We have been visiting relatives these past couple weeks, as the children have their winter breaks which gives our family the chance to get together for those all important rather large family gatherings. This has also given me the opportunity to teach my children about etiquettes and manners when visiting family as well as respecting your elders. I have had quite an odd upbringing, where I was raised by a non Muslim father and Muslim mother. As you can imagine this was very confusing. My parents are no longer together, however this has unfortunately led to my siblings all becoming disbelievers of Islam. Therefore it is very upsetting to come to a majority ‘islamic’ gathering at my mothers house, to find boyfriends and haram food. As I homeschool my children, they rely heavily on me to guide them and teach them right from wrong, which in this atmosphere is a very daunting task. Alhamdulilah because my mother is Muslim and subsequently myself, my siblings are not offended when I answer my kids questions honestly. My kids used to ask my sisters why they didn’t wear hijab, or why they live with men they are not married to and they would always answer that it is wrong and they will stop etc.
Unfortunately, my kids are getting older and my youngest sibling is 25 and somehow their unacceptable behavior has become acceptable. I have continuously attempted to give da’wah to my siblings and father, inviting them to Islam. However, having been a practicing Muslim for 11 years, if I attempt to advise any of them they immediately tell me they don’t need a lecture or to stop preaching, regardless of the topic. My sisters try so hard to be happy and successful in this life, yet whether they have a new career, man or home, they never feel that contentment. I know from my knowledge and experience that true contentment, happiness and success only comes from Allah.
During the family gathering, one of my sisters had a breakdown, where she was very depressed about her life’s path. Complaining, that her life was boring and filled with regret. This sister was once a practicing Muslim and loved Islam, however later stopped practicing. She believes Islam to be the truth, yet doesn’t feel she can practice it as she is very social and conforms to society’s image of a successful woman. To the outside world, she has a successful life, as she has the good 9-5 job, loyal live-in boyfriend and comfortable home, but she suffers from depression.
I usually listen to her and tell her that as long as she’s breathing she has a chance for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. However, when I attempted to speak with her this time she jumped in and told me, “Yeah, I know I know, faith is the key”. I am at a loss as to how to help her or any of my family. I would like to know if there are others in similar situations and how thy cope with this. How can I find the balance between inviting others to Islam and preaching?