allah azawajal, to bring her back to the path of Islam. But what it is, is that everything is to do with right upbringing. Now don’t loose hope in Allah’s mercy for he is the most merciful. Praying, making dua And having patience is the only way to open the door of comfort and everlasting peace. And make sure to have the best of manners and having the best of characteristic can influence someone. Like there is a saying “sometimes actions and attitude, talks more than words”
    So inshaAllah I pray for your daughter that Allah make her among the righteous and pious people.

    Read this dua sincerely every time after the last 3rd of the night (tahajjud) before fajr azzan (time)
    “O Allah, I hope for your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink and correct my total
    Condition, beside you there is none worthy of worship”

    • Dear Sister

      My condolences.Really sad to know about your daughter.
      Please don’t lose hope, positive thing is she told you about it. Now you can make a lot of Duas. Don’t underestimate the power of DoaS especially a mother’s Doa..Make Doas late night when Allah is closest to us. Allah know how much, your daughters decision is hurting you.
      It’s not your fault you might have been the best of parents to your daughter & she would still have gone stray.
      There are quite few people who after becoming Atheist, has returned to Islam and have become scholars. InshaAllah your will revert back to islam , don’t give up on her, no matter what. Look after her as you mentioned she has health issues- concentrate on her getting better both physical and psychological health, without talking about her being “Atheist”.Surah kauser is know to be quite beneficial if recited in her presence if possible ?be there for her., be the loving parents but continue with your doa Ayet- shifa recite on her..

      Consider it a test- increase your Nafill SalaH ..SalaH & SeBer will help you InshaAllah. May Allah have mercy on her. May your daughter be the comfort of your eyes and be the reason to elevate your status in Jannah ..

  2. Seems to me that you as the parent have had a lot to do with her decision to abandon Islam. She reported being abused by a cousin, you haven't told us what action you have taken about it. This might explain her health problems she has been suffering. You haven't said what you have done about the cousin. Its most likely you have done nothing and have let her down. If she told you about the cousin, she wanted something done about it, and if you haven't done anything, you have failed her.

    You need to think about the turmoil and torment she has gone through being abused by her cousin. You should have stood up for her, this nasty b*****d should be in prison, but I bet you did nothing so as to keep relationships going.

    You have failed her which has led her to abandoning all hope, including hope in Allah.

    You need to wake up and smell the coffee. You are to blame and its you that needs to change.

    • Brother rather than using harsh word use Encouraging word so that at least she knows that there are people who will pray for her. I can understand where you coming from I mean yes they should have done something about that but even prophet Mohammed (pbuh) tried his best to get Abu lahab and Abu jahal to come to Islam, they tormented prophet Mohammed (pbuh) so many time yet he didn’t retaliate in any form of way in fact he used to Encourage them more so yh

      • Assalaamu alaikum. I want to first say that none of us can judge here--- we cannot judge the mother, the girl, or know what the future will hold for them. Only Allah knows.

        To those who say this is an issue of right upbringing, please note that Prophets Nuh and Yaqub--alayhum salam--. are among those who had children who went astray.

        Regarding this daughter, her own reasoning and judgment may have been clouded by trauma. Certainly abuse can have deep and traumatic psychological effects, even if a girl's guardian "does something" and reports the abuser.

        Even children without trauma and with good upbringings sometimes go astray. I know several families of good, kind, practicing parents whose children went astray, apparently due to outside influences, or the children not wanting to feel like a minority amongst a society of those who disbelieve or don't practice, or from exploring the internet and finding so much anti-Islamic distortions about Islam, much of which can be very tricky. Try as we might, as parents, we cannot control all of the influences that our children may one day encounter in this world. And even a child protected from outside influences could go astray through their own faulty thinking and attitudes.

        The issue now isn't for people who don't even know this mother, to attempt to dissect and alalyze the cause of her daughter's problems or to make judgments about it. And they are incapable of judging people and circumstances they don't even know. AND, no matter how well we know people, we cannot judge them. Only Allah truly knows what is in anyone's mind and heart.

        The very best advice already given here is for this mother to make continual dua for her daughter, especially at the times and conditions when our duas are most accepted. After that, she should always try to remain close to her daughter by being as kind and understanding as possible, and supporting her in ways that don't violate Islam. By maintaining a close and caring relationship with her daughter, she leaves the door open for her daughter to return. The Quran told the Prophet, peace be upon him, if he had been harsh, the people would have turned away. It is worth noting that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was never harsh or condemning with his uncle Abu Talib, whom he hoped would one day accept Islam.

