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Having a different religion to your parents

(20 Posts)
TheDMshouldbeRivened Tue 25-Aug-09 18:29:53

anyone else in this situation?
My mum is Christian, I am muslim. The Qu'ran tells me (muslims) to respect the People of the Book (jews and Christians ) and says they will also go to heaven if they do good and worship God. So I do.
But my mother never stops going on about how I am in an evil religion, then citing muslims doing bad things around the world and telling me that Christians are now persecuted everywhere. And Chrsitians have never done bad things.
I offered to take her to an Iftar so she could meet muslims for herself but no, they are all evil and hate Christians apprently.

Its really getting me down. My religion tells me to respect hers and not be judgemental but I find myself wanted to snap back sad

Its making me not want to go over there.

ilovemydogandmrobama Tue 25-Aug-09 18:36:03

The Crusades weren't very kind to Muslims.... sad

TheDMshouldbeRivened Tue 25-Aug-09 18:40:45

I could cite Christian atrocities but thats not that helpful really. She is very close-minded and unfortunately the behaviour of some muslims gives her plenty of ammo. sigh.
But I am really fed up of hearing the word 'evil' bandied about and she makes sneering remarks about my prayers being no good as its a 'false god'. FFS, Muslims worship the same god as Abraham. So the jews, christians and muslim are all following the same path with the same prophets.
argh.

DutchOma Tue 25-Aug-09 20:14:59

I'm afraid you will have to agree to differ. It will be hard for her to accept that you have a religion that is quite strange to her and difficult for you to accept that this is the case.
Maybe you need to say to her that this is the way it is, that you love her and that you hope she will love you too and can you please talk about something else now?

MaryBS Wed 26-Aug-09 08:40:14

Just wanted to say not all Christians are like that . Is it what they teach in her church? It sounds like bad teaching to me if that's the case. All I can suggest is you pray for her, as I was told once "pray without an agenda", it will help you resist the need to fight back.

BonsoirAnna Wed 26-Aug-09 08:42:38

Why are you a Muslim, Riven? How did that come about?

Overmydeadbody Wed 26-Aug-09 08:47:22

Oh gosh riven I am so sorry this is getting you down, and I completely know how you feel as am there myself <sigh> and funnily enough, so where my parents so I'd expect them to behave differently!

My parents converted to Islam when I was young. They had a hard time getting their families to accept this.

No, as an adult, I am not a muslim and am not bringing my son up as one either. My parents can't accept this, my dad has even dismissed it as "just a phase, you'll grow out of it" shock. No I won't, I am a strong humanis and won't ever suddenyl change my mind, it really upsets me that he can't accept it and respect it the way he expected his parent's to <sigh>

He asked me this week if I'd be fasting. <sigh> um, no, I'm not a mislim?!

Overmydeadbody Wed 26-Aug-09 08:51:32

Riven I suspect for your mum it's not so much that Islam is an evil religion, but that you chose it over following the religion she brought you up ith and assumed you would follow.

I think parents find it hard when their children don't make the same choices in life as them when it comes to religion. Your mum can't understand why you would choose Islam over Christianity when that is what she has decided is right and assumed because she has decided it is right you would too. On a subconscious level, because you rejected christianity you rejected her, and she is hurt by this and attacking by critisizing Islma, rather than critisize you personally.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Wed 26-Aug-09 09:01:02

suprisingly enough she bought us up as pagans and she was a witch. Her conversion to Christianity happenned a few years ago when she did the Alpha course and she spends all day listening to those American TV evangelicals.
Hence all her 'evil' talk as she is getting a distorted view. I've asked her to read 'Daughters of another Path' written by a christian mother whose daughter converts to Islam but she refuses to read anything about Islam except what the TV poeple say and the Daily Mail.
sigh

Overmydeadbody Wed 26-Aug-09 09:02:34

Oh dear.

