My friend is a former sikh who converted to Islam. He is a true Muslim but I can see he and his Muslim wife is in pain as his family is still sikh. Can they participate out of respect with mother and father in sikh functions? Attending festivals and prayers (where appropriate) as long as their hearts stays true to islam ?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Brother in Islam,
It is noble to note your friend’s concern for his family’s Iman. May Allah grant them all hidayah.
It is indeed a sensitive matter when one’s family is not Muslim. However, one should note that even the most perfect of beings, the Ambiyah, had members of their family who were not Muslim. For instance, the son of Nuh (AlayhisSalam), the father of Ibrahim (Alayhis Salam), and the wife of Lut (Alayhis Salam).In this regard, Allah has made it clear that when one’s family is not Muslim, they cannot truly be defined as family. Consider the following verse of the Qur’an:
قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
Translation: “O Noah! He is certainly not of your family—he was entirely of unrighteous conduct. So do not ask Me about what you have no knowledge of! I warn you so you do not fall into ignorance.” (Surah Hud: 46)
Accordingly, although one may feel they have a duty to respect their parents beliefs on account of them being family, the Qur’an has made it clear that their disbelief cannot be tolerated.
Dear brother, as Muslims, we are sensitive to our Iman and Islamic values. We guard and protect our Iman to the best of our abilities. As humans, we are affected by our environment. The environment wherein shirk and disbelief take place is detrimental to one’s Iman. Attending gatherings and ceremonies of the kuffar in their places of worship is tantamount to honouring their religion and resembling them in action. Consequently, it will not be permissible for your friend to join in their parent’s religious ceremonies, even if there are content with Iman in their hearts. They may attend other family gatherings in which no worship or disbelief occurs.