        Allah instructs us in Sura Imran not to personally feel bad about people's disbelief. That can be so difficult when the disbeliever is amongst those we love. Some things to remember here is that the meaning of Kuffar, which is to turn away, means a deliberate rejection of Islam. Being deliberate implies understanding and soundness of mind. Perhaps the daughter has misunderstood Islam and/or her trauma has affected her rational thinking. As Allah alone knows our true hearts and minds and Allah alone can judge us AND we know he judges us by our intentions, NONE of us can say that this girl is truly "guilty" of deliberate unbelief or that we know whether or not Allah will forgive her in the end.

        Further, we don't know what her end will be. The mother should always retain some hope that her daughter will one day return to Islam.

        Last, as extremely sad as this is, the mother should remember that our offspring can be a trial for us, and that in the hereafter, we will recognize that our associations with others are not only based on bloodties. In the hereafter, the good and believing parents whose children do not enter jannah will not grieve. Instead, they will recognize Allah's wisdom and justice in that matter and not relate the child only to themselves. Although they were the vehicle that brought their offspring's soul into this world, that offspring is an independent soul that made their own choices in this world.

        Our feelings in this life are not the same as our feelings will be in the hereafter. So, this mother should strive her best to attain jannah. In Janna she will not grieve, and becoming closer to Allah will only strengthen the potential of her duas, At the same time, all the dua in the world will not change a person's heart if they are intent on unbelief, because Allah has given every individual their own free will.

        If this girl does not one day return to Islam, I hope the mother will try to evaluate the situation objectively and not blame herself. That choice will be between the girl and her Creator. But there is always hope, until the time of our death, so this mother should cling to the hope that this girl will be guided before her death, which will probably be after the mother's own passing. Thus, never give up duas and hope for your child.

        Dear Mother, if you read this, I hope that Allah will comfort your heart and bless you with continual patience. Surely the trial of parents whose children go astray is one of the most difficult trials any of us can face. But you will succeed in this trial if you strive to remain patient, keep your trust in Allah whatever happens or does not happen, do your best to be a good Muslim, and do the best you can to be patient and kind to your daughter and attempt to guide her back to the truth, to the best of your ability.

        May Allah comfort your heart, dear Mother. Amin!

  3. Shafiul Choudhury: Your comment that "But what it is, is that everything is to do with right upbringing" is not true. A person can be brought up in the best environment with the best parents and as an adult make poor decisions. Some people from excellent, loving Muslim homes get involved in all kinds of haram behavior. At the same time, there are many people who have grown up in dysfunctional troubled households who decided they are not going to live the way they grew up and become outstanding parents, friends and citizens.

    Hussain: It is obvious that the moderators are away from their desks right now. Your comment is quite ridiculous, especially since you do not have the important details of the circumstances of the daughter's abuse and when the daughter revealed the abuse to her parents. If abuse takes place and a parent never knows of it, there is no way anyone -- even the victim -- should hold the parents responsible. Without knowing the background of someone, how they may have grown up and what personal experiences that may have shaped them as an adult, it is unfair to blame a parent for their child leaving Islam. Keep in mind that it may have been the judgmental, unintelligent comments like yours that may have lead the young woman to leave Islam.

    I sincerely believe you should edit your response or in the very least apologize to the concerned parent for telling them "you have failed her which has led her to abandoning all hope, including hope in Allah. You need to wake up and smell the coffee. You are to blame and its you that needs to change.

    Insha Allah, we will all grow in being better able to handle problems without being rude to one another. Negative, judgemental responses to questions about basic problems often result in people learning to avoid such conversations, continuing to live with troubling issues and never finding relief or answers to life challenges.

  4. RosesRoses

    The daughter informed her parents that she had been molested by a cousin some time ago. Surely you're not suggesting that kind of behaviour should be overlooked if it was not recent?

    Why do you think the daughter mentioned the abuse to the parents if not for the fact that she is tormented by it. Its not something easy to tell someone. The daughter told her parents and there is no mention of what they have done about it if anything.

    Telling her parents was a cry for help and it seems the parents have done nothing from what I can gather. It does not matter if the abuse took place a long time ago, something still needs to be done about it.

    Its the parents failure to do something about the abuse, even if a long time ago, that has played a part in their daughter's outlook on things. Sometime people need to be told they too are at fault and not just the other person. It's not very clever for you to suggest otherwise.

    • Salam,

      If I were you I would be more concerned about my daughter being r*ped by her cousin rather than her leaving islam. Praying that you get your priorities straight and that you will be there for her regarding her trauma and pain. I hope you focus more on your daughter in this current life than yourself in the afterlife.