In that case, she sounds like a bit of a loon and you are probably best just avoiding any talk of religion whatsoever.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Wed 26-Aug-09 09:23:48

heh. Hard to avoid as I wear headscarf 'why have you got that bandage on your head, maybe you should walk behind me ho ho ho' 'your dd would be better if you prayed to the correct God'
its a bit hurtful and I've been avoiding going over there.

Deeeja Wed 26-Aug-09 10:06:03

I have a similar thing with my mother. She refuses to let me visit her now, and just about manages to speak to me on the phone occasionally. The last time was a year ago. I would hope she would have got used to the fact that I am a muslim after 24 years, but no.
It is difficult because I am supposed to keep a good relationship with her, so I try to make the best effort I can, and whether or not she is the same is not in my control. That is the only I can deal with it. My mother in law is the same, and thinks that if me and dh were to divorce then he would go back to her religion and she could have things back the way she wants them. So she is always trying to be nasty.
It is very hard, and I find it best to not discuss religion. If they make strange comments, I just say that is not true or whatever. I mostly ask about their health, and we try to give gifts etc. and be helpful in other ways. Mother in law also likes to come round and go through my things, which drives me insane, but I try to be tolerant. It is not easy.
I just try to remember that Allah will reward me for this if I act and respond with patience and it is part of my test.
So definately agree that best not to discuss religion with someone who is always angry. Just show good character to them in your behaviour.

weegiemum Wed 26-Aug-09 10:11:46

I have a kind of similar thing with my parents - we were brought up as pretty flaky churchgoers, and my parents and siblings haven't gone for years.

But I am a serious CHristian and my Dad thinks it is still a "phase" I am going through (after 23 years!) and that we are damaging our children by taking them to church every week .

I've learned to smile and say nothing much, but it is very annoying.

No offfence intended, Riven, but your mother sounds like a bit of a loon. I am in a fairly evangelical church and I don't hear the kind of things your Mum says - is she getting more of her theology from American Christian TV than anything else?

TheDMshouldbeRivened Wed 26-Aug-09 10:19:53

she does like the US system of Christianity yes.

onetiredmummy Wed 26-Aug-09 10:24:51

Riven I'm so sorry. My family seem to deal with the different religions by not talking about them, dad is Buddhist & mum is Christian & I don't believe but was raised as christian, but can see the benefit each of them get from their beliefs. I think if someone asked my parents they would be willing to discuss it but we just don't seem to talk about it.

Maybe your mother is afraid you will somehow get involved with violence through Islam & is trying to prevent it. Silly I know.

Is it worth trying to be honest & saying you don't appreciate her remarks & its making you not want to see her?

lou031205 Wed 26-Aug-09 10:31:12

I have a similar thing, also. I was raised in a mixed household - Mum "of course your a Christian, you are British", and Dad "God doesn't exist". No church going, but Mum sneaked in a Christening when Dad worked abroad.

I became a Christian when I was 16. Dad didn't talk to me for 3 weeks (hard as we are very close) but over the years came to an acceptance that these people were good people, and it wasn't a cult (evangelical church, so relatively full-on).

Nowadays, 13 years later, Dad won't have ill said of our church (Dsis likes to rip me to shreds over it and generally slag off my church, but Dad won't have it!) but remains a staunch critic.

He, too, thinks we are wrong to take the children to church and 'indoctrinate' them. I say we will raise them in the ways of the Lord. When they are old enough they can choose for themselves.

We rumble on. I let most things go, but occasionally make a stand.

onetiredmummy Wed 26-Aug-09 10:44:59

& the absolute FURORE that resulted from other members of the family with our children not being christened was unbelievable. It ranged from my MIL - they wont be able to buried in consecrated ground/they wont be able to get married in a church to my grandmas look of horror & continued snidey comments 4 years on. We didn't get married in a church so you think they might have cottoned on.

Those US TV preachers scare me, they get so worked up & so frenzied.