  5. Sister,

    You are in a tough situation and I will keep you in my duas and your daughter as well. Muslims leaving Islam happens a lot in this day and age. It is positive that your daughter told you as many children hide their feelings from their parents. She must have struggled with the thought of disclosing it to you. Sometimes no matter what we do as parents, things are out of our control. There are many outside influences and personal experiences that shape a person.

    I think you need scholarly advise on how to proceed. There are great scholars right here in America (if this is where you reside) that can hopefully guide you. There is seekers hub and zaytuna institute who have well renowned scholars. Please search the internet for these ulema. If you are overseas maybe you can find someone more locally.

    Duas to you sister and for your husband. May Allah answer your dua and help you find someone who can help you.

    -Your sister in Islam.

  6. Dear sister,

    I'll type to you the way that I wish I could speak with my mother. I am also a 26 year old female who has decided to leave Islam. I was once an athiest but now have become spiritual. I believe in the existence of something higher than us but not in the sense that every religion states it's existence. I promsie I'm not your daughter; my parents are both illiterate and would never use such a site because they are more culturally religious than they are islamically religious.

    If you were my mom I would tell you that the best way to help me is to be there for me. Don't treat me badly just because I refuse to pray. Don't force me to pray because I gurantee you I'm praying just to get you off my back and I don't actually mean my prayer. Don't blame yourself for it, you did nothing wrong despite the childhood traumas you and dad caused me, this was still my choice. Don't ask me what's wrong with me and don't tell me what a bad daughter I am because mom, I am an aching soul, desperately trying to look for acceptence and comfort somewhere. I still want to laugh with you and I still want you to love me even though I no longer practice. I don't want to practice Islam anymore, but if you disown me, I will lose my anchor. I can't say I will never practice Islam again because change is bound to happen, but if I ever decided I want to join again, I know that the door is always open because you have always been there for me. Please don't ever close this door.

    Please don't leave your daughter regardless of her choices and even if she never comes back.

    • Wow, same boat here.

      I am a 26 year old woman who's also left Islam.

      I come from a traditional Somali household. Both my parents are devout, especially my mother. I was enrolled in Quran classes from a very young age (3 years old) and became a hafiza of the Quran at age 14. I genuinely believed in Islam and had aspirations to go to Al Azhar University or another institute to become an alimah.

      I guess my downfall was science. After high school I got a degree in evolutionary biology & a Masters in epidemiology. University forced me to think in different ways and examine my deeply held beliefs and whether or not I had ACTUAL proof for the claims religion makes. In the end, I couldn't reconcile my scientific views with Islam. I also could not reconcile the many moral arguments against Islam (child marriage, polygamy, slavery & sex slavery, hudud punishments etc). I completed Umrah and felt nothing as I stood in front of the Ka'bah. That was the final nail in the coffin for me.

      I have been a closeted ex-Muslim for a long time now. Telling my parents would break their hearts and destroy our relationship. I yearn for my mother's approval, and I think I always will. Similar to you, I am hesitant to label myself as "atheist". I think Igtheist / Apatheist are better terms for myself. Perhaps there is a "Higher power" or "Being". Perhaps not. I am not bothered with either option or trying to find out.

      Anyways hope you find peace one day. I hope for a world where religion ceases to be the divisive factor it is.

      • "ExMuslim," this is sad. You memorized the Quran but never understood it. And you learned science but only saw what you wished to see, failing to see the obvious evidence of the existence of the Creator. Furthermore, the issues that you list as moral arguments against Islam do not actually exist in Islam (with the exception of the hudud, which has a limited and necessary function in human society).

        And it seems that with all your book learning, you never grasped with central principle in Islam, which is the powerful and meaningful connection between each human being and the Most Merciful, when the human acknowledges this connection and worships no other being, ideology or material thing.

        And then, after all the gifts you have been given - good parents, intelligence, nourishment, opportunity for education, and life itself - to say that you "can't be bothered" with the One who made all these things possible for you. Such galling ingratitude and arrogance.

        You are like a blind person sitting in a room with a bright lamp, saying, "The lamp does exist because I do not see it."

        Your story is confirmation of what the Quran says:

        Alif Lam Mim.
        This is the Scripture in which there is no doubt, containing guidance for those who are mindful of God, who believe in the unseen,keep up the prayer, and give out of what We have provided for them; those who believe in the revelation sent down to you [Muhammad], and in what was sent before you, those who have firm faith in the Hereafter. Such people are following their Lord’s guidance and it is they who will prosper.

        As for those who disbelieve, it makes no difference whether you warn them or not: they will not believe. God has sealed their hearts and their ears, and their eyes are covered.


        Wael Editor

      • Salam ExMuslim,

        Whether you believe or not will primarily rest on whether or not you want to. If you are willing to obey God then it will become obvious to you that there is one. If you are not willing then you will stop short of finding the answer. I say this because I also went through the same search as you did, except I found answers to my questions.

        I also studied Evolutionary Biology and I found that it fails to meet the scientific method: Make a hypothesis, test, confirm your hypothesis. The hypothesis is that several other animals evolved from other different animals, there is no test to confirm this, then we use circumstantial evidence of similar genes to claim which animal came from what. For small scale fruit fly tests that show it's possible to change eye color, I agree. Small scale evolution works.
        For large scale we have:
        1) random mutations,
        2) the newly mutated species must also have mates,
        3) A larger number of animals so there's enough genetic variation to be viable against diseases,
        4) a balance in predators that eat it so it doesn't overpopulate or die out.
        5) and a balanced food supply.

        If you were in charge or making evolution happen or were asked to make a unicorn given a horse and a rhinoceros you wouldn't be able to do it. The management of food supply, genetic mutation, predators and prey, reproduction rates, and numerous other factors are so hard to control that actually making evolution happen on a large scale would take God like intelligence and planning in real time.

        If you think about the work involved, Evolution is actually a proof that God exists, and that would bring you closer to Islam. The way it is presented in schools though is an atheist view that is incomplete.There are answers to your other questions as well, and I've had them too. It's about whether you stop finding the answers and disbelieve or keep going until you find them. Salam.

  7. Assalamo Alaikum to all the brothers and sisters who have replied to me. Jzk Khair for all the advice (minus the explicit!).

    The abuse I mentioned has been dealt with in accordance to how our daughter wanted us to deal with it. That is not to say that she is still not suffering but Insha Allah, it will get better with time and counselling.

    Her health issues are being dealt with by physicians - please pray for a complete recovery.

    As a family, we have not abandoned her. She is still at home with us and we make sure that we still have a laugh together. We continue to listen to the Quran on the radio (even more so now in Ramadan). She joins us for Iftar and helps prepare the food, etc. Her illness prevents her from fasting.

    I have increased my duas, am praying more nafls, continue to donate in sadaqah jariyah and have started to pray the Tahujjud in the night.

    We are a very close family so her actions do hurt but my husband says Insha Allah, she will return to Islam - I have full faith in my husband and in Allah SWT.

    Sister Anon 94 - your kind words are very soothing and reassuring and I now have a better understanding with what is happening. I pray for you and my daughter.

    Your sister in Islam.

  8. AoA,

    Surely the toughest of all trials to go through if your are a sincere Muslim; is to see your children abandon the deen.

    On the one hand, your child has hurt you, turned away from an aspect of your life and being that you hold as dear as life. You feel rejected, and you want them to know the fullest extent of your hurt.

    On the other, you want to love them back into Islam. The difficulty is if you do this you feel as though the child can glaze over or forget about your pain, feeling as you are condoning and accepting their decision. This probably results in the child feeling at ease to think "My parent support me, accept me.".

    There aren't many people who can do this. Maybe you should take solace from when Allah says he burdens a soul with what they can bear, which means you can come through this closer to Allah, and endure it, but it might be without yur daughter.

    My opinion is that one thing is for sure if you turn your back on her the risk of losing her for good is greater.

    It is difficult to know what advice to give. I can only suggest you increase your closeness to Allah and his Rasul (SAW), create a wholesome Islamic environment in your home that you and the rest of the (believing) family feel at ease with in practising their deen.

    Then let your daughter know that despite her views yours is still a Muslim household and she must respect your way of life, that you will not tolerate outward forms of un-Islamic behaviour. It is still your house. I don't mean to say establish a draconian set of rules, but I mean have a wholesome Islamic tone and routine in the house to establish your ground, but be gentle.

    Do not be afraid to voice your hurt but do so subtly. I think it is important to them them know that you can never condone, nor forget the pain they have caused you. But I would perhaps ask her to forgive you,sincerely for anything you have done to make to turn away from Islam, or have hurt her.

    I think, perhaps, implementing these steps might give you hope, and give her a rope back. Although it is the hardest way, it is perhaps the most beautiful way to address your issues.

    I really pray your daughter and everyone one of us find true imaan.

    And also, there are a number of people who say the come back to Islam based on kindness shown to them, reminded of what they have left behind.

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