I think atrocities in the name of God have been carried out since the beginning of religious belief and all religions have blood on their hands, including Christianity.

littleducks Tue 01-Sep-09 04:30:13

I converted and my parents did find it hard, they arent really religous at all so it wasnt a case of clashing religions so much of them thinking it was a load of rubbish, thankfully they are too polite to say (just some hmm faces at times)

In my case it was having my dd that bought us closer together, so i dont think i can offer much advice on how to do it

UNfortunately i think you just have to remember that 'heaven is at the feet of your mother' and treat her with kindness and courteousy, which hopefully as she grows older she will appreciate: if you can avoid the religion subject great but if she is as fundamental (thats a rubbish word i know but its 4 am so substitute your own better one) then it may be hard not to talk religion at all

If all she reads is DM stuff then you will have to demonstrate there asre good muslims in the worlld, you need to be the first example she sees

Are you getting enough support from people in your area?

Mouette Tue 01-Sep-09 10:16:17

I am sorry to hear that. Sadly some of the evangelicals in the US (by no means all) preach an intolerant view of other religions. No one has a monopoly on God! I agree that the best thing to do is to avoid discussing religion with her and go on doing your own thing. But it can't be easy.
BTW I was brought up as an agnostic, became a Christian and was baptised at the age of 22. My mother was puzzled I think, I never discuss religion with her as it bores her! But she accepts now that the church is a big part of our lives. Hopefully your mother will in time accept your faith. Sounds like she's changed religions already once, so who knows, she may not remain an evangelical hardline Christian for ever!

illgetyoubutler Tue 01-Sep-09 21:24:27

i think most reverts have this very same problem. iv yet to meet a revert who has told me their parents, family and friends were 100% behind them and happy.
all you can do is what is upon you as far as duty towards your parents, especially your mum. keep those ties of kinship despite the frustrations. Allah knows better than all of us as He says they (non Muslims, disbelievers) will never cause you any harm, save a trifling annoyance! The best thing all reverts can do with regards to non Muslim loved ones is for the muslims to learn the deen and to emulate excellent character, patience and manners! Dont forget either that this is nothing new. This is Allah's Sunnah! This was the way of His Prophets, and those who believed in them and followed them, they then were to become victims and ridicule and mockery. Take Nuh (pbuh)for example. how long did he call his people to Allah for? 950 years!! imagine the annoyance and disheart!and for what? to watch his own beloved son drown alongside the disbelievers because his own son mocked, ridiculed and reviled him! His people would put their fingers in their ears and run off whenever Nuh opened his mouth to teach the people to believe in Allah and follow the laws of that time. Muhammad (pbuh) called his beloved uncle who brought him up from a young boy to believe in Allah, to recognise Him to be One with no Partner or Peer, yet his own uncle refused and died in that state. We all have these difficulties with regards to our parents and families. But what is absolutely and totally IMPERATIVE is to teach your mother Tawheed of Allah, not so much the explaining of the 'rules and regulations': because we can never understand and appreciate the legislations sent down by the Creator, if we fail to learn who He is, what He is not, Where He is, and what His right is over us. your mum already believes the covering to be something comical, by all means, teach why we do this using examples from Quraan and sunnah, but drive home to her that the covering is not something to focus on or is important before we become believers in Allah,and this is following the example of Muhammad, because the prohibitions and commandments didnt come down straight away as many think. The Prophet was teaching the people about Allah the Creator for 13 years before any verses of hijab, alchohol, hajj, eating of lawful foods etc were sent down. So what was he doing in all that time? teaching his loved ones to learn about God, so much so that when any laws came down the people rushed to fufil them and were happy to do so because they knew who they were doing it for, not so much 'why'. in the same way we did as we were told and asked of us by our parents when we were younger, even the things we disliked, because didnt we respect our parents because we knew them? if your mum believes Allah to be a false god, then learn about Allah and refute her! as He says, refute and argue in ways better and more pleasent then theirs. Remember, your manners and character! keep those ties of kinship!!and be patient! keep up your prayers and dua's and you can never know what Allah has planned for you and your mother in the future! just know that you are/will be doing that which is expected of you when you finally meet Allah, and you will be rewarded for that!x

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